"... you're not even aware, you're such a funny pair..."
Released in 1981, The Fox and the Hound is the 24th movie in the Disney Animated Canon, very, very, veryloosely based on a book of the same name.The plot feautures an old woman finding an infant orphaned fox whom she adopts and names Tod. Meanwhile, her neighbor, a hunter, brings home a hound puppy named Copper intent on raising him to be a hunting dog. Tod and Copper soon meet and quickly become best friends, which raises conflict between their respective owners, but the two promise to remain friends forever. Later, once the two are grown up, Copper is actively participating in his master's hunts, and the friendship between the two is put into jeopardy; Tod nearly causes the death of the hunter's favorite hound, causing Copper to break off their friendship and swearing to take revenge on him. Because of this, Tod's owner is also forced to release Tod into the wild. Slade and Copper don't give up their pursuit, however, and break into the reserve to try and kill Tod.A Direct-to-DVDmidquel, The Fox and The Hound 2, was released in 2006. There's also a junior novelization serving as a brief sequel to the original. In it, Tod and Vixie have two cubs, and Tod brings them to his old home one day to teach them about there being both good and bad humans. Widow Tweed is overjoyed to see Tod and knowing that he's living a good life. On Amos' side, Chief catches the scent of prey which once again prompts Amos to go on a hunt, ending with Copper tracking down Tod and his family. However, being on speaking terms again, Copper is pleased to see Tod is doing fine as well, but at the same time asks for him to leave quickly before Amos or Chief sees him. Tod tells his cubs how he once were best friends with that hunting dog.Compare Arashi No Yoru Ni (which has been interpreted as The Fox and the Hound with sexualtension).
Anti-Villain: Amos Slade is a Jerkass but not a bad guy, and he doesn't see his career of hunting as a bad thing. The only time he actually does anything illegal is when Chief almost dies thanks to Tod and he's determined to get Tod's pelt even though hunting isn't allowed in that area, but backs off when Copper shows Amos that Tod is his friend.
Chief also counts, as the viewer is supposed to care about him even though he is antagonistic towards Tod. It helps that he does have some sort of genuine affection for Copper, even after it turns to jealousy when Copper grows older.
A-Team Firing: It gets a bit narmy after a while when Amos can't get a single hit towards Tod despite all the clear shots he has. Makes you wonder how he became such a good hunter in the first place (if his winter hunt results are anything to go by).
Double Take: The chicken looks over to her little chicks, for a second, who are curious about that furry red thing that has its paw reaching up to them, as if to...Cue the chicken freaking out and chasing Tod in the barn shed.
Fighting Your Friend: Long after what happened that got Tod sent out to the wild, he and Copper, who blamed Tod for getting Chief injured, naturally square off against each other as if they had never met.
Genre Savvy: Vixie, who tells Tod they should stay away from a copse because it's "too quiet". Tod is in turn Genre Blind and scoffs at her. Justified however, since Tod was raised by a human he has little clue how cautious he should be in the wild.
Go Through Me: At the very end, when Copper positions himself against Tod to prevent Amos from shooting him.
Green-Eyed Monster: Chief and Copper's roles are reversed from the original novel; here Chief is the aging hound and Copper the new favorite who he becomes jealous of.
Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?: The original story was an allegory for racism separating two friends. The film is sometimes interpreted as a depicting an innocent summer romance between two boys torn asunder by divergent career paths and the folly of machismo. Sometimes it is seen as showing how men repress their feelings as they come of age, and lose touch with their innocence.
Irony: Amos and Copper goes hunting for Tod but ends up running into a giant, pissed off bear. It's up to Tod to save them.
It's Quiet... Too Quiet: Vixey is afraid to enter a copse when she realizes it's too quiet, while Tod has no such qualms and narrowly avoids falling foul of Copper, Amos' shotgun and a shitload of bear traps.
Knight of Cerebus: The bear does not appear until the climax of the film which until then only Amos Slade and Chief who were not frightening appeared. When the bear came in, the film became darker when he was terrifying.
Meaningful Name: Tod(d) is an old English word for a fox. However, he is named by Tweed because he's "such a little toddler". Vixey sounds very similar to "vixen" which is a female fox.
Mentor Occupational Hazard: Played with - Chief is sort of a father/big brother figure to Copper and is nearly mortally wounded while chasing Tod.
Missing Mom: Tod's mom is shot during the opening credits. Who shot her is unknown (it is unlikely that Amos Slade shot her because at that time he is buying Copper and his original hunting dog Chief was asleep in his introduction), however.
Oh Crap: Chief gets one before getting hit by the train. Copper gets one when he's sniffing around for Tod and smells a bear. Amos gets one in the same scene when he sees it.
Papa Wolf: Tod becomes this when he's defending Vixie and again,not long after, when Copper is threatened by a very pissed off bear near the end.
Copper himself counts too, since he tries (and fails) to protect his master from said bear.
Pet the Dog: Literally. This is what makes Amos Slade less of a villain. Heck, the beginning showed him being happy about getting Copper as a puppy.
Plucky Comic Relief: Dinky and Boomer - and considering how incredibly sad this movie can be, their comic relief is very much needed.
Puppy-Dog Eyes: Naturally. When standing up to Slade at the end Copper gives a defiant but earnest use of this trope. Tod, the more idealistic of the two, gives a lot of these over the course of the film as well.
Raised by Humans: Tod is raised by an old widow woman after his real mother is killed by hunters.
Reality Ensues: Despite the obvious child-friendly changes from the original book, at the end the most Tod and Copper can do is treasure the friendship they once had, while they'll likely never be together again. It still remains one of the very few animated Disney movies to have a Bittersweet Ending.
Originally, Chief was supposed to die, as in the book, which would've justified Slade and Copper's anger. This was changed for being too dark.
As a result it makes Copper and Slade look like jackasses, as they're hunting Tod for injuring Chief unintentionally, as opposed to the book, where he deliberately tricks Chief into taking a train to the face.