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Nightmare Fuel / The Fox and the Hound

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Nothing can do Death Glares like furious animals.
From the Disney film
  • That confrontation just before the scene with the bear. And of course, the bear itself.
    • In particular, right after Amos wounds the bear's shoulder. It roars in pain, then looks down at Amos with a Slasher Smile that the Joker would be proud of. Instead of "just" an angry bear, they now have an enraged bear to deal with.
    • Copper getting mercilessly swatted by the bear is pretty brutal, even for Disney. So brutal in fact, that even Tod, the fox he's been tracking down is horrified to see his childhood friend nearly getting killed in a vicious fight. It truly is a relief that he nobly decided to rush in and save his friend.
    • It gets even scarier on Amos' part: that was a protected forest, so he was never supposed to be there in the first place. There wouldn't be any other people for miles around. He is essentially Alone with the Psycho in the middle of the wilderness, with this bear that could snap his bones like toothpicks. The look of sheer, utter terror that comes over his face as he sees the bear emerge from its den and loom up over him on its hind feet speaks volumes. Thank goodness Copper was there to come to the rescue!
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    • The bear chasing Tod just adds to the terror. Tod bravely ran to save Copper, but despite biting and yanking the bear's ear all he does it divert his attention before he's thrown off. And as bear chases him he shows what a monster he is as uproots a dead tree with a causal swat. As Tod runs up the mountain, he trips and has to dart inbetween the bear's legs to avoid getting hit. The bear seems to get more annoyed and tries to bite Tod, misses, and the impact breaks off bits of stone.
  • The confrontation between Tod and Copper at the den. You want to see what a real Death Glare looks like? That kind of snarl is not a bluff or a threat. It is what an animal does when it signals its intent to defend something to the death and no less. [1]
    • The look on Copper's face is no better. Let's put it in perspective—he spent the better part of the movie looking like a happy, lovable non-anthropomorphic Goofy. Then shit happens, he blames Todd for it, and now he's looking like a straight-up Hell Hound as he tries to drag his former friend out of his own home and kill him.
      • That isn't even the worst part. Imagine a childhood friend that you grew up with? Forming a bond so close that the two of you believe nothing will break it. Then as you grow up you grow apart. Then later your childhood friend hates you and the next thing you know you and your former childhood friend are fighting to the death. Does This Remind You of Anything?
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  • The first time Tod is discovered by Chief it leads to a lengthy chase that escalates to Amos taking a few shots at him before Widow Tweed finally intervenes. It may be a bit intense for the young fox, but it's mostly played for laughs. Once Tod has grown up though, and Chief discovers him yet again while he's trying to talk to Copper, all sense of comedy is gone and Chief and Amos are out for blood.
  • Chief getting hit by the oncoming train in his obsessive effort to kill Tod. Even Amos is shouting at him to get out of the way, and all Chief can do is look upon the train in sheer terror as he realizes his mistake far too late, and is sent flying into the ravine below much to Copper's grief. It truly is a miracle that the worst he suffered was a busted leg. Unfortunately, it also triggers Copper's newfound hatred for Tod as he vows revenge for his friend's brush with death.
  • Dinky and Boomer getting electrocuted is jarring, especially if you're a bird lover as it frequently happens to birds in real life. Thank goodness this instance was just Played for Laughs.
  • Not as blatant of an example as Bambi, but the film has its scenes of portraying the terror forest animals must feel upon being targeted by a human and his hound. There's the chilling opening scene where Nothing Is Scarier as you never see the dog chasing the fox, only its haunting barks and howls that never stops following her no matter how fast or far she runs, until she is finally driven into the hunter's line of sight and killed. Later in the film when Amos and Copper are searching for Tod in the reservation, another haunting melody plays in the background as Copper is tracking through the woods, with the occasional shot of animals hiding as they see him. There's also a pretty terrifying score playing the second time Chief chases Tod.
  • Just the way the movie opens itself is enough to instill a sense of foreboding dread in the viewer. It opens on an Ominous Fog-shrouded screen with no music at all, apart from a low, keening wind that just sounds cold before the film's title card appears on the screen, which itself lends to the opening's ominous atmosphere. Something about the font and its color, which is so similar in tone to the fog in the background it feels as if the title is forming out of the fog itself, just sets your hair on end, and lets you know right from the get-go that this is not going to be your standard happy-go-lucky Disney film.

From the novel

  • A simple difference between the novel and the film: Tod and Copper are never friends.
  • Tod and Copper's personalities, for some. Their very inhuman priorities and morals (or lack thereof) pitch some readers into a case of Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy.
  • The effects of rabies and strychnine on their victims. And the way strychnine just keeps passing up the food chain. Both are made all the more awful by being chilling Truth in Television.
    • The rabies outbreak is almost like a zombie outbreak, the way the foxes and other animals slowly succumb to agonizing illness and mindless aggression.
    • That's not far from the truth. Rabies attacks the brain and central nervous system. By the time the "mindless aggression" stage happens, most of what we would consider one's mind is simply gone, eaten by the virus.
  • A lot of Tod's closer shaves with death are horrifying. In particular, he gets a few close calls when he learns about steel traps, but always figures out ways to spring them safely, and begins to make a game out of doing so. Then one day he pushes his luck too far, is fooled by a new bit added onto a trap to make it spring easily, and gets caught. He escapes and keeps his foot, but not without essentially ripping himself free, and he's slightly crippled from that point on.
    • Later on, his first mate is also caught in a trap, and doesn't get out again.
  • Tod's death. He's not shot, not caught in a trap, not ripped apart by dogs. He's chased for more than 24 hours by Copper, until he drops dead of exhaustion moments before Copper even reaches his body.
  • The death of Tod's first litter. His biggest pup gets into the habit of stealing chickens, and draws the ire of a farmer, who calls on Copper's master to help. They find the den, and pump car exhaust into it. Since there's only one tunnel, it's a death trap.

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