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Western Animation / The Fox and the Hound

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You're not even aware, you're such a funny pair...

Tod: Copper, you're my very best friend.
Copper: And you're mine too, Tod.
Tod: And we'll always be friends forever, won't we?
Copper: Yeah, forever!

Released in 1981, The Fox and the Hound is the 24th movie in the Disney Animated Canon, very, very, very loosely based on a book of the same name. It is the first Disney animated feature which Walt Disney had no involvement in whatsoevernote  and the last to feature any significant involvement from members of the veteran board of animators known as the "Nine Old Men", with director/producer Wolfgang Reitherman and animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston (the last of the nine employed full-time at the studio by 1977) retiring before the end of production. Resultantly, the majority of the film would be animated by a younger crew, among them John Musker, Ron Clements, Glen Keane, Chris Buck, Brad Bird and an eccentric young assistant animator known as Tim Burton.

The plot features 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.

A Direct-to-DVD midquel, The Fox and the Hound 2, was released in 2006. One of the final direct-to-DVD sequels released by the Mouse, the film is significantly Lighter and Softer than its predecessor and has almost no notable bearing on its narrative, instead centering on Tod and Copper joining a band of country-singing dogs.

Compare One Stormy Night (which has been interpreted as The Fox and the Hound with sexual tension).

The Fox and the Hound contains examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: An intentional one done in the Latin American Spanish dub: Vixey is voiced by Diana Santos, who already voiced another vixen, though an anthropomorphic one: Maid Marian.
  • Adaptational Alternate Ending: The original book ends with a full blown Downer Ending where Tod dies, both of his mates and his kits all die, Copper is put down by the hunter (who Amos is based on) so he doesn't have to abandon him when he's taken to a nursing home, and the forest has been completely destroyed by urbanization. The Disney adaptation alters it into a Bittersweet Ending where Tod, his mate Vixey, and Copper survive, but Tod and Copper are forced to permanently go their separate ways.
  • Adaptational Location Change: Possibly. The author of the original novel said he based some of his human characters on people he knew who lived in Oro Valley, Arizona. However, other aspects of the novel were inspired by events in Pennsylvania and Virginia. The film itself follows the latter route; while not explicitly stated, the setting is heavily implied to be in Appalachia.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy:
    • In the novel, Tod intentionally lured Chief to the tracks to be killed. In this adaptation, it was a genuine accident on his part.
    • Similarly, while Copper snaps at Tod at this point in the film, it was out of genuine guilt and concern for Chief, while in the book, Copper was jealous of Chief and was actually happy that Chief died because he was concerned the (younger) Chief would take his place as the top hunting dog.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: Tod and Copper in the novel were strictly prey and predator. The Disney movie turns them into childhood friends tragically torn apart in adulthood.
  • Adapted Out: In the novel, Tod had two different mates over a period of time and had kits with them. Only one of them (Vixey) appears in the film, and the film closes before Tod and Vixey have time to have any kits.
  • Advertised Extra: Most covers for the film, including the one featured on this site (which is from the first home video release from 1994), feature the bear, even though he only shows up for a few minutes towards the end of the film.
  • Age Lift: Chief was younger than Copper in the novel. It's the other way around here.
  • Agony of the Feet: Amos steps into a bear trap after getting startled by, of all things, a bear and is obviously in a shitload of pain from this.
  • Animal Nemesis: Tod becomes this to Amos.
  • Anti-Villain:
    • Amos Slade is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold 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 patently wrong is when he harasses Widow Tweed out of anger 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; he's forced to calm down and back 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.
  • Apron Matron: Widow Tweed is kind and caring towards her animals, especially Tod, but if you mess with any of them, you will face the consequences.
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: In-universe example. Foxes learn to hunt and survive on their own from their parents. Widow Tweed leaves Tod, a bottle raised fox who's never learned how to do anything save nap in a bed in front of the fire, in the forest alone minutes before a rain storm. Indeed, he's shown to be a poor hunter and his lack of survival skills and brushing off of Vixey's is what nearly gets them caught in Slade's gauntlet of leg hold traps.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Putting aside the obvious details that go with depicting cartoon animals that can talk and have human level intelligence;
  • A-Team Firing: It gets a bit silly 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).
    • The only time we see him hit anything on screen is when he fires a shot that grazes the shoulder of the bear. Ironically this is the one time it's justified, as Amos was panicking and not holding his gun straight.
  • Bad Ol' Badger: Mr. Digger has a very cantankerous personality and isn't willing to make friends with everyone else.
  • Bears Are Bad News: The climax of the film says it all.
  • Bear Trap: Amos employs some of these in his hunts. This has some unforeseen consequences later on...
  • Berserk Button: Amos Slade does not take kindly to being contradicted, and he certainly has no tolerance for being called out on his bad behavior.
  • Big Bad: Amos Slade tries to kill Tod several times.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Tod manages to save Copper in time from the bear near the end of the movie. It's because of this that Copper has a Heel Realization.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Tod and Copper must go their separate ways and likely will never see each other again, but part on good terms and remain friends in their hearts. Tod goes on to live with his mate Vixey in peace while Copper returns home with an injured and apparently humbled Amos. Even the last shot of the movie is tinged with bittersweet melancholy, with a visibly saddened Tod looking down on the two farms from afar as a reprise of "Goodbye May Seem Forever" plays, and Vixey nuzzles him comfortingly.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Double subverted twice in the bear fight. Amos manages to shoot the bear with visible blood, and Copper bites its muzzle with more visible blood, but afterwards neither of the wounds are visible. Meanwhile, Amos gets his foot caught in a bear trap and while he's obviously in pain, there's absolutely no blood or even damage to his boot. Maybe the animators didn't want to push their luck?
  • Both Sides Have a Point: At one point in the movie, Amos points to Tod shouting at Widow Tweed that he was supposedly after his chickens. Even if all Tod wanted to do was be friends with Copper, it makes sense from his perspective because Widow Tweed allowed Tod to cause mischief to begin with. Widow Tweed may have been too lenient with Tod and even if she was dismissive of the chickens in Amos' barn saying to Tod wouldn't hurt a thing, she was right as Tod ran under the fence which Chief broke while trying to kill Tod who went to hide in the chicken coop accidentally freeing them.
  • But Now I Must Go: Tod and Copper part ways after rekindling their friendship, because of Tod's new life with Vixey in the forest.
  • Butt-Monkey: Dinky and Boomer, the two trickster birds, take quite a bit of abuse throughout the movie.
  • Carnivore Confusion: Mostly handled realistically, with one major exception - foxes, especially young kits, are fair game to large owls, yet Tod and Big Mama get along fine. Strictly speaking she might also go after Dinky and Boomer, but owls aren't especially prone to hunting other birds - and in real life, they'd be awake at different times anyway.
  • Casting Gag: Pat Buttram once again plays the leader of a pair of farm dogs.
  • Central Theme: The film emphasizes the theme that people may change differently over time, but should not let their friendship or companionship decline over enforced roles and racial boundaries.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The movie slowly becomes darker and less humorous as Tod and Copper's friendship falls apart.
  • Chekhov's Skill: While playing hide and seek with Copper, Tod jumps between different objects to scatter his scent and confuse Copper. He does this again as an adult with Vixey to make Copper lose track of them by a waterfall.
  • Children Are Innocent: Tod and Copper as kids, and in the midquel.
  • Convenient Cranny: Employed and failed three times.
    • On his first night in the preserve, Tod crawls into a burrow to get out of a thunderstorm. Said burrow turns out to be the home of a very cranky old badger who promptly forces Tod back out into the rain.
    • Halfway through the film, Tod hides under a woodpile while being chased by Amos Slade and the hounds. Chief runs right past him, but Copper's keen nose leads him right to his former friend's hiding spot and an act of kindness on Copper's part is the only reason Tod even survives past this point.
    • Tod and his new mate dive into a burrow to avoid the snapping jaws of Copper. However, this cranny proves useless when the hunter finds a way to drive them out. That said, Amos probably wasn't expecting them to chance running through the fire he started to smoke them out.
  • Cool Old Lady: Widow Tweed, who isn't afraid to grab Slade's gun and blow a hole in his car engine.
  • Covers Always Lie: The cover for the 1994 home video release above features the bear looking down on the protagonists and makes it look like he's the Big Bad. He does play a major role, but not until the climax.
  • Darker and Edgier: Not so much compared to the original novel by Daniel P. Mannix or to Disney's next animated film, The Black Cauldron, but this film, along with the previous Disney installment, The Rescuers are more serious in comparison to some of Disney's animated movies from 1961 to 1977. The gloomier tone is established right at the start with a series of slow pans through a Bambi-esque forest with no title song, or even any other music for almost 2 minutes. When the music does finally start, it's an ominous underscore that slowly builds until we see Tod's mom for the first time.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Tod the tod.
  • David Versus Goliath: First Copper, a dog, and then Tod, a fox, take on a bear.
  • Deconstructed Trope: Despite the obvious child-friendly changes from the original novel that inspired this film, at the end the most Tod and Copper can do is treasure the friendship that 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.
    • Copper tries to defend Slade from the bear. A hound fighting a bear has predictable results. Tod sees that the bear will kill Copper and runs to save him, but all he can do is make the bear mad. He only survives because the bear stupidly breaks the log he and Tod are standing on, dropping the bear to his death.
  • Diabolus ex Nihilo: The bear that appears in the climax. It wasn't mentioned or foreshadowed in any way (aside from Copper's brief look of horror just seconds before the bear emerges), but the climactic fight against it is what resolves Tod and Copper's friendship.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Subverted. While Tod defeating the bear saved not only Copper but Amos (both of whom who were built up to be the ones who Tod had to defeat), it's revealed that Amos was still intent on killing Tod until Copper stepped in and pleaded to not kill him considering his reconciliation.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Amos (with Copper at his side) risks arrest, injury, and death to catch a fox that doesn't even live nearby anymore on the grounds that Chief got a broken leg chasing him.
  • Disney Death: Chief, though it initially appears certain he won't survive, after the train accidentally hits him. Tod counts as well, seeing as he fell down a steep waterfall. (see below).
  • Disneyfication: Heck, the story the film is based on ends with the majority of characters, including both main ones, dead.
  • Disney Villain Death: The bear, who falls off the log and down a steep waterfall. Curiously, Tod was also shown to fall and yet was clearly shown to survive. Truth in Television: The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
  • Dissension Remorse: Tod and Copper immediately stop their conflict when the bear shows up and attempts to kill both Copper and Slade, thus the two have to put their differences aside and Tod fights the bear while Copper escapes.
  • Distressed Dude: Amos and Copper both have an "Oh, crap!" look on their faces when the bear shows up.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": As is the case with the original book, our main character is a male fox, in other words, a Tod, named "Tod". Vixey offers a downplayed example, being a vixen, and all.
  • 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.
  • Downer Beginning: The film starts with Tod's mother running away from hounds, and ultimately getting shot. Amos Slade probably wasn't responsible because at that time Chief was asleep and he had yet to come back from getting Copper, but it certainly sets the tone for much of the movie.
  • Dramatic Chase Opening: The film starts with Tod's mother running away from hounds, Tod in tow.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • In the Norwegian dub, nearly all the names apart from Tod and Copper were changed. Big Mama was named Mor Ugle (Mother Owl), Amos Slade was named Ola Jeger (Ola Hunter), Vixey was named Mari, Widow Tweed was named Tante Hilde (Aunt Hilde), and Chief was named King.
    • Todd is also spelled with two D's, and not just one, in this version. In fact, its title is Todd og Copper: To gode venner (Todd and Copper: Two Good Friends).
      • The Danish dub also changes these names, even going as far as to change Tod to Mikkel and Copper to Mads. Thus the movie is called Mads og Mikkel (Copper and Tod) in Danish.
      • Similarly in the Finnish dub, Tod's name became Topi and Copper's name became Tessu and the Finnish title of the film is Topi ja Tessu (Tod and Copper). Amos Slade became Aatu Remunen, Widow Tweed became Hilma-täti (Aunt Hilma), Vixey became Kiki and Chief became Pösö.
      • In the German dub, the names of Tod and Copper are changed to Cap and Capper. Vixey is renamed to Trixie, most likely because her original name sounds similar to wichsen, a German word for masturbating. Additionally, Tod (pronounced "toad" in German) means death in German.
      • In the French dub, the names of Tod and Copper are changed to Rox and Rouky. It's the name of the movie (Rox et Rouky.) Boomer is renamed Piqueur and Widow Tweed became Veuve Tartine.
  • End of an Age:
    • The Fox and the Hound is the last film in the Disney Animated Canon to employ at least one of Disney's Nine Old Men. Specifically, Wolfgang Reitherman produced the film, and Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston worked as supervising animators. It's also the final film to have any involvement from Don Bluth who quit partway through production and took a good chunk of staffers with him.
    • This is the last film in the canon to have the entire credits at the beginning of the movie and end with "The End: A Walt Disney Production". Starting with The Black Cauldron, all movies would end with a credit crawl played over music (although Alice in Wonderland was an exception prior to this, having the cast credits follow its The End card).
  • Evil Poacher: Aversion, as Slade only poaches once in the film, but that is out of revenge.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Copper pulls this off after Chief was nearly killed.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Chief and the bear run afoul of this trope exactly the same way at different points by being so hell-bent on catching Tod that don't notice how precariously high up they are and that a train could barreling down the tracks at any moment (in Chief's case) or that an old log bridging a gap can only hold so much weight, much less take having a chunk slashed out of it (in the bear's).
  • Falling-in-Love Montage: "Appreciate the Lady".
  • First Day from Hell: Tod's first day in the nature preserve is this. First, he's abandoned by Tweed without fully understanding why, then, it starts raining buckets on him. Desperate to get out of the storm, he makes for the first shelter he can find, only for it to turn out to be an irascible badger's burrow, whereupon he's given an unsympathetic tongue-lashing and sent packing back out into the rain.
    • His first day meeting Vixey hardly fares any better, as he tries to impress her by trying to catch a fish and fails miserably, leading to all of the animals, including Vixey, laughing at him. Flustered, he insults Vixey by calling her a "female", and is all but ready to give up. Thankfully, Big Mama lends a wing and helps him smooth things over.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: As Copper reaches the top of the cliff, ominous music begins as he sniffs around a dense bush, then gasps in horror, shrinking back as Amos catches up to him. And out of the bush emerges a gigantic ferocious bear!
  • Foreshadowing: The widow warns Amos that his temper will get him into a lot of trouble one day. Come the climax, that's exactly what happens.
  • Friend-or-Idol Decision: When the bear gets involved, Tod is forced to choose between taking advantage of the bear's attack to escape with Vixey, or saving his old/former friend's life. He chooses the latter.
  • Friendship Song: "Best Of Friends" sung by Big Mama as she watches Tod and Copper play together.
  • Gendered Insult: "Female" is used derogatorily a couple of times. Based on the context, it's probably meant to fill in for another genderfied insult that rhymes with "itch".
  • Go Through Me: At the very end, when Copper positions himself against Tod to prevent Amos from shooting him.
  • Grand Finale: The film is this for the Walt Disney Classics video line, bookending it with Robin Hood (1973). It's one of four video lines, the other three being the Walt Disney Platinum Editions, Walt Disney Diamond Editions, and Walt Disney Gold Classics Collection to have a Grand Finale video release.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: Boomer goes full Wile E Coyote after pecking through the branch on which he was standing. Chief winds up on the wrong end of this after getting bumped by an oncoming train and the bear at the end of the film get a similar treatment after slashing through the log on which it's standing, but it's not nearly as comedic in either instance.
  • 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 of whom he becomes jealous.
  • Grumpy Old Man:
    • The badger's shown to be a cantankerous animal who doesn't want anyone entering his den.
    • Amos and his dog Chief are elderly, short-tempered, cranky hunters that can get pretty ruthless once they get an idea set into their minds, e.g., being willing to hunt Tod to the end of the world and back because they thought Tod was eating their farm animals. It must be noted, however, that they can be a couple of softies as shown in their interactions with Copper.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper:
    • It doesn't take much for Chief or Mr. Digger to get annoyed either.
    • The bear was pissed off from the jump at just having his territory intruded upon. Amos shooting him in the shoulder only made it worse.
  • Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?: The original story was an allegory for racism separating two friends. The film is sometimes interpreted as 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.
  • Heel Realization:
    • Amos has a big one when Copper prevents him from shooting Tod at the end.
    • Copper himself had one after the Black Bear battle.
  • Hero Antagonist: Once Tod's (the protagonist) best friend and a pretty decent dog himself, Copper's loyalty to his owner and a huge deal of misunderstandings lead him to chase his Childhood Friend anytime he happens to catch sight of him.
  • Heroic Dog: While he serves an antagonistic role at the time, Copper still deserves major credit for trying to protect his master from a giant, ferocious bear. Just as he's about to be killed, it switches to Heroic Fox.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Amos gets caught in his own bear trap. He survives, though not without needing medical attention, which he receives (albeit reluctantly) from Widow Tweed.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Averted with the kind and protective Widow Tweed. Played straight with the unseen hunter at the beginning, and with Amos until the end.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Chief tries to milk his leg injury for sympathy, but later thinks Amos is making too big a deal out of his own leg pain when the Widow is dressing his wounds. Copper was shaking his head in a small no over this.
  • Implied Death Threat: Copper gives one to Tod after the latter accidentally injures Chief.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Amos, fortunately for Tod (and Vixey later on).
  • Informed Species: It's not easy to tell that Chief is meant to be an Irish Wolfhound. Said breed is also one of the tallest dog breeds in the world, meaning Chief should have been a lot bigger.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Amos Slade bears more than a little resemblance to Jack Albertson.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Between, well, a fox and a hound.
  • In Name Only: How Walt Disney Studios managed to look at what reads like a fictionalized documentary about the life and times of a mongrel hunting dog and a human-reared wild fox who live through bear hunts, rabies epidemics, and the rise of suburbia among other things and thought it would make a wonderful talking animals cartoon about racism is a mystery for the ages.
  • Irony: Amos and Copper go hunting for Tod but end up running into a giant, pissed-off bear. The hunters become the hunted and it's up to Tod to save them.
  • It's All My Fault: Copper blames himself for Chief's accident on the grounds that he let Tod go.
  • It's Personal: Amos' vengeful obsession with killing Tod stems from the latter almost killing Chief.
  • 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.
    • Copper also falls into this when he is sniffing for Tod up the cliff and picks up a new scent—from a giant bear!
  • Jerkass: The badger is a jerk to the porcupine and Tod.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Although the badger can be quite a jerk to his friends, he's understandably upset about Tod trespassing in his home during the latter's disastrous first night in the forest.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Amos and Chief.
  • The Juggernaut: The giant bear who appears at the climax. Copper biting him on the neck just serves to enrage him. Tod biting and yanking on his ear just causes the bear to throw him off. The only thing able to stop the bear is to send him falling in a waterfall.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Zigzagged for Amos Slade, as he sparks off the end conflict by poaching on a petty vendetta, hunting on a game preserve, which nearly gets Tod, Copper, and himself killed. Yet everyone lives, and the only thing Slade gets out of it is an injured foot. Poaching can get you arrested, hunting license or not. Granted, he seems to have been served a dose of humility by Copper after the latter stands between Amos and an injured Tod when Amos has the fox dead to rights. Then again, his injury does mean he won't be hunting for a while.
    • Played straight with the unseen hunter at the beginning of the film, as he got away scot-free with killing Tod's mother.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to the book, but for the most part, it remains significantly darker in tone than usually expected from Disney.
  • A Lizard Named "Liz": Vixey the vixen.
  • Made of Iron: The bear hardly flinches when Amos grazes its shoulder with a shotgun blast. Truth in Television, hunters use different gauges to hunt different animals; a bullet that would kill a fox would only serve to piss a bear off.
  • Mama Bear: Tweed when she catches Slade trying to shoot Tod because he thought the fox was chasing his chickens. She grabs his shotgun out of his hands and shoves the barrel right up against his chest. All Slade can do is nervously remind her that the gun's loaded.
  • The Matchmaker: Big Mama is this with Tod and Vixey.
  • Meaningful Background Event: As mentioned previously, most covers for the film feature the bear in the background.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Tod is an old English word for a male fox. However, he is named this by Tweed because he's "such a little toddler".
    • Copper, of course, has copper fur.
    • Vixey sounds very similar to "vixen", which is a female fox.
    • Chief acts like he's the chief — or head mentor — to Copper's hunting.
  • 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. The identity of the unseen hunter who shot her remains unknown though since it's unlikely Amos Slade did because at that time he is at a store buying Copper and Chief was asleep.
  • Moses in the Bulrushes: Because she knows that she can't outrun the hunter that was pursuing her forever, when she is briefly safe from the hunter, she abandons her son because she's aware that the hunter after her will eventually kill her and she doesn't want her son to be killed too.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Copper has two of these:
    • Copper when he blames himself for letting Tod escape, thus inadvertently causing Chief to get hurt.
    • Tod saves Copper from the bear, and barely survives plummeting down a waterfall with it, leaving the fox, weak and exhausted, collapsing at the riverbank. Copper approaches, amazed that Tod—the very fox he tried to hunt—saved his life, despite everything that happened, and now feels genuinely remorseful for what he's done to him. He then steps in between Amos' gun and Tod, causing Amos to come to his senses and lower his gun.
  • Never My Fault: Slade accepts absolutely no responsibility for anything he does. Not shooting at Widow's Tweed's car while she's in it, not ruining the milk she was transporting, not relentlessly chasing Tod until Chief gets hurt, and not everything that happened when he went poaching just to get revenge on a damn fox.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Old: During the Time Skip to when Tod and Copper become older, their owners, plus Big Mama, Chief, Dinky and Boomer don't show any signs of aging.
    • Justified for at least some of them, as the photo of Tod’s birthday implies he and Copper are now around 1 year old (dogs and foxes are practically fully grown by this point). In comparison, humans in their 50s and 60s don’t typically age that much within the span of just one year. There also wouldn’t necessarily be that huge of a difference between, say, an 8-year-old dog and an 9-year-old one. Birds, depending on the species, can live as long as or even longer than dogs.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: Played rather accurately in the cases where a character falls from a very high place. Both Chief and Tod survive their respective falls due to being lightweight and conveniently suspended over water. The larger, heavier bear at the climax of the film isn't so lucky and gets a Disney Villain Death.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Much of Amos' vendetta with Tod is caused by the latter unwittingly framing himself as antagonizing his property. At one point Amos spots him mid chase with Chief after a bunch of chickens have been let out of the coop and are outrunning Tod.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Big Mama, complete with Jaw Drop, when she hears Tod's mother getting shot in the opening.
    • 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.
  • Old Dog: Chief is a full-grown dog when Copper is a pup, meaning he must be old when Copper has grown.
  • Pet the Dog: Literally. Amos Slade's family-like devotion to both his dogs serves to make him similar to Widow Tweed and brings him closer to Anti-Villain territory.
  • 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 many of these over the course of the film as well.
  • Railroad Tracks of Doom: Chief ends up chasing Tod onto a railroad trestle, just as a speeding train (complete with old wood-burning steam locomotive) comes rolling around the bend and onto the trestle. Tod is small enough to duck between the rails and let the train harmlessly pass over him, but Chief is struck and falls from the trestle, breaking his leg in the process and leading Copper to vow revenge against Tod.
  • Raised by Humans: Tod is raised by an old widow woman after his real mother is killed by an unseen hunter.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The bear has a pair of frightening ones.
    • Also, moments earlier, Tod's eyes turn red when he confronts and snarls at Copper.
  • Revenge: Copper and Slade blame Tod for crippling Chief for a while and try to kill him for it.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Squeaks the caterpillar who becomes a butterfly at the end. Tod and Copper also count while they're little.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Vixey doesn't get much characterization beside being a sweet vixen who becomes Tod's mate.
  • Save the Villain: In the climax, Tod saves Amos Slade and Copper from the bear.
  • Shooting Superman: Copper and Tod both keep trying to bite the bear even though it doesn't do any real damage. Justified; the bear was going to kill Amos if Copper didn't intervene. Tod tried running from the bear but he didn't stop pursuing him, so he had no options that didn't guarantee the bear wouldn't kill him.
  • Show, Don't Tell:
    • Chief's first encounter with Copper; while Amos talks, there's no dialogue between the two dogs. Chief initially wants nothing to do with Copper at first, but quickly warms up to him as the two fall asleep together. It serves as an Establishing Character Moment of Chief's personality.
    • Tod and Copper's final interaction after the former saved the latter from the bear. No words are exchanged between them. Copper convinces Amos Slade to finally leave Tod alone. Then Tod and Copper simply give each other a small smile to let each other know they're not enemies anymore.
  • Shipper on Deck: Big Mama, deliberately hooking Tod and Vixey up together. She correctly surmises a bottle-fed fox like Tod won't survive on his own, but also very clearly just thinks the two are adorable together. She sings about it, for Christ's sake.
  • Shoo The Fox: The saddest scene in the entire film has a teary-eyed Widow Tweed leaving Tod in the wild, silently gesturing at him not to follow her back as she leaves.
  • Sliding Scale of Adaptation Modification: The Disney film lands on Type 1 (In Name Only) end of the scale. It has very little in common with the original novel that inspired it.
  • Sound-Only Death:
    • After leaving her kit behind, Tod's mother runs out into a field, disappears into the grass, and then... A gunshot is heard. We then cut to Big Mama doing a horrified double take, before it cuts to a flock of ground birds who scatter at the second gunshot.
    • Even though Chief doesn't actually die when the train hits him on the trestle, we still don't see the actual impact; the train rolls right into the camera with its' headlight engulfing the screen in white followed by the sound of Chief getting hit, and then it cuts to Chief falling from the trestle.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Tod, Copper, Chief, and Vixey.
  • The Speechless: Squeaks the Caterpillar and the bear.
  • Terrible Trio: Subverted with respect to Tod. Amos, Chief, and Copper technically make it up but Copper only actually starts hunting Tod with Amos Slade after Chief is put out of commission. Played straight during their winter hunting trip, though.
  • The End: This is the last Disney animated film to end with these two words, along with "Walt Disney Productions".
  • This Cannot Be!: Amos and Copper try to ferret Tod and Vixey out of their burrow by lighting a fire in the back entrance to block their escape route so that they will have no choice but to come out the front, whereupon they will get shot by Amos' cocked gun. However, Tod and Vixey sense one chance to escape through the fire and take it, darting through the flames without getting burned, after which Amos, his plan having proven futile, screams, "No! No, I don't believe it!" and resuming the chase.
  • Those Two Guys: Dinky and Boomer are predecessors to the later Plucky Comic Relief duos in Disney animated films, such as Timon and Pumbaa from The Lion King (1994), Tantor and Terk from Tarzan, Rutt and Tuke from Brother Bear, and Tip and Dash from The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea.
  • Title Drop: After Tod and Copper meet and start to play hide and seek, Big Mama says "My, my! Look it that! A fox and a hound, playing together!"
  • Token Human: Tweed and Amos Slade are pretty much the only humans in the film. That is until the midquel, where there are more humans.
  • Trailers Always Lie: Okay, it's not really a lie, but in the original theatrical trailer, the announcer says that this is Disney's twentieth fully animated motion picture, when in reality it is the twenty-FOURTH. The Aristocats was the 20th. (Unless they didn't count the package films of the '40s at the time.)
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The original theatrical trailer spoils the entire outline of the plot, even going as far as to show key scenes and characters.
  • Triumphant Reprise: The last 30 seconds of the movie feature a wistful, instrumental Triumphant Reprise of "Goodbye May Seem Forever".
  • Thwarted Coup de Grâce: Tod attacks the bear just before it lands a killing blow on Copper.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Amos still insists on shooting Tod even after he saved both his and Copper's lives. Thanks to Copper's Go Through Me action, however, he comes to his senses.
  • Villain Song: "A Huntin' Man" is a zig-zagged case as Amos sings about his love for hunting, but he also sings about his love for his dogs.
  • Warning Song: "Lack of Education", as Big Mama warns Tod that he and Copper won't be friends anymore when they get older.
  • Wham Line: From Copper: "Those days are over. I'm the huntin' dog now."
  • You Are Grounded!: Happens to both Tod and Copper after trouble that ensues from them spending time together.
  • Your Size May Vary: Adult Tod has a tendency to shrink slightly whenever he's in a scene where Widow Tweed has to carry him.

Goodbye may seem forever
Farewell is like the end
But in my heart is a memory
And there you'll always be


Video Example(s):


Copper saves Tod

After Tod saves both him and his master Amos Slade from a bear, the hunting dog stands in front of his old friend, when the hunter tries to kill the fox. This and a long pleading look from Copper, finally manage to convince Amos to give up his mad hunt for Tod and return home.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / GoThroughMe

Media sources: