Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Munir's Disney Retrospective -- Animated Classic #24: The Fox and the Hound (1981)

The Fox and the Hound was released in one of the most troubled times in Disney history. The 'Nine Old Men' retired and a new guard of animators (many of whom have since become legends in their own right) took charge of the studio, but that change didn't come easily. Don Bluth, one of the animators, frustrated with the lack of ambition and the way the studio was managed, quit and took a large number of the animation staff with him to form his own studio, which became Disney's main competitor during the decade. As a result, The Fox and the Hound was delayed, and, after spending more than five years in production, was released in 1981 without much fanfare. Since then, it hasn't become an undisputed classic but also hasn't been completely forgotten. The film is in the middle of the canon, neither revered nor hated, and it's likely it will stay that way. The story of Tod (a fox) and Copper (a hound), who became friends when they were supposed to be enemies, has some issues - mainly in the supporting characters, and a pointless side-story involving two birds and a caterpillar - but the emotional core of the central story is very well handled. Also, while the animation is not spectacular, some scenes are very powerful (including the Bear Fight, showcasing early work from the legendary animator Glen Keane) and will leave you satisfied. Like some of the films from the previous decade, The Fox and the Hound may not be a masterpiece, but it still has enough emotional depth to charm viewers of all ages. Rating: 3.5/5.

Next Week: Animated Classic #25 Review: The Black Cauldron (1985)


  1. Didn't John Lasseter co- animate the end fight scene?

    And also a lot of people I know love the movie. Growing up with it it's a film we love so maybe in a few years time the film could be re-evaluated by new critics.

  2. Munir Abedrabbo27 June 2013 at 03:45

    Not sure about Lasseter's contribution to the film but if he did co-animate the scene, he didn't receive the credit.

    As for a re-evaluation, maybe it could happen but I doubt it. I like very much the film and I think growing up with it has a lot to do with that. The scene where Widow Tweed and Tod separate always brought me to tears when I was young and remains a very touching scene from the film. As I grew up I started seeing some issues with the movie but overall is still a pretty solid effort. Back to topic, I doubt the film will be re-evaluated anytime soon since its been 32 years since its premiere and the response remains pretty much the same.