The Fox and the Hound, Disney’s 24th animated feature, chronicled the sad tale of a friendship that simply wasn’t meant to be.
Alternating between playful and heartbreaking, The Fox and the Hound shared much in common with its Disney ancestor Bambi.
As the film opens, feisty young fox Tod loses his mother to a hunter’s blast (off-screen). The orphaned fox is taken in by kind owl Big Mama, who gives the rambunctious youngster a more stable home with human Widow Tweed.
At the Widow’s house in the woods, Tod meets a fun and adorable young bloodhound named Copper.
The two become fast friends, romping through the forest and getting into any mischief they can.
But Copper is taken away by black-hearted hunter Amos Slade for the winter, returning as a trained hunter himself.
The bond between the two old friends is put to the ultimate test when Amos becomes obsessed with catching the elusive Tod and his new love interest, Vixey.
The familiar Disney elements were all present – musical interludes, comic sidekicks, etc – but the mood was often more sober than comical.
A children’s film with loftier themes than most, The Fox and the Hound struck a chord with many moviegoers both in its initial run and in a 1988 re-release.
A grossly inferior sequel (imaginatively titled The Fox and the Hound 2) was released by Disney in 2006. None of the original cast were involved.
During the storm sequence, old animation from Bambi is reused, including clips of a bird flying into a nest, ducks waddling into a pond, quails running to seek shelter, etc.
Footage of young Wart as a squirrel in The Sword In The Stone (1963) running up a tree can be seen, too.