Starring Mickey Rooney, Kurt Russell, Pearl Bailey, Jack Albertson and Sandy Duncan
Written By: Ted Berman, Larry Clemmons, Vance Gerry
Directed By: Ted Berman and Richard Rich
Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Buy on Amazon.com link
The Fox and the Hound is one of only a handful of timeless Disney movies that I can enjoy over and over again. When I think of good Disney animated movies, you know the classics such as Lady and the Tramp, The Fox and the Hound, Peter Pan and Pinocchio, I think of not just a cartoon, but a full length movie that has a moral and a message. Those movies were directed at kids, but unlike the cartoons nowadays, there were great lessons to be learned. The old school Disney cartoons took more of an Aesop’s Fables approach than the Sesame Street approach. To me, The Fox and the Hound stood well above the rest.
The Fox and the Hound was the last animated movie that the original Disney artists, animators and writers worked on before they retired. They provided the storyboards and the general plot layout for the up-and-coming artists and writers. They newer artist and writers took their ideas and concepts and finished the second half of the process. You can say that this was the changing of the guard at Disney. The Fox and the Hound provided you with the best of both worlds. That is probably why this movie stands miles above the rest and is regarded to this day as one of the finest Disney products ever released, even now twenty-five years later.
For those who haven’t seen this movie, the story follows two unlikely friends, a fox and a hound dog of course, as they befriend each other at an early age and then deal with the difficulties of staying friends, as they grow older. The two friends don’t understand why it is predetermined that they are forced to be enemies. The powerful story deals with stereotypes whether racial or social as well as bigotry. The lesson that is taken from this movie is that you should stand up for what you think is right even if everyone around you tells you otherwise and that you should remember that through everything, you will remember who your true friends are because they will always have your back and be there for you when you need them.
On a lighter note, and to focus more on the actual DVD release itself; this is the special edition 25th Anniversary release. Actually, this is probably the 25th different release of this DVD since the format became popular. Disney always seems to come out with some different version before it “gets locked back in the vault forever” or something like that. There are some decent features like the “making of” featurette as well as a small art gallery, but most of the features are geared towards children. There are a couple of kiddie games, a Fox and the Hound storybook and an animated short to name a few. I wish there would have been a more in depth look at the making of the film or more behind the scenes stuff but I understand why Disney wants to gear it more towards kids. That’s their main target audience nowadays. I was also a little disappointed that the movie didn’t look as crisp as it should have. I’ve seen some of the other restored movies and the quality was slightly better than what was on this one.
Overall, for anyone out there reading this who has kids or who just loves Disney movies, then you’ve most likely watched this movie over and over again. For those of you out there who are maybe just getting into the whole animated movie thing, this is a really good place to start. Forget all of the kiddie stuff that you’ll find in The Lion King or Aladdin because The Fox and the Hound will have you sobbing into your dad’s handkerchief like you did the first time you watched Old Yeller. The special edition version doesn’t seem to offer much more than any other regular DVD release, but the movie itself is what you should really pay attention to. If I could give this movie ten stars, I would.
Forest Friendship Game
DVD Storybook: New Best Friends
Passing the Baton: The Making of The Fox and the Hound
The Fox and the Hound Art Gallery
Lambert the Sheepish Lion and Lend A Paw Animated Shorts
“The Best of Friends” Sing Along Song
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, French and Spanish Language Tracks
Full Screen (1.33:1)
Favorite Scenes: Tod and Coppers first meeting, Tod meeting Vixey, the ending sequence with the bear fight and Copper sticking up for Tod
Running Time: 83 minutes