You know, for a film that is titled the Fox and the Hound, over half the film features neither a fox, nor a hound. Instead, it’s filled with unnecessary side characters that leave little to no impact on the viewer whatsoever.
The story revolves around a Fox named Tod (Mickey Rooney), whose taken in by a kind widow after his mother, like in so many Disney films, was killed. Eventually Tod befriends the neighbor’s new hunting pup named Copper (Kurt Russell), and the two become the best of friends. Sadly, the friendship between the two is hindered by Copper’s owner Amos Slade (Jack Albertson), who wishes to turn him into a hunting dog. Over time, Tod and Copper grow older and more distant from each other, and it seems they will have to overcome their differences in order to save their friendship.
I think the greatest downfall of the Fox and the Hound is how underwhelming the overall story is. Nothing about the film really left an impression on me, and I find myself not really remembering many specific details. Even the songs, which are almost always memorable in Disney flicks, were very forgettable.
The plot felt all over the place, as there were so many characters shoved into this eighty minute movie that the film lost its focus. The film is supposed to be about the struggling relationship between a fox and a hound, very simple and entertaining. Yet the Fox and the Hound felt the need to throw in as many uninteresting side characters as possible. There is even a part where the audience is introduced to three new characters with only twenty minutes left in the film, how sloppy.
One aspect I genuinely enjoyed was the classic hand drawn animation, which reminded me of other Disney films like Pinocchio or Dumbo. All the backgrounds are nicely colored and detailed, and the characters all have fluent movements. I took no issue whatsoever with how the Fox and the Hound was animated, as I found its style to be a delight.
There is also a pretty good message thrown in about friendship and how people tend to change over time. Again, it’s not really a new message, but the Fox and the Hound does enough with it for the message to be powerful. Kids will surely get a lot out of it, and adults will find it heartwarming enough to remain entertained.
If you’ve never seen the Fox and the Hound and are interested in seeing it, I’d go ahead and give it a watch. It has a pretty good message for children and features the signature Disney hand drawn style that never seems to get old. However, the plot and characters aren’t written that well, which ultimately gives the audience a very lackluster experience. And a lackluster experience is the last thing I want when I watch a Disney film. Personally, I feel there are plenty of other, more memorable, Disney films to spend your time watching.
The Verdict: C