Taglines: Two friends that didn’t know they were supposed to be enemies.
After a young red fox is orphaned, Big Mama the owl, Boomer the woodpecker, and Dinky the finch arrange for him to be adopted by a kindly farmer named Widow Tweed. Tweed names him Tod, since he reminds her of a toddler. Meanwhile, her neighbor, a hunter named Amos Slade, brings home a young hound puppy named Copper and introduces him to his hunting dog Chief.
Tod and Copper become playmates and vow to remain “friends forever”. Slade becomes frustrated with Copper for frequently wandering off to play and puts him on a leash. While playing with Copper at his home, Tod awakens Chief. Slade and Chief chase him until they are confronted by Tweed.
After a violent argument, Slade threatens to kill Tod if he trespasses on his farm again. Hunting season comes and Slade takes his dogs into the wilderness for the interim. Meanwhile, Big Mama, Dinky and Boomer attempt to explain to Tod that his friendship with Copper can no longer continue, as they are natural enemies, but Tod naively refuses to believe them, hoping that he and Copper will remain friends forever.
As months pass, Tod and Copper both reach adulthood. Copper has become an experienced hunting dog, while Tod has grown up into a strong handsome fox. On the night of Copper’s return, Tod sneaks over to visit him. Copper explains that while he still values Tod as a friend, he is now a hunting dog and things are different. Their conversation awakens Chief, who alerts Slade. In the ensuing chase Copper catches Tod.
Copper lets the fox go and diverts Chief and Slade. Tod tries escaping on a railroad track, but is caught and pursued by Chief as a train suddenly passes by them. Tod ducks under the train, but Chief is struck by the train and falls into a river below, breaking his leg. Angered by this, Copper and Slade blame Tod for the accident and vow vengeance. Tweed, realizing that Tod is no longer safe with her, takes him on a drive and leaves him at a game preserve.
The Fox and the Hound is a 1981 American animated buddy drama film produced by Walt Disney Productions and loosely based on the novel of the same name by Daniel P. Mannix. The 24th Disney animated feature film, the film tells the story of two unlikely friends, a red fox named Tod and a hound dog named Copper, who struggle to preserve their friendship, despite their emerging instincts and the surrounding social pressures demanding them to be adversaries. Directed by Ted Berman, Richard Rich, and Art Stevens, the film features the voices of Mickey Rooney, Kurt Russell, Pearl Bailey, Jack Albertson, Sandy Duncan, Jeanette Nolan, Pat Buttram, John Fiedler, John McIntire, Dick Bakalyan, Paul Winchell, Keith Mitchell, and Corey Feldman.
The Fox and the Hound was released to theaters on July 10, 1981 (on a double bill with the featurette Once Upon a Mouse) to financial success. At the time of release it was the most expensive animated film produced to date, costing $12 million. It was re-released to theaters on March 25, 1988.
The Fox and the Hound (1981)
Directed by: Ted Berman, Richard Rich
Starring: Mickey Rooney, Kurt Russell, Pearl Bailey, Jack Albertson, Sandy Duncan, Jeanette Nolan, Pat Buttram, John Fiedler, John McIntire, Corey Feldman
Screenplay by: Larry Clemmons
Film Editing by: James Koford, James Melton
Art Direction by: Don Griffith
Music by: Buddy Baker
Distributed by: Buena Vista Distribution
Release Date: July 10, 1981