For this week’s “Things That Bring Back Memories” post, I am going to pick something in the topic of “MOVIES” and go with The Fox & The Hound. This movie was released in 1981, and is one that I still remember almost the whole story. I remember always talking about it with my friend Jenny. I love that they made a movie about how you can be friends, when the world thinks you should be enemies. We need more fox & hound people in today’s world, for sure!
If, for some reason, you are of an age that makes it difficult to remember The Fox & The Hound movie, here’s the preview to the movie that we all saw before it came out on film:
Did you ever watch The Fox & The Hound movie when you were younger? or have you seen it on TV or Netflix later in life? Let me know what you thought of it, and if you have any memories of it in your life!
More Info on the Movie:
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 film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, 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 Kurt Russell, Mickey Rooney, Jack Albertson, Pearl Bailey, Pat Buttram, Sandy Duncan, Richard Bakalyan, Paul Winchell, Jeanette Nolan, John Fiedler, John McIntire, Keith Coogan, and Corey Feldman.
The Fox and the Hound was released to theaters on July 10, 1981 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. A direct-to-video midquel, The Fox and the Hound 2, was released to DVD on December 12, 2006.
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 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 conversion 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.
Tod’s first night alone in the woods proves disastrous, inadvertently entering an irritable badger’s den. Thankfully, a friendly porcupine offers Tod shelter. That same night, Slade and Copper plan revenge on Tod. The next morning, Big Mama finds Tod and introduces him to a female fox named Vixey. Wanting to impress her, Tod tries to catch a fish, but fails due to not having survival skills. Vixey and the other animals laugh at him, but Big Mama requests that Tod be himself. The two foxes reconcile and Vixey helps Tod adapt to life in the forest.
Meanwhile, Slade and Copper trespass into the preserve in order to hunt Tod. As Tod manages to escape Slade’s leghold traps, Copper and Slade pursue both foxes. They hide in their burrow while Slade tries trapping them by setting fire to the other end of the burrow. The foxes narrowly escape without getting burned as Slade and Copper chase them up the top of a hill until they reach a waterfall. There, Slade and Copper close in for the kill, but a large bear suddenly emerges from the bushes and attacks Slade. Slade falls and steps into one of his own traps, dropping his gun slightly out of reach. Copper tries fighting the bear but is no match for it. Not willing to let his old friend die, Tod intervenes and fights off the bear until they both fall down the waterfall.
With the bear gone, a bewildered Copper approaches Tod as he lies exhausted near the bank of a waterfall-created lake. When Slade appears, Copper positions himself in front of Tod to prevent Slade from shooting him, refusing to move away. Slade lowers his gun and leaves with Copper. The two former friends share one last smile before parting. At home, Tweed nurses Slade back to health while the dogs rest. Copper, before resting, smiles as he remembers the day when he first met Tod. On a hill, Vixey joins Tod as he looks down on the homes of Slade and Tweed.
Some of the Characters:
Keith Coogan Mitchell (Young Tod) was born on January 13, 1970 in Palm Springs, California, the son of Leslie Diane Coogan Mitchell, an actress. He changed his name to “Keith Coogan” in 1986, two years after the death of his grandfather Jackie Coogan. He married Kristen “Pinky” Shean on October 26, 2013, which would have been his grandfather’s 99th birthday. Coogan began acting in commercials at the age of five, but appeared on TV as early as two years old. As a child, he appeared on episodes of Little House on the Prairie, The Waltons, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, Eight Is Enough, Knight Rider, Growing Pains, Silver Spoons, Fame, and CHiPs. In 1982, Keith Coogan also appeared as ‘William’ in the adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s All Summer in a Day that aired on the PBS series WonderWorks. He has also starred in films including Adventures in Babysitting, Cousins, Hiding Out, Cheetah, Toy Soldiers, Book of Love, and Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, as well as straight-to-video releases such as Python, Soulkeeper and Downhill Willie. He guest-starred on Joan of Arcadia and Married to the Kelly’s. His theater credits include John Olive’s The Voice of the Prairie, James McLure’s Pvt. Wars, and an unfinished Louisville work by Marsha Norman, The Holdup. All were performed at Timothy and Buck Busfield’s “B” St. Theater in Sacramento, California, during the 1992 and ’93 seasons. In 2008, he worked in Dallas, TX, on a short film, The Keith Coogan Experience. On January 1, 2010, Coogan started the “Monologue a Day Project”, where he learns a monologue or other short piece every day, “as inspired by Julie & Julia”. Furthermore, Keith was featured in the mini-documentary, Simply Coogan – An Interview with Keith Coogan, released by Keith Coogan on December 13, 2010, which coincided with Keith Coogan’s birthday celebrations. Coogan hosted “The Call Sheet” on the SkidRowStudios.com radio podcast network, which was an entertainment industry based show which also covered tech news and politics.
Mickey Rooney (Tod) was born Joseph Yule, Jr. on September 23, 1920. He passed away on April 6, 2014. He as an American actor of film, television, Broadway, radio, and vaudeville. In a career spanning nine decades and continuing until shortly before his death, he appeared in more than 300 films and was one of the last surviving stars of the silent film era. Rooney first performed in vaudeville as a child and made his film debut at the age of six. At thirteen he played the role of Puck in the play and later the 1935 film adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. His performance was hailed by critic David Thomson as “one of cinema’s most arresting pieces of magic”. In 1938, he co-starred with Spencer Tracy in the Academy Award-winning film Boys Town. At nineteen he was the first teenager to be nominated for an Oscar for his leading role in Babes in Arms, and he was awarded a special Academy Juvenile Award in 1939. At the peak of his career between the ages of 15 and 25, he made forty-three films and co-starred alongside Judy Garland, Wallace Beery, Spencer Tracy, and Elizabeth Taylor. He was one of MGM’s most consistently successful actors and a favorite of studio head Louis B. Mayer. At his death, Vanity Fair called him “the original Hollywood train wreck.” He struggled with alcohol and pill addiction and married eight times, the first time to Ava Gardner. Despite earning millions during his career, he had to file for bankruptcy in 1962 due to mismanagement of his finances. Shortly before his death in 2014 at age 93, he alleged mistreatment by some family members and testified in Congress about what he alleged was physical abuse and exploitation by family members. By the end of his life, his millions in earnings had dwindled to an estate that was valued at only $18,000, he died owing medical bills and back taxes, and contributions were solicited from the public.
Corey Feldman (Young Copper) was born on July 16, 1971, and is an American actor and singer. He became well-known during the 1980’s, with roles as a youth in films such as The Fox and the Hound, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, The Goonies, Stand by Me, The Lost Boys, Gremlins and The ‘Burbs. Feldman is also the lead singer for the rock band Truth Movement. Feldman started his career at the age of three, appearing in a McDonald’s commercial. In his youth he appeared in over 100 television commercials and on 50 television series, including The Bad News Bears, Mork & Mindy, Eight is Enough, One Day at a Time and Cheers. He debuted in the films Time After Time and Disney’s The Fox and the Hound. In 1981, he appeared in NBC’s musical comedy children’s special How to Eat Like a Child alongside other future child stars Billy Jacoby and Georg Olden. Feldman then went on to feature in several high-grossing movies (including a fair number of number-one movies) in a row. These movies included Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), Gremlins (1984), The Goonies (1985), and Stand By Me (1986), the latter alongside River Phoenix, Wil Wheaton, and Jerry O’Connell. In 1987, Feldman appeared with Corey Haim in The Lost Boys. This film marked the first on-screen pairing of Feldman and Haim, who became known as “The Two Coreys”. The pair went on to star in a string of films, including License to Drive (1988) and Dream a Little Dream (1989). Also in 1989, Feldman appeared in The ‘Burbs opposite Tom Hanks and Carrie Fisher. In the late 1990s, Feldman starred in the CBS series Dweebs and then released his second album, Still Searching for Soul, with his band Corey Feldman’s Truth Movement. In 1996, Feldman appeared alongside his former Stand By Me co-star Jerry O’Connell in the episode “Electric Twister Acid Test” of the Fox Network series Sliders. In 1999, Feldman appeared in New Found Glory’s “Hit or Miss” music video as Officer Corey Feldman. In 1999, he made an appearance in the television series The Crow: Stairway to Heaven.
Kurt Russell (Copper) was born March 17, 1951, and is an American actor. His first roles were as a child in television series, including a lead role in the Western series The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters (1963–64). In the late 1960’s, he signed a ten-year contract with The Walt Disney Company, where, according to Robert Osborne, he became the studio’s top star of the 1970’s. In 1984, Russell was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture for his performance in Silkwood (1983). During the 1980’s, he was cast in several films by director John Carpenter, including anti-hero roles such as army hero-turned-robber Snake Plissken in the futuristic action film Escape from New York and its 1996 sequel Escape from L.A., Antarctic helicopter pilot R.J. MacReady in the horror film The Thing (1982), and truck driver Jack Burton in the dark kung-fu comedy action film Big Trouble in Little China (1986), all of which have since become cult films. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for the television film Elvis (1979), also directed by Carpenter. In 1993, he starred as Wyatt Earp in the western film Tombstone, and in 1994, Russell had a starring role in the military science fiction film Stargate. In the mid-2000s, his portrayal of U.S. Olympic hockey coach Herb Brooks in Miracle (2004) won the praise of critics. In 2006, he appeared in the disaster-thriller Poseidon, and in 2007, in Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof segment from the film Grindhouse. In 2015, Russell starred in the western films Bone Tomahawk and The Hateful Eight.
Pearl Bailey (Big Mama) was born on March 29, 1918, and passed away on August 17, 1990. She was an American actress and singer. After appearing in vaudeville, she made her Broadway debut in St. Louis Woman in 1946. She won a Tony Award for the title role in the all-black production of Hello, Dolly! in 1968. In 1986, she won a Daytime Emmy award for her performance as a fairy godmother in the ABC Afterschool Special, Cindy Eller: A Modern Fairy Tale. Her rendition of “Takes Two to Tango” hit the top ten in 1952. She received the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award in 1976 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom on October 17, 1988. During the 1970’s she had her own television show, and she also provided voices for animations such as Tubby the Tuba (1976) and Disney’s The Fox and the Hound (1981). She returned to Broadway in 1975, playing the lead in an all-black production of Hello, Dolly! She earned a B.A. in theology from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., in 1985, at age 67. Later in her career, Bailey was a fixture as a spokesperson in a series of Duncan Hines commercials, singing “Bill Bailey (Won’t You Come Home)”. In her later years Bailey wrote several books: The Raw Pearl (1968), Talking to Myself (1971), Pearl’s Kitchen (1973), and Hurry Up America and Spit (1976). In 1975 she was appointed special ambassador to the United Nations by President Gerald Ford. Her last book, Between You and Me (1989), details her experiences with higher education. On January 19, 1985, she appeared on the nationally-televised broadcast of the 50th Presidential Inaugural Gala, the night before the second inauguration of Ronald Reagan. In 1988 Bailey received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Reagan.
Jack Albertson (Amos Slade) was born on June 16, 1907, and passed away on November 25, 1981. He was an American character actor who also performed in vaudeville. A comedian, dancer, singer and musician, Albertson is known for his roles as Grandpa Joe in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), Manny Rosen in The Poseidon Adventure (1972), Amos Slade in The Fox and the Hound (1981) and Ed Brown in the television sitcom Chico and the Man (1974–78). For his contributions to the television industry, Albertson was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He earned the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the The Subject Was Roses (1968). Albertson appeared in more than thirty films. He had an early minor role in Miracle on 34th Street as a postal worker who redirects dead letters addressed to “Santa Claus” to the courthouse where Kris Kringle is on trial. He won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the 1968 film The Subject Was Roses. He later apologized to Jack Wild for winning the award; Wild was also nominated and Albertson expected Wild to win. Albertson appeared as Charlie Bucket’s Grandpa Joe in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), and in The Poseidon Adventure (1972), where he played Manny Rosen, husband to Belle, played by Shelley Winters. Albertson said that his one regret was that he did not reprise his role in the movie version of The Sunshine Boys. When producer Ray Stark acquired the film rights from Neil Simon in 1973, it was expected that Albertson would play the part, but by the time MGM had bought the rights in 1974 and was preparing to begin filming in February 1975, Albertson was not available because he was appearing on Chico and the Man on TV. He resided for many years in West Hollywood, California. In 1978, he was diagnosed with colorectal cancer, but kept this information private and continued to act. Two of his last roles were in the television movies, My Body, My Child (1982) and Grandpa, Will You Run With Me? (1983), both filmed in 1981 several months before his death, both of which were released posthumously. His final theatrical role was as the ill-tempered hunter, Amos Slade, in Walt Disney’s 24th animated feature, The Fox and the Hound, originally released in the summer of 1981, four months before his death.
Did You Know?
The name “Tod” is derived from the Middle English word “todde”, which means “fox”.
The Bear’s snarl is the same snarl as Shere Khan the tiger from The Jungle Book (1967) and Brutus and Nero the crocodiles from The Rescuers (1977).
This was Disney’s first animated feature to use computer graphics. Most of the CGI in this movie is shown during the scene where Amos traps Tod and Vixey in the burrow.
Was originally scheduled to be released on Christmas day of 1980 before Don Bluth and his colleagues left Walt Disney Productions, so the film’s premiere was rescheduled to July 1981.
When Amos takes the dogs to go hunting, he unties them from their barrels. But, as they pull away and we see Big Momma land by the barrels, the ropes that are supposed to be tied to them are gone.
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