The Good

Disney has made another wonderful film that again looks at greater social issues.

The Bad

Once again, I wish they had included more on the actual "making of" this film in the featurettes.

Tod the fox and Copper the dog are the best of friends in The Fox and the Hound. However, the twist comes in the fact that as Copper grows up, he realizes he is actually supposed to hunt Tod. Overtime, Tod is taken to a game preserve where meets and falls head over heels for Vixey. Problems begin when Copper and his owner come to the game preserve and it is here that the crux of this movie resides: Will Copper go against his animal nature or will be forced to go after his friend?

It is Disney's ability to take social issues and create a discourse on them that elevates the subject matter of their animated films. Filled with many different themes, The Fox and the Hound works because of the questions that it asks of both the characters and the audience.

Features

Games & Activities

Use your remote control to play a game of hide 'n' seek and in the process you also learn more about the characters. There is a tiny bit of role playing allowed in this interactive game and it serves to illuminate more about the story. While I can't say that I did really well at this set top game (I just don't seem to have the patience for it), I think that younger kids will have a much easier time maneuvering around with their remote controls than I did.

DVD Storybook

Passing the Baton

This is a featurette on the making of the film and the changing of the guard that happened amongst the animators along the way. My biggest bone of contention is that things like this don't tell me enough about the nuts and bolts of putting this film together. It's great hearing some of the anecdotes, but I would really like to see a step by step featurette of how all these drawings become a dazzling film spectacle like The Fox and the Hound.

Lambert the Sheepish Lion and Lend a Paw

The Fox and the Hound Art Gallery

I really got a kick out of this. I love looking at the artwork for this movie because it seems so effortless and simple, but you just know in the back of your head that you could never do it. We also get to see a wide assortment of images of the characters in the movie, and they also include conceptual art that helps put the film in perspective.

"The Best of Friends" Sing Along Song

Video

1.33:1 - Full Screen. While I think that the animation in today's films look spectacular, I really feel there is something to be said for the warmth displayed in every frame of this movie. The colors on this DVD transfer are so rich and it doesn't look like anything has overcompressed the print in the process. I still think that 2D animated films have a place amongst many of the movies today, and I think a film like The Simpsons Movie could prove that to a lot of people.

Audio

Dolby Digital. The audio on this disc was solid with the soundtrack to the film being the biggest standout. This really gave this movie a sense of warmth that I don't think other kinds of animated films have nowadays. While the audio was very understated, I never felt that it got in the way of the viewing experience, or made this film meander in any unnecessary directions. On the whole, it really seemed to work.

Package

Copper and Tod grace this front cover which is just bursting with color. I love the font employed because I really feel it captures the tone of this movie. The back portion of this cover gives us more artwork, some pictures from the movie, a description, a Special Features listing, and technical specs. They have made this packaging look a lot newer than the film itself is, but it does manage to make it eye catching at the same time.

Final Word

I sort of remember when The Fox and the Hound first came out. I was 8. At that point, I didn't have the appreciation for animated movies that I do now so I missed it in the theater. Looking back, I probably missed out on a real enjoyable experience because I wanted to see a horror movie, an action movie, or maybe something that was generally more adult. What I liked so much about screening this film now is that I was brought back to that time, even though I didn't screen this movie then. There is something about the older style of animation that really captures the past in a way that maybe new animated films, or even live action films can't?

It is great to have The Fox and the Hound available for a new generation of kids to have the experience I missed out on.

The Fox and the Hound was released July 10, 1981.