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The Fox and the Hound
Richard Holliss

This October sees the release of the new Walt Disney full-length animated film The Fox and the Hound. I had high hop>es for this the studio's twentieth animated feature as it has been made almost entirely by a whole new group of young animators, some of whom had worked as assistants on the earlier cartoon feature The Rescuers ( 1977 ).

Apart from the occasional background that resembled a limited animation tv show. The Rescuers boasted strong storyline and confident character development. And this is precisely where the weaknesses of The Fox and the Hound lie.

Based on a book by Daniel P. Mannix, the story tells of Tod, a young fox who is befriended by Big Mama, the wise old owl. She recruits Dinky the sparrow and Boomer the woodpecker to help her guide the kindly Widow Tweed to the fox's hiding place. Widow Tweed adopts Tod, whilst her neigfibour, Amos Slade the hunter, brings home Copper, a young hound pup.


Certainly The Fox and the Hound manipulates the emotions extremely well. The story is taut and well-constructed, but the characters are, at times, shallow in comparison to some of the Disney studio's past array of screen personalities.


It is good to see that total control of the film has not left the hands of some of Disney's veteran animators. Wolfgang Reitherman responsible in the past for many classic sequences in Disney films acts as co-producer. It is also refreshing to see Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston and Cliff Nordberg overseeing the new talent. All three are top Disney animators and have worked on the cream on the studios output. Effects animator Jack Boyd and his team of specialists have created some nice effects for The Fox and the Hound, especially the thunderstorm. Most Disney full-length cartoons contains a thunderstorm, but the handling of this one is quite different to all the rest.


With the studio's most ambitious cartoon feature in the works, a sword and sorcery epic called The Black Cauldron, The Fox and the Hound is a kind of an experiment. It is certainly a promising one, if a little disappointing after what we have come to expect from the Disney studios. However, I recommend a visit to The Fox and the Hound, so you may judge for yourself.


Source type Magazine
Volume 40
Language en
Document type Feature
Media type text
Page count 3
Pages pp. 22-24


Id 3426
Availability Free
Inserted 2017-09-15