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Released in 1981, The Fox and the Hound is the 24th movie in the Disney Animated Canon, very, very, very loosely based on a book of the same name.

An old woman finds a small orphaned fox whom she adopts and names Tod. Meanwhile, the woman's neighbor, a hunter, brings home a hound puppy named Copper intent on raising him to be a hunting dog. Copper and Tod soon meet and quickly become best friends, which raises conflict between their respective owners. Despite everyone saying that the two should be mortal enemies, the two promise to remain friends forever.

Once the two are grown up, Tod is released into the wild and Copper is actively participating in his master's hunts. The friendship between the two is put into jeopardy.

A Direct to Video midquel, The Fox and The Hound 2, was released in 2006.

The film provides examples of:

  • Anti-Villain: Amos Slade is a rare Disney example of this. He's a Jerkass but not a bad guy, and he doesn't see his career of hunting as a bad thing. The only time he actually does anything illegal is when Chief almost dies thanks to Tod and he's determined to get Tod's pelt even though hunting isn't allowed in that area, but backs off when Copper shows Amos that Tod is his friend.
    • Chief also counts, as the viewer is supposed to care about him even though he is antagonistic towards Tod. It helps that he does have some sort of genuine affection for Copper, even after it turns to jealousy when Copper grows older.
  • Bear Trap
  • Big Bad: The nameless and silent black bear at the end of the movie.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Amos Slade and Chief are originally the two main antagonists in the movie. However, they are actually a pair of Nice Guys.
  • Big Good: Big Mama.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Tod and Copper go their separate ways, but they remember what good friends they used to be.
  • Butt Monkey: Boomer and Dinky.
  • Children Are Innocent: Tod and Copper.
  • Corrupt Hick: Copper's owner is willing to hunt foxes in a nature preserve.
  • Disney Death: Chief, though it initially appears certain he won't survive, after the train accidentally hits him.
  • Disneyfication: The story the movie is based on ends with both main characters amongst others dead.
  • Disney Villain Death: The bear, who falls off the log and down a steep waterfall.
    • Curiously, Tod was also shown to fall and yet was clearly shown to survive.
  • Double Take: The chicken looks over to her little chicks, for a second, who are curious about that fury red thing that has it's paw reaching up to them, as if to...Cue the chicken freaking out and chasing Tod in the barn shed.
  • Dramatic Chase Opening: It starts with the Fox's mother running away from hounds.
  • Everything's Worse with Bears: The climax of the film says all.
  • Evil Poacher: A rare aversion, as Slade only poaches once in the movie, but that is entirely out of revenge.
  • "Falling in Love" Montage: "Appreciate the Lady".
  • Fat Sweaty Southerner in a White Suit: The talent scout, who ends up being the designated Butt Monkey in the second flick.
  • Femme Fatale: Dixie to Tod.
  • Forbidden Friendship / Interspecies Friendship: Between, well, a fox and a hound.
  • Go Through Me: At the very end, when Copper positions himself above Tod to prevent Amos from shooting him.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Chief and Copper's roles are reversed from the original novel; here Chief is the aging hound and Copper the new favorite who he becomes jealous of.
  • Heel Realization / Heel Face Turn: Amos has these when Copper prevents him from shooting Tod at the end.
  • Hero Antagonist:
    • Copper becomes this.
    • Chief may count as well.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Amos gets caught in his own bear trap. He survives.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Chief tries to milk his leg injury for sympathy, but later thinks Amos is making too big a deal out of his own leg pain when the Widow is dressing his wounds.
  • Ink Suit Actor: Amos bears more than a little resemblance to Jack Albertson.
  • In Name Only: How Walt Disney Studios managed to look at what reads like a fictionalized documentary about the life and times of a mongrel hunting dog and a human-reared wild fox who live through bear hunts, rabies epidemics, and the rise of suburbia among other things and turn it into a musical is a mystery for the ages.
  • It's Quiet... Too Quiet: Vixey is afraid to enter a copse when she realises it's too quiet, while Todd has no such qualms and narrowly avoids falling foul of Copper, Amos' shotgun and a shitload of bear traps.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to the book.
  • Mama Bear: Tweed when Amos tries to shoot Tod for thinking the fox was chasing the hunter's chickens.
  • Meaningful Name: Tod(d) is an old English word for a fox.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Played with - Chief is sort of a father/big brother figure to Copper and is nearly mortally wounded while chasing Tod.
  • Missing Mom: Tod's mom is shot during the opening credits. Who shot her is unknown, however
  • Nice Guy: Amos Slade. Copper likes him so much. According to Tod, he is the main antagonist of the movie and a dangerous and ruthless hunter who kidnaps Copper. At the final battle, Amos puts his gun and reveals that he is one of the film's good guys. Tod finally discovers that he is not a dangerous, evil, and ruthless hunter, but a kind, nice and old hermit.
  • Oh Crap: Chief gets one before getting hit by the train. Copper gets one when he's sniffing around for Tod and smells a bear. Amos gets one a second later when he sees it.
  • Old Dog: Chief.
  • The Reveal: Amos Slade is originally the Big Bad of the movie. At the end of the movie, he is actually a Nice Guy and helps Tod and Copper defeat the bear.
  • Papa Wolf: Tod becomes this when Copper is threatened by a very pissed off bear near the end.
    • Copper himself counts too, since he tries (and fails) to protect his master from said bear.
  • Puppy Dog Eyes: Naturally. When standing up to Slade at the end Copper gives a defiant but earnest use of this trope. Tod, the more idealistic of the two, gives a lot of these over the course of the movie as well.
  • Raised by Humans: Tod is raised by an old widow woman after his real mother is killed by hunters.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Bear has a pair of frightening ones.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The caterpillar.
  • Say My Name: Amos comes up the path at a run while calling Copper's name.
  • Shoo the Dog: The saddest freaking scene in the movie.
  • Shown Their Work: An example from the midquel, Tod can't sing because his species sounds like this.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Tod, Copper and Chief.
    • Not to mention TWO mates of Tod and TWO litters of his puppies!
  • Sassy Black Woman: Big Mama
  • The End: This the last Disney animated film to simply end with these two words.
  • The Renaissance Age of Animation
  • The Speechless: Squeaks the Caterpillar and the bear.
  • Those Two Guys: Dinky and Boomer.
  • Anti-Villain Song: "A Huntin' Man".
  • You Killed My Father: Okay, maybe not (thanks to Executive Meddling), but Copper blames Tod for crippling Chief for a while.
    • Originally, Chief was supposed to die, as in the book, which would've justified Amos & Copper's anger. This was changed for being too dark.