Two friends that didnt know they were supposed to be enemies
Ted Berman & Richard Rich
Running Time: 83 minutes
UK Certificate: U
Country: United States
Though Disney are these days intent on slapping the Classics tag on seemingly everything they produce, The Fox and the Hound doesnt really fit the bill. Its memorable predominantly because it marked a behind-the-scenes watershed between old faces and new staff at Walts place, rather than any great examples of animation or story-telling.
Many of the good folks who went on to create vastly-superior flicks such as Aladdin, Beauty & the Beast and The Little Mermaid used this one as their launch-pad, which is something youll be able to hear a lot more about if you watch the featurette on the DVD. In fact, its probably a more interesting story than the film itself for us boring grown-ups, at least.
Its a straight-forward enough story. Tod, an orphaned fox cub, becomes best of chums with Copper, a local dog pup. The only trouble is the dog just happens to be nothin but a hound dog, and after going away with his master for the hunting season, comes back a trained killer. So their friendship, as tends to be the case when one half repeatedly tries to rip open the other halfs throat, starts to become a little strained.
Based on a book by Daniel P. Mannix, its a decent premise but really too lightweight to carry an entire feature-length episode. Theres never any real sense of getting to know the characters, with their over-riding cutesy-ness really the only reason were ever given to care about them. The animation on show is of reasonable enough standard but, like pretty much everything about the film, its nothing spectacular.
It does, interestingly enough, have several differences from your average Disney flick – most notably that theres no true villain or any sort of magical or fantastical intervention. But it all makes for a fairly boring escapade, which only the youngest of kids are likely to get much enjoyment out of. If its entertainment for the whole family youre after, stick with The Lion King.
It's Got: A typically impressive array of voice-over talents, including Mickey Rooney, Kurt Russell and a 10-year-old Corey Feldman.
It Needs: To dump the distinctly tuneless sing-a-long numbers. Only the one instance of get-away music saves the score from complete failure!
DVD Extras A half-decent featurette titled Pass the Baton, a below-par Best of Friends sing-a-long section, and a stills scrapbook. DVD Extras Rating: 4/10
Alternatives:Beauty and the Beast, Peter Pan, Peter Pan, Piglet's Big Movie, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid
An inoffensive but also largely unimpressive woodland adventure. Strictly for the little uns.