The Fox & The Hound: 25th Anniversary Edition (DVD-Video)
C Sound: C Extras: B- Film: C+
The Fox and the Hound, where it is not one of the most
epic or memorable Disney films, the transitions this film contains represents a
time of change. The Fox and the Hound is a 1981 Disney classic that tells the tale
of two unlikely friends; yes, you guessed it, the tale of a fox and a hound
dog. More importantly than the film is
the wave of change that overtook Disney in 1981, by choice a bulk of the
classic animators that were present at Walt Disney studios retired, and The Fox and the Hound would be their
last hurrah. A fair number of younger
animators had been sitting in the shadows at Disney for a few years by 1981,
learning and refining their masterful skills.
The older animation crew decided to pass the torch onto the young bucks,
but from viewing the film it is quite apparent that the old influences strongly
of influences from the past are infused throughout The Fox and the Hound. The cast of voices resonate past classic
Disney Films such as Robin Hood,
utilizing many classic voices. Mickey
Rooney (Todd), Kurt Russell (Copper), Pearl Bailey (Big Mama), and many other
voice actors, who were regulars on the Disney lot for a long time, reappear
once again in this transitional Disney tale.
Also some of the backgrounds and supporting animal cast were lifted from
older Disney films such as Bambi, and reused in The Fox and the Hound.
Overall, where many new ideas are quite evident in this animated
feature, though the “out with the old, in with the new” mentality was not in
full effect yet.
On top of
the classic animation, this film touches on issues that are still controversial
to this day. Two individuals that come
from two very different walks of life, with very different expectations somehow
manage to become great friends. The
outside world, however, pulls the fox and the hound apart with their prejudices
and hate. Where as critical world issues
were somewhat addressed in this film, the negativity, death, and sadness within
the film turned many off. The normal
happiness which was expected of the Disney animation team was not fully
captured in this film and took many off guard, not being a flop by any means in
the box office, but not as memorable of an animation venture as the team had
DVD’s technical aspects are fair at best.
The quality of the Disney animation is wonderful as always, but the
transfer is not up to Disney’s standards as seen in the array of Platinum
Series releases such as done with Aladdin,
Beauty and the Beast, and The Little Mermaid. This animated feature is presented in Full
Screen 1.33:1, at times having graininess, darkened coloring, and a blurred
quality. The sound is simple and off
balance/light at times, being presented in an unimpressive Dolby Digital 5.1
Surround. The extras on this 25th
anniversary DVD are quite good and plentiful.
The extras on this DVD stand to be even better than those of the recent Little Mermaid Platinum Edition, being
full of such features as Games for children, a storybook read along tale, a
“passing the baton” feature, and best of all two additional animated
shorts. The two classic shorts included
are “Lend a Paw” and the
unforgettable “Lambert the Sheepish Lion.”
Overall, though there is poor sound and
picture, there are entertaining extras.
in the end is not the best Disney film by any means, but is effective in what
it is trying to accomplish by sending a meaningful message of friendship. For those who are already fans of this film,
this is a no brainer buy. For those who
are unsure, hold out for the Platinum edition.
- Michael P Dougherty II