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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Children > Fox & The Hound 2

Fox & The Hound 2


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: B-     Film: C



25 years after the original 1981 release of The Fox and the Hound, reviewed elsewhere on this site), Walt Disney Studios has created for its loyal fans a mid-quel entitled simply enough The Fox and the Hound 2.  The animated, straight to DVD feature takes place during the youth of the young Fox (Tod) and Hound Dog (Copper) in a more playful time, before the darker side of the original 1981 feature film.  There was a point in the original film where Amos Slade (Copper’s owner) along with his trusty old dog Chief attempted to teach Copper to hunt.  For the purposes of the sequel, Disney animators created a mid-story addition, letting audiences in on a tale they had no idea existed (much like the straight to DVD release Lion King 1 ½).   After feeling he had failed as a hunting dog, Copper is tied to his barrel by his master, not allowing him to go to the county fair.  Luckily for Copper his good pal Tod the Fox shows up to remind Copper of the fair and they run off to the county fair together.


At the fair, Copper finds himself captivated by a singing, dancing, western, dog band known as the ‘Singin Strays.’  Coincidentally, the Dog Band has just lost there lead singer, a young dog named Dixie.  Copper joins up with the talented Dog Band as their new lead singer after a temporary replacement fails to entertain.  Copper is let into the ‘Singin Strays’ after Tod tells Cash the leader of the western dog band that Copper is surely a stray.  Throughout the animated feature the estranged Dixie plots against Copper with her overflowing jealousy, even go as far as to use a nasty trick with peanut butter.  At the same time as Dixie’s trickery, Tod finds himself jealous of his friend not spending as much time with him as he should.  Overall, the film represents a fun and playful way of demonstrating the importance of friendship, both new and old.  Where the film is definitely family friendly and children are sure to enjoy, the plot is thin being veiled with clean animation and cute musical numbers.


The plot is thin and truly deviates from the original meaning and atmosphere of the 1981 film.  Where as the quality of animation is quite good and an improvement over the rough edges the original had, the thin plot and ill placed, unoriginal musical numbers detract continuously.  The original film was deep, emotional, and possibly one of the darkest Disney films to date; this film somewhat taints the intentions of the original film, but has a level of cuteness which appeals to younger audiences.  In the end, where the film is lacking in depth and creativity, it somewhat makes up for itself with clean, colorful animation and a certain level of a child/family friendly message.


The DVD has many nice technical features overall.  The animated picture is presented in a clear, crisp, 1.78 X 1 Anamorphic Widescreen.  The picture is somewhat better than the 25th Anniversary release of The Fox and the Hound (which still needs a little clean-up work) with the new digital animation utilized by Disney Animation Studios.  Overall the picture quality is bright, colorful, and enticing.  The sound quality in the DTS 5.1 Digital Surround Sound sounds quite good only having a few high/low errors, and the musical numbers sound particularly crisp.  The extras don’t offer too much for adults, but children are certain to be entertained.  Some enticing features include a featurette entitled ‘Making The Music – Behind The Scenes feature,’ Music Videos and Games (very entertaining).  On top of these extras, Disney has been very good about offering an extra short with their DVD releases in recent years and this DVD is no different, including ‘Goofy and Wilbur’; a fun a refreshing classic animated short.


In the end, this DVD does not maintain the depth of the 1981 Disney turning point animated piece original, but does offer its own cuteness and quaintness for a younger audience.  The music is sure to have the kids tapping their feet the country twang, but also should have offered a greater creative edge.  With the plethora of guest voices and colorful animation kids will find this very entertaining.



-   Michael P Dougherty II


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