Fox and the Hound/Fox and the Hound Two
Directed by: Ted Berman, Richard Rich, Art Stevens, Jim Kammerud Cast: Kurt Russell, Mickey Rooney, Pearl Bailey, Patrick Swayze, Reba McEntire Running Time: 1 hr 23 mins + 1 hr 9 mins Rating: G Due Out: August 9, 2011
PLOT: The unlikely tales of a domesticated fox named Tod and his friendship with a hunting dog named Copper.
WHO'S IT FOR?: Disney collectors might like having both movies on Blu-ray, but probably already have the same films in DVD quality from a similar edition released five years ago. Kids will find the original to be dull and slow compared to the sequel, which is flashy with musical numbers and extremely G-rated physical humor.
This anniversary collection pairs two wildly different movies with the same characters, making them more than anything highly indicative of the animation eras from which they came. One animated film is relatively serious, and features the structure of something in classic children’s literature. It even comes complete with a scene of Disney-brand parental slaughter.
The other movie in this set has baby versions of the same characters bounding around like part one never existed, smiling in a way meant to test zero percent of the emotional strength of its viewers. The amount of singing has been ramped up, and maturity is hardly a theme. The importance of friendship, the easiest topic to take away from The Fox and the Hound, is given the biggest focus this time.
The original Fox and the Hound certainly has its moments of cuteness. It converts a fox into a fluffy housecat, and a hound dog into a wrinkly puppy, both with big eyes that could make nuclear bombs cry. But it yearns to be more than that. It comes from the age when Disney characters age fully through traumatizing events, and ultimately end up as fully realized adults at their saga (as Bambi, from 1942, ends). With such heavy elements come some violent scenes, in which a large demon bear tries to kill a bitter old man who is trying to kill a p*ssed off fox who is being hunted by a p*ssed off hunting dog. Like any good ol’ Disney animated movie, it also features some disturbing imagery, such as when Tod the fox displays pure rage against then-enemy Copper the dog (I freeze-framed this image more than twice).
Released originally in 2006 is Fox and the Hound Two, which features the voices of Reba McEntire and Patrick Swayze. Compared to its original inspiration, this “sequel” might as well be like the Bad Lieutenant: Port of New Orleans of its predecessor. It uses some of the same characters from its original source, but puts them in wackier situations more relevant to the swinging of the times. Same with Herzog’s film, this movie is extremely bizarre if you attempt to connect it with its original (the light humor of Two could possibly mess up kids when it is violently eradicated in The Fox and the Hound).
This movie is a true Saturday morning cartoon, and an obvious statement by Disney that regrets ever having aged the characters in the original film. Here, they’re little kids, with their puppy and cat factors played up to the highest power of brainless cuteness. They sing, they dance, and they drop smiles that would wind them “Ultimate Grand Supreme” titles in some “Tod’s and Tiaras” like competition. Kids will like it. Anybody who has a Bambi-like connection to the original one will likely surmise this yappy pup of a movie as a mindless experience - if not a tragedy of proportions worthy of a classic Disney animation film.
MOVIE SCORE: Fox and Hound: 6/10, Fox and Hound Two: 3/10
"Unlkely Friends" - A collection of stories about surprising friendships in animal kingdom "Passing the Baton: The Making of The Fox and the Hound "The Best of Friends" Sing-Along Song "The Making of the Music" Behind the Scenes Featurette "You Know I Will" music video performed by Lucas Grabeel DVD versions of both films