When lonely, elderly, Widow Tweed (Jeanette Nolan) finds an orphaned fox cub (Keith Mitchell), she takes him into her care and names him Tod. At the same time, Widow Tweed's neighbour, the hunter Amos Slade (Jack Albertson), brings home a young puppy (Corey Feldman), whom he calls Copper. Amos wants to train Cooper to become a hunting dog so that he can team up with the already experienced hunting dog, Chief (Pat Buttram).
One day, while exploring the surroundings of the farm, Tod meets Copper. Unaware that they are supposed to be enemies, the two become mates and promise to be best friends forever. While they’re playing, Tod and Copper cause some mayhem, upsetting Chief and Amos. When Amos realises that Widow Tweed has given shelter to a fox, he makes it clear that he will hunt and kill Tod if he ever comes near his farm again.
Over winter, Amos goes on a trip, announcing to be back in spring. By springtime, Tod (now voiced by Mickey Rooney) has grown up into a handsome young fox and Copper (now voiced by Kurt Russell) returns as a trained hunting dog. Against the advice of his animal friends, Tod goes to greet Copper at his farm but Copper urges him to leave and explains that they cannot be friends anymore. Chief alerts Amos that Tod has returned, and they start hunting him. During the hunt, Chief gets severely injured and nearly dies. Angry, Copper and Amos swear that Tod will have to pay with his life. Widow Tweed knows that she cannot protect Tod forever, and, with a heavy heart, brings him to a protected nature reserve where hunting is prohibited. Blind with fury, Amos ignores the hunting ban, determined to eliminate Tod, and, in a tragic chain of events, the childhood friends are confronted with each other in a life-or-death situation.
Disney classic; friendship against all odds; the relationship between man and nature; love and loss; friendship; courage
The Fox and the Hound has some violence. For example:
- It’s implied that a hunter killed Tod's mother.
- It’s implied that Amos has hunted and killed lots of wild animals. He keeps the furs as hunting trophies.
- Amos repeatedly tries to kill Tod by shooting at him with his rifle, laying out traps, and setting fire to his den.
- During the hunt, Amos disturbs a bear. The bear aggressively attacks.
There are no sexual references in The Fox and the Hound.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
There’s no substance use in The Fox and the Hound.
Nudity and sexual activity
There’s no nudity and sexual activity in The Fox and the Hound.
There’s no product placement in The Fox and the Hound.
There’s no coarse language in The Fox and the Hound.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Loosely based on Daniel P. Mannix's 1967 novel, The Fox and the Hound is a classic Disney musical drama that tells a wonderful tale about friendship against all odds. The story does include themes of loss and peril, however, and there are some sad, scary and violent scenes that make the movie unsuitable for children under 5 years. Parental guidance is recommended for children aged 5-6 and also for sensitive viewers.
These are the main messages from The Fox and the Hound:
- Love and friendship have the power to overcome rage and revenge.
- Sometimes it’s important to make decisions by listening to your heart rather than your head.
Values in The Fox and the Hound that you could reinforce with your children include friendship, love, courage and selflessness.
The Fox and the Hound could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like these:
- Hunting as a sport.
- The relationship between humans and nature.