The Movie: 7/10
The Fox and the Hound is a great Disney movie that I kind of forgot about. My step-daughter loved watching it with her friends, and my wife still can sing most of the tunes without having to blink an eye. The story of your Fox Tod, whose mother is killed by hunters, and Copper, a hound dog, who become unlikely friends is a touching one, told as only Disney can. The movie, which is about 30 years old at this point, featured young Corey Feldman, Mickey Rooney, Pearl Bailey, and Kurt Russell, among others as voice actors. The story starts of with Tod being taken in by a nice women on her farm, when the young fox is left motherless. The woman takes in the little fox as one would take in a dog, and they become close friends. Copper, a hound dog puppy lives in the farm house next door, and is owned by a hunter who is set on getting his pup to help out on the hunt.
Copper and Tod form an unlikely duo who run and play and frolick, until Copper is taken out hunting one winter and he returns as an enemy. Their friendship is not allowed, and when Tod is taken out to the country to escape the mean hunter, a fight ensues whereby Copper vows to get Tod at any cost. The rest of the movie sees the two pitted against each other, as Tod falls in love with a female fox, and fights copper to protect her until a bear gets in the mix and Tod ends up saving his “best friend” from certian death. The movie has comedy and sorrow, like all of the classic animated movies, and it is a really good story. There are musical numbers, but not quite as many as would be expected, which is nice change from some of the older Disney movies (and from the other movie on this disc.)
The sequel to the movie is a little bit of a mixed bag. It actually takes place between the time where the pups meet and when they grow older and are pitted against each other, which is a strange turn for a sequel. The movie is pretty aimless and has issue with both the story and pacing, as the two pal around together, and the musical numbers just seem to take center stage, instead of adding to the movie as the songs did in the original. I don’t have much to say about the Fox and the Hound II, except that it was difficult to watch, and really it takes away from the original gem that Disney released.
The combination may be nice to have in one set, but I would almost stop after watching the original and leave it at that.
The bonuses that are included are included on 2 DVDs, with only a short piece about animals as unlikely friends on the Blu-ray, which I will say is a bit strange.
- Unlikely Friends – This is the only extra on the Blu-ray disc, and it is a piece about different speices of animals getting along in the real world.
- The Best of Friends sing-along – Included on the extra disc for the original Fox and the Hound, this piece is a sing along with words for the main song from the film.
- Passing the Baton – This 6 minute extra is all about the making of the movie, and it is a great little watch. It features interviews with animators and looks at the storyboards as the story and movie came together.
- The Making of the Music – On the second disc, for the Fox and the Hound II, this feature is all about the music, which to me featured much more prominently int he sequel then the first movie.
- “You Know I Will” music video – Luca Grabeel’s video for the song “You Know I Will” is also included, adding another bizarre music video to the release of Disney movies. I am still not sure how I feel about all these music videos.
Cover Art and Menus: 5/10
Well, the cover for the Fox and the Hound Collection is about as basic as you can get. the two main characters Tod and copper are seen as puppies, looking cute and playing. There is not much to this cover, but it is at least cute. The menu features banjo music and the inside of a country house, with the two guys still frolicking in the window, in an animated sequence that repeats itself and is unbearably short. I have seen worse, but not often from a Disney Blu-ray release.
Audio & Video: 7.5/10
The audio and video of both movies is pretty decent, especially considering that disney put both movies on the same Blu-ray disc. There were some noticable artifacts in the original at times, and the 30 year old movie did have some small flaws which were to be expected. Overall the original looked great. There are parts where the grain ia a bit noticable, but again, this is a 30 year old movie. For the Fox and the Hound II, the colors and clarity are expectedly sharper and more clear.
The audio for the original was average, with some light use of the rear speakers. The music seemed almost muted compared to some of the Disney releases that I have seen, even the older ones. The Fox and the Hound II was a bit more modern and sounded quite a bit more sharp, which again, is to be expected.
The Fox and the Hound collection on Blu-ray is a fun watch. This is one of those Disney releases that most tend to forget about, which is a shame. It has less music and songs than many of the older Disney releases, which is kind of a nice reprieve. The original movie is great and is gender neutral for the most part. This is also a movie that doesn’t mind venturing into some more scary, darker scenes, which we rarely get to see in modern animated releases.
While the collection features the fun original, the Fox and the Hound II is kind of a letdown. It is nice to have the collection all in one spot, and this is a Disney classic, so owning it is a good safe bet. The issue here is that instead of getting any real features in high definition for the original movie, you get the mediocre sequel. For Disney fans, that may not be the best trade-off. The saving grace here is really the original movie, which is nicely presented on Blu-ray, and is definitely worth watching if you have not seen it in awhile.
Overall Score 7/10