The Fox and the Hound (1981)

<strong class="MovieTitle">The Fox and the Hound</strong> (1981)

(On DVD, March 2018) Watching a lot of classic Disney animation movies, I’m actually struck at how a lot of them aren’t classic at all. This is particularly true in the fallow period between Disney’s Golden age and its renaissance. While I will always passionately defend The Aristocats, there are many other movies of the era that I’ll leave to sink on their own demerits. So it is with The Fox and the Hound, which is certainly not bad but ends up being a depressing shade of bland once everything is said and done. On one level it is a Disney animal movie. On the other hand, there won’t be too many lunchboxes made of this rather depressing acknowledgment that foxes and dogs aren’t made to be friends. The film occasionally punches hard for younger audiences, and it doesn’t exactly end on the most optimistic of notes. This, in turns, gives a rather sombre quality to much of what comes before, including a lot of material between anthropomorphized animal characters. The animation isn’t bad, and the script is built acceptably, but The Fox and the Hound simply doesn’t have anything (a song, a sequence, a character, a princess) to set it apart. It’s no surprise if the film doesn’t enjoy anything like the enduring popularity of other Disney productions of the time. It can be watched readily enough, but it can’t be remembered longer than necessary.

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