Additional Information about the Feature Film The Fox And The Hound

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The Fox And The Hound

The Fox And The Hound

The Fox And The Hound (1981) Feature Length Theatrical Animated Film The Fox And The Hound

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  • Walt Disney Studios
  • Animated Characters: Tod, Copper, Big Mama, Amos Slade, Vixey, Widow Tweed, Chief, Dinky, Boomer, Squeaks, Bear, Badger, Abigail.
  • Originally Released in 1981.
  • Production Number: 136
  • Running Time: 83 minutes.
  • TechniColor
  • U.S.A.  U.S.A.

Release Dates:

  • Jul 10, 1981- Original US Theatrical Release date
  • Mar 4, 1994- VHS Release

Cartoon Production Information:

The important bits of The Fox And The Hound happened behind the scenes. Originally planned for a Christmas 1980 release, the release date had to be pushed back eight months. Production was marred by rifts between Wolfgang Reitherman and the old guard and Art Stevens and Larry Clemmons and the young Turks at the studio.

Reitherman pushed his own ideas on the designs and story, but the newer team had other ideas they wanted to pursue. In the midst of this, animator Don Bluth declared Disney's work "stale" and walked out of the production. John Pomeroy, Gary Goldman and sixteen other animators also fled the studio, and Bluth went on to form his own studio.

Needless to say, the loss of 20% of their animation staff slowed production on the film, and pushed back the release date. When the film hit theaters in July of 1981, the film ended up making 63 million dollars. Based on a budget of only 12 million, that made the film a financial success.

First Disney release with Dolby Noise Reduction.

This was the 24th film in the official Disney list of animated films.

Estimated budget of $12 million.
This film made $63.5 million in it's initial theatrical release.
Traditional, Hand-drawn Animation.


The Fox and the Hound is based on a book by Daniel P. Mannix and was optioned by Disney after being read by animation director Woolie Reitherman. Several years before, Reitherman's son had owned a pet fox cub, so the story had special significance for Reitherman who co-produced The Fox and the Hound.

Development of the project began in 1977, but was interrupted by the defection from the animation department of Don Bluth, Gary Goldman, John Pomeroy and a cadre of animators who were anxious to set up their own production studio. The film was finished four years later, and with the exception of some early scenes and character development done by veteran animators Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, and Cliff Norberg, the film represented the combined talents and imagination of a new team. This new generation of animators would go on to forge a second Golden Age of feature animation in the next decade with such films as The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1990) and Aladdin (1992).

The first Disney animated feature since 1977, the 1981 release of The Fox and the Hound was greeted warmly, if cautiously. Audiences deprived of a new Disney feature for four years made The Fox and the Hound a popular and financial success-again reasserting that, even in artistic transition, Disney was still the preeminent maker of animation.

The significance of the group of artists responsible for The Fox and the Hound is not what they brought to the art of the film, but what their collaboration would bring to the future of Disney animation.

The standout sequence in The Fox and the Hound is the battle with the giant grizzly bear at the film's climax, supervised by Glen Keane. Keane's handling of the terrifying weight and massing of the character give it a realistic menace and ferocity. Keane would later skillfully supervise a diverse cadre of characters, including Ariel in The Little Mermaid (1989), Beast in Beauty and the Beast (1991) and the title characters in Aladdin (1992) and Pocahontas (1995).

John Musker and Ron Clements would move from animation to animation direction, co-directing The Great Mouse Detective (1986), The Little Mermaid and Aladdin.

The voice cast of The Fox and the Hound included Pearl Bailey as Big Mama the owl, veteran actor Jack Albertson in his last film role as the voice of Amos Slade, Jeanette Nolan as Widow Tweed, Mickey Rooney as the adult Tod, Kurt Russell as the adult Copper and Sandy Duncan as Vixey.

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The Fox and the Hound

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"The FOX and the HOUND" ('81 release) was the last film Frank Thomas animated in ruff animation. He and Olie Johnson started writing their famous book, "The illusion of Life". There are a number of his scenes of "Tod"...  (read more)

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