The Fox and the Hound is a 1981 American animated film loosely based on the Daniel P. Mannix novel of the same name, produced by Walt Disney Productions and released in the United States on July 10, 1981. The 24th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, the film tells the story of two unlikely friends, a red fox named Tod and a hound dog named Copper, who struggle to preserve their friendship despite their emerging instincts and the surrounding social pressures demanding them to be adversaries.
The film is directed by Ted Berman and Richard Rich and features the voices of Kurt Russell, Mickey Rooney, Pearl Bailey, Pat Buttram, Sandy Duncan, Richard Bakalyan, Paul Winchell, Jack Albertson, Jeanette Nolan, John Fiedler, John McIntire, Keith Coogan, and Corey Feldman. At the time of release it was the most expensive animated film produced to date, costing $12 million. A direct-to-video midquel, The Fox and the Hound 2, was released to DVD on December 12, 2006.
After a young red fox is orphaned, Big Mama the owl, Boomer the woodpecker, and Dinky the finch arrange for him to be adopted by Widow Tweed. Tweed names him Tod, since he reminds her of a toddler. Meanwhile, Tweed’s neighbor, Amos Slade, brings home a young hound puppy named Copper and introduces him to his hunting dog Chief. Tod and Copper become playmates, and vow to remain “friends forever”. Slade grows frustrated at Copper for constantly wandering off to play, and places him on a leash. While playing with Copper at his home, Tod awakens Chief. Slade and Chief chase him until they are stopped by Tweed. After an argument, Slade says that he will kill Tod if he enters his farm again. Hunting season comes and Slade takes his dogs into the wilderness for the interim. Meanwhile, Big Mama explains to Tod that his friendship with Copper cannot continue, as they are natural enemies, but Tod refuses to believe her.
Months pass, and Tod and Copper reach adulthood. On the night of Copper’s return, Tod sneaks over to meet him. Copper explains that while he still values Tod as a friend, he is a hunting dog now and things are different. Chief awakens and alerts Slade, a chase ensues and Copper catches Tod. Copper lets Tod go then diverts Chief and Slade. Chief maintains his pursuit onto a railroad track where he is struck by a train and wounded. Copper and Slade blame Tod for the accident and swear vengeance. Tweed realizes that her pet is no longer safe with her and leaves him at a game preserve. Big Mama introduces him to a female fox named Vixey, then Slade and Copper trespass into the preserve and hunt the two foxes. The chase climaxes when Slade and Copper inadvertently provoke an attack from a bear. Slade trips and gets caught in his own trap, dropping his gun just out of reach. Copper fights the bear but is no match for it. Tod battles the bear until they both fall down a waterfall. Copper approaches Tod as he lies in the lake below when Slade appears, ready to fire at the fox. Copper interposes his body in front of Tod, and refuses to move away. Slade lowers his gun and leaves with Copper, but not before the two former adversaries share one last smile before parting. At home, Tweed nurses Slade back to health while the dogs rest. Copper, before resting, smiles as he remembers the day when he became friends with Tod. On a hill Vixey joins Tod as he looks down on the homes of Copper and Tweed.