HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
   
 
Newest Articles
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
   
 
  Fox and the Hound, The Friendly Rivalry
Year: 1981
Director: Ted Berman, Richard Rich, Art Stevens
Stars: Mickey Rooney, Kurt Russell, Pearl Bailey, Jack Albertson, Sandy Duncan, Jeanette Nolan, Pat Buttram, John Fiedler, John McIntire, Richard Bakalyan, Paul Winchell, Keith Coogan, Corey Feldman
Genre: Animated, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: A mother fox is racing across the countryside with her young son in her jaws, fleeing from a hunter and his dogs. Realising she cannot shake them, the vixen pauses at a fence near a cottage and hides the infant, then rushes off to meet her doom: a shot rings out and the little fox is now an orphan. All this is observed by Big Mama the owl (voiced by Pearl Bailey) and she does not wish to stand by and watch a small creature perish, so with the help of two of her bird friends she attracts the attention of the cottage's owner, Widow Tweed (Jeanette Nolan), who calls the fox Tod and adopts him. So how about a friend for the little guy?

You can guess by the title who that friend will be, in this, the Disney film that made a generation of eighties kids cry. Obviously patterned after Bambi, what with the death of the mother character happening barely a minute after the opening credits are over, the film has a confused attitude to nature, settling on cutesy depictions of the animals when it suits the filmmakers, then going for a less sentimental approach for some degree of realism in the characters' relationships.

This was based on the novel by Daniel P. Mannix, and production suffered when many of the animators left the project while it was still uncompleted, yet the professionalism of this studio shone through nevertheless, making this look better than many of the seventies efforts that had been criticised for their unimpressive animation. Rest assured the facial expressions and animal movements are very satisfying, and the rural landscapes evoke the forest idyll of Bambi in the best way, although this is still very much in the shadow of that classic.

The hound in this tale is Copper, a hunting dog owned by irascible, shotgun-wielding Amos (Jack Albertson), and brought to his cottage as a puppy. Naturally, there is a spot of cross-species friendship between the two little animals, with Copper voiced by Corey Feldman and Tod by Keith Coogan, and scenes of frolicking in the country follow, all of which are intended to make you go "Awww..." and set you up for the tragedy to come. Except it's not as tragic as it could have been because the filmmakers ensure that nobody dies after the first five minutes, so it's the loss of friendship that tugs at the heartstrings.

In truth, Watership Down did this kind of nature in all its conflicting emotions far better, and there are times where you feel the script is laying on the weepie aspect a little too thick. For example, when Tod (now Mickey Rooney) and Copper (Disney favourite Kurt Russell) grow up, they are forced apart by their roles in life, and to prevent Tod being killed by Amos after he accidentally injures the hunter's other dog, the widow has to take the fox away for his own safety. This grows ridiculous when not only is Tod abandoned in an unfamiliar wood, but then a chilly wind blows up, the rain starts and to top it all a thunderstorm erupts overhead - all right, we get the idea! The film laments the way the leads have to fit their function in life when they could easily have gotten along fine, but this at least is not overstressed. It's that conflicted view of nature that offers not only a bear attack - yes, animals do eat other animals - and a caterpillar that spends over a year in that state without transforming into a butterfly for comedy reasons; it's an awkward tone to be striving for. Music by Buddy Baker.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3025 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: