The Fox and the Hound
This film is a big step upward from the nadir of Disney animation reached in Robin Hood eight years before. They’re not quite back to “classic” level, but they’re making progress. They spent serious money on this one—$12,000,000, the most expensive animated film produced up to that time—and it shows. The art work is lovely, much of it reminiscent of the best of Bambi and other forest environments like The Jungle Book, and the animation is miles better than what they had been producing before. There is a scene where a bear is disturbed, and it is one scary bear. The story is pretty good, but it didn’t really resonate with me as much as it did the first time I saw it, when it was new. It is often cited as having a theme of prejudice and its evils, but I don’t really see it. The fact is that foxes and hounds are natural enemies. Though these two grew up together, it wouldn’t make sense for the friendship to last … and it doesn’t, though the memory of the friendship ends up saving the life of the fox when the mature hunting hound protects him. To me, the moral might be that it’s a mistake to domesticate foxes, or any wild animals. To my knowledge, foxes don’t make good pets, not even as good as ferrets or raccoons.