Wow, it has been forever since I've done one of these! If you're a new reader, you might not know that way back in spring of 2013, I decided to watch through all of the animated Disney feature films (in chronological order) and post reviews of them. I figured it would take about a year, at the most. Ha!
My last review was The Rescuers, and that was back in June...I haven't done one since. But now I'm trying to get back into this series. If you're interested, you can find all of my previous reviews here.
I kind of stalled on the next film, because to be honest, I really wasn't looking forward to watching it. My brother and I grew up watching The Fox and the Hound...I seem to remembering him liking it. But in my memory it's just known as "the sad movie." I remember liking most of it but even as a kid, knowing that the infamously sad scene was coming made me not want to watch it. Even then, I was obsessive enough that it never crossed my mind to skip over that scene. (Now when I'm watching a TV series through, I have to watch every episode. I can't bring myself to skip around, even to avoid episodes that aren't my favorites!)
So here's what I thought of the film now, at twenty-three. :)
I didn't realize that Mickey Rooney was the voice of grown-up Tod! Of course, I haven't watched this film since I got into classic movies, so I wouldn't have known his voice then. Watching now, it's completely obvious, though a bit odd. (Speaking of voices, two instantly recognizable voices also appear later in the film: Boomer the woodpecker is the original voice of Tigger and the man who voiced the classic Piglet is the porcupine.)
The film opens on a depressing note, with Tod's mother leaving him hidden in the grass and then getting shot. That sort of sets the tone for the whole film, in my opinion. The entire film feels a bit depressing, probably because you know that Tod and Copper's friendship is doomed from the start. There aren't too many happy moments, but there's a lot of conflict: between Tod and Copper, the birds and the caterpillar, Widow Tweed and Amos Slade, etc.
I don't have much to say about the first half or so of the film, because I was too distracted by anticipating the part where Widow Tweed takes Tod off and leaves him in the woods. I know that this is sensible...a person shouldn't have a pet fox in the first place. But I hate this scene for being so sad! This is why I rarely watch animal movies. They're always too sad.
I had thought that maybe I could handle it this time, now that I'm older...nope. I started tearing up as soon as the music started playing, all through the drive to the woods during that hideously cheesy songish-thing-with-talking-instead-of-singing. Darn that scene for still making me cry after all these years!
With that terrible part behind me, I could relax and enjoy the rest of the movie a bit more. I have to admit that the "fisher fox" scene is pretty funny, when Tod is trying to impress Vixey with his fish-catching skills.
I had almost forgotten about the bear. Wow. I find it hilarious that my main memory of this movie is a simple, sad scene and I hardly remembered that there's a violent fight with a freakishly huge, vicious-looking bear. :)
The end is slightly redemptive, but honestly, I don't really like this movie. This is one of the very few from my childhood that I don't enjoy as an adult. I can't exactly explain why. The whole movie is just depressing and dark. It's not that I have something against darker children's stories, because I don't...I guess here there's just not enough lightness and humor to balance things out. I also don't like what they're implying about hunters and trappers. As with Bambi, the hunters are always the villains. They make it obvious that you're supposed to be rooting for Tod and Widow Tweed. Amos Slade is such a vengeful jerk that of course all hunters must be bad. As someone who lives in a rural area where lots of people hunt (and most of those eat what they hunt), that just irritates me. (It's not nearly as over-the-top as it is in Bambi, though.)
I've already watched the next film on the list, which is one I had never seen before: The Black Cauldron. That post should be up in a week or so!
Do you like The Fox and the Hound?