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HISTORY

Production notes in AMPAS library files state that production began in the spring of 1977. Articles in the 4 Jan 1978 HR and 26 Feb 1979 DV reported that the picture was set to be released during the 1980 Christmas season. However, a delay occurred in late Sep 1979 when a number of Walt Disney Studios animation department employees quit, and joined Don Bluth Productions, founded by Don Bluth, who had resigned from Disney earlier that month. The 19 Sep 1979 Var reported that eleven department members, seven animators, and four assistant animators, left Disney, while an article in the 26 Oct 1980 LAT reported that fifteen people resigned after Bluth’s exit. The 5 Jul 1981 NYT noted that “the brunt of the animation work fell to the younger artists,” to complete the film. The 26 Oct 1980 LAT further noted the film’s release was pushed back to Jul 1981. According to the 2 Jul 1981 HR review, the finished picture consisted of 360,000 drawings, as well as approximately 1,000 painted backgrounds and 110,000 cels.
       A working title for the film was The Fox and the Hounds, as stated in the 2 Jul 1978 LAT and 21 Aug 1980 HR.
       While an item in the 30 Nov 1977 Var listed the picture’s budget as $7 million at the start of production, an increased cost of $8 million was reported in the 26 Feb 1979 DV. A year after the film’s release, the 4 Jul 1982 ... More Less

Production notes in AMPAS library files state that production began in the spring of 1977. Articles in the 4 Jan 1978 HR and 26 Feb 1979 DV reported that the picture was set to be released during the 1980 Christmas season. However, a delay occurred in late Sep 1979 when a number of Walt Disney Studios animation department employees quit, and joined Don Bluth Productions, founded by Don Bluth, who had resigned from Disney earlier that month. The 19 Sep 1979 Var reported that eleven department members, seven animators, and four assistant animators, left Disney, while an article in the 26 Oct 1980 LAT reported that fifteen people resigned after Bluth’s exit. The 5 Jul 1981 NYT noted that “the brunt of the animation work fell to the younger artists,” to complete the film. The 26 Oct 1980 LAT further noted the film’s release was pushed back to Jul 1981. According to the 2 Jul 1981 HR review, the finished picture consisted of 360,000 drawings, as well as approximately 1,000 painted backgrounds and 110,000 cels.
       A working title for the film was The Fox and the Hounds, as stated in the 2 Jul 1978 LAT and 21 Aug 1980 HR.
       While an item in the 30 Nov 1977 Var listed the picture’s budget as $7 million at the start of production, an increased cost of $8 million was reported in the 26 Feb 1979 DV. A year after the film’s release, the 4 Jul 1982 NYT reported the budget as being $13 million, and 1981’s twelfth highest grossing film.
       The 26 Feb 1979 DV reported that animator and writer Dave Michener was to direct along with Art Stevens and Ted Berman. However, Michener is not credited as a director onscreen. Actor Phil Harris and actress Charo were mentioned as providing voices for the picture, but neither Harris nor Charo are credited onscreen.
       The 26 Oct 1980 LAT noted executive producer Ron Miller saying the film could possibly be given a PG rating from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) in regard to “a very frightening fight" in the picture. However, reviews in the 1 Jul 1981 Var and 10 Jul 1981 LAT noted that the film was released with a G rating.
       The 6 Jul 1981 HR announced that the film’s world premiere was scheduled for 8 Jul 1981 at The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, CA. Due to a high demand for tickets, two separate screenings were planned. The 10 Jul 1981 HR reported that the premiere hosted over 1,000 people, and was a benefit for the California Institute of the Arts.
       The film opened on 10 Jul 1981, as noted in the NYT review published the same day. Ten days after the film’s release, the 21 Jul 1981 HR reported the picture had grossed $11,731,297. The film continued to do well at the box-office, taking in over $18,860,000 by the nineteenth day of its release, as noted in the 31 Jul 1981 HR.
       The film was followed by the 2006 straight-to-video sequel, The Fox and the Hound 2. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
26 Feb 1979
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jan 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Aug 1980
p. 1, 4.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jul 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jul 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jul 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jul 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jul 1981.
---
Los Angeles Times
2 Jul 1978
Section N, p. 25.
Los Angeles Times
26 Oct 1980
Section O, p. 1, 36.
Los Angeles Times
10 Jul 1981
Section H, p. 1, 5.
New York Times
5 July 1981
Section A, p. 13.
New York Times
10 Jul 1981
Section C, p. 5.
New York Times
4 Jul 1982
Section A, p. 1.
Variety
30 Nov 1977
p. 26.
Variety
19 Sep 1979
p. 4.
Variety
1 Jul 1981
p. 16, 36.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Walt Disney Productions Presents
Distributed By Buena Vista Distribution Co., Inc.
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
Prod mgr
Asst dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Story
Story
Story
Story
Story
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
MUSIC
Mus score comp and cond
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Creative asst to the prod
ANIMATION
Supv anim
Supv anim
Supv anim
Supv anim
Supv anim
Char anim
Char anim
Char anim
Char anim
Char anim
Char anim
Char anim
Char anim
Char anim
Char anim
Char anim
Char anim
Char anim
Char anim
Eff anim
Eff anim
Eff anim
Coord anim
Coord anim
Coord anim
Coord anim
Key asst
Key asst
Col styling
Background painting
Background painting
Background painting
COLOR PERSONNEL
[Col by]
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the book The Fox and the Hound by Daniel P. Mannix (New York, 1967).
SONGS
“Best Of Friends,” music Richard O. Johnston, lyrics Stan Fidel
“Lack Of Education,” music and lyrics Jim Stafford
“A Huntin’ Man,” music and lyrics Jim Stafford
+
SONGS
“Best Of Friends,” music Richard O. Johnston, lyrics Stan Fidel
“Lack Of Education,” music and lyrics Jim Stafford
“A Huntin’ Man,” music and lyrics Jim Stafford
“Appreciate The Lady,” music and lyrics Jim Stafford
“Goodbye May Seem Forever,” music Richard Rich, lyrics Jeffrey Patch.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Fox and the Hounds
Release Date:
10 July 1981
Premiere Information:
World premiere at The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, CA: 8 July 1981
Nationwide release: 10 July 1981
Production Date:
early to mid 1977
Copyright Claimant:
Walt Disney Productions
Copyright Date:
14 December 1981
Copyright Number:
PA125861
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Photophone sound recording
Color
Animation
Duration(in mins):
83
MPAA Rating:
G
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
26149
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

A red fox carries her cub through the forest as a hunter chases her. Arriving at a farm, the mother fox hides the cub. In a tree, Big Mama, an owl, watches as the mother says goodbye and runs out into a field, drawing the hunter’s attention. Suddenly, rifle shots are heard, and Big Mama realizes the mother fox has been killed. Wanting to help the orphaned fox, Big Mama, Boomer the woodpecker, and Dinky the finch, get elderly farm owner, Widow Tweed, to come outside and find the fox cub. After Tweed carries the cub inside and feeds him a bottle of milk, she decides to keep him, and names him Tod, short for “toddler.” Meanwhile, Tweed’s neighbor, a hunter named Amos Slade, introduces his hunting dog, Chief, to Copper, a bloodhound puppy they will train. Later, Tod chases after a butterfly and crosses onto Slade’s property. After Copper finds Tod by his scent, they play hide-and-seek until Slades calls Copper to return home. Tod makes his new friend promise to play with him again. The next day, Tod and Copper go swimming in a nearby pond, and promise each other they will always be best friends. Later, Copper returns, but Slade, upset by the puppy constantly wandering away, tethers him to his doghouse on a leash. The following day, Tod arrives to play, but Copper tells him he needs to stay near Chief, who is asleep. Suddenly, Tod’s scent awakens Chief, and the hunting dog chases him. Slade appears with his rifle and shoots at the fox, but Tod escapes by jumping into ... +


A red fox carries her cub through the forest as a hunter chases her. Arriving at a farm, the mother fox hides the cub. In a tree, Big Mama, an owl, watches as the mother says goodbye and runs out into a field, drawing the hunter’s attention. Suddenly, rifle shots are heard, and Big Mama realizes the mother fox has been killed. Wanting to help the orphaned fox, Big Mama, Boomer the woodpecker, and Dinky the finch, get elderly farm owner, Widow Tweed, to come outside and find the fox cub. After Tweed carries the cub inside and feeds him a bottle of milk, she decides to keep him, and names him Tod, short for “toddler.” Meanwhile, Tweed’s neighbor, a hunter named Amos Slade, introduces his hunting dog, Chief, to Copper, a bloodhound puppy they will train. Later, Tod chases after a butterfly and crosses onto Slade’s property. After Copper finds Tod by his scent, they play hide-and-seek until Slades calls Copper to return home. Tod makes his new friend promise to play with him again. The next day, Tod and Copper go swimming in a nearby pond, and promise each other they will always be best friends. Later, Copper returns, but Slade, upset by the puppy constantly wandering away, tethers him to his doghouse on a leash. The following day, Tod arrives to play, but Copper tells him he needs to stay near Chief, who is asleep. Suddenly, Tod’s scent awakens Chief, and the hunting dog chases him. Slade appears with his rifle and shoots at the fox, but Tod escapes by jumping into the trunk of Widow Tweed’s passing car as she drives to town. Slade follows in his own vehicle and shoots at Tweed. Angry, she forces Slade to a stop. Taking his rifle, she shoots Slade’s radiator and tells him to leave Tod alone. However, Slade threatens that if he ever sees Tod on his property again, he will kill the fox. In the autumn, Slade leaves for an extended hunting trip with Chief and Copper. Tod goes to say goodbye to Copper, but does not make it in time. Big Mama, Boomer and Dinky arrive, and tell Tod that foxes and hunting hounds are enemies. Tod does not believe them, and insists Copper would never hurt him. When spring arrives, Big Mama comes out of hibernation, and Boomer and Dinky return after flying south for the winter. Tod arrives to greet the birds, and they are shocked by how much he has grown. Later, Slade returns to his home with Chief and a grown-up Copper. In the evening, Tod sneaks onto Slade’s property to see his best friend, but Copper tells Tod he is a hunting dog now, and cannot be friends with a fox. Chief sees Tod and alerts Slade. Tod runs into the forest, followed by Slade, Chief and Copper. Finding Tod first, Copper offers to let him escape this one time. Tod runs to the railroad tracks as Copper leads Slade in the opposite direction. Chief sees Tod and chases him along a railroad bridge. Just then, a train appears. Tod jumps away, but Chief is hit and falls off the bridge. After finding Chief with a broken hind leg, Copper and Slade blame Tod for Chief’s injury. Meanwhile, Widow Tweed finds Tod and brings him home. Slade arrives and reaffirms that he will kill Tod the next time he sees him. Realizing she cannot protect the fox, Tweed drives him to a nearby Game Preserve and sets him free. Tod seeks shelter from the oncoming rain, but an angry badger orders Tod out of his home. A porcupine lets Tod share his home in a tree. In the morning, Big Mama arrives looking for Tod. Instead, she finds Vixey, a young female fox. The two locate Tod near a pond. Instantly smitten by Vixey, Tod tries to impress her by catching a fish, but falls into the water. Afterward, Vixey shows Tod the preserve and how to live in the woods. The following day, Slade and Copper arrive at the preserve. Ignoring the “No Hunting” signs, they sneak in and Slade sets out traps to capture Tod. Seeing the traps, Tod and Vixey hide in Vixey’s burrow, but Copper and Slade follow them. Slade starts a fire to smoke the foxes out, but Tod and Vixey escape by jumping over the flames. Copper and Slade pursue them, but are stopped by a bear. As Slade shoots, he falls, losing his rifle and getting his foot caught in one of his traps. As the bear approaches, Copper attacks, but is knocked to the ground. From the mountain, Tod sees the bear looming over Copper. Wanting to save his friend, Tod runs back and attacks the bear. As they fight, Tod leads the bear onto a log in front of a waterfall. However, the log breaks, and Tod and the bear fall into the water below. Tod survives and swims to shore, where Copper finds him. Freed from his trap, Slade arrives and aims his rifle at Tod. However, Copper stands in front of Tod, the friend who saved his life. Realizing that Copper will not move, Slade decides to let Tod live and lowers his rifle. Before Slade and Copper leave the preserve, Copper turns around and smiles at Tod. Later, Widow Tweed helps Slade bandage his injured foot. As Copper dozes off, be thinks back to his first meeting with Tod when they were young. In the distance, Tod and Vixey watch over his former home, knowing he and Copper will always be friends. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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