The Fox and the Hound

Movie review by
Michael Scheinfeld, Common Sense Media
The Fox and the Hound Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Heartwarming tale of friendship, but expect some peril.
  • G
  • 1981
  • 83 minutes

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 25 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 30 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

The movie is based on a book by Daniel P. Mannix. It's also a look at the lives of hunting dogs and foxes. However, when a caterpillar turns into a butterfly after a whole year, it may be worth looking up the real life cycle of butterflies with young ones.

Positive Messages

Shows the power of friendship over the expectations and prejudices of others. There's also a line in a song, "from our sadness, happiness grew," showing that sorrow over loss and loneliness can be a window to new beginnings.

Positive Role Models

Tod and Copper model a dedicated friendship that, even as circumstances push them apart, still has them looking out for each other. Copper at one point is driven by revenge but eventually chooses friendship over it. Amos is shown as trigger-happy and sometimes unusually cruel, but a softer side eventually emerges.

Violence & Scariness

Tod is orphaned at the beginning of the movie when his mom runs dogs away from Tod and a gunshot sounds in a field. He's later abandoned in the forest by his human caretaker in hopes that it will save him from getting hunted. Amos is constantly shooting at Tod and seems obsessed with hunting gear -- his shed is full of traps and pelts, and he tries to use a trap on Tod and sets fire to Tod's burrow to fish him out. Chief the dog is hit by a train, falls off a trestle, and breaks his leg -- his eyes close in a stream and it looks like he's died. The fox and the hound have a ferocious fight with a bear ending in a fall off a waterfall cliff. Birds and a caterpillar get electrocuted.

Sexy Stuff

Some flirting between foxes and Amos runs out his cabin door in his underwear.


"Shucks," "dagnabit," "meddling female," "blasted female," "silly, empty-headed female."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this animal tale develops into a thoughtful examination of friendship and includes some mature themes, especially loss. The movie opens with the (off-screen) shooting death of the fox's mother and he is later abandoned by his human caretaker in a forest to try to keep him safe. There's lots of hunting imagery -- snapping leg traps, pelts -- and a very trigger-happy character named Amos who, after awhile is so bent on catching the fox that he breaks into an animal preserve and tries traps and fire to catch him. The most intense scene involves a ferocious bear chase and a jump from a cliff. Families looking for something for younger viewers with the same cute characters and less violence should try The Fox and the Hound 2.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTallytallytally April 25, 2021

Great movie but Heart wrenching

Watched this movie today with my 6 year old niece and I do not think this was a good decision on my part as there are many scenes that disturbed us both: the mo... Continue reading
Adult Written bywuuf September 19, 2015

parent loss and violence

1) mother killed in opening minutes
2) a lot of chasing/shooting gun violence @ fox and human guardian
3) steel hunting traps
4) aggressive scene where hunter u... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byKmfan97 January 17, 2015

one of the best 80s Disney movies.

I first watched this in kindergarten and loved it then I watched it in the 7th grade recently and loved it again. 3 year olds may feel sad about tods mom dieing... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old April 12, 2013


Very good movie but cried when the fox was separated by the owner
Overall i think you should watch it
Some young kids should be aware that their is some violan... Continue reading

What's the story?

In Disney's 24th full-length animated movie, THE FOX AND THE HOUND, two best friends don't realize they are supposed to be enemies. A lonely widow (Jeanette Nolan) adopts an orphaned fox cub named Tod (voiced by Keith Coogan), who soon befriends Copper (Corey Feldman), a hound puppy who lives next door with Amos (Jack Albertson), a mean hunter. They become inseparable friends, but Amos keeps trying to catch Tod. Amos takes Copper and his other hunting dog, Chief (Pat Buttram), away for the winter, and Copper returns as a full-fledged hunting dog. Later, Amos' drive to kill Tod so worries the widow that she drives him to the animal preserve where she thinks he'll be safe. But Amos won't be thwarted that easily.

Is it any good?

While the movie isn't quite in the same category as some of the studio's vintage classics, it's an entertaining, touching, and vibrantly animated tale that the whole family is sure to enjoy. The animation features a blend of old-fashioned, hand-drawn imagery with dynamic, colorful action. The excellent voice cast includes Kurt Russell as the grown Copper, Mickey Rooney as the grown Tod, Paul Winchell (the longtime voice of Tigger in Winnie the Pooh), Corey Feldman as the young Copper, and Pearl Bailey as a motherly owl.


Although the plot deals with the serious subjects of maturity and loss of innocence, there's also plenty of humor. However, the climactic fight with the bear is pretty realistic, and may be a little too intense for younger kids. The bittersweet finale, where the fox and the hound smile at each other, then go their separate ways, knowing they can never really be friends anymore, is particularly poignant and will bring a tear to the eye of anyone who has grown up and lost a friend.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Tod and Copper's friendship. Why was it hard for them to stay friends? How did their friendship when they were young help them when they grew up? Have you ever grown apart from a friend?

  • When the Widow Tweed drives Tod to the animal preserve she sings, "from our sadness, happiness grew," recalling when she found him orphaned. How does the same thing happen to Tod in the animal preserve?

  • A sequel was made 25 years later that shows Tod and Copper as kids again who never have to face tough choices as they grow up. Which story do you like better? Which one is more meaningful?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love foxy adventures and happy tails

Themes & Topics

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