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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
The Fox and the Hound (1981)

The Fox and the Hound (1981)

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Released 21-Nov-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Featurette-Passing the Baton
Karaoke-"The Best Of Friends" Singalong
Featurette-Cartoon "Wonder Dog"
Storybook-New Best Friends
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1981
Running Time 79:18
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (61:06) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Ted Berman
Richard Rich
Art Stevens

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Mickey Rooney
Kurt Russell
Pearl Bailey
Jack Albertson
Sandy Duncan
Jeanette Nolan
Pat Buttram
Keith Coogan
Corey Feldman
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $29.95 Music Buddy Baker

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Hebrew Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.75:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    The Fox and the Hound is an animated feature from Disney about an orphaned fox and a small hound dog.

    Tod is a young fox cub who is taken in by a widow after he is orphaned by a local hunter. Living in the farm next door is a young hound dog called Copper and the two young animals become close friends. As winter approaches Copper's owner takes him away to learn how to become a successful hunting dog. While away for the winter both animals grow up and their relationship will be permanently changed as they learn that they should be natural enemies. When they are reunited in the summer the pair has to work hard to keep their promise to remain friends forever.

    This film was the twenty-fourth animated feature from Disney and was a turning point when many of the studio's original animators passed the work to a new generation. The movie concentrates upon the themes of friendship, loyalty and stereotypes and is a worthwhile addition to any collection of Disney animated titles.

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Transfer Quality


    The full frame transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

    The transfer varies in sharpness with some scenes appearing quite soft and others notably sharper. These variations in sharpness appear to be due to the original source material, and are not a fault of the transfer. During the small number of dark scenes in the transfer a relatively low level of shadow detail is displayed, but this again appears to be due to the source material and is only minimally distracting.

    The colours displayed during the transfer always appears to be slightly muted, as is commonly seen in animation of this age.

    A series of very minor MPEG artefacts may be seen at 23:47 but these are not disturbing.

    A single minor instance of aliasing may be seen at 44:41 and this is not annoying.

    There are a number of small film artefacts. Some examples of these can be seen at 4:04, 4:12, 5:13 and 5:46, but these are all very minor and are never distracting.

    Six sets of white subtitles are included on the disc. I extensively sampled both English streams and found them to be consistently accurate and easy to read.

    The layer change occurs at 61:06 at a scene change, part way through chapter 16. It is not disruptive.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    Dolby Digital 384 kbps 5.1 English and Spanish soundtracks and Dolby Digital 192 kbps 2.0 surround Portuguese and Hebrew soundtracks are provided on the disc. I listened to the English track in full and briefly sampled the other soundtracks. The ability to switch audio tracks during playback has been disabled and this must be done via the menu system.

    The dialogue is always clear and easy to understand.

    As this is an animated feature there are the expected obvious problems with audio sync for each soundtrack. No dropouts were detected at any stage during the transfer.

    The orchestral score by Buddy Baker works well and always suits the onscreen action. This score is also supplemented by a number of musical numbers including the main theme song "Best of Friends" performed by Pearl Bailey.

    The surround and LFE channels are used very minimally during the transfer and they never draw attention to themselves.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The animated menu is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

Featurette: Passing the Baton (6:24)

    This interesting featurette examines how the film became a turning point in the history of Disney animation, as it was the final film for a number of important original animators from the studio. This featurette is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.


    This is a collection of fifty-two different images of production art, design sketches, posters, merchandise and behind the scenes shots. These images are presented in a scrapbook layout with multiple pictures per page. Each picture may be selected to see a full size version of the image.

"The Best Of Friends" Singalong (2:25)

    This is a version of the main theme song from the film, The Best Of Friends, with karaoke like on-screen lyrics. This song is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Wonder Dog (6:26)

    This is a cartoon featuring Pluto as he tries to gain the attention of a passing female dog. The cartoon is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Disney Storytime: New Best Friends

    The extra allows viewers to read a short 10 page story featuring characters from the main feature. Viewers are given the choice of either reading along with a narrator or reading the story at their own pace. This extra is presented with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on:

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on:

    The R4 version does include the 5.1 remix for the film but as this is heavily front focused I do not feel that it would be significantly different to the R1 2.0 surround track. As the R4 release includes the short but interesting Passing the Baton featurette and a small number of additional extras it would be my version of choice.


    The Fox and the Hound is a classic feature that will be a welcome addition to any collection of Disney animated titles.

    The video transfer contains a small number of artefacts that are never significantly distracting.

    The front-focused 5.1 soundtrack is suitable for the material presented.

    The small collection of extras is highlighted by the short but interesting Passing the Baton featurette.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Thursday, November 28, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 2109, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

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