25 October 2006 | SpaceMonkey-Mafioso
Disney Animated Neorealism?
Okay, so placing The Fox and the Hound into the same category as The Bicycle Thief may be a stretch, but there is something about this movie that sets it apart from all other Disney animated films. Fox, along with Bambi and Lady and the Tramp, are the only Disney animated films that portray a reality without fairy dust, animals wearing clothes or lions that have formed alliances with hyenas to overthrow an animalistic royal lineage. True- the animals do talk and occasionally sing, but for the most part, they do stay true to the nature of their existence. But, Bambi, with its characters reacting against and to nature, borders on being an animated nature documentary (if such a thing is possible.) And, Lady and the Tramp has far too cheery of a Hollywood ending to be accepted as neorealism. Which leaves Fox and the Hound: the tale of young pup Copper and fox Tod who become childhood friends and are then forced to turn on each other by the demands of society. Not exactly your standard Disney fare. And, most importantly, it has a true, realistic, bittersweet ending. It's only been attempted once by Disney and probably never again. Which is a shame because Fox and the Hound has some of the most sincere and heartbreaking moments ever brought to animation. It isn't a perfect film, but its intentions are honorable and that makes The Fox and the Hound a true animated classic.
**Note- the current 25th Anniversary DVD does not do justice to this film. It is not presented in the correct aspect ratio. The image has been cleaned to a degree, but there is too much digitization. Considering the significance of Fox and the Hound in the history of Disney animation, it deserves a two disc, widescreen DVD release.