So there's this fox, right? His name is Todd. He's named Todd by the woman who finds him after his father/mother(both?)? is killed because he reminds her of a toddler. What do you suppose his parents called him before that? In any case he decides to go by that name from now on anyway. Todd meets a basset hound? bloodhound? who's named Copper because...well it doesn't matter why he's called that. They become fast friends as pup and kit. But then a year...I presume? Maybe two...well some substantial amount of time passes, and the two learn that they're destined to be enemies by Copper's very occupation, despite their friendship. And then, despite this sounding like a fascinating set-up for a movie, um...well not much happens. There's a climax involving a bear, which is good for making jokes that reference any other Disney bear. Um. Todd meets a lady fox. Who...doesn't do anything else in the film aside from making Todd feel better, though you would think the ultimate resolution with Copper would do this just as fine. And if Todd gets to fall in love, why doesn't Copper? You would think his owner Amos would've, even in the first place, wanted to breed his own hunting dog puppies. And why did Amos get so upset over what happened to Chief even though the dog was already quite old and he probably raised Copper because he expected something would soon enough happen to Chief and he knew he'd have to be replaced anyway? And why did Copper get mad at Todd for what happened to Chief on the railroad tracks if all he was doing was running away for his own life? Did Copper think Todd lured Chief onto the tracks intentionally?
Oh, and I should also mention the short included with this movie. You know, the one about the two birds who try in vain to eat on particular bug? Kind of interesting how this unrelated short story was interwoven into the main movie itself. The characters in it even talk with the main movie's character! That's a novel idea there.
Favorite character: The Porcupine, for the simple reason that he is voiced by John Fiedler (you know, Piglet). Porcupine should've had his own starring role in some form.
Least necessary character: Vixey tries her best to make you think about foxes making the beast with two bushy tails.
Overall: I get a lot of Bambi vibes from the whole feature, including the nice-enough-but-not-terribly sticky songs, except I remember Bambi being more engaging to at least look at.
Another thing about names: What do you suppose Big Mama's name was, before she was big and (presumably) a mama?
As I understand it, there's a book upon which this movie is based or inspired. I want to read that book because it seems like it fits firmly in the book was better than the movie category.
It's not to say this is a bad movie, just that I feel like every time a new scene begins, I feel as if I've missed two or three other scenes in between. Let's say for example that we saw Todd and Copper meet and they had some fun together. That's fine, but I'm not sure that lifelong friendships come from one playdate. Another scene later Copper is tied up and not allowed to play. Another scene later, he's off on the hunting trip. After three scenes and only one instance of hide and seek and a dip in the pond, I'm just not convinced that this is a deep and lasting friendship. It seems to me more like a friendly acquaintenceship that would have been long over by the time Copper got back from the hunting trip. In people years, that's like having a kindergarten best friend that you didn't see again until after they got back from college and had no contact whatsoever in between! I just don't buy it.
So then Copper's owner hunts foxes among other things. I can get behind that, but if that's the case, why would Widow tweed have let Todd go? Sure she dropped him off at the animal sanctuary, but it's not like it was an enclosed animal sanctuary. That flimsy fence makes it seem like they could come and go as they pleased. What is there to make her think Todd would stay right there and not venture out past the fences since he seemed to like to go past the fences when he lived at her house anyway?
And in the end, are the Widow and Amos Slade friends? Lovers? Is she a nurse? They were at each others throats last I saw and he was trying to hunt down her pet. I just don't see where the camaraderie would have developed during that time.
Favorite Character: Dinky. He's the little yellow bird. Not much of a reason, but I like to imagine that in a remake of this film he'd be voiced by one of the Jersey Shore cast.
Least Favorite Character: Vixy. What was the point of her? Was a love story at all necessary in this film? Maybe in the book she had more to do, but in the movie she was an utterly unnecessary vapid female.
Overall: It's cute, and I guess there's a message that you should stand by your friends and don't be racist or something, but I just feel that the end result was just so rushed and pieced together. It's a real shame because if a little more time was spent on internal character development there could have been a very touching story about loyalty here.