Australian Council on Children and the Media

Fox and the Hound, The

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Short takes

Not suitable under 5; parental guidance to 6 and for sensitive children (emotionally intense and sad themes (death of parent, wild animals getting hunted), violence, and scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Fox and the Hound, The
  • a review of Fox and the Hound, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 6 October 2020.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not suitable due to emotionally intense and sad themes (death of parent, loss of friends, wild animals getting hunted), violence, and scary scenes.
Children aged 5–6 Parental guidance recommended due to emotionally intense and sad themes (death of parent, loss of friends, wild animals getting hunted), violence, and scary scenes.
Children aged 7-8 Ok for this age group, however, parental guidance is recommended for sensitive children due to emotionally intense and sad themes.
Children aged 9 and over Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Fox and the Hound, The
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: The content is very mild in impact
Length 86 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

When lonely, elderly, Widow Tweed (voiced by Jeanette Nolan) finds an orphaned fox cub (voiced by Keith Mitchell), she takes him into his care and names him Tod. At the same time, Widow Tweed's neighbour, the hunter Amos Slade (voiced by Jack Albertson), brings home a young puppy, Copper (voiced by Corey Feldman), whom he wants to train to become a hunting dog to team up with experienced hunting dog, Chief (voiced by Pat Buttram). One day, while exploring the surroundings of the farm, Tod meets Copper, and – unaware that they are supposed to be each other’s enemy – the two become mates and promise each other to be best friends forever. While playing, Tod and Copper cause some mayhem, agitating Chief and Amos. When Amos realises that Widow Tweed has given shelter to a fox, he makes it clear that he will hunt and kill Tod if he ever comes near his farm again. Over winter, Amos goes on a trip, announcing to be back in spring. By springtime, Tod (voiced by Mickey Rooney) has grown up into a handsome young fox and Copper (voiced by Kurt Russell) returns as a trained hunting dog. Against the advice of his animal friends, Tod goes to greet Copper at his farm but Copper urges him to leave and explains that they cannot be friends anymore. Chief alerts Amos that Tod has returned, and they start hunting him. During the hunt, Chief gets severely injured and nearly dies. Angry, Copper and Amos swear that Tod will have to pay with his life. Widow Tweed knows that she cannot protect Tod forever, and, with a heavy heart, brings him to a protected nature reserve where hunting is prohibited. Blind with fury, Amos ignores the hunting ban, determined to eliminate Tod, and, in a tragic chain of events, the childhood friends are confronted with each other in a life-or-death situation.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Disney classic; Friendship against all odds; The relationship between man and nature; Love and loss; Friendship; Courage.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • It is implied that a hunter killed Tod's mother.
  • It is implied that Amos has hunted and killed lots of wild animals. He keeps the furs as hunting trophies.
  • Amos repeatedly tries to kill Tod, shooting at him with his rifle, laying out traps, and setting fire to his den.
  • During the hunt, Amos disturbs a bear. The bear aggressively attacks.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Children might get upset by the thought that Tod's mother got killed.
  • There is an emotionally intense scene when Widow Tweed releases Tod into the wild and the two must bid each other farewell.
  • Children might be disturbed by the fact that Tod and Copper are forced to become enemies, and that Copper even seeks to kill his old friend.
  • In a fighting scene, both Tod and Copper snarl and bare their sharp teeth, making them both look very vicious and dangerous.
  • The bear attack is very intense and might scare young or sensitive viewers: the bear is depicted with red raging eyes, massive sharp teeth and paws armed with sharp claws. He is furious and aggressive and tries to kill everyone in his way.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • The above scenes and images are likely to scare or disturb some children in this age group.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

  • None noted.

In a nutshell

Loosely based on Daniel P. Mannix's 1967 novel, The Fox and the Hound is a classic Disney musical drama, telling a wonderful tale about a friendship that is formed and maintained against all odds. The story does not shy away from portraying loss and peril, and it is those sad, scary, and violent themes and scenes that render the film unsuitable for children under 5 and warrant parental guidance for young and sensitive viewers.

The main messages from this movie are that love and friendship have the power to beat rage and revenge, and that sometimes it is important to make decisions by listening to your heart rather than your head.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Friendship
  • Love
  • Courage
  • Selflessness.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Hunting as a sport and for collecting trophies.
  • The relationship between humans and nature.

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