The Fox and the Hound is a 1981 American animated comedy-drama film based on Daniel P. Mannix's novel of the same name. The film is the 24th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, and was produced by Walt Disney Productions and distributed by Buena Vista Distribution. The film was released on July 10, 1981. It was followed by a direct-to-video followup, The Fox and the Hound 2, on December 12, 2006.
After a young fox is orphaned during a hunt, Big Mama the owl, Boomer the woodpecker, and Dinky the finch arrange for the fox to be adopted by an elderly woman named Ms. Tweed, who names the fox Tod. At the same time, Ms. Tweed's neighbor, Amos Slade, a hunter, returns home with a hound named Copper, who he intends to train to be a hunting dog. in spite of this, Tod and Copper form a close bond with each other and vow to remain friends forver, much to Amos' chagrin. Eventually, Amos puts Copper on a leash to prevent him from leaving, but Tod arrives at Amos' home, resulting in Amos and his hunting dog Chief attacking him. Though Amos is stopped by Ms. Tweed, he vows to kill Tod if he trespasses again.
During hunting season, Amos takes Copper and Chief into the wilderness. In their absence, Big Mama explains to Tod that he cannot retain his friendship with Copper because they are natural enemies, but Tod refuses to believe her claims. Months pass and Tod and Copper grow into adulthood. Amos returns with Chief and Copper, and Tod arrives to visit them. Copper, however, explains to Tod that he's a hunting dog and they cannot remain friends. Chief awakens and attacks Tod, alerting Amos onto the scene. Copper attempts to save Tod by diverting Amos away, but Chief continues to pursue Tod onto a railroad track, where Chief is struck by an oncoming train. Though Chief survives, he is severely injured, and Amos and Copper blame Tod for the incident.
Ms. Tweed, realizing she can no longer keep Tod, leaves him in a wildlife reserve. During Tod's first day in the wilderness, he is antagonized by a badger, but befriends a porcupine. Afterwards, Tod becomes smitten with a female fox named Vixey, who is friends with Big Mama. Tod's attempts to impress Vixey end in humiliation due to his lack of survival skills, which leads to an argument between the two. However, Big Mama helps the two reconcile, and Vixey helps Tod to adapt to the wilderness, and the two become romantically involved.
A vengeful Amos Slade and Copper enter the wildlife reserve to kill Tod, lining a pathway with traps. Tod is alerted to Amos' presence and he narrowly avoids the traps, but Amos and Copper attack them. Tod and Vixey flee through the wilderness, pursued by Amos and Copper, eventually climbing up a mountain to escape. As Amos and Copper follow them, the two are attacked by a massive bear. Amos injures his leg as a result of stepping in one of his own traps and is cornered by the bear. However, Copper defends Amos, but is outmatched by the larger animal. Unwilling to let Copper die, Tod intervenes and fights the bear, leading it up the cliff. As the bear corners Tod on the cliff side, the two plummet from a waterfall.
Tod survives the fall, but is injured. Amos, freed from the trap, arrives and prepares to kill Tod, but Copper defends him. Eventually, Amos relents and leaves the reserve, along with Copper. Some time later, Ms. Tweed tends to Amos' injured leg while Copper recalls his friendship with Tod. In the forest, Tod observes Copper before being joined by Vixey.