Friday, November 5, 2021

Walt Disney Productions' The Fox And The Hound - 40th Anniversary

This year marked the 40th anniversary of Walt Disney Productions' The Fox and the Hound.

Disney's 20th animated feature was released on July 10, 1981.  I clipped this ad out of The Los Angeles Times, the week the film was released.

A review of The Fox and the Hound also appeared in The Los Angeles Times.  This critic wasn't all that impressed with the film.

The 1977 Walt Disney Productions Annual Report, had projected an earlier release date for the film, of Christmas 1980According to Wikipedia, the delay was due to sixteen of the animators quitting before the film was finished.   One of those animators was Don Bluth.

The Winter 1980-81 issue of Disney News Magazine featured a "coming soon" advertisement for The Fox and the Hound, on it's back cover.

And the Summer 1981 issue featured an article about the film.

An updated advertisement also appeared on the back cover.

That summer, the Disneyland "Souvenir Guide" included the same advertisement.

The corresponding Disneyland Entertainment Guide featured an ad, as well.

The nighttime entertainment for July 13-17th, included Pearl Bailey performing on the River Stage, in the "Rollin' River Revue."  I remember seeing this show, and getting to hear Pearl Bailey sing, "The Best of Friends," from The Fox and the Hound.  She was wonderful!

That summer, the Main Street Electrical Parade included two new floats, representing The Fox and the Hound.  The first one was the Widow Tweed's car.

There was a cast member hiding among the milk cans in the back of her car, operating a puppet version of "Young Tod."  (The photo above and below, are from the blog, "Disney On Parole.")

The second float (seen below, behind Widow Tweed's car), was Amos Slade's truck.  Riding in the back of his truck, was a cast member inside of an "Adult Copper" costume.  Widow Tweed and Amos Slade's costumes had both been "repurposed," out of costumes from Disneyland's "America On Parade," from five years earlier.

Also that summer at Disneyland, scenes from the film had been recreated in miniature, and displayed in the windows of the Main Street Emporium.  In 2005, some of the scenes from past Emporium displays returned, for Disneyland's 50th anniversary. The window below, featured returning scenes for The Rescuers, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Jungle Book, and The Fox and the Hound.

Here are a couple close-ups, of the set pieces for The Fox and the Hound.

Now, we'll take a look at some vintage Fox and the Hound souvenirs, from Disneyland.

This pinback button was sold in the Main Street Emporium:

This poster was also sold in the Emporium, as well as the Character Shop in Tomorrowland:

These next four items all came from the Story Book Shop, on Main Street.

A coloring book, from Whitman:

The back cover:

A sampling of the pages inside:

A "complete picture story" book, from Golden (Little Golden Books):

 The back cover:

The pages inside were basically a "comic book" version of the film, but on a nicer quality paper than traditional comic books.  This was very similar to the "Little Golden Book" Robin Hood comics that I shared, back in May of this year.

The inside covers of the book had information about the making of the film:

A "picture disc" soundtrack album, with songs and dialogue from the film:

An LP record of songs and dialogue from the film, which included a read-along book:

Here's an item that did not come from Disneyland.  I purchased this porcelain figure of "Copper," in Port Hardy, British Columbia, in 1985:

The figurine was part of a series of porcelain Disney figures, manufactured by Wade Ceramics of England.

While searching online, I found two more Fox and the Hound figurines from Wade.

Big Mama:

And Tod:

The Fox and the Hound was released on video for the first time, in 1994.

Inside the package with the video tape, was an offer to purchase a plush "Tod" and "Copper."

 The film was released on DVD for the first time, in 2000.

A special 25th anniversary edition DVD was released in 2006.  And in 2011, a 30th anniversary edition was released on Blu-ray and DVD.  This edition was a two-movie combo pack, which included the 2006 direct-to-video sequel, The Fox and the Hound II.  This was also the first time the film was available in a 1.66:1 widescreen format.

We will end this post with a more "recent" souvenir.  This Fox and the Hound windbreaker jacket was being sold at California Adventure's Elias & Co. Department Store, in March of 2019.

The back of the jacket had both "fox" and "hound" paw prints going across it, horizontally.

Happy 40th anniversary, to Walt Disney Productions' The Fox and the Hound!



Major Pepperidge said...

Great blog post, and thorough as always! I am embarrassed to admit that I have never seen "The Fox and the Hound" (ditto "Oliver and Company"), it's definitely one of my biggest Disney blind spots. I feel like they went through a rough patch with "Fox" and "The Black Cauldron", though I like "The Rescuers" a lot. Not sure what the general consensus is on "Oliver". You must have liked "Fox", since you saved all of that stuff from the time?

I think when Don Buth left I was very excited at the prospect of what he said he wanted to do, which was to try to return to the opulence and glory of what Disney animation had once been, with lavish artwork and effects. I loved "The Secret of NIMH", but after that it was a case of diminishing returns.

I love that you have all those newspaper clippings that you so carefully saved! And I think I was still subscribed to "Disney News", I know I at least have that "Summer 1981" issue because the cover is so distinctive. Man it's been a long time since I've looked at my issues of that great magazine!

I have a brochure with Pearl Bailey's picture on the cover, I wonder if it's from that same nighttime entertainment schedule?

I'm fascinated by that "Young Tod" puppet! Cool that a photo of it exists. And of course I always love seeing the Disneyland Emporium windows.

I think Wade Ceramics made Disney figurines going back to the 1940's or '50s, cool that they made those examples. I like the "Tod" figure because he looks stoned, ha ha. "Far out, man!".

Thanks, TurkeyMeat! ;-)

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I agree about the "rough patch" that Disney was going through at that time. I loved "The Rescuers," but then we had to wait four whole years for another animated film from Disney. I was between the age of 12 and 16 during those years. When you are that age, that is a very long time to wait for a new Disney film, or a new Disneyland attraction. I just remember having my hopes up and expecting something more, by the time "The Fox and the Hound" was finally released. I liked the characters, but overall, the film seemed to be lacking something. And, like that critic mentioned, I think I expected stronger villains from Disney. But I don't hate the film!

Again, because of the long wait and the high expectations, I ended up buying most, if not all of that F & H merchandise from Disneyland, prior to the film coming out. I don't know if I would have bought all of it, after seeing the film. But I was collecting the pinback buttons and the Disney picture discs at that time, so I probably would have bought those regardless. I was also cutting out newspaper articles and advertisements for anything related to Disney films or Disneyland. So altogether, I ended up having quite a few Fox and the Hound items, so I decided to do a F & H post.

I wonder if your brochure with Pearl Bailey on it could be older than 1981? She did appear at DL at least once before, over Thanksgiving weekend of 1976:

I hope you post your Pearl Bailey brochure at some point...I'd love to see it.

As for the "Young Tod" puppet, I loved it! When I was in "Fantasy On Parade" in 1981, "Figaro" from Pinocchio, was a puppet as well. I also loved that Disney had added something new to the Main St. Electrical Parade, that year. They did that so very rarely. And of course those floats were a temporary addition and by the next year, they had been removed from the parade. I always thought they should have kept swapping out old floats and adding new ones to the MSEP. That is what Tokyo Disneyland does with their Electrical Parade, so that it always stays "fresh."

Ha, ha! A "stoned" Tod! I think I have seen some of those older Wade Disney figures online and at conventions. They do a really nice job with their figurines, and this particular one of Copper is solid, rather than being hollow inside.

K. Martinez said...

You've got a great collection of "The Fox and the Hound" merchandise. Looks like you went all out.

I enjoyed "The Fox and the Hound" a lot. I also like the relationship part between Todd and Copper and the voices of all the characters were perfect. Especially Jeannette Nolan. I adore Squeaks who is my favorite character from that animated feature.

The animated features between "101 Dalmatians" and "The Little Mermaid" are generally considered the lesser era of Disney Animation, but there are a few good ones among them. I absolutely love the "The Sword in the Stone" and I think "The Jungle Book", The Rescuers and The Fox and the Hound are entertaining. "The Great Mouse Detective" is excellent. "Oliver & Company" is just okay.

I too enjoyed "The Secret if NIMH", but the rest of Don Bluth's output after that was crap. And I never cared for his character animation style. Then of course his "All Dogs Go To Heaven went head to head with Disney's "The Little Mermaid" and blew Bluth's film out of the water. From there it was all downhill. Then of course "Titan A.E." was the nail in the coffin of his career. One good thing about Bluth's brief run is it caused Disney to up their game and vastly improve their animation output.

That comic book is super cool!

The pictures of "The Fox and the Hound" windbreaker reminds me that you like to take pics of clothing in the theme park shops.

Anyway, you are always thorough in your posts and I love them for that reason.

I also love that your collection is vast and extensive when it comes to the 1970's early 80's. That era doesn't seem to get much coverage in the Disney fandom. For that I love your posts too.

Thanks, TooMuch! ;-)

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, thank you!!!

I like Squeaks, too.....and especially his surprise "reveal," at the end of the film.

I like all of those films that you mentioned, and you can throw the "Aristocats" and "Robing Hood" in there, too. As for "Oliver and Company," I forgot to say, when Major mentioned it, that I have actually never watched it all the way through. I missed it in theaters, but I bought it on VHS when it came out. I only got about halfway through it and then I never finished it. I don't think I had ever done that before with a movie, or since.

That comic book is from "Golden" of Little Golden Book fame, and I forgot to mention that for a time, the Story Book Shop on Main Street was actually sponsored by their parent company, Western Publishing Company.

As for taking pics of clothing, I figure why buy the thin and flimsy $35 Disney t-shirt, when I can just take a picture of the graphics on the $35 Disney t-shirt! In this case, it was the $50 windbreaker!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Tokyo, very comprehensive post about a film that I had nearly forgotten existed. Thanks for putting this together, especially the newspaper piece. The critic's comments hold true today. Too many "hard facts" being removed from the Park and from the stories.

By this point, I was too far away to visit the Park, and too many other things going to watch Disney movies, which seemed to have gone into the Valley, so I never watched this film, and we never bought it for the kids. They seemed to have every other one on VHS.

They may have seen it on the Disney Channel, but I sure don't recall it.

We didn't seem to be fans of the Don Bluth films either. I recall a couple of those titles from the kids watching, but I never sat through any of them.

My kids did really love the Mouse Detective, they played that one to the breaking point. And even years later, I can't stand the theme to the Lion King.

Thanks very much for this post, very enjoyable.


TokyoMagic! said...

JG, I skipped seeing a lot of the later Disney movies, in the theater. And to this day, there are still some that I have not seen. "Treasure Planet" and "Brother Bear" are a couple that come to mind.

I have never seen any of the Don Bluth films. I do remember in the early eighties, going to "arcades" and playing an animated video game of his called, "Dragon's Lair." It was pretty advanced for it's time and I believe it was the first video game with that kind of animated visuals....although I could be wrong about that.

Ken also mentioned "The Great Mouse Detective." I remember that I really liked that film, but I haven't seen it in decades. I definitely need to watch that one again!

I am "burnt out" on "The Lion King!" I saw it in the theater when it was originally released. I watched it when it came out on video. I have seen the Broadway stage version twice, and I also saw a stage version of it at Disneyland Paris. I like the story and I like the music, but I am taking a break from it! I did not go see that latest "live" action version of it!

Anonymous said...

Tokyo, we saw the Lion King stage play in London. I didn't want to go, but I'm glad now I did, it was a magnificent show.

That movie really influenced the kids of that era, in our Scout troop, one of the boys (same age as my son) memorized the whole "Ah Zabenya..." Circle of Life chant from the intro. Out in the woods on a hike or at summer camp, he would jump up on a rock and shout out that chant at the top of his lungs, and everyone would just crack up laughing.

I guess you had to be there.


TokyoMagic! said...

JG, yes, the Lion King stage play was wonderful. That's why I went to see it a second time when it came back around. Well, that and the fact that a friend who had not seen it, wanted to go.

Ha, ha! I'm picturing that kid in your Scout troop, taking a smaller kid and holding him way up in the air, as he stood on that rock, singing the chant! ;-)


That winter 1980 Disney News cover is one of my favorite! I remember how excited I was when it arrived in the mail..... although I don’t think the content of the issue was as exciting as the cover. Was there a article about the WDW Big Thunder opening ?

I very much remember seeing the Fox and the Hound Emporium windows - and for some reason that motor truck always stuck in my mind. It was neat to see it in 2005 again and to know Disney had saved it and not trashed or auctioned it off.

I once really enjoyed the Lion King .... I was even an extra in a Lion King Parade Disneyland commercial ! But I almost cannot stand to see or hear anything about the film or story .... Disney beat that thing TO DEATH!!!!

In the 90’s there was a Disney music cd created ( for sale of course ) that was created by employees and cast members voting for their favorite Disney songs / tunes. I knew the same old current crap was gonna appear on it...... mermaid.... Aladdin ... lion king ... and I was determined to try and get something on there that was modern crèche. So between Disneyland , Walt Disney World , the Disney stores , and WDI I had sooo many entries done by friends and friends of friends - with a campaign to get on that music CD “ The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes” song..... it made it to the final lists but of course the cd came out with the same old mermaid - Aladdin - lion king stuff. I’m sure the people in charge had no idea what that song was from. And I’m pretty sure the whole voting thing was a scam .... and it was done to just create excitement and interest and if every employee had voted IF YOU HAD WINGS .... it would have never appeared on the cd . It was probably produced without even looking at what the votes were.

Luckily I have a 45 of the song ... but not CD quality .

TokyoMagic! said...

Mike, I really liked/like that cover artwork, too. I just checked my files. It looks like I didn't scan the entire issue, so without going and digging out the magazine, I don't remember everything else that was in it. The only other part of the magazine that I scanned was an article on the River Belle Terrace's Mickey Mouse pancakes. I sent that to Major P., just in case he has more Mysterious Benefactor pics of the River Belle's buffet line and servers, just in case he wanted to use that article.

That's pretty cool that you got to be an extra in a DL commercial! I forgot to mention the Lion King Celebration parade! I knew when I listed all the versions of The Lion King that I had seen, that I was leaving something out. I saw that parade a gazillion times, so yes, that was another reason for being burnt out on the soundtrack.

Disney running a scam? Oh, that just can't be! Cough, cough...Electrical Parade light bulbs! Cough, cough. I love that you tried so hard to alter what you knew would be the predictable outcome of that poll. And I love that you voted for something a bit more obscure. I've seen The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, in fact, I saw it in the theater (on a re-release, I think), but offhand, I couldn't think of the theme song. I just checked it out on YouTube. Grooooovy! I think I would have tried to vote for "Bye-Yum Pum Pum" from The Happiest Millionaire, or "Pass A Little Love Around" from The North Avenue Irregulars! :-)