Had The Fox and the Hound, focused and expanded on its central theme of friendship despite being of different, well, races, it would have been a truly great movie. The early scenes where we see Tod, the fox, and Copper, the hound, playing as children are overloaded with cuteness, and they are truly touching because we know that it is not going to last. And the few scenes when they are older are handled perfectly, and are touching as well because they acknowledge the hard truth that, well, they can’t be friends anymore. Sadly, moments like these are not what makes up most of the movie, and that made the movie just ‘good’, and it should not have been just ‘good’.
The problem was that they spent way too much time with side character and unimportant situations. For example, the two birds trying to eat the caterpillar. Those character did not help the plot, and neither did their misadventures with the worm. Also, I did not like the parts with Vixey. Sure, I get that they were trying to show that Tod will feel right at home in the forest, but it all comes out of nowhere and never truly gels with the rest of the film.
But the scenes I mentioned earlier do hold the movie together, and makes the thrilling climax work. But it’s not a great movie.