Dissecting the Disquels: The Fox and the Hound 2 Review

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Rating: 2.5/10

Plot: After Tod and Copper meet, but before they grow up, they go to a festival where Copper joins a band….That’s about it.

Breakdown: You know, if there was one Disney sequel I was really dreading, it was this one. This is a midquel. Yes, not sequel; midquel. Disney, please, learn the difference. This takes place somewhere between when Copper befriended Tod and when Copper went off on his hunting trip.

Now, for those who never saw The Fox and the Hound, let me give you the low down.

Start of recap; Skip for Midquel review

An older woman finds a fox cub near her house. The fox’s mother was apparently killed, so she adopts him as her own. She names him Tod because he acts just like a toddler. In a neighboring house lives a grumpy old man and his old hunting dog, Chief. He recently got a new puppy to train as a hunting dog called Copper.

Copper and Tod soon meet and become friends, but due to the anger between their two owners and the fact that Tod is a fox and Copper’s a hunting dog living with a veteran hunting dog and a hunter, they find their friendship complicated. It’s made even worse by the fact that the hunter, Amos, is more than willing to kill Tod if he ever causes him trouble.

Copper and Tod try to remain friends, but find it incredibly difficult. Eventually, Copper is taken on a hunting trip to be properly trained to be a hunting dog and he won’t come back until the next spring.

Both Copper and Tod grow up in the meantime and Copper eventually comes home. Tod wishes to continue their friendship, but Copper is very hesitant because he knows what the Chief and Amos would do to Tod if they ever caught him on his property.

Tod eventually does cause trouble at Amos’ house, which causes Amos, the Chief and a reluctant Copper to chase after him into the woods. This leads to the Chief getting injured. Copper blames Tod for Chief’s injury and basically cuts off the friendship with a hint at wanting revenge.

The woman, Widow Tweed, eventually concedes to the fact that having a fox as a pet, especially with a hunter and hunting dogs living next door, isn’t a good idea. So she takes Tod out into the woods and leaves him there to become a wild fox again, which would actually be a pretty bad idea, wouldn’t it? He may have instincts, but he’s been raised his entire life to be a domestic pet. He doesn’t know a damn thing about living in the woods.

Anyway, as fate would have it, he’s set up with a girl fox named Vixxy by an owl named Big Mama who has been watching over him since he was left at the house. Big Mama, by the way, is no where in the midquel. That’s both saddening and a bit of a relief. Despite some initial negative feelings, a quick yet great song and some nudging by Big Mama makes them quickly fall in love.

They live in peace together until Copper and Tod meet again as Copper’s on a hunting trip. Copper and Amos chase Vixxy and Tod and try numerous ways to finally take them down. The chase eventually leads to Tod getting thrown into the river and getting hurt. As Amos is about to take the kill shot, Copper steps up and stands in his way to protect his friend. Amos concedes and takes Copper home and Copper and Tod both realize that they can never be together as friends in the world that they live in, but their friendship still stands.

End of recap, for those who wish to skip.

It’s a rather depressing-ish story for a Disney movie, to be honest. I mean, such great friends can’t be friends based solely on the basis of their species no matter how hard that they try. And this was Disney in the thick of the Disney Princess/Fairy Tale period.

For The Fox and the Hound 2, I guess they wanted to lighten the mood because it’s mostly all zany antics and Copper joining a band of singing dogs…..Yeaaaaahhhhhh….

The movie starts out with zany antics that go on for a full ten minutes in a 70 minute long movie. Copper and Tod, both back to puppy and kit form, are out playing and chasing a cricket. Copper messes up and falls on a fence and the cricket gets away. He mopes and says he’s useless.

Then they see a bunch of cars carrying stuff for a local fair. Distracted by a car containing singing dogs, Copper falls into the road, almost gets run over and mopes about how he’s useless. Can someone please get this puppy some medication or something?

Amos calls Copper over for a hunting lesson, which makes Copper happy because he thinks this will be the one thing that he’s good at.

Did someone say zany antics? 😀

Amos tries to teach Copper how to hunt down a rabbit for a hunting dog competition at the fair. He does this by tying a sack of sand or something in the shape of something not resembling a rabbit to the Chief’s tail and making him run. Copper tries to follow the scent but gets turned around and finds Tod instead. Frustrated at getting turned around, Copper loses his grain of self-esteem again. Tod tries to explain what to do by telling him to

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and howl when he finds the target. Copper tries to practice howling, which leads Amos and the Chief to find Tod.

Tod runs away; zany antics in Widow Tweed’s barn as she’s trying to milk the cow. Something weird happens during it though. The Chief actually sits right next to Tod as they watch Amos flail around. Why isn’t the Chief chasing Tod? He’s not friends with Tod at all.

Because of one failed training session, Copper loses his fair privileges and gets tied to his barrel/dog house even though I don’t know why he can’t just go to the fair. Why does he need to be in the competition to go to the fair?

Copper thinks he’s a failure again and Tod tries to cheer him up be freeing him and taking him to the fair.

This is going to become a running gag; Whenever Copper and Tod agree upon something, they say “shake on it” and shake like ya know, canines do. Whenever Tod does this, his fur gets all puffy for a second.

At the fair, Copper hears the singing dogs again and goes over to a nearby building to listen. A female dog who seems to be the frontrunner of the group, Dixie, voiced by Reba McEntire, trips on a loose board while rehearsing causing her to get into a fight with her singing partner/boyfriendIdunno and she walks off before the big show, leaving him and the other two singers to find a replacement before show time. The boyfriend….dog thing, Cash, voiced by PATRICK SWAYZE? Aw, this means this was one of his last roles before he died! No one deserves that… Well, to his credit, he seems to do a very good job. Anyway, he decides that an old dog named Granny Rose will replace Dixie.

Wait, why doesn’t the human that plays banjo for them as they sing and I suppose owns them think anything of this? He doesn’t notice that one of his show dogs is missing?

Anyway, the show goes on and if you like the song where dogs bark Jingle Bells, you’ll love this segment because they’ve really just been howling their songs this whole time.

But I guess that’s not how it’s perceived in Copper’s ears, despite it being that way the last two times he’s heard them, because the song is quickly ‘translated’ for us in Copper’s head.

The song’s….ehhh not god-awful, but not good. Granny Rose sounds awful, though, to the point where the other dogs actually stop singing and their human stops playing because she sounds so terrible. Because of this, they hear Copper singing/howling along. He also sounds awful both howling and ‘translated’, but I guess he sounds less awful than Granny because Cash quickly nabs him up and prompts him to sing with them.

After the song ends, the crowd goes nuts. Cash actually whispers to Granny that the song was ‘hokey’, but the crowd loves him because he’s cute. Wow, nice bit of bitter reality there, Disney. Kinda reflects on the whole ‘Disney pop star’ craze, huh?

The dogs all praise him for his singing, which doesn’t really mesh with the previous scene, but I’m guessing they’re all buttering him up, including Tod. Ya know, I know these aren’t trained hunting dogs like Chief, but I’m surprised they were just nonchalantly walking with a fox without even thinking twice about it…..Also, why is Widow Tweed not wondering where Tod is? You’d think, everything considered, that she’d make a better effort to keep a good eye on him.

They leave as they say that he has a real future in show business once he grows up a couple of years. Tod and Copper cheer as Copper has finally found something that he’s good at.

Cash and the others meet back up with Dixie who is not happy that she was replaced by a puppy and gets even angrier when Cash decides to mock her by essentially saying Copper was so great that he could replace her fully. Dixie explodes with anger and quits the group, which makes the others freak out, bringing us another running gag which is the other dogs in the group panicking, Cash yelling SIT and them immediately doing it and shutting up. Haha. This is especially nerve wracking because a cliché plot point otherwise known as the talent scout from the Grand Ole Opry is coming in to watch them perform today.

You know, it’s at this point where I realize that this movie could literally be made with any generic dog and other animal team and it would be the same movie. There’s no friggin’ reason why this has to be a Fox and the Hound movie other than cashing in on the original.

Say what you will about the other Disney sequels, god knows I have, but at least you could tell that they were part of the original movie’s universe. Even Hunchback 2 is easily identifiable as such. This is just bland and generic and nowhere near the atmosphere or feeling of the original.

That’s another thing. To the best of my knowledge, the original Fox and the Hound wasn’t really a successful movie critic-wise. It was mostly received as average, but decent. And it’s not really one of the more well-known old Disney movies for the most part. Why try to cash in on that? For the people who actually do hold it near and dear to their hearts just to rip them open with Disney brand box cutters?

Cash tries to make up with Dixie, but fails, so he goes to recruit Copper.

Copper and Tod….are not only allowed to ride the Merry-Go-Round, but they’re the only ones on it. Not only is it improbable that a ride at a pretty popular town fair is completely empty in the middle of the day, but rides are usually turned off when no human is riding them. I mean, the operators could’ve put Copper and Tod on the ride and turned it on, but that seems kinda mean, actually.

Cash asks Copper if he’ll be willing to join the group full-time, but Copper says he’ll only do it if Tod’s allowed to join too since he’s his best friend. Cash asks Tod to sing and he proves that he’s insanely awful, so Cash says he can be the entourage, which he basically explains as being an equipment manager/lackey for Copper and the others while they sing. Tod doesn’t really want to, but since Copper really wants to join the band, he agrees.

So, let me guess, Tod gets treated like crap due to his position in the band, Copper gets so caught up in the life of a ‘star’ that he doesn’t care, Tod gets mad and leaves, something happens where Copper realizes that the band isn’t worth losing his friendship with Tod and they make up. Dixie realizes that she was being a diva, Cash realizes he was being an ass and she and Cash make up. The talent scout loves them and signs them on for the Grand Ole Opry (I don’t see how this part won’t happen since they establish that the Grand Ole Opry is the groups’ dream and the talent scout actually seems like a very nice man.) The end.

Taking all bets that this is how it goes, because I’ve seen this in so many sitcoms…

In fact, screw it, I’m gonna read the Wiki synopsis and see if that’s what happens.

some minutes later

Yup, barring some minor details, that’s basically what happens. Oh and they make it even more cliché by making Cash and Dixie make up by making them both believe that the other is in trouble so they forget their petty squabbling and make up. How utterly bland.

Oh well, I won’t bother writing note for note what happens the rest of the way, but let’s grab some notes for nitpicking purposes.

– Why exactly is it so vital that Copper be a stray to be in the band? I mean, I know the band is called The Singing Strays, but they all technically have an owner with whoever that banjo player is. They all have collars, except Cash who seems to sport a bandana and Granny with her shawl. It’s not like in The Lady and the Tramp 2 where the dogs hate humans for mistreating them as pets in one way or another and ARE all strays who live in a junkyard. These dogs love humans because they pamper them and cheer them on. Why is it such a sin to not be a stray?

– Why is their human not wondering where Copper came from or why there’s a fox running around? Why is no human in this movie wondering why there’s a fox walking around? I mean, he’s feeding both of them like they’ve just always been there.

– So the two main couplings of this movie are Tweed and Amos, who are at each other’s throats 99% of the time and Cash and Dixie who are at each other’s throats 99% of the time. I know these movies aren’t really romance movies, but why should we cheer for either of these pairings (even if the former doesn’t ….realllllllyyyyy happen.) when they’re so unlikable when they share screentime? And considering Amos is an asshole and Dixie’s a bitchy diva, it makes it even worse.

– The next song is sung by Cash with the others as backup called Hound…I’m guessing Dude. This song….just sounds wrong. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the song as a whole, but the singing just sounds bad, which means sorry Mr. Swayze…I mean, the regular verses are just fine, in fact they’re pretty good, but the chorus is just a pain to listen to for some reason. Also, like 99% of all Disney sequel songs, this song has no point. It’s basically just telling Copper how exciting it will be to be famous.

– Wow, it took nothing at all to get Copper to ditch Tod. He basically says “Oh Cash, I need to watch the fireworks with Tod” “Aw forget that, let’s go watch them together!” “OKAY! :D” Geez, way to be loyal to your friend you hound douche. Also, to make matters worse, Tod is watching them as he says this. Ouch.

– Copper tells Tod that he forgot about the fireworks because he was so busy with Cash. WOW. A lying hound douche, too! Impressive.

– Our next song is by Dixie and it’s basically a blues-ish country song to Tod about how being in show business actually kinda sucks. It starts out pretty good actually, but as the song gets bigger and bigger and then the farm animals sing and…..*cough* This song has a couple of lines that can be taken the wrong way. Like “He never howls your name” and the chorus which states “Good doggy, no bone” Am I being sick or does that just sound wrong?

– I’m 100% sure there’s no way to accidentally trigger it so that a Ferris wheel goes so fast that it falls from the supports. Also, if that happened, that would be friggin’ tragic, like the first mission from Hitman: Blood Money, not comedic.

– I’m also 100% sure that any elephant would be too heavy to ride on a tilt-a-whirl. If it wouldn’t break into pieces, it’d surely stop spinning or have insane difficulty spinning.

– I’m also 100% sure that you’re thinking there’s no way this insane BS is in a Fox and the Hound movie; well it is.

– I’m….fairly certain that if a Ferris wheel ever did, for some reason, come free from it supports, it’s highly unlikely that it would easily roll around the fairgrounds. The cars would likely cause it to topple quickly. Also, Dixie would be dead ten times over if she was riding in one of those cars while it was doing that.

– So the antics of a kit and a dog destroyed the entire fair? Wow. Just wow.

– The next song is actually pretty good and surprisingly no one is ‘singing’ it, it’s just a background vocal song. It’s called “Into the Blue Beyond.” Hm, it’s actually so good it almost doesn’t belong in this movie. However, I do have to say that song is sorta ruined-ish because the scene behind it is so cliché. After all of the hullabaloo, the fair being destroyed and the group’s chances of getting picked up for the Grand Ole Opry dashed, Dixie feels regret for what she has done as does Tod. And cliche number….

  1. It starts raining.
  2. It gets dark.
  3. Dixie sees the group getting sadly petted by their human as they bask in failure.
  4. The sign for their group ends up falling in the mud.
  5. Widow Tweed looks at Tod as he curls up in a ball in the car knowing he’s sad about something.
  6. Tod sees Copper sitting out in the rain (odd, he could be in his barrel house thing staying dry, but this is emo-er.) Copper sees him, gets an angry expression and makes a point to turn his back towards him and sit down.

About the only thing not cliché about that scene was Widow Tweed accidentally running the talent agent off the road, his hat falling on Tod’s head and then continuing to drive away. Hit and run much?

– I don’t really understand how the talent agent is interpreting the final song. If I try really hard to imagine all the lyrics as barks and the howls as harmonizing….it’d sound pretty bad. The only reason I could see him dancing to it is if he could actually hear the lyrics….

Barking Jingle Bells. Dance to that. Dare you. Also, where the hell did the banjo music come from? Their human was left back at the fair.

– I know I already said the ending of the whole Cash/Dixie plotline was gonna be cliché, but it’s as cliché as humanly friggin’ possible. I was mind-blown by it.

– Wait, did Cash propose to Dixie? What? Oh sure, Disney, let’s get right on that dog marriage right after that bear marri–

bb2wedding

…..Lion mar–

TLK2WEDDING.png

….mermaid mar–

little-mermaid-wedding

…..You win this round, Disney….

– What? Are you telling me that they’re honestly putting a bunch of howling dogs on the RADIO!? Okay, the Grand Ole Opry I could somewhat, tiny itty bit believe because it probably would hook in an audience of some kind, but the radio!? You’re seriously going to put howling and barking dogs on the radio? Yeah, that would happen in real lif—The Jingle Bells barking song plays on the radio sometimes in winter doesn’t it? You win this round also I guess, Disney.

– Why are Amos and Widow Tweed eating pie together happily at the end of this movie? Widow Tweed tolerates Amos at most and took pity on him when he was injured in the first movie. They’re not friends. Did these people even watch the first movie?

– Jeff Foxworthy was apparently in this movie I’m guessing as the banjo player? Wow, talk about reaching for a big name just for the sake of having a big name. His part is so minor and you can’t even tell that’s him. I never even knew his name was Lyle.

– Guess what we end on? Go on, guess. Give up? TEN MINUTES OF CREDITS…..IN A 70 MINUTE LONG MOVIE. What….the hell…..Oh and three of those minutes are a recreation of the slapstick shenanigans from the beginning of the movie where we wasted another 10 minutes on pointless shenanigans. Haha happy days! You’d almost forget that in the end these two are torn apart by the laws of nature and the norms of society.

===========================

Dear God, this movie is a slap to the face in light of the original. It really is. It could’ve been worse, I mean hey at least most of the songs were fairly decent, but it is a midquel that 1) didn’t need to exist at all because the original movie portrayed the message that this movie was trying to give just fine, just like Tarzan 2, 2) Seems to have no idea why the first was good because they try to match really nothing from it and 3) is a cliché on top of a cliché wrapped in a cliché and gently toasted with a side of cliché.

When you can read the plot of a movie and give a detailed explanation as to what will happen in it without ever seeing a frame of the actual movie and be almost 100% right, you are doing it wrong. And I must reiterate that this movie could’ve been done without the original characters and nothing would’ve changed. Replace Tod with a cat, Copper with just a regular dog and boom, same movie.

It’s like…..you know Super Mario Bros. 2? How it was a completely different game at first, but had Mario sprites coded onto it to make a Mario game? That’s this movie. This movie is Super Mario bros. 2 except not fun.

The only fairly memorable part of this movie was the little girl who I guess had the job of chaperoning the talent scout around the fair. She kept getting him into all sorts of dangerous and stressful situations as a result of attractions in the fair and she just kept on like nothing was happening with a big smile on her face and a spring in her step. In the end, the talent scout is actually afraid of this girl. Why wasn’t this movie about her? Her small bits were the most original and entertaining of them all by a long shot.

Art and animation wise, the movie fares okay. I mean, the art is better than Hunchback 2 or the Aladdin sequels, but not really on par with Pocahontas 2 or Brother Bear 2.

Music wise, this movie fares better than most of the others I’ve seen. Reba McEntire does a good job singing when she’s not overdoing it, but some would probably be put off by the fact that most of the songs are country and banjo songs. I know I got annoyed by it after a while and my dad listens to practically nothing but country music. Patrick Swayze is the same, he’s fine when he’s doing verses, but when he gets to big choruses it just sounds wrong.

Story wise, no….I’ve already given my take on how lame, stupid, predictable and almost insultingly bad this story is. If I say it again, that’s going to become a cliché.

The voice acting was actually pretty good. They got the voices of all of the original characters pretty well and the new characters are also fairly well done.

Bottomline: Don’t watch this movie. Don’t give Disney that pleasure. Watch the clock as the time changes. I guarantee you it will be less predictable. Score-wise, I’m giving the good fellows in the music department, Reba and Mr. Swayze a point for making this movie slightly more bearable. Even if the other songs were meh, the Into the Blue Beyond song was at least worth the extra point. The scenes with the little girl get the .5 points.)

Recommended Audience: I’m probably reading too much into those lyrics I mentioned before, but there’s that. Other than that, nothing. E for everyone.

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