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STUDIO: Walt Disney Video
RUNNING TIME: 69 Minutes
◦Available Audio Tracks: English (DTS 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Unknown Format), Spanish (Unknown Format)
◦Bonus animated short "Goofy and Wilbur"
◦The Making of the Music
◦Games and activities
“It’s like The Fox and the Hound, but twenty-five years later and emotionally vapid!”
The vocal talents of Patrick (Black Dog) Swayze, Jeff (Blue Collar Hatefuck) Foxworthy, Reba (Reba) McEntire
Discarding the bittersweet quality and ambiguity of the original’s ending, we find Tod and Copper best buddies who hang out together all the time. They’re still pissing off Copper’s owner Amos Slade (which if you’re emotionally retarded like I am, you will imagine to be ‘Anus Slade’ providing yourself with at least thirty-five to forty seconds of giggling) who is now much more of an impotent threat, slipping on banana peels or stepping on rakes. Copper still isn’t getting the hang of being a hunting dog and is feeling dejected, questioning his place in the world when the traveling fair rolls into town with a quartet of dogs known as “The Singin’ Strays”. The Strays have problems of their own between the lead singers Cash (Swayze) and Dixie (McEntire), who seem to be fighting all of the time. When Dixie quits the group, Copper becomes the unlikely newest member, finally finding his hidden talent. However, will Copper’s new act cause his friendship with Tod to disintegrate? Well, yeah. Or else there wouldn’t be a conflict to resolve in the third act.
Seen as sort of an analog to the Fox and the Hound series,
Disney fast-tracked Disembodied Anus and Black Olive to strike while the iron was hot.
There’s nothing so crass as the Disney-direct-to-DVD market. We all know there’s no reason for a Fox and the Hound 2, or a Cinderella 3: What If Destiny Was Never Meant To Be? These movies were self-contained works the first go-around, so clearly they’re just trying to use name recognition to create revenue as opposed to sticking their necks out on the line and creating a new and original work. What’s more is that a movie like this works towards canceling out any goodwill created by the movie that preceded it. Like it or not, the first Fox and the Hound was an interesting work for Disney to tackle (it doesn’t have the cookie-cutter closure of most animated films) which actually had something to say about prejudice and how it affects friendship. This movie doesn’t seem to have anything on its mind at all. It’s like they looked at the thematic content of the original, decided to come to the same conclusion, except in a way that lacks any emotional involvement or genuine craft.
For instance, the plot. It’s not particularly interesting or enthralling for anyone, child and adult alike. In a movie that is called Fox and the Hound 2, a disconcerting amount of time is spent on the "Singin’ Strays" characters, meaning the audience’s allegiances are divided between two competing storylines during a 69 minute long feature. There simply isn’t enough time for me to give a shit about characters with motivations like “Fame” or “Fame”. All of the backstage biz jokes the set-up allows for aren’t particularly funny either, and clearly aren’t meant for kids to understand, so one wonders who exactly this film is catering to time and time again.
The Animated Adventures of Sam Elliott never took off quite like the execs had hoped for.
And if you’re going to make a Disney movie that’s jam-packed with songs, for fuck’s sake, make them memorable. I don’t care if I want to lobotomize myself a week later for having “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” stuck in my head, at least you created a piece of music that resonates in some way with your audience. Here, you have a bunch of nondescript country songs that clearly employ some form of musical mastery (the instrumentals are pretty solid), but forget to back that up with anything memorable in the form of lyrical content (settling for shitty animal puns for the most part). It’s just another example of the domino effect of when you decide to make a movie that has no reason to exist, all of the other facets of production show the lethargy inherent in the premise.
The animation is alright, as in the age of video-game-cut-scene-quality computer generated works being foisted upon our eyes in theaters it’s nice to see traditional animation still being done*, even if they’re being utilized on a completely hollow project such as this one. Unfortunately there’s really awkward blending trying to be done between the 2-d landscape with some more 3-d polygonal animation (seen mostly in vehicles and exemplified by the image below). It’s disconcerting and sort of an eye-sore if you ask me (which would be hard with this being a review and all).
One of the provisions of the 2-d/3-d animation treaty was the delivery of
ONE (1) GIANT ANIMATED PUMPKIN to land of computer-generation.
Overall, the entire film has no reason to exist. Yet exist it does. If you liked the original, avoid this like the plague. If you didn’t or were apathetic, this isn’t going to work towards changing your mind. It’s a complete tonal variant on the original (it’s like The Fox and the Hound on Earth 8) and it doesn’t even work on the meager terms it sets for itself. There’s better entertainment for children out there. Like fire.
*A side rant: how is it that 2-D animation could be archaic? I understand we’re living in the digital age, but to completely remove an aesthetic from competition in the film market is baffling to me. It’s not the animation style that draws in box office, it’s telling a compelling/entertaining story. If anything, the field should be wide open (like the submissions to The Animation Show) so all different forms of animation get their say instead of one type dominating the field.
First off, the cover is standard for Disney features showing the animated characters at center stage. It has both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 soundtracks for those interested, and the “family-friendly widescreen” is pretty solid although the animation of movement isn’t as smooth as would be expected at a couple of points in the film. There’s not a lot to see here in terms of extras on the DVD, which has the added benefit of greatly reducing the amount of time one has to spend with this disc. There’s a music video by Lucas Grabeel, a young gentleman who looks like a proponent of date rape.
An example of what is meant by "Family-friendly Widescreen".
There’s also a featurette which goes into how the music was produced for this movie (something involving invoking the beast on the sixth day while spilling the blood of a nubile virgin) with comments from all of the particulars. There’s a little bit of interactive content: the Mutt Mix Master (which I can’t imagine a kid getting into on a DVD player, although it also is on the DVD-ROM, so perhaps it’s more palatable in that form) and a demo for what amounts to a Disney board game but with Dog-related questions. This is actually kind of fun (most of the questions stumped me, to be honest), but it’s only a demo so you get whatever the Disney animated dog board game equivalent of blue balls is. The one solid feature on the DVD is an old short entitled “Goofy and Wilbur” where Goofy uses his bug friend Wilbur as bait to catch fish. It’s notable for encouraging the audience to feel sympathy for a bug when eaten by a frog, but not the frog when eaten by a bird.
My feelings exactly.