Walt Disney Home Video presents
The Fox and the Hound 2 (2006)
"You're... you're... you're housetrained, ain't ya?"- Tod (Jonah Bobo)
Stars: Jonah Bobo, Harrison Fond
Other Stars: Reba McEntire, Patrick Swayze, Jeff Foxworthy
Director: Jim Kammerud
MPAA Rating: G for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:09m:18s
Release Date: 2006-12-12
DVD ReviewDisney's original film The Fox and the Hound has never been considered a classic, at least by the studio's lofty standards. But classic or mediocre, the studio has never met a direct-to-video sequel it didn't like. The result of such an attitude are movies like The Fox and the Hound 2, which brings the young versions of Tod and Copper back for more inter-species playfulness, music, and (attempts at) all-around fun.
This particular adventure takes place at the county fair where the title characters discover a singing group of hound dogs ("The Singing Strays") giving a concert. When the group hears Copper's (Jonah Bobo) singing voice, they fire lead singer Dixie (Reba McEntire), and hire him to replace her. Copper is soon "one of the dogs," playing with Cash (Patrick Swayze) and the crew and loving the musician's life. However, while happy for his friend at first, Tod (Harrison Fond) realizes that he's seeing less and less of Copper, as the music has come between them.
It didn't take long to turn me off of The Fox and the Hound 2 for one major reason: the overabundance of country music on the soundtrack. I understand that there's an intended, overall down-home feel to this and the original film, but I'll take the "sappy Disney music" from the 1981 picture over this junk any day. The opening sequence fools us into believing that we're getting more of the same material we enjoyed the first time around, but it isn't long before we're in full-blown musical mode. Regardless of my total disdain for the country music genre, the music simply gets in the way of any character development or engaging story that could have made this a more fulfilling experience.
The actors standing in the recording booth for this one are a mixed bag, with the youngsters voicing Tod and Copper doing a solid job. Once the fun opening is through, we're left to deal with a disappointing group of voices. Swayze does a solid enough job, but the real problem lies in McEntire and Jeff Foxworthy. The former's high place in the country music world and the latter's "legend of redneck comedy" distinction lend the proceedings an almost cheap quality. We're too busy cringing at Reba's twangy voice and Jeff's atrociously unfunny jokes to get even remotely interested in these two cute animals.
Fans of the first film will also balk at the complete change of mood and different themes that are a pathetic attempt to pep the sequel up. Gone is any sense of wildlife danger, and resulting sadness, as well as the sense of sorrow the audience felt once Tod and Copper had grown and realized their place in the order of things. Everything's just one big happy ho-down here, as the filmmakers have decided to keep any emotion or other trademark old-school Disney nuance from the sequel. It's been common for Disney's direct-to-video features to be on the lighter side, but now would have been as good a time as any to surprise us and deliver something at least somewhat worthy of the magic the original brought to this grown-up kid's pre-adolescent years.
Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: D-
|Aspect Ratio||1.78:1 - Widescreen|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: The one thing The Fox and the Hound 2 has going for it is its spectacular look. The animation is brilliant, with bright, vivid colors that make its production budget appear much higher than it probably was. The print is completely free of dirt, grain, or other debris, and the hand-drawn images are as fluid as one could expect from a non-CGI production.
Image Transfer Grade: A+
|English, French, Spanish||yes|
Audio Transfer Review: We get both a Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS option, with both exhibiting wonderful use of the surrounds and nice directional effects. Dialogue clarity is just fine on both tracks as well, but the slight edge goes to the DTS, thanks to a bit more overall depth and greater bass presence.
Audio Transfer Grade: A-
Disc ExtrasAnimated menu with music
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
9 Other Trailer(s) featuring Peter Pan: 2-Disc Special Edition, Meet the Robinsons, Cinderella III: A Twist In Time, Air Buddies, The Little Mermaid III, Tinker Bell, Little Einsteins: The Legend of the Golden Pyramid, Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: A Kingdom of Kindness, Disney's My Friends: Tigger & Pooh
Packaging: Keep Case
- Music Video - "You Know I Will" by Lucas Grabeel
- Mutt Mix Master - Interactive Game
- Disney DVD Game World: Demo Disney Dogs Edition
- "Bonus Short" - Goofy and Wilbur
Mutt Mix Master is an interactive feature that allows you to mix songs to your specifications. Kids won't get a ton of mileage out of this, but it's worth a look at least. Disney DVD Game World: Demo Disney Dogs Edition is a bit more extensive, in that it lets you play a bit of the separately available interactive game, Disney Dogs. This really is a neat feature that had me considering a purchase of the full version of the game.
We also get a 10-minute behind-the-scenes look at the country tunes in the film, with The Making of the Music: Fox and the Hound 2. This features interviews with the musicians and other voice talent behind these animated characters.
Finishing things up is the eight-minute short Goofy and Wilbur that serves as a great trip down memory lane for those who remember this 1938 cartoon.
Extras Grade: B
Final CommentsAn ill-conceived story and a few horrible voice actors make it difficult to recommend The Fox and the Hound 2. With none of the excellent qualities of the original film in play, anyone who has grown to love these characters will be sorely disappointed. Fortunately, Disney's DVD looks and sounds incredible, and there are even a few bonus features for the kids to enjoy.
Chuck Aliaga 2006-12-18