24th great classic from the Disney house released on November 25, 1981, “Rox and Rouky” is adapted from a short story published in 1967. And infinitely more cruel and tragic than the animated work of Disney …
Just 40 years ago, on November 25, 1981, the 24th classic from Disney, Rox and Rouky studios was released. A pivotal work between two generations: it is indeed the last classic of the house with big ears to end with the traditional “The End”. All his successors will have an end credits.
It is to a certain Daniel P. Mannix that we owe the original work, The Fox and the Hound; a short story published in 1967, which will be translated in France under the title The Fox and the Hound. But where the trio of directors Richard Rich, Ted Berman and Art Stevens make it an ode to the friendship between a dog and a fox, admittedly battered and put to the test when the master of Rouky the dog becomes a hunter, the studio took the exact opposite of the original work, infinitely more cruel.
Besides the fact that the character of the Widow Tartine is totally invented for the needs of the animated film, the two animals are in reality enemies, while the book narrates the continual hunt for the hunting dog, named in English Copper, throughout throughout his life, to catch the mischievous fox, named in English Tod.
The reasons for this hunt? From a sadness to split the stones in two: the hunter’s favorite young dog, Chef, teased by Tod, dies after breaking his chain and chasing the fox who sets a trap for him and makes him hit by a train. The poor beast ends up in lint … Its owner will dedicate his life to his relentless pursuit.
Each winter, the hunter sets out in search of his enemy with legs and fur. He even stuffs Ted’s vixen companion with lead, and gauzes his offspring … Years pass … Until that fatal day when, at the end of a one-day hunt, the fox, exhausted, lets himself be eventually catch and kill.
Just to finish off the reader, the dog Copper, now old, ended up being shot in turn with a discharge of buckshot behind the ears by its owner, before the latter left for a retirement home … of an unfathomable and infinite sadness, spared by the Disney studio which reserves to Rox and Rouky a happier ending, even if not devoid of a certain bitterness.