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Monday, January 2, 2017

Original Production Animation Key Master Cel Setup of Tod from "The Fox and the Hound," 1981


Original hand painted production animation cel of Tod from "The Fox and the Hound," 1981, Walt Disney Studios; Production numbers lower right; Set on key master production background; Background production numbers lower center and right and with Property of Walt Disney Productions stamp verso; Size - Tod: 3 1/4 x 3", Background 12 1/2 x 16", Image 9 3/4 x 12 1/4"; Unframed.

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"Copper, you're my very best friend." - Tod

"The Fox and the Hound," 1981 is the 24th animated feature film produced by Walt Disney Productions and it was loosely based on the novel, of the same name, by Daniel P. Mannix. The film tells the story of two unlikely friends, a red fox named Tod and a hound dog named Copper. The story centers on the two main character's struggle to preserve their friendship, as their emerging instincts and surrounding social pressures begin to force them to become adversaries. The film was directed by Ted Berman, Richard Rich, and Art Stevens; and features the voice talents of Mickey Rooney, Kurt Russell, Pearl Bailey, Jack Albertson, Sandy Duncan, Jeanette Nolan, Pat Buttram, John Fiedler, John McIntire, Dick Bakalyan, Paul Winchell, Keith Mitchell, and Corey Feldman. At the time of release, "The Fox and the Hound" was the most expensive animated film produced to date, costing $12 million.


Original hand painted production animation cel of Tod set on key master production background, showing the entire sheets.

The story begins with Tod, an orphaned red fox who's mother was shot by a hunter not long after leaving him by a fence post. An owl, Big Mama, feels sorry for the little fox; and with the help of Dinky and Boomer (a sparrow and a woodpecker) they eventually get the Widow Tweed to adopt the young orphan.


Close up of the cel and background production numbers.

Tod befriends a young coonhound dog named Copper, who is supposed to be his sworn enemy; however they soon become inseparable best friends. One day Copper is sent off on a hunting trip and is taught how to be a true hunting dog. He returns home and tells Tod that their friendship can't continue any longer, because he realizes what he must become. This is sad news for Tod, and one day the old Irish Wolfhound hunting dog Chief attacks Tod. Copper saves him from being killed and Tod escapes, but Chief ends up getting severely hurt during the attack. Copper becomes angry and decides to go on the hunt for Tod.


Close up of the Property of Walt Disney Productions stamp verso.

During the hunt, Tod and his new female fox friend Vixey, are able to evade Copper and the hunter Amos Slade. But when the two hunters encounter a bear, Tod is torn between running away or risking his life to save his old best friend. Tod decides to intervene, but falls down a waterfall and is badly hurt. Amos Slade tries to take advantage of the wounded fox, but Copper stands in front of him and preventing Slade from firing a shot. In the end, their friendship is repaired and they are again best friends. Tod was animated by Ollie Johnston, Don Bluth, Mark Henn, Dan Haskett, John Lasseter, and John Musker; and was voiced by Keith Coogan (fox pup) and Mickey Rooney (adult fox).

This is an extremely rare original hand painted production animation cel of the red fox Tod, and the cel is placed on it's matching hand painted key production background. Key setups from Walt Disney feature films are very rare, and this is a beautiful piece! Tod is full figure, eyes and mouth open, and you can see his full fluffy red and white tail. The background is a lush forest scene, and Tod is being viewed through a hollow log. A great piece of animation artwork that is a perfect addition for any collection.