Unfortunately, I end up saying this about a lot of older Disney films, but The Fox and the Hound is yet another example of a Disney film that is all but forgotten. Loosely based on Daniel Mannix’s 1967 book of the same name, The Fox and the Hound follow a young fox named Tod (Keith Mitchell/Mickey Rooney) and a bloodhound pup named Copper (Corey Feldman/Kurt Russell) as they strike up an unlikely friendship. Tod’s other friends, including an owl named Big Mama (Pearl Bailey), attempt to convince Tod that being friends with a bloodhound (especially when you’re a fox) can only lead to trouble. This is the point of “Lack of Education” where Big Mama and the rest of Tod’s friends attempt to spell things out for the young fox: that if he continues trying to be friends with Copper he’s going to wind up dead.
You listen good Tod, because it’s either education or elimination!
Now, if you’re so foxy and old Chief is so dumb
Then why does that hound get the fox on the run?
‘Cause he’s got the hunter –
and the hunter’s got the gun
Lack of education!
If you pal around with that Copper hound
You’ll wind up hanging on the wall
Keep you nose to the wind –
and you keep your skin
‘Cause you won’t be home –
when the hunter comes to call
Oh, Big Mama, I know Copper would never track me down.
Well, Copper, he’s my best friend.
Ho ho, your best friend!
Now, Copper’s gonna do what he’s been told.
Suppose he won’t chase no fox in no fox hole?
Along comes the hunter with a buck shot load.
Lack of education!
Tod seemingly makes a good point when he says Copper would never track his best friend down, but while this is true now, Big Mama knows all too well that with enough time and training, Copper will hunt anything down. She doesn’t want to upset the young fox, but in her mind it’s better if he’s made aware of the facts of life now. Of course, this being a Disney film, Tod doesn’t take the lesson to heart and tries to maintain his friendship with Copper, with increasingly disastrous consequences.
Unlike many Disney songs, “Lack of Education” is performed in more of a “speak-sing” style (meaning the performers are half-talking and half-singing) and Tod doesn’t sing at all. It’s a short, blunt moment that goes completely over Tod’s head, which makes sense, after all who wants to believe their newfound best friend will one day hunt them down and kill them?
I hope you enjoyed this look at an underrated Disney classic. Let me know what you think about “Lack of Education” in the comments below and have a great day!
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