The Bear is the final antagonist of The Fox and the Hound. He is a giant bear with black fur and red eyes that does not tolerate intruders or trespassers, attacking and killing the ones that enter his territory.
The bear is a gigantic and burly animal with black fur and red eyes. He is likely a melanistic grizzly or Kodiak bear. He seems to be stocky than muscular.
The bear is portrayed as an ordinary bear albeit slightly more territorial. He does not tolerate trespassers, and if they cross into his territory or attack him in any way, he will not hesitate to kill them. However, he is not necessarily evil as he is a simple creature defending his territory. When encountering Amos Slade, he merely tried to scare him away and did not attack him until after being shot by Amos.
Role in the film
The bear first appears after being accidentally awakened by Amos and Copper, who are looking for Tod and Vixey, only to stumble upon the territory of the wrathful animal, who awakens and looms over them as a warning that Amos and Copper are in his territory and that they should leave immediately. Amos, with a look of fear on his face, and with shaky hands, panics by raising his gun, and fires to shoot the bear, but only grazes the bear’s shoulder, provoking him further. The enormous bear, now furious, lunges forward and swipes at Amos, causing the alarmed hunter to drop his gun, then tumbles down a hillside, losing his hat in the process and reach the bottom of the slope, as the bear continues to pursue him.
While trying to escape from the bear, Amos fearfully starts walking backward, but has gotten his foot caught in one of his own steel traps while his gun has landed on the tree, slightly out of his reach. Furious that Amos and Copper are not leaving his territory, the bear continues to encroach in on the injured and terrified hunter, who is defenseless. As the bear reaches Amos, who is injured, Copper fearlessly lunges at the bear to protect his master. He bites into the bear's neck and slashes him in the snout. But despite being smaller and more agile, Copper is no match for the giant bear as he swats the dog, and Copper is soon easily overpowered and beaten up in a very vicious and brutal fight with the giant bear. Not too far away, Tod hears Copper's yelping echo, turns around, and is horrified to see his childhood friend nearly getting killed.
Against his better judgment, Tod quickly runs back to save his friend. As the colossal bear prepares for a final blow on the wounded Copper, Tod leaps onto the bear's back and bites his ear, pulling with all his might, which allows the beast to turn his attention on him. The Bear tosses Tod off his back then chases him up the cliff. Biting and scratching wildly, Tod manages to lead the bear away from Amos and Copper. Enraged by the fox's constant bitings and scratchings, the bear swats Tod with his paw, sending him onto a log protruding over a tall waterfall. While Tod hangs on for dear life, the bear climbs onto the log, which sags under his immense weight. Upon reaching Tod, the bear then raises his paw in an attempt to deliver the final blow, but the log then breaks, sending both animals plummeting down the waterfall several dozen meters below. Tod survives, but the bear is not seen afterwards.
- The bear's roars, snarls, and growls are the same as Brutus and Nero from The Rescuers and Shere Khan from The Jungle Book.
- When Amos shoots the bear in the shoulder, blood is shown when he howls in pain. When Copper bites the bear on the muzzle, blood is shown on the right side as well to anger him even more. This is one of the film's controversial points.
- Due to the color of his fur, the bear is often presumed to be an American black bear. But judging by his size and aggressive behavior toward trespassers and the visible shoulder hump, he is a grizzly with, for some reason, black fur (probably a melanistic grizzly bear).
- The bear is the only forest animal character in the movie who doesn't speak a word of English.