The Bear is the climactic main antagonist of Disney's 1981 animated feature film the Fox and the Hound. He is a giant bear with black fur and red eyes. He does not tolerate intruders or trespassers, and will kill them if they do so, but has been accidentally awakened by Amos Slade and Copper, who are looking for Tod and Vixey and trying to get them.
The bear is portrayed as a bad character without villainous intentions and also 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 seem to be bad rather than villainous as he is a simple creature defending his territory and when encountering Amos Slade, he merely tried to scare him away and did not attack him until after Slade shot him.
The bear is a gigantic and burly animal with black fur and red eyes. He is likely a melanistic grizzly or Kodiak bear.
The bear first appears after being accidentally awakened by Amos Slade and Copper, who are trespassing in the woods looking for Tod and Vixey. He awakens and rears up at them as a warning that Amos and Copper are in his territory and that they should leave immediately. Amos panics and shoots the bear's shoulder, provoking him. The enormous bear, now furious, lumbers forward, and swipes at Amos, but ends up causing the alarmed hunter to tumble down a hillside, losing his hat in the process, and his gun lands on a small tree slightly out of his reach, and now continues to pursue him.
While trying to escape from the bear, Amos fearfully starts walking backward, and 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 the intruders are not leaving his territory, the bear continues to attack them and finally encroaches on the injured and terrified hunter. Copper bravely attempts to protect his master, and attacks the bear, but despite being smaller and more agile, is soon easily overpowered and beaten up in a very vicious and brutal fight, yelping in pain by the giant bear, who swats the dog around. Tod hears Copper's yelping echo, turns and is horrified to see his childhood friend nearly getting killed.
Against his better judgement, Tod quickly runs back to save his friend. As the bear prepares for a final blow on the wounded Copper, Tod leaps onto his back and bites his ear, making the bear turn his attention toward Tod. Biting and scratching wildly, Tod is able to lead the bear away from Amos and Copper. Eventually, he manages to lead the bear onto a log protruding over a huge waterfall. While Tod hangs for dear life, the bear attempts to deliver the final blow, but fails when the log breaks under his weight, sending them both plummeting down the waterfall several meters below. Tod survives while the bear most likely drowns and gets washed away by the rapids.
- 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 him in the shoulder, blood is shown. When Copper bites the bear on the muzzle, blood is shown on the right side as well. This is one of the film's controversial points.
- The bear was animated by Glen Keane. John Lasseter, Mark Henn, and Henry Selick did work on him since he was being trained under Keane and Eric Larson. Selick would later become the director of films such as The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach.
- 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 towards 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.