Amos Slade (or simply known as Amos) is a character in Disney's 1981 feature film The Fox and the Hound and its 2006 midquel. He is voiced by both Jack Albertson and currently Jeff Bennett. Unlike most of Disney's villains, even though he's a hunter, he doesn't come across as being evil. Instead, he just hunts for a living and is very professional at it, until he gets motivated by revenge, rather than that "just because" brand of evil that you see in way too many villains.
Amos is an old, crabby, grumpy, and bad-tempered man, though we do see somewhat of a softer side in his interaction with his two hunting dogs, Chief and Copper. Later he showed remorse after Tod saves him and Copper from a dangerous bear.
Amos is an adjoining neighbor to Widow Tweed, and is known to be an avid hunter. At the beginning of the film, he has one hunting dog called Chief, and has just obtained a hound puppy called Copper, who he intends to train as a hunting dog. At first, he often has to search for Copper, who runs off to play with Tod, who lives next door with Widow Tweed. Finally, Amos ties Copper up at his doghouse to shut him up and conk him out. When Tod arrives one day, to see what has happened to Copper, Amos is alerted to the young fox's presence by Chief. Amos assumes that the fox is after his chickens, and attempts to kill Tod. Tod is able to escape, but Amos threatens Widow Tweed that he will kill Tod if he is on his property again.
Soon after, Amos takes both Copper and Chief on a long hunting trip. By springtime, Amos is able to collect a large amount of skins and trophies with the help of a now fully grown Copper. The night of their return, Tod comes once again to see Copper, but Amos sees Tod and tries to kill him once more. With the help of Chief, Amos is able to track Tod to a railroad bridge, and Chief traps Tod there. Suddenly, a train comes, and while Tod is able to escape, Chief is badly injured. Amos blames Tod for Chief's near death, and both he and Copper vow to kill Tod.
When they see Widow Tweed drop Tod off at the nearby game preserve, he breaks in in a mad attempt to kill Tod. Amos sets multiple traps along Tod's routes, but Tod is able to escape into his den. Amos then tries to smoke Tod out, setting a fire at one end of the den, while he and Copper wait at the other end. Tod shocks both by escaping through the flames. As Amos begins to follow, he irritates a bear. While trying to escape the bear, Amos is caught in one of his own traps. However, he is saved from death thanks to the joint effort of Tod and Copper. Tod is injured as a result, and Amos tries to take advantage and kill Tod. He is forced to give up when Copper proves his loyalty to Tod by standing in the way of the gun. Amos eventually decides to return home a slightly better man, while Widow Tweed doctors his injured leg. Presumably, he now learned his lesson that foxes are not that bad after all.
Amos Slade is a comic relief character here, without the darker side portrayed in the first film. Widow Tweed throws a pie in his face, and threatens to do so again later. Chief appears, but has very few speaking parts and very little screen time. Chief and Slade enter a hunting dog contest, where Chief takes another ribbon (fourth place) for the second time in a row-which he seems to think makes him the champion hunting dog in the county. Slade mostly only shows up in the beginning trying to train Copper, becoming increasingly irate with his failures as a hunting dog, yelling at him after a chain of comedic events while chasing Tod (which were his own fault), looking for Copper later when the pup has gone to join the Singin' Strays, and showing up later after being lead by Tod to the Singin' Strays' performance, where he reveals that Copper is not a stray at all and takes him home.
- Amos is similar to Man. Both are hunters who each have animal sidekicks (for Amos, Chief and Copper; for Man, Hunter Dogs). Also, they both kill one of the protagonist's parents (Tod's mother for Amos, Bambi's mother for Man).
- Most viewers think that Amos was the hunter who killed Jubilee (Tod's mother). However, this is unlikely since he was bringing home Copper at the time. However, the movie never states that Amos adopted Copper the same day Jubilee was killed, so this may be true.
- Amos also shares some similarities to The Ringmaster from Dumbo, Aunt Sarah from Lady and the Tramp and Sir Ector from The Sword in the Stone. All four start off as antagonistic towards the protagonists (Amos to Tod, Ringmaster to Dumbo, Sarah to Lady, and Ector to Arthur), but reform at the end of the films.
- Amos is also similar to Percival McLeach from The Rescuers Down Under and Clayton from Tarzan. All three are hunters, possess guns, and have the same goal of killing one of the film's main characters (Amos: Tod; McLeach: Cody; Clayton: Tarzan). However, Amos reforms and survives, whereas McLeach plummets down a waterfall to his death while trying to escape from the river, and Clayton falls from a high tree to his death while trying to get out of the vines, and neither of them reform.
- Amos is voiced by Jack Albertson who also played Grandpa Joe from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
- He is named after a Christian rock band.
- Amos and Chief were two of the Disney Villains to have redemption at the end.
- Amos' vulgar behavior had caused him to appear as the main antagonist. But, he was never meant to be a true villain.
- Amos' performance model was Art Stevens.
- Amos was animated by John Pomeroy.
- Amos was rumored to be the secondary antagonist of the film, though he is not really evil, just bad-tempered.
- Amos could be considered a tragic villain for two reasons:
- His cold personality might've been stemmed from his relationship with his parents who never showed him much love and affection.
- After years being rejected, he became a hunter and learned how to survive.
|The Fox and the Hound|
Characters: Tod | Copper | Big Mama | Dinky & Boomer | Squeaks | Widow Tweed | Amos Slade | Abigail | Chief | Mr. Digger | Porcupine | Vixey | Tod's mother | Bear | Cash | Dixie | Waylon and Floyd | Granny Rose