The Bear is the climatic and true main antagonist of Disney's 1981 animated film The Fox and the Hound. He is a giant one with black fur and red eyes. He does not tolerate intruders or trespassers, but is accidentally antagonized by Amos Slade and Copper, who arrive to find Tod and Vixey.
The Bear is a gigantic and burly one with black fur, red eyes and silver hair. He is likely a melanistic grizzly bear, Kodiak bear, or an American black bear.
The Bear is highly territorial, and does not tolerate intruders and trespassers. If they cross into his territory or attack him in any way, he will not hesitate to kill them.
The Bear first appears while Amos and Copper are trespassing in the woods to find Tod and Vixey, but while trying to get them, they accidentally antagonize the Bear, who awakens and attacks Amos. Amos quickly shoots the Bear in the shoulder, but it has little effect, causing the Bear to cry out in pain, and only angers him more. He swipes at Amos, causing him to tumble down a hillside, while the Bear continues to pursue him. Whilst trying his best to escape from the Bear, Amos is caught in one of his own traps and his gun is caught on a tree, slightly out of his reach. Furious that the intruders aren't leaving his territory, the Bear continues to attack them. Copper bravely tries to protect his master and attacks the Bear, but despite being smaller and more agile, he is no match for the Bear, and is soon easily overpowered and beaten up in a very vicious and brutal fight. Tod hears Copper's yelping echo, turns and is horrified to see his childhood friend getting nearly killed. Against his better judgement, he quickly intervenes to save him. As the Bear prepares for a final blow on the wounded Copper, Tod leaps onto his back and bites him on the ear, making him turn his attention to Tod. Biting and scratching wildly, Tod is able to lure him away from Amos and Copper. Eventually, he manages to lure the Bear up onto a log protruding over a huge waterfall. While Tod hangs for dear life, the Bear tries to deliver the final blow, but the log can't support his weight and it breaks, sending both plummeting down the waterfall several meters below. Tod survives at the bottom while the Bear most likely drowns.
- The Bear's roars, snarls, and growls are the same ones of Brutus and Nero from The Rescuers and Shere Khan from The Jungle Book.
- When Copper bites the Bear on the muzzle, blood is shown on the right side. This is one of the film's controversial points. When Amos shoots him in the shoulder, blood is shown as well.
- 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.
- The Bear's design may have been the original inspiration for that of Mor'du, the villain of Disney/Pixar's film Brave.
- Due to the color of his fur, the Bear is often believed 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).
- Clarence Nash, the original voice of Donald Duck, provided the Bear's roars and snarls, while Candy Candido did his growls.