As a kit, Tod is a sweet and lovable young fox who lives a very carefree lifestyle with Widow Tweed. Since there are few restrictions on his life, Tod is prone to being mischievous. His mischievous side brings out a devil-may-care attitude towards Chief and trouble in general. He is frequently bored and always on the lookout for a friend, which leads him to Copper. As any best friend, Tod treats Copper as his own flesh and blood.
When Tod matures into an adult, he retains his affection for those he cares about most, despite destiny driving a wedge between him and Copper and being returned to the wilderness by Widow Tweed. His extreme loyalty to those he cares for is shown when he helps Copper fight off an enormous bear. He later becomes amorous when he meets and falls in love with Vixey.
Tod is an young fox kit, who is orphaned at the beginning of the film when a hunter kills his mother. Scared and alone, he meets Big Mama, a large owl who takes pity on him and helps the kit to find a new home. With the help of Dinky and Boomer, Big Mama gets the attention of Widow Tweed, and Tod is taken in by the kindly lady. She names the kit Tod, as he reminds her of a toddler.
Tod grows quickly, and becomes quite mischievous, doing such things like aggravating Tweed's cow and spilling her milk. One day he goes out to play, and runs into a young hound puppy named Copper, the new dog of the neighboring Amos Slade, who is an avid hunter. The two ignore their status as natural enemies, and become fast friends. One day, Copper doesn't come out to play, so Tod sneaks over to Amos's house. He finds that Copper is tied up, as Amos had grown tired of the puppy wandering off. Tod decides to play with Copper there, but Copper warns him of Chief, Amos's other dog, who is a trained hunting dog and would not hesitate to kill Tod. Tod doesn't believe Copper, and inadvertently awakens Chief, who alerts Amos. Amos attempts to shoot the kit, believing that the fox was after his chickens. Tod escapes, but Amos's threats against Tod forces Widow Tweed to keep him locked up for his own safety.
One fall day, Amos prepares to take Copper and Chief on a winter-long hunting trip. Tod tries to go say goodbye to Copper, but it is too late. After they leave, Big Mama warns Tod that his friendship with Copper must come to an end. Copper will be a trained hunting dog when he returns, and thus will be a danger to Tod. Tod dismisses this, believing that their friendship is stronger.
The next spring, Tod has matured into an adult. When he sees Copper return with Amos and Chief from their hunting trip, he makes plans to go over that night to see him. Big Mama warns him once again that Copper won't return his sentiments, but Tod refuses to believe her. Tod steals over while Amos and Chief are asleep. Copper is pleased to see him and they both remark on how they have grown. Tod tries to renew their friendship, but Copper forlornly refuses and says Tod has to leave. Their conversation awakens Chief, who alerts Amos. Tod escapes into the forest, with the three of them on his tail.
Tod manages to find a hiding place to dodge Chief, but is smelled out by Copper. Conflicted, Copper decides to let him go just once, not wanting to see Tod killed. Tod escapes onto a railroad trestle, but Chief heads him off. As Chief chases him back the other way, a train comes. Tod manages to slip under it, but Chief ends up being hit by the train and is severely injured, though not killed. Copper (possibly unaware of the locomotive) becomes furious and openly swears revenge on Tod. Tod escapes through the forest back to Widow Tweed, who brings him safely home. Later that evening, Amos arrives at Tweed's house in a vengeful fury over Tod nearly killing Chief. Tweed blocks him out, but he insists that she can't hide him forever.
The next day, Widow Tweed releases Tod into a game preserve, as she protects Tod from Amos Slade . Tod has no idea of how to survive in the woods, and is soaked in a rainstorm that night. After a run-in with an old, angry badger, a friendly porcupine invites Tod to sleep in his home for the night. The next morning, Tod wakes up in a panic as he cannot remember where he is at first and becomes depressed at being on his own. To help Tod, Big Mama finds a lovely vixen named Vixey to show him around. Tod and Vixey begin to have feelings for each other, but they both get into an argument when Tod humiliates himself as a result of his lack of survival skills, originally on display to impress Vixey. The two quickly make up, and Tod goes to Vixey's burrow with her.
Tod and Vixey have fallen in love and start living together. Unbeknownst to them, Amos has broken into the game preserve with Copper, and is bent on hunting the fox. As Tod and Vixey stroll through the forest, they come to a place where Amos has laid some bear traps. Tod comes close to stepping in one, but his instincts kick in and both he and Vixey sprint back toward the burrow with Copper on their heels. Tod engages in a quick fight with his former friend to buy Vixey more time and then rejoins her in the foxhole. With Copper clawing his way in through the front and Amos setting fire to the undergrowth in the back, they find themselves cornered. As Amos joins Copper out front to wait for them, Tod and Vixey decide they must take a chance and narrowly escape through the flames out back.
Amos and Copper pursue the pair up a cliffside near a waterfall and Tod and Vixey escape before being seen. Searching for them, Copper and Amos encounter a large grizzly bear. The bear advances on Amos, who is walking back and getting his foot trapped in one of his own traps, dropping his gun slightly out of reach. Copper steps in to defend his master, but is no match for it as he is soon easily overpowered and overwhelmed in a very vicious fight. Tod hears Copper's yelping echo and turns and is horrifed to see his former childhood friend getting nearly killed. Against his better judgement, Tod quickly runs back to save his old friend. Leaping on the bear's back, and biting its ear, Tod distracts the bear from Copper. Eventually, he manages to lure the huge bear onto a fallen log over the waterfall. When the bear attacks Tod with his paw, it causes the log to break, sending both of them plummeting several meters down the waterfall.
Tod barely survives, limping out of the water and collapsing on the bank. Copper approaches him silently, amazed that Tod saved him despite everything that happened, and now feels genuinely remorseful for what he's done to him. When Tod notices Copper, he sadly accepts the fact that he's completely out of fight and at Copper's mercy. Just then Amos arrives with his with his gun aimed at Tod. Copper stands over Tod, in the way of Amos' shot, looking at him pleadingly. Amos tells Copper to move, but Copper can't let him hurt his friend. Amos eventually relents and leaves for home and Copper follows, the two old friends sharing a last smile before departing.
Tod is seen at the end of the movie sitting on a cliff with Vixey, watching his friend Copper, in the yard, from afar.
The second film takes place prior to Copper going hunting with Amos Slade and during Tod's youth living with Widow Tweed. Tod is still best friends with Copper, but their friendship is tested with Copper joins up with a band of musical stray dogs at the fair.
Feeling abandoned, Tod works with Dixie, whom Copper had replaced, to get Copper to leave the band. Tod lures Copper's owner, Amos Slade, to the fair and sabotages the band's performance in front of a talent scout. Copper is fired and returns home. However, the band is conflicted over Copper's firing and breaks up, leaving Tod regretful.
The next day, Copper and Tod apologize to each other, and plan to fix their mistakes. Tod, who had come into possession of the talent scout's hat, gives it to Copper, who tracks the scout. Meanwhile, Tod lures each band member to a local diner. Copper meets them their and convinces the band to reform. The band's subsequent performance interests the Talent Scout, brought to the diner by Copper. The band is given the chance to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. Copper, however, chooses to stay home and be friends with Tod.
- Tod is one of few main protagonists whose film is a musical, but does not sing either song in the feature, following Robin Hood, Basil of Baker Street, and Oliver.
Characters: Tod | Copper | Big Mama | Dinky and Boomer | Squeaks | Widow Tweed | Amos Slade | Abigail | Chicken | Chief | Mr. Digger | Porcupine | Vixey | Bear | Tod's mother | Cash | Dixie | Waylon and Floyd | Granny Rose