I"ve constantly thought that large Mama from The Fox and also the Hound was rather a positive female character, but I have actually a girlfriend who"s encouraged that large Mama is a racial caricature, a maid or a "mammy" figure. Is she right?

I had actually to watch a few clips and also read some evaluation in order to answer this- it’s to be so long since I last saw this movie that i didn’t also remember her, but I was quite curious to know due to the fact that I haven’t heard that come increase before.

You are watching: Big mama the fox and the hound

Here is a Youtube clip of large Mama(this movie is circa 1981)


In some respect, you are both right. She is appropriate that the owl provides AAVE (though watered down, as this review explains it). And also if there was lot doubt ns think naming a character “Big Mama” has tendency to press it more in that direction.

I discovered an essay the answers her question an ext thoroughly; I’m going to copy paste below some that what that author has said. Ns don’t agree with every little thing he states in it– he comes to the conclusion the “Dumbo” is the least racist out of any type of of them because it portrays most accurately, and I don’t agree v that, or his opinion that “The Fox and also The Hound is an instance of racism simply because it so clearly isn’t.” ns mean… what? It one of two people is or it isn’t. I understand what he’s trying to say however I mostly agree just with the parts about character the I have actually highlighted below.

I don’t think you’re have to wrong in saying that she’s a confident female character, however I think if you examine the intersection the portrayal together a woman (implied, since it’s one owl) black color character, climate the reality could be more nuanced than just straight up… an excellent or bad. She implied blackness can’t it is in divorced native an evaluation of she character.

Quote parts:

“There is a speaker of AAVE in this film, back the AAVE used is a much more watered down variation than I experienced in either of the various other two films. Big Mama, an owl, is voiced by Pearl Bailey…Big Mama is depicted positively, almost saintly, as she appears to always be doting ~ above the young fox…

Her “black” decided is watered down, however you can capture a the majority of the distinctions in she speech native the “standard” white decided of Tod, Copper, and also Widow Tweed, and the fact that she’s being played by a black color voice actress is no lost.

…The allude I to be going to make about large Mama is that she appears to be practically too perfect a character. Virtuous in every way, constantly patient and also kind, never angry or sad or selfish (or even mindful of any kind of kind the self-interest), constantly wise and dignified. In fact, she’s no really a personality at all, yet a cardboard cutout of one angel…

Compared to the other personalities voiced by black color actors in the various other two films, she’s a glittering idol that what portrayals that “black” characters “should be.” A method for an sector previously ridiculed for its therapy of black characters to evade all criticism and deny all intentions that harm.

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Trouble is, this idea is extremely flawed. When, as a filmmaker, you have a black color character, and also water down their herbal speech to do it sound much more “standard,” and also give lock lines the make them smarter than various other characters, and also portray them in a way you’d never ever portray a hero or heroine - as a shaft of virtue - your black color character never has a possibility to become anyone of any importance. A guardian angel, a watchful friend. Yet not a hero, and also most certainly not a villain. This “character” you’ve created has no motivation. He has actually no will, no heritage, no means to an outbreak of package you’ve painted him into. He end to be a character, ~ all, and becomes simple scenery.”

-In that last part, i agree through what he’s saying about her no being given an inspiration of her own etc., and as an intersection of gyeongju her stand-in as the valuable elder is mammy-esque, however I totally disagree around other parts of what he’s saying. If you read much more of what he says, it practically seems prefer he doesn’t think a black character (or person) might possibly speak this way or have “smarter” sound lines like… what?? Black civilization aren’t a monolith that speech and portrayal.