TEMPER!? Temper, Woman, you ain't SEEN My temper! If I ever catch that fox in my property again, I'll blast him, and next time I won't miss.
~ Amos Slade threatening to kill his neighbor's pet Tod.
Amos Slade (or simply known as Amos) is the main antagonist of Disney's 24th full-length animated feature film The Fox and the Hound (which is based on the 1967 novel of the same name by the late Daniel P. Mannix), and a minor character in its 2006 midquel The Fox and the Hound 2. He is Tod's former archenemy, Widow Tweed's neighbor and Chief and Copper's owner, master and boss.
Unlike most Disney Villains, even though he is a hunter, he does not 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: in fact, if Amos had not broken wildlife laws and entered a sanctuary with the intent of illegally hunting down and killing Tod, he would barely qualify as a villain at all. In the end, his foul temper and desire for revenge would cause him to cross the moral (and legal) boundaries, though he would soon regret doing so.
In the first film, he was voiced by the late Jack Albertson, who also played Grandpa Joe in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory which is the 1971 musical film adaptation of Ronald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and is also his final theatrical role before his death on November 25, 1981 at the age of 74. In the midquel, he was voiced by Jeff Bennett.
Amos is a crabby, mean, grumpy, argumentative and bad-tempered old man. However, he does care about his two hunting dogs, Chief and Copper. Later, Amos reforms after Tod saves him and Copper from a dangerous bear.
The Fox and the Hound
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 named 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. 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, whilst he jumps into Widow Tweed’s truck with Amos follows them in hot pursuit. Widow Tweed stops her truck and confronts Amos. Amos threatens Tweed that he will blast 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 gets hit by the train and falls off the bridge, and is badly injured. Copper and Amos blame Tod for Chief's near death, and both he and Copper vow to kill Tod, whilst Tod safely returns to Widow Tweed. Afterward, Amos marches to Widow Tweed’s house and attempts to kill Tod who was hiding, but Tweed was able to block him out, but Amos insists that she can’t keep Tod locked up forever. Widow Tweed thought that Tod is no longer safe with her, and had no choice but to take Tod back to the game preserve where he'd be safe.
But when Amos Slade and Copper saw Widow Tweed after she dropped Tod off at the nearby game preserve, he breaks in a mad attempt to kill Tod, even if it meant breaking hunting laws. Amos sets multiple traps along Tod's routes, as Tod cautiously comes closer. When Amos cocks his gun, Tod’s ear perks up, and barely escapes the traps. Amos and Copper then pursue the two foxes. Tod manages to distract Copper and engage him in a brief fight before returning to the foxhole. Amos then tries to smoke Tod and Vixey out, setting a fire at one end of the den, while he and Copper wait at the other end. However, Tod and Vixey shock both of them by cleverly escaping through the flames. As Amos begins to follow, he accidentally irritates a bear, which awakens and is forced to attack him and Copper. While trying to escape the bear, Amos is caught in one of his own traps and has lost his gun, that is caught on a small tree and landed slightly from his reach. However, he is saved from death thanks to the joint effort of Tod and Copper.
When Tod is injured as a result, Amos tries to take advantage and kill Tod. He eventually has a change of heart when he sees Copper proving his loyalty to Tod by standing in the way of the gun, and realizes the friendship that is there between the two animals, even though they are different. Amos eventually decides to return home a slightly better man, while Widow Tweed doctors his injured leg.
It is possible that he learned his lesson about foxes being different from people.
The Fox and the Hound 2
Amos Slade appears as a minor antagonist in the midquel. 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 cantankerous and 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 later appeared in the climax of the film as he was enjoying some pie with Widow Tweed at her house until they were interrupted by a chase started by Tod, Copper, and Chief, which caused Widow Tweed to get angry as she attacks Amos with a broom.