I"ve always thought that huge Mama native The Fox and the Hound was rather a confident female character, yet I have actually a girlfriend who"s convinced that huge Mama is a racial caricature, a maid or a "mammy" figure. Is she right?

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

You are watching: Big mama fox and the hound

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


In some respect, you space both right. She is best that the owl supplies AAVE (though watered down, as this review defines it). And also if over there was lot doubt ns think specify name a character “Big Mama” tends to push it an ext in the direction.

I discovered an essay the answers her question much more thoroughly; I’m going come copy paste listed below some of what that author has said. I don’t agree with whatever he says in it– he pertains to the conclusion that “Dumbo” is the the very least racist out of any of them because it portrays many accurately, and also I don’t agree v that, or his opinion that “The Fox and also The Hound is an instance of racism simply since it so plainly isn’t.” ns mean… what? It either is or that isn’t. I understand what he’s trying to say yet I greatly agree only with the parts around character that I have highlighted below.

I don’t think you’re have to wrong in saying the she’s a hopeful female character, yet I think if you examine the intersection that portrayal as a mrs (implied, due to the fact that it’s an owl) black color character, then the reality can be more nuanced than just straight up… an excellent or bad. Her implied blackness can’t be divorced indigenous an evaluation of her character.

Quote parts:

“There is a speak of AAVE in this film, return the AAVE used is a much much more watered down version than I saw in either of the various other two films. Huge Mama, one owl, is voiced by Pearl Bailey…Big Mama is depicted positively, virtually saintly, as she seems to constantly be doting ~ above the young fox…

Her “black” decided is watered down, but you can record a most the distinctions in her speech indigenous the “standard” white decided of Tod, Copper, and also Widow Tweed, and the fact that she’s being played through a black voice actress is no lost.

…The suggest I was going to do about large Mama is the she seems to be virtually too perfect a character. Virtuous in every way, constantly patient and also kind, never ever angry or sad or selfish (or even aware of any kind the self-interest), constantly wise and also dignified. In fact, she’s not really a personality at all, however a cardboard cutout of an angel…

Compared come the other personalities voiced by black actors in the other two films, she’s a glittering idol of what portrayals that “black” personalities “should be.” A means for an industry previously ridiculed for its treatment of black characters to dodge all criticism and also deny every intentions the harm.

See more: Simple Substance That Cannot Be Broken Down, Elements And Compounds

Trouble is, this idea is exceptionally flawed. When, as a filmmaker, you have a black character, and water down their natural speech to make it sound more “standard,” and give them lines the make them smarter than various other characters, and portray lock in a means you’d never portray a hero or heroine - as a tower of virtue - your black character never has actually a possibility to end up being anyone of any importance. A guardian angel, a watchful friend. Yet not a hero, and also most absolutely not a villain. This “character” you’ve produced has no motivation. He has no will, no heritage, no way to break out of the box you’ve painted him into. He end to it is in a character, after all, and also becomes simple scenery.”

-In the last part, i agree through what he’s saying about her not being given motivation of her very own etc., and as one intersection of race her stand-in together the valuable elder is mammy-esque, however I totally disagree about other components of what he’s saying. If friend read much more of what he says, it practically seems favor he doesn’t think a black color character (or person) might possibly speak this method or have actually “smarter” sounding lines like… what?? Black world aren’t a monolith that speech and portrayal.