I"ve always thought that huge Mama native The Fox and the Hound was rather a optimistic female character, however 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 clock a few clips and read some analysis in order come answer this- it’s to be so long since I last experienced this movie that i didn’t also remember her, but I was quite curious come know because I haven’t heard the come up before.

You are watching: The fox and the hound big mama

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


In some respect, you are both right. She is best that the owl offers AAVE (though watered down, as this review describes it). And also if there was much doubt ns think naming a character “Big Mama” often tends to press it more in the direction.

I uncovered an essay the answers your question an ext thoroughly; I’m going come copy paste listed below some the what that writer has said. I don’t agree with whatever he claims in it– he pertains to the conclusion that “Dumbo” is the least racist out of any type of of them because it portrays many accurately, and also I don’t agree v that, or his opinion that “The Fox and The Hound is an instance of racism simply since it so plainly isn’t.” ns mean… what? It either is or it isn’t. I recognize what he’s trying to say but I largely agree just with the parts about character that I have highlighted below.

I don’t think you’re necessarily wrong in saying the she’s a optimistic female character, yet I think if you study the intersection that portrayal as a female (implied, because it’s an owl) black color character, climate the reality could be an ext nuanced than just straight up… an excellent or bad. She implied blackness can’t it is in divorced native an evaluation of her character.

Quote parts:

“There is a speaker of AAVE in this film, back the AAVE provided is a much an ext watered down version than I saw in one of two people of the various other two films. Large Mama, one owl, is voiced by Pearl Bailey…Big Mama is portrayed positively, practically saintly, as she seems to constantly be doting top top the young fox…

Her “black” decided is watered down, yet you can capture a most the distinctions in she speech from the “standard” white speech of Tod, Copper, and also Widow Tweed, and also the fact that she’s being played by a black color voice actress is not lost.

…The allude I was going to make about big Mama is that she seems to be practically too perfect a character. Virtuous in every way, always patient and kind, never angry or sad or selfish (or even conscious of any kind of kind the self-interest), always wise and also dignified. In fact, she’s not really a personality at all, yet a cardboard cutout of one angel…

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

See more: How Can The Use Of Fertilizers Affect Respiratory Health? How Fumes From Farms Are Harming Our Health

Trouble is, this idea is extremely flawed. When, together a filmmaker, you have actually a black character, and water under their organic speech to make it sound more “standard,” and also give lock lines the make lock smarter than various other characters, and also portray lock in a way you’d never ever portray a hero or heroine - together a obelisk of virtue - your black character never has actually a chance to end up being anyone of any importance. A guardian angel, a watchful friend. But not a hero, and most absolutely not a villain. This “character” you’ve produced has no motivation. He has actually no will, no heritage, no means to break out of package you’ve painted the into. He end to it is in a character, after all, and also becomes basic scenery.”

-In the last part, ns agree with what he’s saying about her not being given motivation of her very own etc., and also as one intersection of race her stand-in together the beneficial elder is mammy-esque, however I totally disagree about other parts of what he’s saying. If you read much more of what that says, it nearly seems prefer he doesn’t think a black character (or person) might possibly speak this means or have “smarter” sound lines like… what?? Black people aren’t a monolith that speech and also portrayal.