#21 Robin Hood

#21 Robin Hood

“Eat the rich and power to the proletariat” – a bunch of cute, cuddly animals

This week we have the classic Robin Hood! The film is loosely based on tales of the legendary English hero who robbed from the rich to help the poor.

Walt Disney had wanted to adapt a story with a fox as the lead (specifically the medieval European fable Reynard the Fox) since the late ’30’s, but the project could never get out of the developmental stage. Fast forward to the late ’60’s, and the studio decided that their next film would be a take on the classic hero Robin Hood. Story director Ken Anderson suggested merging the fox idea with the traditional Robin Hood story – the hero would be wily and cunning, while still charitable. Anderson also suggested setting the movie in the deep south as a way to “recapture the spirit” of Song of the South and thankfully the studio execs were like “yikes Ken, not our best work there, let’s just keep it in merry old England”. Good call, boys.

As production went on, the team worked on adapting the legendary characters into animals and crafting a story befit a Disney family-friendly adventure. One major change to the source material was the exclusion of Robin Hood’s famous squad of bros, the Merry Men. Director Wolfgang Reitherman wanted the film to be more of a “buddy” picture, so the story was rewritten to focus on the friendship between Robin and his right-hand man Little John (not to be confused with Lil John, yeah!). Other classic characters were worked into the narrative, including the fair Maid Marian, the humble Friar Tuck, and the evil Sheriff of Nottingham. In order to finish on time, the production team was (now infamously) forced to reuse animation from past films, including Snow White and The Jungle Book – see if you can spot any familiar sequences.

Critical reviews for Robin Hood praised its humor and voice casting, noting that it was a film that would be enjoyable for both kids and adults. Others chided the animation quality and remarked at how it wasn’t as charming as earlier Disney films. Like many of the other movies of its era, Robin Hood is well remembered, while not generally being a stand-out classic. The leading lad has been known to appear in the Disney Parks, though less so in recent years, sometimes accompanied by Little John or other characters. Apparently, nowadays he can basically only be seen in Tokyo Disneyland, and does appear quite often. A “live-action” film is currently planned to go into production with an eventual release on Disney+.

Robin Hood was a favorite in my house growing up, but while I recall watching it often, I haven’t watched it in decades and don’t remember much. I’m excited to watch it – at least, I’m hopeful it’s not worse than the Aristocats. Let’s head to Sherwood Forest and find out!

My thoughts on Robin Hood:

  • A book opening that wants me to read?? The audacity! Where’s the narration?
  • Robin Hood needs a remake but not an ~edgy~ one, like a down with the rich, help out the poor one
  • Lol why do they have to say what animals all the characters are? Like, i know what a snake, a fox, a bear, and a chicken are??
  • I vividly remember this long animal parade opening and little else tbh
  • Minstrel is an “early day folk singer” – so ye olde Bob Dylan?
  • Robin Hood and Little John both look so chill while getting shot at
  • Ah Phil Harris’ character is somewhat responsible in this movie
  • Still wouldn’t be surprised if he adopted a child or two by the end
  • Prince John got rid of his brother? He’s like og scar
  • Mommy issues yikes
  • Wait this snake can hypnotize too? How many animal animations did they reuse from Jungle Book? Also, that’s such a specific and strange untrue ability to include in 2 movies now?
  • No wonder i thought snakes could hypnotize people – it was in TWO movies
  • And you know if it’s the movies, it must be true! Especially movies with anthropomorphic animals
  • “There’s a law against robbing royalty” isn’t there a law against robbing anybody??
  • “Female bandits?” that’s right, equality, it’s 1436 dude
  • I get his eyes are closed, but he didn’t feel a ring being taken?
  • Number 2 Electric Baloogaloo clearly could have defeated Thanos
  • How did they get rid of the string on the “spirit” ball
  • Wait now the prince is looking at his HANDS and doesn’t notice his rings gone
  • None of these guards noticed him sawing the treasure chest?! He’s right behind them
  • “I’ve been robbed!” I don’t even know if this counts as a robbery, RH and LJ literally just took things right in front of them and nobody said anything
  • Batman v Superman was truly inspired by this movie – the mere mention of a mother launching prince john into a tizzy 
  • This movie is calling out greedy government and corrupt law enforcement, how radical of 70’s Disney

No one:

Not a soul:

Prince John:

  • Aww this poor dog with his broken leg
  • How can the sheriff take money from a child?? This poor baby bunny
  • “Prince John wishes you a happy birthday” yeah well prince john can suck an egg
  • Aww Robin Hood cheered up this baby bunny I love him
  • “How do i look?” “not much like mr. robin hood” lol “come again on my birthday” these baby bunnies are the cutest give them their own movie
  • Disney said eat the rich which at this point in time is sadly ironic
  • Yeah Toby, snitches get stitches, don’t tell, take the oath
  • I’m worried about this bunny, I don’t want Prince John to do something to him
  • Aww these ladies are nice. So, who are they exactly that they hang out in prince johns back yard???
  • “Mamma said you and Robin Hood are sweethearts” ooh mamma’s been spilling tea
  • These kids are awfully nosey 
  • “Did he kiss ya?” CHILDREN
  • “Ya gonna have any kids” HA kids really be like that though
  • “Death to tyrants” yas skippy!!!
  • Lmfao everyone knows the prince is a mammas boy 
  • Roast him everyone!!!

Me about the baby bunnies:

  • I need the tea about why Marian went to London and why they didn’t keep in touch? How long exactly has she been away? 
  • Ohh she’s the king’s niece that explains why she’s chilling in the castle
  • I really like the rapport between little john and robin hood
  • A Disney romance where the couple has known each other for a long time and actually have spent time together??? Incredible
  • “We’ve been pardoned!” “We haven’t even been arrested yet” This movie is quite witty, I like it
  • Robin bout to risk it all for his lady, that’s love
  • Not Baloo posing as a duke is really funny to me
  • I’m enjoying this movie a lot more than I thought I would
  • Okay LJ is my favorite Phil Harris character, and for being the third Phil Harris character in a row, that’s surprising
  • *gasp* Robin and Marian spoke – she’s knows it’s him right? She’s gotta know it’s him!!!
  • Robin showing up the competition, let’s go!
  • Uh oh the snake knows
  • Why wouldn’t Not Kaa expose Robin to the sheriff who is right there? Like where’s he flying off to?
  • If he’s going to Prince John, that’s just silly, PJ never listens to him
  • The friar is out here shooting arrows!
  • AND he locked the snake in the barrel! Good job Friar!
  • Can’t wait to see Hiss roll out trashed
  • Also, everyone else in this movie has actual names (obviously mostly based on the pre-existing characters) but for Hiss they were like “hmmm….let’s just name him after the sound he makes!”
  • Ooh Prince John seems up to something
  • Evil Sherrif trying to mess Robin up, dirty cheater
  • But he got it anyway!!
  • Robin Hood won!! I knew he was going to, but the way he shot the second arrow to get the first one on target was pretty cool
  • But also, he won’t even get to “kiss” Marian, he has a fake mouth lol
  • I will start using “release the royal fingers” irl when people get too touch-y
  • *gasp* Prince John knew it was Robin!!! 
  • “Sudden instant immediate” death oh no!!!
  • That doesn’t sound good
  • Kinda awkward for Robin and Marian to declare their love for each other in front of all these people
  • You know someone in the crowd watching all this drama happen is like “I just wanted to watch archery and eat funnel cake what is with this nonsense”
  • Will the movie end 43 minutes in with the main characters death? Who can say?
  • Ooh this king richard vs prince john drama is giving me GOT vibes
  • He’s beheading him here and now?! In front of children and families?!!
  • Yes!!!! Lil John!! Coming in clutch – what a bff!!!
  • The guards must be v confused with all these mixed messages the prince is giving
  • I LOVE this chicken lady squaring up with the guards
  • Why did I just realize that Robin Hood is wearing Peter Pan’s outfit? Did they shop at the same store?
  • Robin proposed!!
  • 6 children?? “A dozen at least”?!! Yikes!
  • This wedding convo while everyone fights is cute though
  • Chicken lady hit the prince! And is now taking on all the guards on her own! I stan
  • Yeaahhh drunk Hiss
  • Okay, we just moved from big fight scene to wandering through the woods while a love ballad plays..it’s sweet but im feeling sleepy
  • “Love goes on” how about the plot?
  • Clucky is still hype for fighting i love it
  • Give clucky her own movie!!
  • “Too late to be known as john the first, sure to be known as john the worst” this song slaps
  • This movie reuses a lot of animation – but you know what it? At least it works with the plot and things are staying interesting and moving. No random dog chases…
  • Why would you sing an anti-prince song in the castle?! stupid
  • MAN cuz these 2 idiots who work for the crown sang that song the people suffer
  • “If you couldn’t pay your taxes you went to jail…yep im in here too” nooo the narrator rooster too hahahaha
  • Even the baby bunnies?!!! How?! 
  • Now I wanna fight, tag me in Clucky!
  • So WHERE is king richard? Can he get his butt back here and fix his land?
  •  Merriweather mouse?!!
  • “Things can’t get worse” NEVER say that Friar
  • Now the friar is fighting the sheriff!!
  • He said catch these praying hands!!
  • So, where IS robin hood?? 
  • PJ is annoying and silly but between knowing Robin Hood was hiding at the tournament and coming up with this bait idea, he’s not a terribly useless villain
  • Oh no robin is taking the bait!! He’s a good friend
  • This is so tense omg
  • Jail break!!
  • Ugh Robin I know it’s your thing but I wish you wouldn’t go for the Royal treasury – like just worry about your friends and don’t risk it
  • What Hiss sleeps at the foot of prince johns bed?? Why??
  • Lmfao it’s like Michael Scott sleeping on the little bench at the end of the bed when he lived with Jan
  • Oceans 11 whomst?? RH and Lil John did this just the 2 of them
  • Ah no theyve been spotted!!
  • Robin saved the bunny! He’s the best
  • He’s trapped now though
  • Way to set fire to the castle sherrif
  • Oh no, where’s Robin going to go?!!!
  • That moat is not big enough for that jump…then again the moat from the sword in the stone was hella deep so….
  • *hat floats to surface* must mean he’s dead, everybody pack up and go home
  • but really, wouldn’t his body float to the surface?
  • He’s alive!
  • Here the Prince goes on a mommy rampage
  • Robin was pardoned by King Richard! Way to go King Richard, bout time you showed up
  • The Prince is in jail with his cronies! Good!
  • And Robin Hood and Marian are married!
  • King Richard is there!!
  • Not gonna lie I was starting to doubt he existed
  • Are Little John and the little bunny going on the honeymoon? Um…
  • Aww a cute happy ending

I really enjoyed that! The action sequences were fun, the script was funny and witty, it was so easy to root for Robin Hood and his friends. Maybe not a top tier Disney classic, but definitely a good film overall.

Next up, more adventures with animals in the forest with Winnie the Pooh!

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