Friday, December 6, 2013

Disney's Robin Hood

It has been many years since I last watched Disney's version on Robin Hood.  I must admit that I was very excited when I saw that it had been added onto Netflix's instant watch.  This is the Disney version of Robin Hood as told my animals.

  It was released by Disney in 1973.  It was the 21st animated feature to be released by Disney.  The film is narrated by a singing rooster telling about the story of Robin Hood and Little John and the Sherwood Forest.  It was finished after Walt's death and was as such the first film to be continued on without him. 
Originally Disney considered doing a movie abotu Reynard the fox but there were concerns about whether or not he would be a suitable hero.  Reynard was a trickster fox from European folklore that was based primarily around satirical stories....  Using anthropomorphic tales (animals instead of people) which was probably the base inspiration for anthropomorphic telling of Robin Hood, using a similar casting of a wolf and a lion against the fox.

As the film was made during Disney's financial slump following the completion of Phase One of the Florida Project and therefore allotted a small budget, the artists reused footage from previous animated features. This is most noticeable during the song-and-dance number, "The Phone King of England"; the characters' movements strongly resemble those from The Jungle Book, The Aristocats, and Snow With
In particular, the section where Little John and Lady Kluck dance together mirrors part of the song "I Wanna Be Like You" from The Jungle Book with Baloo and  king Louie respectively, and Robin Hood and Maid Marian mirror the dancing movements of Thomas O'Malley and Duchess during the song "Everybody Wants to Be A Cat" from The Aristocats (from which some of the musicians also mirror the movements of Scat Cat and his gang) and Maid Marian mirror dancing the movements of Snow White during the song "The Silly Song".  The animation of Little John, the bear in Robin Hood, is nearly identical to that of Baloo but Little John more closely resembles a brown or grizzly bear (Baloo was based on an Indian Sloth Bear). At one point, one of the elephants who acts as heralds for Prince John attempts to trumpet a warning. Lady Kluck grabs the trunk, preventing the trumpeting and leaving the elephant flapping his ears ineffectually.The movie also reuses the same animated shots several times, including those of the rhinos walking and running and those of Sis, Tagalong and Toby laughing. Several animated clips of the Sheriff of Nottingham are also recycled at different points in the film.

At the time of it's release it was received with mixed reviews, overall consensus being that it was on par with The Jungle Book, but could not touch some of Disney's greats.

I have to say that although this was definitely NOT Disney's finest work.  I still love it all the same.  I have always loved the story of Robin Hood and I always loved it being told in a an anthropomorphic way.  I think that the songs are catchy and generally fun for the time being.  It had a good ol' Disney Love song, that was actually reused in the "The Fantastix Mr. Fox."
Liam was definitely into it.  It would be in the top half of his attention getting movies, but wasn't the best one yet.

With that being said, it is definitely worth watching and fun to relive.  I give it 4 out of 5 stars.  I love what it had to offer for the 70s.  Enjoy.

To Visit Disney's website dedicated to Robin Hood go to: Disney Robin Hood

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