With the help of a smooth talking tomcat, a family of Parisian felines set to inherit a fortune from their owner try to make it back home after a jealous butler kidnaps them and leaves them in the country.
An imaginative Disney version of the Robin Hood legend. Fun and romance abound as the swashbuckling hero of Sherwood Forest and his valiant sidekick plot one daring adventure after another to outwit the greedy prince and his partner as they put the tax squeeze on the poor. Written by
During the "Phony King of England" segment in the forest the illustrators referred to previous Disney films for inspiration. Maid Marian's dance movements are copied from both "Snow White" and "Duchess" (The AristoCats (1970)). The animals playing the various instruments are lifted almost verbatim from "The Aristocats." Also, the dance between Little John and Lady Cluck is lifted from the dance between Baloo and King Louie in The Jungle Book (1967). See more »
When Robin and Little John are on the side of the road posing as gypsies to attract Prince John and his patrol: in one shot, when they are bowing, Robin is barefoot; in the next shot, his shoes are back on. See more »
Oh, he's so handsome. Just like his reward posters.
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I loved this movie as a kid, as did just about every person I know. So it works for the youngins. As an adult, and an animation fan, I was surprised to learn that this movie is sort of the Disney studio's secret shame. I had nothing but fond memories of it, after all. And I could name at least a dozen Disney films that I would have put ahead of it on my Most Crappy list. I very recently watched it on television after many years, and yes, it is definitely flawed. The quality of the animation is terrible, and the lack of an over arching story makes the whole thing seem frivolous, like it was made for TV and not for a big studio release. There are holes in the narrative, scenes that should exist that don't, and scenes that have no reason to exist that do. And I think the somewhat random decision to cast the film with animals lends to the Saturday morning vibe as well.
But there's enough cool things peaking out from under all the half-assery that rescues the film just enough for it to be enjoyable. Peter Ustinov turns in an excellent, excellent performance as Prince John, at turns hysterical and genuinely nasty. Brian Bedford oozes easy going charm as Robin. He's probably turned in the second most likable performance of the character captured on film. He's just unfortunately delivering it through the poorly animated mouth of a cartoon fox. And though the actual quality of the animation is poor, some of the character animation is pretty clever and expressive. And I have to applaud the choice to add Roger Miller to the mix as a folkie, possibly pot-smoking minstrel rooster. His character adds a cool, Earthy vibe to the proceedings and as others have mentioned, his song, Not in Nottingham, actually sort of works as a blues song. Weird.
So Robin Hood is definitely not the epic tale Disney was capable of churning out in its hey days, but I dug it as a kid, and I still dig it today. You know, looking back at all my reviews on this site, it seems I mostly leap to the defense of classically bad films that I like anyway. That's OK, I guess. Someone has to.
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