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
CASTLE THUNDER: heard when Prince John and the guards crash through one of the castle walls during the jailbreak scene. See more »
Balloons are seen at the archery competition, and Sir Hiss flies around in one to spy on the contestants. However, modern balloons like those seen in the film weren't invented until the 19th century. See more »
[the Sheriff has taken the only coin from the Poor Box, and Friar Tuck is furious]
You thieving scandal!
Sheriff of Nottingham:
Now, take it easy, Friar, I'm just doing my duty.
Collecting taxes for that arrogant, greedy, ruthless, no-good Prince John?
Sheriff of Nottingham:
Listen, Friar, you're mighty preachy and you're gonna preach your neck right into a hangman's noose.
Get out of my church! Out! Out! Out! Out!
[pushes the Sheriff out into the rain]
You want taxes? I'll give you taxes!
[begins assaulting the Sheriff]
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Dah da dee dah dah de doe doe, dah da dee dah diddy, doe
The opening credits present us with all of the animals who will later appear in the film (the very same footage, in fact), parading themselves in front of a white background and a rather catchy tune. We see a fox dressed as Robin Hood. ROBIN HOOD, reads the credits. And in smaller letters underneath, in brackets: (a fox). We see a badger in a monk's outfit. FRIAR TUCK, says the credits. (a bear). I find this highly amusing. I love it. Don't ask me why. I think, though, that it demonstrates two things: that "Robin Hood" was made under the same cost cutting Disney regime that made "The Aristocats" three years earlier and "The Rescuers" three years later; and that it has far more life than both of these films put together.
It IS the cost-cutting that would damn this film, and it's liveliness that redeems it. (That, and Peter Ustinov's vocal performance as Prince John.) I can't even find it in my heart to condemn the Southern voices scattered throughout Sherwood Forest and Nottingham - replacing a human sheriff with a lupine one is such a violent change that the use of expressions like, "Aw, geez, Nutsy," seems trivial by comparison. At any rate I found the voices far less irritating than Kevin Costner's drawl in HIS version of Robin Hood.
The animation is mostly good but without the stand-out brilliance of, say, "The Jungle Book". There are a few scenes that look as if they belong on television (which is a problem shared with the next five animated features that Disney made). The children are more cloying than usual with Disney and we see too much of them. That's about it with the carping. All in all it's cheerful, it's shameless, it's hard to resist.
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