ROBIN HOOD is a 1973 American animated musical comedy -adventure film
Walt Disney Productions which was first released in the
United States on November 8, 1973.
The 21st Disney animated feature film , it is based on the legend of
Robin Hood , but uses anthropomorphic animals rather than people. The
story follows the adventures of
Robin Hood ,
Little John and the
Nottingham as they fight against the excessive taxation
of Prince John , and
Robin Hood wins the hand of
Maid Marian .
* 1 Plot
* 1.1 Alternate ending
* 2 Cast
* 3 Production
* 3.1 Casting
* 4 Release
* 5 Reception
* 5.1 Critical reaction
* 5.2 Box office
* 5.3 Awards and honors
* 6 Soundtrack
* 7 Live-action remake
* 8 See also
* 9 References
* 10 Bibliography
* 11 External links
Alan-a-Dale introduces the story of
Robin Hood and
Little John , two
outlaws living in the
Sherwood Forest , where they rob from the rich
and give to the poor townsfolk of
Nottingham , despite the efforts of
the Sheriff of
Nottingham to stop them. Meanwhile, Prince John and his
assistant Sir Hiss arrive in
Nottingham on a tour of the kingdom.
Knowing the royal coach is laden with riches, Robin and Little John
rob Prince John by disguising themselves as fortune tellers. The
embarrassed Prince John then puts a bounty on their heads and makes
the Sheriff his personal tax collector, who takes pleasure in
collecting funds from the townsfolk including hidden money from the
crippled blacksmith Otto and a single farthing from a young rabbit,
Skippy, who had just received it as a birthday present. However, Robin
Hood, disguised as a beggar, sneaks in and gives back some money to
the family, as well as his hat and a bow to Skippy in honor of his
Skippy and his friends test out the bow, but Skippy fires an arrow
into the grounds of
Maid Marian 's castle. The children sneak inside,
Maid Marian and her attendant Lady Kluck. Skippy "rescues"
Marian from Lady Kluck, who pretends to be a pompous Prince John.
Later, when she is alone with Kluck,
Maid Marian reveals she and Robin
were childhood sweethearts but they have not seen one another for
years, and Kluck consoles her not to give up on her love for Robin.
Friar Tuck visits Robin and Little John, explaining that
Prince John is hosting an archery tournament, and the winner will
receive a kiss from Maid Marian. Robin decides to participate in the
tournament disguised as a stork whilst
Little John disguises himself
as the Duke of Chutney to get near Prince John. Sir Hiss discovers
Robin's identity but is trapped in a barrel of ale by
Friar Tuck and
Alan-a-Dale. Robin wins the tournament, but Prince John exposes him
and has him arrested for execution despite Maid Marian's pleas. Little
John threatens Prince John in order to release Robin, which leads to a
fight between Prince John's soldiers and the townsfolk, all of which
escape to Sherwood Forest.
As Robin and
Maid Marian fall in love again, the townsfolk have a
troubadour festival spoofing Prince John, describing him as the "Phony
King of England", and the song soon becomes popular with John's
soldiers. Enraged by the insult, Prince John triples the taxes,
imprisoning most of the townsfolk who cannot pay. A paltry coin gets
deposited into the poor box at Friar Tuck's church, which gets seized
by the Sheriff. Enraged that government has meddled in his church,
Friar Tuck lashes out at the Sheriff, to which he is quickly arrested
for "attacking a lawman, interfering with the Sheriff's legal duties
and high treason to the Crown". Prince John orders
Friar Tuck hung,
Robin Hood will come out of hiding to rescue his friend and
give the potential for Robin to be caught and a "double hanging".
Robin and Little John, having learned of the plot, chose to sneak in
during the night, with
Little John managing to free all of the
prisoners whilst Robin steals Prince John's taxes, but Sir Hiss
awakens to find Robin fleeing. Chaos follows as Robin and the others
try to escape to Sherwood Forest. The Sheriff corners Robin after he
is forced to return to rescue Tagalong, Skippy's little sister. During
the chase, Prince John's castle catches fire and the Sheriff figures
he has Robin where he wants, either to be captured, burned, or make a
risky jump into the moat.
Robin Hood elects to jump.
Little John and
Skippy fear Robin is lost, but he surfaces safely after using a reed
as a breathing tube. Sir Hiss says he tried to warn Prince John, and
now look what he did to his mother's castle, causing the Prince to
exclaim "Mummy!" and suck his thumb and chase the terrified snake into
the burning castle.
Later, King Richard returns to England, placing his brother, Sir Hiss
and the Sheriff under arrest and allows his niece
Maid Marian to marry
Robin Hood, turning the former outlaw into an in-law.
The alternate ending (included in the "Most Wanted Edition" DVD) is a
deleted version of the story's conclusion, primarily utilizing still
images from Ken Anderson's original storyboard drawings of the
Robin Hood leaps off of the castle and into the moat , he
is wounded (presumably by one of the arrows shot into the water after
him) and carried away to the church for safety. Prince John, enraged
that he has once again been outwitted by Robin Hood, finds Little John
leaving the church, and suspects the outlaw to be there as well. Sure
enough, he finds
Maid Marian tending to an unconscious Robin Hood, and
draws a dagger to kill them both. Before Prince John can strike,
however, he is stopped by his brother, King Richard, having returned
from the Crusades . King Richard is appalled to find that Prince John
has left his kingdom bleak and oppressed. Abiding his mother's wishes,
King Richard decides he cannot banish Prince John from the kingdom,
but does grant him severe punishment (which explained how Prince John,
Sir Hiss, and the Sheriff ended up in the Royal Rock Pile). King
Nottingham to its former glory (before leaving for the
Third Crusade ), knights
Robin Hood as Sir Robin of Locksley, and
Friar Tuck to marry
Robin Hood and Maid Marian.
A short finished scene from the planned original ending, featuring
King Richard and revealing himself to vulture henchmen Trigger and
Nutsy, appeared in the Ken Anderson episode of the 1980s Disney
Channel documentary series
Disney Family Album . This scene, at least
in animated form, does not appear on the Most Wanted Edition DVD.
Brian Bedford as
Robin Hood (a fox)
Monica Evans as
Maid Marian (a vixen)
Phil Harris as
Little John (a bear)
Roger Miller as
Alan-a-Dale (a rooster)
Andy Devine as
Friar Tuck (a badger)
Peter Ustinov as Prince John and King Richard (lions)
Terry-Thomas as Sir Hiss (a snake)
Carole Shelley as Lady Kluck (a chicken)
Pat Buttram as The Sheriff of
Nottingham (a wolf)
George Lindsey and
Ken Curtis as Trigger and Nutsy, respectively
John Fiedler and
Barbara Luddy as Friar Tuck's Sexton and his
wife, respectively (church mice)
* Billy Whitaker, Dana Laurita and Dori Whitaker as Skippy, Sis, and
Tagalong, respectively (rabbits)
* Richie Sanders as Toby (a turtle)
Barbara Luddy as Mother Rabbit
Candy Candido as the Captain of the Guard (crocodile)
* J. Pat O\'Malley as Otto (a dog)
Although at least five of the voice-actors utilized were British, the
decision was made to cast quite a number of American character actors
in the traditional medieval roles. Many of these individuals were
veteran performers from Western -themed movies and television
programs, which meant that characters like Little John, Friar Tuck,
and the Sheriff of
Nottingham have distinctly American accents and
mannerisms. This effect was further reinforced by the choice of
Roger Miller as the movie's songwriter and narrator.
"As director of story and character concepts, I knew right off that
Robin Hood must be a fox. From there it was logical that Maid
Marian should be a pretty vixen. Little John, legendarily known for
his size, was easily a big overgrown bear.
Friar Tuck is great as a
badger, but he was also great as a pig, as I had originally planned.
Then I thought the symbol of a pig might be offensive to the Church ,
so we changed him. Richard the Lion-hearted, of course, had to be a
regal, proud, strong lion; and his pathetic cousin Prince John, the
weak villain, also had to be a lion, but we made him scrawny and
childish. I originally thought of a snake as a member of the poor
townspeople but one of the other men here suggested that a snake would
be perfect as a slithering consort to mean Prince John." Ken
Around the time of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, Walt
Disney became interested in adapting the twelfth-century legend of
Reynard the Fox. However, the project languished due to Walt's
Reynard was an unsuitable choice for a hero. In a
meeting held on February 12, 1938, Disney commented "I see swell
possibilities in 'Reynard', but is it smart to make it? We have such a
terrific kid audience...parents and kids together. That's the trouble
– too sophisticated. We'll take a nosedive doing it with animals."
For Treasure Island , Walt seriously considered three animated
sections, each one of the
Reynard tales, to be told by Long John
Silver to Jim Hawkins as moral fables. Ultimately, the idea was nixed
as Treasure Island would become the studio's first fully live-action
film. Over the years, the studio decided to make
Reynard the villain
of a musical feature film named Chanticleer and
Reynard (based on
Edmond Rostand 's Chanticleer ) but the production was scrapped in the
early 1960s, in favor of The Sword in the Stone (1963).
The Aristocats was in production, Ken Anderson began exploring
possibilities for the next film. Studio executives favored a "classic"
tale as the subject for the next film, in which Anderson suggested the
Robin Hood , which was received enthusiastically. He blended
his ideas of
Robin Hood by incorporating that the fox character could
be slick but still use his skills to protect the community.
Additionally, Anderson wanted to set the film in the Deep South
desiring to recapture the spirit of
Song of the South
Song of the South . However, the
executives were wary of the reputation of
Song of the South
Song of the South which was
Wolfgang Reitherman 's decision to set the film in its
traditional English location inspired by The Story of
Robin Hood and
His Merrie Men . Veteran writer Larry Clemmons came on board the
project by writing a script with dialogue that was later storyboarded
by other writers.
As production went further along, Robin Allan wrote in his book Walt
Disney and Europe, that "Ken Anderson wept when he saw how his
character concepts had been processed into stereotypes for the
animation on Robin Hood." According to Frank Thomas and Ollie
Johnston , one such casualty was the concept of making the Sheriff of
Nottingham a goat as an artistic experiment to try different animals
for a villain, only to be overruled by the director who wanted to keep
to the villainous stereotype of a wolf instead. Additionally,
Anderson wanted to include the
Merry Men into the film, which was
again overridden by Reitherman because he wanted a "buddy picture "
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid , so
Little John was
the only Merry Man who remained in the film, whle
Friar Tuck was put
as a friend of Robin's who lived in Nottingham, and
turned into the narrator. Because of the time spent on developing
several settings and auditioning actors to voice Robin Hood,
production fell behind schedule. In order to meet its deadline, the
animators decided to recycle dance sequences from Snow White and the
Seven Dwarfs , The Jungle
Book , and
The Aristocats .
By October 1970, most of the voice actors were confirmed, with the
Tommy Steele cast in the title role. Steele himself was
chosen because of his performance in
The Happiest Millionaire while
Peter Ustinov was cast because Reitherman enjoyed his presence on the
set of Blackbeard\'s Ghost . However, Steele was unable to make his
character sound more heroic, and his replacement came down to final
two candidates which were Bernard Fox and
Brian Bedford , with the
latter being chosen. Meanwhile,
Louis Prima was so angered by not
being considered for a role that he personally paid the recording
expenses for the subsequent album, Let's "Hear" it For Robin Hood,
which he sold to Disneyland Records .
The film premiered at the
Radio City Music Hall
Radio City Music Hall on November 9, 1973.
The film was re-released on March 26, 1982. It was released to
videocassette on December 4, 1984 becoming the first installment of
Walt Disney Classics home video label. Disney thought the idea of
releasing any of its animated classics (known as the "untouchables")
might threaten future theatrical reissue revenue. However, Robin Hood
was viewed as the first choice since it was not held in such high
esteem as some of the other titles, and was less likely to get another
theatrical release as its 1982 reissue proved to be disappointing. It
was later re-released becoming the first 1991 (as part of Walt Disney
Classics Collection), 1994, and 1998 (as part of the Walt Disney
Masterpiece Collection ). It was first released on UK VHS in 1987
followed by a 1989 re-issue. It was re-released in 1992.
In January 2000,
Walt Disney Home Video launched the Gold Classic
Collection , with
Robin Hood re-issued on VHS and DVD on July 4, 2000.
The DVD contained the film in its 1.33:1 aspect ratio , and was
accompanied with special features including a trivia game and the
cartoon short "
Ye Olden Days ". The remastered "Most Wanted Edition"
Special Edition" in the UK) was released in 2006 and featured a
deleted scene/alternate ending, as well as a 16:9 matted transfer to
represent its original theatrical screen ratio. On August 6, 2013, the
film was released as the 40th Anniversary Edition on a
Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy combo pack.
When the film was originally released,
Judith Crist said it was
"nicely tongue-in-cheek without insult to the intelligence of either
child or adult." She also stated that it "has class – in the fine
cast that gives both voice and personality to the characters, in the
bright and brisk dialogue, in its overall concept."
Vincent Canby of
The New York Times
The New York Times wrote that it "should ... be a good deal of fun for
toddlers whose minds have not yet shriveled into orthodoxy" and he
called the visual style "charmingly conventional". The Montreal
Gazette said that when "Disney cartoon films ... are good, they are
very good" and that "there are not many films around these days which
an entire family can attend and enjoy.
Robin Hood is one of them."
New York magazine called it "a sweet, funny, slam-bang, good-hearted
Walt Disney feature cartoon with a fine cast" and said it was "a feast
for the eyes for kiddies and Disney nostalgics." Reviews written
decades after the initial release of the film have been more mixed.
The review aggregator website
Rotten Tomatoes reported that the film
received a 52% approval rating with an average rating of 5.4/10 based
on 25 reviews. The website's consensus states that "One of the weaker
Robin Hood is cute and colorful but lacks the
majesty and excitement of the studio's earlier efforts."
On its initial release,
Robin Hood grossed $9 million in the United
States. However, it has been reported that the film grossed $35
million during its initial release.
AWARDS AND HONORS
The song "Love " was nominated for
Best Original Song at the 46th
Academy Awards but lost to "
The Way We Were " from the film of the
same name .
The film is recognized by
American Film Institute
American Film Institute in these lists:
* 2008: AFI\'s 10 Top 10 :
* Nominated Animation Film
STUDIO ALBUM BY VARIOUS ARTISTS
Children\'s , Classical
* "Whistle-Stop" written and sung by
* "Oo De Lally" written and sung by Roger Miller
* "Love " written by
Floyd Huddleston and
George Bruns and sung by
* "The Phony King of England" written by
Johnny Mercer and sung by
* "The Phony King of England Reprise" sung by
Terry-Thomas and Pat
* "Not In
Nottingham " written and sung by Roger Miller
* "Love "/Oo-De-Lally Reprise" sung by Chorus
The music played in the background while Lady Kluck fights off Prince
John's soldiers in an
American football manner, following the archery
tournament, is an arrangement of "
Fight On " and "
On, Wisconsin ", the
respective fight songs of the University of Southern California and
the University of Wisconsin .
A record of the film was made at the time of its release in 1973,
which included its songs, score, narration, and dialogue. Both "Oo De
Lally" and "Love" appear on the CD collection, Classic Disney: 60
Years of Musical Magic . The full soundtrack of the film was released
to the general public on August 4, 2017 as part of the Walt Disney
Records: The Legacy Collection series on compact disc and digital, and
was a timed exclusive to the 2017 D23 Expo .
The song "Love" is featured in the 2009 feature film Fantastic Mr.
Fox . The song "Whistle-Stop" was sped up and used in the Hampster
Dance , one of the earliest internet memes, and later used at normal
speed in the
Super Bowl XLVIII commercial for
T-Mobile . The song "Oo
De Lally" is featured in a 2015 commercial for Android which shows
animals of different species playing together.
In December 2014, it was announced that Disney had bought a spec
script for a live-action film titled
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