Robin Hood
Robin Hood 45th Anniversary DVD poster
Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman
Produced by Wolfgang Reitherman
Written by Larry Clemmons (Screenplay)

Ken Anderson (Story)

Starring Phil Harris

Andy Devine

Peter Ustinov


Brian Bedford

Monica Evans

Carole Shelley

Pat Buttram

Roger Miller

Music by George Bruns

Roger Miller

Editors Unknown

Cinematography Unknown

Studios Walt Disney Productions

Distributors Buena Vista Distribution

Release date (s) December 21, 1973

Language English

Preceded by The Aristocats

Followed by The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Robin Hood is an 1973 animated film produced by the Walt Disney Studios, first released in the United States on November 8, 1973. It is the twenty-first animated feature in the Disney Animated Canon. It was the first feature which began production after Walt Disney's death, although some elements were taken from an earlier aborted production ("Reynard the Fox", see below) which Disney had been involved in. As a result this was the first Disney movie to carried on in production without Walt Disney's involvement.

While the film was a box-office success and is widely popular with audiences, the film is considered an embarrassment by Disney due to its poor critical response and lack of flexibility in the commercial market. The heavy use of recycled animation is also criticized.

Plot Edit

The film recounts the traditional stories of Robin Hood with the characters cast as anthropomorphic animals. It is narrated by Alan-a-Dale who explains that while there are many different versions to the Robin Hood legend, "we folks of the animal kingdom have our own version."

Robin Hood teams up with his band of outlaws including Little John, Friar Tuck, and Alan-A-Dale, to assist the people of Nottingham. He does this by returning to the people the money taken from them through oppressive taxation by Prince John and his followers: Sir Hiss and the Sheriff of Nottingham. The true king, King Richard had left for the crusades and Prince John usurped the throne in his absence. The beginning of the film shows Robin Hood robbing Prince John, who is on his way to Nottingham.

The angry Prince puts out a reward for Robin Hood's capture, but no one responds. Later, Robin Hood, disguised as a blind beggar, distributes his loot among the townspeople, as they had been suffering as a result of Prince John's heavy taxes. He also secretly attends a birthday party for a young rabbit named Skippy. After discovering that the Sheriff had taken the boy's birthday present as taxes, Robin Hood gifts the young rabbit with a bow and arrow, as well as his hat.

Skippy, along with his sisters Sis and Tagalong, and his friend Toby, go out to test the bow and arrow. However, Skippy shoots it into the courtyard of Prince John's castle. Retrieving the arrow leads the children to a run in with Maid Marian, Robin Hood's childhood sweetheart, who tells of her relationship with Robin. A later scene reveals that Maid Marian had left for London sometime before the film, and had only recently returned. Both Robin Hood and Maid Marian still love each other, but each has their doubts about their relationship. Robin fears that his outlaw status means that he could never pursue a relationship with Maid Marian, who is King Richard's niece, while Marian worries that Robin has forgotten about her while she has been away.

Robin Hood later chooses to sneak into an archery tournament held by Prince John, after learning that the prize is a kiss from Maid Marian. Knowing it to be a trap, he disguises himself as a stork. Robin's identity is discovered by Sir Hiss, but the snake is trapped in a barrel by Friar Tuck before he can inform Prince John. Robin wins the tournament. However, his identity is given away thanks to his masterful archery skills, and he is exposed by Prince John and captured. Despite Maid Marian's pleas, Prince John sentences Robin Hood to death, but thanks to some interference on the part of Little John, Robin manages to avoid death. A huge fight breaks out where they tangle with the Captain of the Guard, as well as the Sheriff. Robin Hood manages to escape with Marian, while also proposing to her. The two of them are joined in the forest, along with the rest of the outlaws and other citizens of Nottingham, who all have a wonderful time mocking the Prince. But when John finds out about this, he orders taxes to be increased even more, to the point of most of the citizens being driven into debt and jailed.

Friar Tuck is arrested when he tries to keep the Sheriff from taking money from the church's charity collection box, thus leaving Father Mouse and Mother Mouse to run the church. To scare Robin out of hiding, John plans to hang Friar Tuck. Fortunately, Robin hears of it ahead of time and manages to rescue the Friar as well as the other imprisoned people and steal back the prince's ill-gained gold.

They all escape from the castle, but Robin goes back to rescue one of Widow Rabbit's children. Though he succeeds, the guards close the portcullis of the castle, blocking his exit. While trying to escape, he fights the Sheriff (who has become recklessly obsessed with catching him) on the top floor of the castle. While trying to escape a fire started as a result of the Sheriff's recklessness, Robin is forced to jump from the tower roof into the moat, while being shot at by the Sheriff's posse. When Robin Hood does not emerge, Little John, as well as Prince John, who had been watching, assume Robin Hood is dead. However, Robin Hood survives by swimming under water, using a reed as a snorkel. Enraged, Prince John chases Sir Hiss around the castle.

Soon after, King Richard returns from the crusades and straightens everything out. King Richard pardons Robin Hood and imprisons Prince John, the Sheriff and Sir Hiss before finally allowing Maid Marian and Robin Hood to marry.

At the end of the film, Skippy joins Robin Hood's Merry Men, this is evidenced by the fact that Skippy stated that "Robin Hood's gonna have kids, so somebody's gotta keep their eye on things."

Cast Edit

  • Robin Hood, a fox, voice: Brian Bedford
  • Little John, a bear, voice: Phil Harris
  • Prince John, a lion, voice: Peter Ustinov
  • Friar Tuck, a badger, voice: Andy Devine
  • Sir Hiss, a snake, voice: Terry-Thomas
  • Maid Marian, a vixen, voice: Monica Evans
  • Lady Kluck, a Chicken/hen, voice: Carole Shelley
  • Sheriff of Nottingham, a wolf, voice: Pat Buttram
  • Alan-A-Dale, a rooster, voice: Roger Miller
  • Trigger & Nutsy, vultures, voices: George Lindsey and Ken Curtis, respectively
  • Sexton Mouse and Little Sister, mice, voice: John Fiedler and Barbara Luddy, respectively.
  • Mother Rabbit, Sis, Tagalong, and Skippy, rabbits, voice: Barbara Luddy, Dana Laurita, Dori Whitaker, Billy Whitaker, respectively
  • Otto, a dog, voice: J. Pat O'Malley
  • Toby, a turtle, voice: Richie Sanders
  • King Richard, a lion, voice: Peter Ustinov
  • Captain Crocodile, a crocodile, voice: Candy Candido

Voices Edit

A few of the voice-actors utilized in this production are/were British (Bedford, Evans, Ustinov, Thomas, Shelley, and O'Malley). However, the creators of the film made the decision 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 Friar Tuck and the Sheriff of Nottingham have accents and mannerisms more associated with the rural southwestern United States than with England. This effect was further reinforced by the choice of country singer Roger Miller as the movie's songwriter and narrator.

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