Robin Hood (1973) / Animation-Adventure
MPAA Rated: G, suitable for all audiences
Running time: 83 min.
Cast (voices): Brian Bedford, Peter Ustinov, Phil Harris, Terry-Thomas, Monica Evans, Pat Buttram
Director: Wolfgang Reitherman
Screenplay: Ken Anderson, Vance Gerry, Frank Thomas, Eric Cleworth, Julius Svendsen, Dave Michener
Review published March 11, 1999
Although not generally considered one of Disney's masterpieces, there is still quite a bit of entertainment to be had from Disney's Robin Hood. What's more, it is also one of the better Robin Hood adaptations on the big screen, although you have to expect a lot of artistic license, especially when all of the characters have been replaced by animals.
Robin Hood (voiced by Brian Bedford, Nixon) is a fox, who sets about robbing from the evil Prince John (Ustinov, Spartacus), brother to the King Richard, who he has had hypnotized to go to the Crusades. While Richard is away, John assumes the throne, where he proceeds to send out the Sheriff of Nottingham (Buttram, "Green Acres") to exact severe taxes on the struggling poor and amass great wealth. For every gold piece John gets, Robin snatches back, and the two play a game of cat and mouse (or is it lion and fox?) to determine who will win their test of wits and control of the riches.
Robin Hood is a fun family film, with colorful characters and lots of decent action. It's a bit of a curiosity, as there are quite a few good ol' country boys in jolly Olde England, along with a soundtrack of mostly countrified tunes. The animation is well-done as you'd expect, and the story, although oft told, is varied enough not to seem too derivative. Disney's Robin Hood is recommended mostly for young children, but it isn't so juvenile that adults couldn't watch along as well.
©1999 Vince Leo