Disney (Wednes)Day: Robin Hood

Welcome back dear friends to another instalment of Disney Day. Today’s feature film is Robin Hood from 1973. I haven’t seen this one before (shocker, I know) and the last time I had anything to do with Robin Hood was in 6th grade when we read the story in English class. Which is to say, I don’t remember all that much aside from the very basic storyline. So far, so good. To the actual movie then.

It opens with a shot of a book that’s telling us a bit about the happenings in England at the time. Then a voice over starts who turns out to be a Rooster with a lute so he sings us through the title cards because that’s a normal thing to do. All the roles in this movie are occupied by different animals and I’m not sure how this makes me feel. There are just too many different species that usually don’t live together for me to be okay with this whole thing but moving on.

Sherwood Forest. Robin Hood (a fox) and Little John (a bear) walk through the forest and we se all the fun times they’re having. Their lives are pretty exciting with being on the run from Prince John and all that stuff. Lil’ John tells his foxy buddy that he seems to be taking too many risks but Robin of da Hood is all NBD about it so Lil’ John drops the topic. Instead he asks if they are good or bad guys since they are stealing from the rich ann all that. But Robin informs him that it’s not actually stealing, they’re just borrowing money. Yeah, the lies you tell yourself.

This is the cue for some weird animal parade to march through the forest. As it turns out, it’s Prince John whom I want to refer to as PJ because I don’t want to type it every time and it sounds funny. PJ is just returning to Nottingham with a lot of cash because he just collected his TAXES, TAXES or something. He seems to really love his money. His motto is actually to rob the poor so the rich can feast so, you know, it’s the opposite of Robin Hood’s.

It seems PJ has an oedipus complex because every time his mother is mentioned, he starts sucking on his thumb. I’m not sure if this grosses me out or amuses me. Whatever. His mighty servant is a snake that goes by the name if Hiss and possesses similar hypnotic powers as Kaa from The Jungle Book.

Back to our noble thieves. They are just in the process of putting on women’s clothes as to stop the Prince’s carriage and rob it. They pretend to be fortune tellers and PJ believes them. He doesn’t notice the gem stones disappearing from his rings before he invites Woman!Robin inside his carriage. I’m guessing he’s not thinking with his brain in that particular moment. Hiss has noticed something going on but nobody listens to him so our thieves are safe.

While Woman!Robin distracts and steals directly from PJ, Woman!Lil’ John does the same with the rest of his highnesses possessions. It’s a ridiculously obvious scene and I don’t understand why any of PJ’s minions don’t see what’s going on but yes, kids movie and all that blah.

Nottingham. The Singing Rooster narrates some about the city and its poor people. We see the fat Sheriff strut down the streets while Friar Tuck is bringing money to people in the hopes of the Sheriff not noticing only he does. Womp, womp. It’s time a again to collect taxes and he gets to everyone even a bunny family that’s just celebrating the birthday of one of their kids. He takes the present away from the boy and I want to hurt this douche canoe real bad. An old man comes into the house and it’s very clear this is Robin Hood in disguise. However, he fools the Sheriff. After the awful man leaves, Robin reveals his true identity and gives the family and especially the little boy some gifts.

With his new arrow and bow, Lil’ Bunny Kid goes to try it out with his friends. Unfortunately he aims to high and shoots the arrow into the garden of PJ’s castle. His friends try to get him from going there but he doesn’t care. He is going to get his arrow back, period.

Castle grounds. A female fox and a hen are playing badminton while Lil’ Bunny Kid is trying to get his arrow back but he let’s Fox!Girl see him. But she is a kind soul and humours him and his friends. As does her friend, Lady Cluck. They play adorably with the kids and I want to hug the world. It’s revealed that Fox!Girl is Maid Marian and she once dated Robin Hood. Actually, she still loves him so we all know where this is going to end, don’t we? Okay then, moving on.

Back in her room, Maid Marian talks to Lady Cluck about Robin and her love for him but it’s impossible King Richard will ever allow the marriage since Robin’s an outlaw. Sucks to be her, I guess.

Sherwood Forest. Robin Hood and Lil’ John are being domestic with cooking and washing, just like I was doing earlier. Robin is daydreaming about his love and Lil’ John teases him until Friar Tuck arrives to get some food and also tell them about the championship archery tournament Prince John just announced. Apparently the winner gets a kiss from Maid Marian. Ugh, such patriarchic bullshit! Anyway, upon hearing this, Robin is all LET’S GO, blowing all caution in the wind and says he’ll be attending the tournament. I’m sure this is a terrible idea since there’s a bounty on Robin’s head but we also need a plot so there’s that.

Tournament of Patriarchic Kisses and Idiocy. Both Lil’ John and Robin Hood are disguised. Robin goes to attend the shoot out while Lil’ John makes his way to where PJ is sitting with Hiss to charm the pants off of the Prince. Hiss is wearing some sort of cape and I can’t help but wonder his it stays up since he is basically a moving stick. Lil’ John claims to be some Count and PJ is gullible enough not to question it. He throws Hiss out to investigate if Robin may be around. Tuck and the Singing Rooster are on Hiss’ tail so to speak.

Maid Marian arrives to take a seat next to PJ. Robin makes sure she knows it’s him when he passes and she is over the moon.

Robin tries to distract the Sheriff while he shoots and Hiss finds out that Robin is actually Robin in disguise but thankfully Friar Tuck and the Singing Rooster are there to make sure Hiss can’t tell.

Robin wins the tournament and just as he is declared the winner, PJ announces that he’s a fraud and reveals Disguised!Robin’s true identity. A huge fight breaks loose. In the end ┬áRobin is captured and PJ sentences him to death much to Maid Marian’s dismay. The crowd cheers for King Richard which doesn’t make PJ feel any kinder towards Robin. I also have to mention the owl couple because obligatory Disney owl shot, yo!

WOMEN POWER!

Lil’ John is there to have Robin’s back though. He blackmails PJ into letting Robin go.

Sherwood Forest of romancing. Robin and Marian are being all lovey-doey and some song is sung. It looks like they’re having an impromptu secret wedding with all their friends and I know this is supposed to be all cute but I’m just so over this movie at this point. It’s a little too much in every department and I can’t even put my finger on why I don’t care, I just don’t.

At the castle, the Sheriff comes by to drop off his collected taxes with Hiss. They joke about PJ and his mommy complex, only PJ is there to witness this exchange and is not amused. PJ’s answer to feeling the sadz, is raising the taxes to teach his city that they can’t make fun of him like that. So the poor, poor people of Nottingham get even poorer due to the additional taxes and thus ending up in jail because they can’t pay them anymore.

Except for Friar Tuck and his church mouse family, everyone seems to be in jail. When the Sheriff drops by the church to take the last money from the church he throws Friar Tuck in jail as well.

Castle of Gloom. PJ sadz some more and Hiss is trying to lift his spirits but nothing helps. Not even playing with all the money he now has because what PJ really wants, is for Robin Hood to be caught. Hiss mentions Friar Tuck being in jail and PJ gets an idea. He wants to use the Friar as a bait to get close to Robin Hood.

Town Square, where a thing is built to hang Friar Tuck on. Beggar!Robin appears to get information. Together with Lil’ John he makes a plan to safe the good people of Nottingham. It involves breaking into jail and the castle. In the castle, Robin robs all the money and delivers it to jail via sky rail. It’s a very long montage I don’t care enough to give a detailed recount of. It ends with Robin nearly dying but of course he doesn’t. Instead PJ ruins his mother’s castle which surely is not a good thing. King Richard takes the bounty off of Robin’s head and Robin marries Marian because that’s the way it’s gotta go.

The end.

Finally. This movie wasn’t really bad, I can’t say such a thing but it wasn’t good either. A mentioned earlier, I don’t even know why it doesn’t sit right with me, it’s just not particularly interesting.

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  • wlreed

    I finally got Disqus to load, so I can comment now! (expect a slew for your recent posts)

    I actually love the story of Robin Hood, for some reason it grabs my imagination. There’s a book called Lady of Sherwood by Jennifer Roberson that’s sort of loose historical fiction about Robin Hood that I love. And I have good memories of this movie because I watched it with my ex’s younger brothers when they were about 9 and 10. I don’t really remember much about the movie, I just have warm fuzzies. And I love the rooster’s song at the beginning. Oo-de-lally.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      For me Robin Hood has just been done a lot but I can imagine watching this when you’re younger and loving it but now as a rather opinionated adult? Hmm, doesn’t always work so well.

      Also yay for you figuring out what the problem was :)

  • cupitonians

    I didn’t even know this movie existed but from the gifs, I really want to watch it. At least once!

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      You definitely should! Just because I didn’t care too much for it, doesn’t mean it has to be bad. I’d say, go for it!

  • Tim

    This version of Robin Hood was one of my favorite movies as a kid. I loved Alan-A-Dale a lot, though I never really understood why. I’d say this is just below Aladdin and Fantasia in terms of my favorite Disney movies ever.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Wow, it definitely isn’t for me. It’s pretty low on the list actually. But then again, Aladdin doesn’t rank as high for me either. Sorry.

      • Tim

        I hate to boil this down to something as simple as male vs. female, however my favorite Disney movies are the ones without princesses. They just didn’t appeal to me as a young boy.

        • Wilhelmina Upton

          I get that, but for me The Beauty and the Beast probably ranks higher than Aladdin. Nothing is ever as good when you were part of the same play and Aladdin was my first at the theatre. I’m not one for the usual princess story and fairy tale either in general.