Robin Hood (1973)

robin hood poster 1973 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 6/10

Some catchy tunes, fun characters

Weak telling of the Robin Hood story

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Robin Hood

Studio:  Walt Disney Productions

Genre(s):  Animated/Action/Adventure/Musical/Family

Release Date(s):  November 8, 1973

MPAA Rating:  G

robin hood disney fortune teller

I predict Disney can do better

Robin Hood and his friend Little John have their hands full.  King Richard has left Nottingham in the charge of his brother Prince John as he wages a crusade.  Under John’s rule with the help of the wicked Sheriff of Nottingham, the people of Nottingham have suffered while John lives a life of luxury.  Also caught up in John’s web is Maid Marian who Robin has pined for with all his heart, and Robin and Little John must find a way to save her as they save the poor from the iron fist of Prince John and his men.

Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman, Robin Hood is a Disney action-adventure family film.  The movie was Walt Disney’s twenty-first animated feature in its Walt Disney Animated Classic series and followed followed The Aristocats in 1970.  It is an adaptation of the popular Robin Hood legends and met with average reviews.  It received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song (“Love”).

robin hood stork disguise archery contest

This bird can shoot

Robin Hood was always one of those Disney films that didn’t have much fanfare attached to it.  Disney would pop out Robin Hood as almost an afterthought when opposed to releasing big movies like Pinocchio, Snow White, or CinderellaRobin Hood was the type of Disney film that would make TV air much sooner than other classic Disney films and there is a reason…it isn’t that good.

The original concept for Robin Hood sounds far more interesting than the movie that ended up being made.  Disney was going to produce a film surrounding Reynard…the fox of legend from European fairytales.  Unfortunately Reynard isn’t always the best role model and family friendly, and Disney played it safe by making a story out of the Robin Hood legend…which feels like it has been done to death.

Oh yes…I will destroy him!

The movie did bring a strong cast to voice the characters.  Shakespearian stage actor Brian Bedford took the role of Robin Hood with Monica Evans as his Maid Marian.  Disney go-to man Phil Harris provided the Little John voice (and a ringer for his Baloo character from The Jungle Book), but Peter Ustinov steals the show as both the thumbsucking Prince John and the regal King Richard.  Another Disney favorite Paul Buttram voiced the Sheriff of Nottingham, and Friar Tuck and Sir Hiss were voiced by Andy Devine and Terry-Thomas.  Singer Roger Miller provided some of the music as the wandering bard character Alan-a-Dale.

robin hood disney maid marian ending wedding

Goodbye…we’re not even good enough for a straight-to-video sequel

I just have never been into the art of Robin Hood.  That whole style of art which began with One Hundred and One Dalmatians and stretched until around The Black Cauldron never did much for me…especially when compare it to Disney’s superior early work or Sleeping Beauty (which I’d argue is some of Disney’s best art…but unfortunately a weak story).  The movie is aided by some simple and catchy tunes (including the great opening which is my go-to whistle tune).

Robin Hood is a movie that is forgettable but also extremely accessible.  The movie moves quickly and with little controversy or challenges for younger viewers (an alternate ending was a bit darker and can be found on some versions of the film).  If you have a pile of Disney films to choose from, stick with the classics and skip over Robin HoodRobin Hood was followed by The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in 1977.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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