Reviewed bySpleenVote: 8/10/10
The opening credits present us with all of the animals who will laterappearin the film (the very same footage, in fact), parading themselves in frontof a white background and a rather catchy tune. We see a fox dressed asRobin Hood. ROBIN HOOD, reads the credits. And in smaller lettersunderneath, in brackets: (a fox). We see a badger in a monk's outfit.FRIAR TUCK, says the credits. (a bear). I find this highly amusing. Iloveit. Don't ask me why. I think, though, that it demonstrates two things:that "Robin Hood" was made under the same cost cutting Disney regime thatmade "The Aristocats" three years earlier and "The Rescuers" three yearslater; and that it has far more life than both of these films puttogether.
It IS the cost-cutting that would damn this film, and it's liveliness thatredeems it. (That, and Peter Ustinov's vocal performance as Prince John.)I can't even find it in my heart to condemn the Southern voices scatteredthroughout Sherwood Forest and Nottingham - replacing a human sheriff withalupine one is such a violent change that the use of expressions like, "Aw,geez, Nutsy," seems trivial by comparison. At any rate I found the voicesfar less irritating than Kevin Costner's drawl in HIS version of RobinHood.
The animation is mostly good but without the stand-out brilliance of, say,"The Jungle Book". There are a few scenes that look as if they belong ontelevision (which is a problem shared with the next five animated featuresthat Disney made). The children are more cloying than usual with Disneyandwe see too much of them. That's about it with the carping. All in allit'scheerful, it's shameless, it's hard to resist.
Reviewed byLaurenVote: 7/10/10
I loved this movie as a kid, as did just about every person I know. Soit works for the youngins. As an adult, and an animation fan, I wassurprised to learn that this movie is sort of the Disney studio'ssecret shame. I had nothing but fond memories of it, after all. And Icould name at least a dozen Disney films that I would have put ahead ofit on my Most Crappy list. I very recently watched it on televisionafter many years, and yes, it is definitely flawed. The quality of theanimation is terrible, and the lack of an over arching story makes thewhole thing seem frivolous, like it was made for TV and not for a bigstudio release. There are holes in the narrative, scenes that shouldexist that don't, and scenes that have no reason to exist that do. AndI think the somewhat random decision to cast the film with animalslends to the Saturday morning vibe as well.
But there's enough cool things peaking out from under all thehalf-assery that rescues the film just enough for it to be enjoyable.Peter Ustinov turns in an excellent, excellent performance as PrinceJohn, at turns hysterical and genuinely nasty. Brian Bedford oozes easygoing charm as Robin. He's probably turned in the second most likableperformance of the character captured on film. He's just unfortunatelydelivering it through the poorly animated mouth of a cartoon fox. Andthough the actual quality of the animation is poor, some of thecharacter animation is pretty clever and expressive. And I have toapplaud the choice to add Roger Miller to the mix as a folkie, possiblypot-smoking minstrel rooster. His character adds a cool, Earthy vibe tothe proceedings and as others have mentioned, his song, Not inNottingham, actually sort of works as a blues song. Weird.
So Robin Hood is definitely not the epic tale Disney was capable ofchurning out in its hey days, but I dug it as a kid, and I still dig ittoday. You know, looking back at all my reviews on this site, it seemsI mostly leap to the defense of classically bad films that I likeanyway. That's OK, I guess. Someone has to.
Reviewed byMulligaVote: 10/10/10
It is strange how many people damn the Disney version of "Robin Hood" forrough and repetitious animation, one-dimensional characters, and weakpacing. After all, A LOT of animated films suffer from this syndrome, even"landmark" productions like "Anastasia" and "Shrek." The characters arestereotypes, but they act believably: Prince John is silly, but with a trulyevil undercurrent ("Squeeze every last drop out of thoseinsolent...musical...peasants."), the Sheriff is deliciously nasty("Upsy-daisy"), and Robin Hood is very affable. The music is, quite simply,fantastic. "Not in Nottingham" is easily the best Disney song ever (barring"When She Loved Me" in Toy Story 2), the opening theme and song are catchyand appropriate for the movie's tone, and the movie's action scenes areclever, chaotic, and action-packed but not gory. This is a movie you canshow your kids without being embarrassed upon seeing that the movie is onelong commercial for action figures and plush toys.
Retelling of the Robin Hood legend with animals for the characters. Robin Hood is an outlaw who starts to form a gang in Sherwood Forest to fight the injustices of the Sheriff of Nottingham, who levies unpayable taxes upon the people.