Robin Hood (1973)

Isn’t it strange how many films that Disney have done have been done again, with live-action, in the 90’s? First we had Peter Pan, then 101 Dalmations and now we have Robin Hood. Well I have seen the live-action version of Robin Hood with Kevin Kostner and Morgan Freeman so naturally I was curious as to whether Disney could come up with a film that topped it. Did it deliver? Well, lets find out. This is Robin Hood

The film revolves around the fox Robin Hood and his best friend Little John the bear as they rob from the rich and steal from the poor. Robin is being hunted by the lion Prince John, his snake chancellor Ka- err Hiss and the greedy, oppressive sheriff of Nottingham (a wolf). Robin falls in love with his childhood sweetheart, Maid Marian (a vixen…) and they plot to save Nottingham from the Prince.

I really liked this film, the live action version only topped it by a notch. The characters were great, the story was great, the animation was great and the music was great. Lets start with the characters. Robin is good, he’s brave, charming and pretty funny at times. When I heard his accent I was a little…Ya know…I mean, I never really thought of him as speaking with such a British accent. Maid Marians pretty good too, she’s a likable character and the film does actually show her and Robin falling in love. The romance is done well because the two characters are young and were childhood sweethearts. There’s even a montage of the two of them walking in the forest and talking, it works very well. The supporting characters are pretty good too. Their all really likable and all have their funny moments. The villains really stand out forme because each one has something big to talk about. Firstly Hiss. There’s the obvious thing about how this film uses animation from the Jungle Book and it does look like they took a lot from that film, Little John and Baloo are really similar and the same thing can be said of Kaa and Hiss. They’re practically identical, they even both use hypnosis. That said, Hiss is still a pretty fun villain, especially when sharing the screen with Prince John, as he usually does. Prince John is an example of a bad Disney villain. He winges, he cries, he sucks his thumb. It gets annoying and he has none of the qualities that make a good Disney villain. At times he seems like there’s a bit of malevolence coming through and he does seem a little intelligent sometimes, but for the most part he’s pretty bad. The Sheriff of Nottingham is just brilliant. The best villain in this film. He’s a jackass, plain and simple. Within the first 10 minutes of him being on the screen, he’s already stolen from the disabled, a blind man and stolen a child’s birthday present. What a douche. He plays a big enough part in the film and he is the better of the three villains. Should he have been the main one? No, but he’s the one I enjoyed the most. The animation, Jungle Book theft aside, is decent animation, but again it doesn’t seem like Disney made that much progress, it’s different to the Aristocats but only because the Aristocats was going for a particular style. Nevertheless, the film still looks really good I would just’ve liked to see something a little more progressive. The music is good, I love the rooster at the beginning who sings all the songs, especially that opening theme which I swear to God 90% of people know. The other songs are also good but once again, with the exception of the opening tune, nothing really stands out. Sure the songs are good you’re listening to them at the time but tell me, can any of you name any of them when the film had finished? No, didn’t think so. The action is the best Disney has done so far. The chase after the archery tournament is funny and the final fight in the castle courtyard is just incredible, both are really good scenes. So, yeah when I had finished the film I did like it, but then I found out that there was an alternative ending where Robin is wounded in the final battle and is taken to a church. Prince John follows them and attempts to murder Robin and Maid Marian but then King Richard comes home and arrests him, it really sounds like an epic final scene. This is what would’ve made this film so much better and, to be honest, it’s the only thing that I can think of. This ending would’ve taken this film from being really good to being brilliant. I don’t know why they didn’t use it but they really, really should’ve.

A great film, with good animation, good songs, decent enough villains but is let down by the wrong choice of ending and a really sissy villain.




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