1973’s Robin Hood is one of those Disney movies that usually fits in one of two categories for most people: a movie that they grew up watching as a kid or a movie that they couldn’t care less about. There is nothing particularly notable about this movie in terms of its place in Disney animated history. It is not really considered a classic. It was not a complete failure either, but didn’t receive the same praise as the films prior. Interestingly, this was not the first time Disney had approached this story. 20 years earlier, the studio had released a live-action version called The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men, which is often forgotten about due to this animated version.
Robin Hood is somewhat infamous for its heavy use of recycled animation. In the earlier days of the studio, it was quite common for Disney to use recycled various animated sequences throughout their films as it would save both time and money. However, there is quite a lot in Robin Hood. Be on the lookout for sequences that you might recognize from The Jungle Book and The Aristocats. In fact, the character of Little John is almost a stark copy of Baloo from The Jungle Book. They even brought back Phil Harris for the role!
Apart from the two leading men, the rest of the characters are mostly forgettable, particularly Maid Marion, who was written incredibly poorly here. The only standout character is the “villain” Prince John who still makes me laugh even as an adult.
The best aspect of the film may its musical theme. Titled “Oo-De-Lally”, it is sung by The Rooster and has become a classic Disney song in its own right, for which it is well deserved.
Like I said before, the primary audience for Robin Hood are those who grew up with the film. However, it is still worth checking out regardless and is a great choice for kids.
Live-action remake: There was at one point to be a live-action remake called Nottingham & Hood that would feature human characters rather than animals. This remake seems to have been dropped. However, another remake was recently announced, which would keep the animal characters and would be a blend of CGI and live-action. This is to be a musical and will debut on Disney+. For more information, check out this article.
Robin Hood in the theme parks: Robin Hood is very scarce in the parks. At Walt Disney World there is a restaurant called “Friar’s Nook” which is inspired by the character of Friar Tuck. Also, the rooster is featured in “Garden of the the Twelve Friends”, an attraction in Shanghai Disneyland.
Robin Hood is available to stream on Disney+.