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What's the story?
Walt Disney's animated ROBIN HOOD recounts the story of the famous outlaw and Little John, here depicted as a fox and a bear. Wild animals portray the other folkloric characters, making the story even more engaging for young children. Robin Hood and Little John are uninhibited, mischievous pranksters that "rob the rich to feed the poor". Dressed as female fortune tellers, they pilfer Prince John's money, jewels, hubcaps and even the royal robes off his back. But Robin's antics are countered by his compassion for the impoverished peasants of Nottingham, who benefit from his redistribution of wealth. His romance with Marian is treated with a light hand and resembles school-age infatuation. In her armoire, Maid Marian keeps a cherished picture of Robin -- his wanted poster.
Is it any good?
Walt Disney's clever adaptation is entertaining and skillfully animated. Children will enjoy the melodrama and action, as well as musical interludes in a folksong style. Peter Ustinov lends his vocal talent to Prince John, creating a delightfully nefarious screen villain. Prince John is the pinnacle of poor character: vain, greedy, gullible, and temperamental with a habit for thumb sucking. One young viewer laughed out loud with delight to see the infantile tyrant sulk and cry "Mommy" when foiled by his archenemy Robin.
As Disney character animation delights, folksongs add a light-hearted flair. One song, "Love," received an Oscar nomination. As an introduction to swashbuckling comic adventure, this Robin Hood is good fun all around.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: November 8, 1973
- On DVD or streaming: July 4, 2000
- Cast: Andy Devine, Brian Bedford, Peter Ustinov
- Director: Wolfgang Reitherman
- Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Adventures, Book Characters, Wild Animals
- Character Strengths: Empathy
- Run time: 93 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
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