The other day I talked about the book, “The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood,” and today I will give my thoughts on Disney’s cartoon adaptation. I love this movie, and it has to be my fourth favorite of all 54 Disney cartoons. It is funny, has my second favorite Disney song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGzyDnIocug , “Oo De Lally” and has, in my opinion, the second best disney voice: Phil Harris (Baloo, Thomas O’Malley, Little John.)
First, about the time setting. There are two main time settings: before the Crusades, and after the Crusades. (Not during, because Robin Hood historically went to the crusades.) The book is set before the Crusades. The movie however is set in the time of Prince John(after). The movie gives no backstory, and really doesn’t show much of the merry men. The story in the book is that Robin Hood was an outlaw with a charge of murder; and he meets each of his merry men in a fight. The fight tests them, and if they are good, he asks them to join his merry men. They all lead a merry life in Sherwood Forest thereafter. Of course, they rob from the rich, take one fourth for themselves, give a fourth to the poor, and give half back to the person from which they stole. In the movie there is not this fairness. They just rob the people blind and throw some lucky poor person the sack. (The money sack, that is.)
In the movie, of course Robin Hood is a great archer. He is not however, a skilled quarterstaff fighter, like in the book. One of the interesting things about this movie, is that scenes of it were copied from Snow White, and the Aristocats. When the animals are playing the instruments in Sherwood, it is almost an exact copy of the “Everybody Wants to be a Cat” scene from Aristocats. Even the features of some of the animals are identical to the cats in the scene of Aristocats. Also, notice when Maid Marian is dancing with the tall animal? Look at Snow White and Dopey dancing, and you will see the resemblance.
Robin Hood and Little John steal from the tyrant Prince John throughout the movie, and eventually the good King Richard comes back alive from war unexpectedly. So Prince John is thwarted. Even his second in command, Sir Hiss, hates him. All his men even join into the song, “John the Worst.” No wonder, since the thumbsucking, tantrum throwing, old tyrant is a huge jerk.
I love the movie, and love the book, so much I can’t compare them. The movie is lacking the hilarious encounters that he and Little John have with various people on the road. The book is lacking the songs, and of course, the bunnies.