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Robin Hood (1973 film) facts for kids

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Robin Hood
Robinhood 1973 poster.png
Original theatrical release poster
Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman
Produced by Wolfgang Reitherman
Story by
  • Larry Clemmons
  • Ken Anderson
  • Vance Gerry
  • Frank Thomas
  • Eric Cleworth
  • Julius Svendsen
  • David Michener
Starring
Music by George Bruns
Editing by
  • Tom Acosta
  • Jim Melton
Studio Walt Disney Productions
Distributed by Buena Vista Distribution
Release date(s) November 8, 1973 (1973-11-08)
Running time 83 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $5 million
Money made $32 million

Robin Hood is a 1973 American animated adventure musical comedy film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by Buena Vista Distribution. Produced and directed by Wolfgang Reitherman, it is the 21st Disney animated feature film. The story follows the adventures of Robin Hood, Little John, and the inhabitants of Nottingham as they fight against the excessive taxation of Prince John, and Robin Hood wins the hand of Maid Marian. The film features the voices of Brian Bedford, Phil Harris, Peter Ustinov, Pat Buttram, Monica Evans, and Carole Shelley.

The idea to adapt Robin Hood into an animated feature dated back to Walt Disney's interest in the tale of Reynard the Fox during his first full-length feature production, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). The idea was repeatedly shelved until writer and production designer Ken Anderson incorporated ideas from it in a pitch of the legend of Robin Hood using anthropomorphic animals rather than people during the production of The Aristocats (1970).

Robin Hood was released on November 8, 1973, to which it was initially received positively by film critics who praised the voice cast, animation, and humor yet its critical reception became gradually mixed since its release. The film was a box office success.

Plot

The story is narrated by Alan-a-Dale, who introduces Robin Hood and Little John who live in Sherwood Forest, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor townsfolk of Nottingham. Meanwhile, Prince John, the de facto King of England, sends his lead henchman, the Sheriff of Nottingham, to catch the two but he fails every time. Meanwhile, Prince John and his counselor Sir Hiss, arrive in Nottingham. Sir Hiss hypnotized Prince John's brother King Richard to go off on the Crusades, allowing Prince John to take the throne. Unfortunately, the prince is greedy and immature, even sucking his thumb whenever his mother is mentioned. Robin and Little John rob Prince John by disguising themselves as fortune tellers, prompting the prince to put a bounty on their heads and makes the Sheriff his personal tax collector.

The Sheriff taxes the inhabitants of Nottingham excessively. However, Robin gives back some money to a family of rabbits and gives a bow and arrow and his hat to the young rabbit Skippy for his birthday. Skippy and his friends test out the bow, but Skippy fires an arrow into the grounds of Maid Marian's castle. Skippy sneaks inside, meeting Maid Marian and her lady-in-waiting Lady Kluck. Maid Marian reveals she and Robin were childhood sweethearts but they have not seen one another for years. Friar Tuck, the local priest, visits Robin and Little John, explaining that Prince John is hosting an archery tournament and the winner will receive a kiss from Maid Marian. Robin agrees to participate in the tournament in disguise whilst Little John arrives as the Duke of Chutney to get near Prince John. Sir Hiss discovers Robin's identity, but is trapped in a barrel of ale by Friar Tuck and Alan-a-Dale. Robin wins the tournament, but Prince John exposes him and sentences him to death despite Maid Marian's pleas. Little John threatens Prince John with a dagger which leads to a fight between Robin, Little John, Maid Marian, Lady Kluck, and Prince John's soldiers and culminates in Robin and his allies escaping.

In the forest, Robin and Maid Marian share a romantic evening, then are surprised by his “merry men” who throw a party and sing a song mocking Prince John, describing him as the "Phony King of England". Enraged by the song, Prince John triples the taxes, imprisoning most of the townsfolk who cannot pay their taxes. The Sheriff visits Friar Tuck's church to steal from the poor box, which angers Friar Tuck; the latter attacks the Sheriff and is arrested. Prince John plans to hang Friar Tuck to lure in Robin and kill him. Robin and Little John sneak into the castle, with Little John managing to free all of the prisoners whilst Robin steals Prince John's gold, but Sir Hiss awakens to find Robin fleeing. Chaos ensues as Robin and the others try to escape to Sherwood Forest. However, the Sheriff corners Robin after he returns to rescue Skippy's younger sister Tagalong. The two fight, accidentally setting fire to Prince John's castle and causing Robin to leap from a tower into the moat below. Little John and Skippy watch as the moat is pelted with arrows and Robin is presumably shot and drowned, only to emerge unharmed. Prince John despairs and is driven into a blind rage when Sir Hiss points out his mother's castle is on fire.

Later, King Richard returns to England, places his brother, Sir Hiss, and the Sheriff under arrest and pardons Robin, allowing him and Maid Marian to marry and leave Nottingham with Little John and Skippy in tow.

Voice cast

  • Brian Bedford as Robin Hood, a gifted archer who is devoted to helping the poor and downtrodden townspeople. He is portrayed as a fox.
  • Monica Evans as Maid Marian, a vixen, niece of King Richard and the primary love interest of Robin Hood.
  • Phil Harris as Little John, Robin Hood's best friend, who though not small at all is still called "Little John". Portrayed as a bear, he is very similar to the The Jungle Book's Baloo and both characters are voiced by Phil Harris.
  • Roger Miller as Alan-a-Dale, a rooster who serves as the narrator of the film.
  • Andy Devine as Friar Tuck, the town's local priest who protects the villagers of Nottingham. He is portrayed as a badger.
  • Peter Ustinov as Prince John, an arrogant, greedy, ruthless and cowardly lion who is the Prince Regent of England. He has the habit of sucking his thumb when someone mentions his mother. Ustinov also voiced Prince John in the German version of the film.
    • Ustinov also voices King Richard, John's older brother and the rightful King of England, who returns from the Third Crusade at the end of the film and sentences his brother to work in the Royal Rock Pile. Unlike John, Richard is depicted with a mane.
  • Terry-Thomas as Sir Hiss, Prince John's advisor who is manipulative and prideful. Portrayed as a snake.
  • Carole Shelley as Lady Kluck, a Scottish hen who is the lady-in-waiting for Maid Marian.
  • Pat Buttram as the Sheriff of Nottingham, a heartless and shifty wolf with a Southern accent who enjoys collecting taxes on behalf of Prince John.
  • George Lindsey and Ken Curtis as Trigger and Nutsy, respectively, vulture guardsmen.
  • John Fiedler and Barbara Luddy as Sexton and his wife, respectively, church mice. Luddy also voiced Mother Rabbit, the mother of Skippy, Sis, and Tagalong.
  • Billy Whitaker, Dana Laurita, Dori Whitaker, and Richie Sanders as Skippy, Sis, Tagalong, and Toby, respectively, local children of Nottingham who idolize Robin Hood. Skippy, Sis, and Tagalong are rabbits while Toby is a turtle.
  • Candy Candido as the Captain of the Guard, a crocodile who hosts the archery tournament.
  • J. Pat O'Malley as Otto, a dog blacksmith with a lame leg.

Soundtrack

Robin Hood
Studio album by
Various artists
Released 1973
Recorded 1969–1973
Genre Classical, soundtrack, classic pop
Label Disneyland Records
Walt Disney Animation Studios chronology
The Aristocats
(1970)
Robin Hood
(1973)
The Rescuers
(1977)
No. Title Performer(s) Length
1. "Whistle-Stop"   Roger Miller  
2. "Oo-De-Lally"   Roger Miller  
3. "Love"   Nancy Adams  
4. "The Phony King of England"   Phil Harris  
5. "The Phony King of England (Reprise)"   Pat Buttram and Terry-Thomas  
6. "Not in Nottingham"   Roger Miller  
7. "Love/Oo-De-Lally Reprise"   Disney Studio Chorus  

The music played in the background while Lady Kluck fights off Prince John's soldiers in an American football manner, following the archery tournament, is an arrangement of "Fight On" and "On, Wisconsin", the respective fight songs of the University of Southern California and the University of Wisconsin.

A record of the film was made at the time of its release in 1973, which included its songs, score, narration, and dialogue. Both "Oo-De-Lally" and "Love" appear on the CD collection, Classic Disney: 60 Years of Musical Magic. "Love" is featured in the soundtrack for the 2009 film Fantastic Mr. Fox, directed by Wes Anderson. The full soundtrack of the film was released on August 4, 2017, as part of the Walt Disney Records: The Legacy Collection series on compact disc and digital.

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