Robin Hood (1973, Wolfgang Reitherman)

Cute movie, actually one of my favorite Disney cartoons. That’s probably because I first saw it when I still liked Disney movies (age 10-ish) and didn’t see it again when I was sick of them (age 12-20). Watched it this time because I’ve been listening to Roger Miller albums on repeat all autumn and I never realized he played the troubadour narrator rooster and contributed songs to this movie. Miller has three original songs, Johnny Mercer wrote one, then there was a crappy love ballad which of course is the one that got oscar-nominated (and easily beaten by “The Way We Were”).


I thought Robin and Little John had a fight on a log but that must’ve been the Errol Flynn version. And I was expecting King Richard’s appearance at the end to be dramatic, a la Sean Connery in Prince of Thieves or Patrick Stewart in Men in Tights, but his scene got deleted for being frightening to children, so he only appears in epilogue. Lots of talk of death and hangings for a kids movie.

Director Wolfgang was a Disney animation lifer, from early 30’s shorts through feaures in the late 70’s. Robin is Brian Bedford (Grand Prix) – he doesn’t get his name on the poster like Tom Hanks in Toy Story. Former bandleader Phil Harris as Little John sounds annoyingly close to his Baloo. Andy Devine (Friar Tuck) was in Stagecoach and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Monica Evans was in The Odd Couple, abruptly disappeared from the movies after voicing Maid Marian. Pat Buttram (heh), a western actor in the early 50’s, has the most memorable voice in the movie as the Sheriff. The oft-awarded Peter Ustinov (Lola Montes, Spartacus, Logan’s Run) is the prince (and the king) and famously gap-toothed comic Terry-Thomas (Danger: Diabolik, Bachelor Flat) is his snake assistant.