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7 Things I Love About Disney’s ‘Robin Hood’

May 20, 2010

I am an unabashed fan of the 1973 animated Robin Hood movie. For me, it stands far and above any of the modern offerings of the classic tale. I recognize I was quite impressionable when I saw this, and since I had not yet mastered analytical thinking skills, or speech, for that matter,  I was unable to properly assess the film.   But let’s face it, even at my tender age I knew this Robin had more charisma in his sexy little snout than any actual actor could ever hope to have.  Here are the reasons the 1973 Disney version of Robin Hood has stood the test of time for me.

1)Animated Robin is one hot fox.  Disney knows how to anthropomorphize cute animals, and I think that this was one of their best accomplishments ever.  Robin made my  pulse quicken, and quickly became my first crush.  I was too naive to realize that crushing on animals was not appropriate, and it is a wonder that I did not grow up with  a furry fetish because of my early fixation.  Imaginary Robin ate with our family, slept in my room, and took vacations with us.

When my parents first took me to Disney we frantically searched for Robin all over the park.  When I finally made his acquaintance, and he put his paw in my little hand, my knees buckled and I nearly swooned.  If you don’t think this fox is sex on stick, we can’t be friends any more.

2)Robin is good with children. All women love to see how potential mates react to children.  This is a safe way to gauge how they might behave with their own children.  Since Robin was my potential mate (I didn’t understand that interspecies mating is a no-no) my heart nearly burst with joy upon seeing him interact with the poor children of Nottingham.  When he handed over his bow and arrow to Skippy the rabbit because his birthday farling was taken away by the Sheriff, well, that sealed the deal.  We were meant to be betrothed.

3)British accents.  I realize this might come across hypocritical, because I bitched about the British accents in my review of the Russell Crowe/Ridley Scott film.  However, I am a sucker for British accents, especially when I can discern what is being said.  A group of British thespians provided the voices for Robin Hood (1973) and I listened to them for years on a 33 RPM record my parents bought me.  Love, love, love the voices.

4) It’s romantic. Seriously.  The Maid Marion and Robin Hood love story is to die for. When Robin looks at Marion and says, “Marion my darling, I love you more than life itself,”  well, I’m a puddle.
Take a look at this sweet little clip and tell me I’m wrong.

5) Colorful cast of characters. Phil Harris is fantastic as Little John, constantly keeping Robin’s whimsical impulses in check.  His banter with Robin is priceless, and this is actually a great buddy flick. Throw in Sir Hiss, Lady Kluck, Friar Tuck, and of course that crooning rooster Alan-a-Dale and it’s a merry motley crew indeed.

6) It’s swashbucking. Robin has to escape the King and his rhinoceros henchman  on more than one occasion.  He swims moats, scales castle walls, swings from vines and executes other resourceful escapes.  In particular, Robin is a master of disguise.  Out of nowhere, he can conjure up costumes for a gypsy lady, a stork, and a blind beggar, and he can always fool the sheriff.  He’s a sly one, that Robin.

7)They all live happily ever after. At my most impressionable age, I had ridiculously high expectations for happiness foisted upon me by this movie, probably directly resulting in me remaining single until the age of thirty.  No man ever lived up to the expectations an animated fox planted in my head all those years ago.  But, I finally found my Hood, and yep, that’s really my last name now.  Mr. Hood and I live in our own bizarre version of happily ever after.



8 Responses to “ 7 Things I Love About Disney’s ‘Robin Hood’ ”

  1. Pancake on May 20, 2010 at 8:04 am

    I don’t know what it is – maybe growing up in the 70′s – but I have yet to meet a woman our age who didn’t LOVE Disney’s Robin Hood (though I don’t know anyone who loved him like you)! A friend of mine played Oo-de-Lally at her wedding (she went to see Robin Hood on her first “date” with a toddler, it is a song that means ROMANCE to her) and I personally have the song on my ipod for nostalgia/swooning purposes. Great post!

  2. Sara on May 20, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    While a deal-breaker of my Boy Wonder’s was a loathing of children which equaled my own, I did love it when Robin ponied up his bow & arrow to Skippy. That was totally cool. Of course, I always saw Robin Hood as a furry Harrison Ford who, obviously, could do no wrong. Le sigh.

  3. Shannon on May 20, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    @sara Hmm, a furry Harrison Ford. Is is getting hot in here? @ Pancake, that is awesome about the song at a wedding. Wish I would have thought of it.

  4. mendie on May 25, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    It’s so nice to know that I’m not the only one who crushed on Robin as a young girl. This movie has always been one of my all time favorites.

  5. Johnnie on May 27, 2010 at 9:19 am

    You’re absolutely right Shannon, the movie is a lesser-known masterpiece. It’s light-hearted for the youngest children, but – incredibly – it goes to the absolute heart of the human condition, what it means to be a man, to be a woman, to be in love ——— to have love.

    The song “Love” is a masterpiece, one of the handful of greatest songs. The meaning of the song floats between the most trivial romantic infatuation, and a consideration of the deepest nature of how we conscious beings experience time and reality.

    I don’t know about Robin but I can assure you that Maid Marion is basically perfect – a whole generation of men grew up unable to find her equal in real life! :-)

    She is pretty, demure, sexual, independent, funny, and fully “complete” as a person — like a Shakespearean character.

    She wants Robin because she likes him, but it’s a bonus on top of her already complete internal life, she doesn’t “need” anyone to “complete” her. Robin is about to have his head chopped off? She cries openly with no restraint when necessary, but her adventure is very much going to go on. Amazing! She is a female Odysseus. Plus she is hot, like a furry Julia Roberts :)

    Just as you say, Robin’s instantiation of Love is perhaps unique in art — he is fully, 100%, a blazing male man of action, but, incredibly, when he’s hanging out with his buddies he can say “I love Maid Marion little John, with all my heart. What can I do?” Astonishing!

    They both know exactly what they want, and they are both capable of taking it from life with NO nonsense, tension, false starts, coyness or other masks. I am reminded of D.H. Lawrence’s comment on men and women, how they should be but often aren’t ……. “The sun and the moon don’t play games with each other in the sky, their beams cross the great gulf that is between them…”

    Again the total triviality of the movie for little kids (elephants knocking down tents and the like) masks the utterly fascinating, well, character study – study of the human character, how it is, .. how it should be.

    Amazing film! Only the most naive person would bypass it and consider it just a kid’s knockaround film.

  6. Shannon on May 28, 2010 at 11:22 am

    @ Johnnie , thanks so much for your thoughtful comments. For a while there, I thought I rode alone on this one. Glad to know I am not crazy.

  7. Fat Johnnie on May 29, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Damn right. the story of Robin Hood and Marion is so, so old, coming from the depths of maybe 1000 years ago or more in western europe, what is now england and france… which is incredible if you think about it.

    Indeed it is one of the handful of the very earliest stories (along with King Arthur and a few others) that are part of, let’s say, Western culture in the broadest sense…the stuff that came just before Chaucer and is kind of the gravitational foundation of all storytelling today

    The very nature of how we think about our selves – models of men, women, heros, villains, humour, tragedy .. come most directly from these extremely early stories which are one of the two or three foundations of how we think here in the Western, post-pagan world.

    Just as Homer sits at the very base of the Greek-Western aeons (of which we are the tip), and just as the magnificent cave paintings at Lascaux sit at the very base of the emergence of thinking homo sapiens (of which we are the tip), the two or three stories of, well, Love, which emerged from the tail of the dark ages sit at the very base of the post-pagan, Christian-era consciousness (of which we today are the tip).

    Romantic love certainly has not existed for all time, it is a “new” thing, and it only came in to the world in the very early Medeival. Not until Shakespeare came along was there such a massive shift in the way we think about men, women, and how we think about thinking.

    Little girls (and boys) growing up in the year 500AD or 2000BC plain did not have the story of robin and marion, there were no “fairy tales” – life, expectations, the role of men and women, and their internal lives was utterly different.

    These two or three very earliest stories, tales, from earliest western europe, are the basis of very much around us – and the tale of robin and marian as it developed over those early centuries is the most delightful!

    (To begin with, basically every part for a leading man in all Western movies and stories today, is a “charming, skillful rogue” – who’s that based on?)

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