Robin HoodRobin Hood (1973) Feature Length Theatrical Animated Film by Dave Koch
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- Walt Disney Studios
- Animated Characters: Robin Hood, Maid Marian, Little John, Prince John, King Richard, Sir Hiss, Lady Kluck, Friar Tuck, Allan-a-Dale, Sheriff of Nottingham, Nutsy, Trigger, Skippy, Sis, Tagalong, Toby Turtle, Otto, Mother Rabbit, Church Mice.
- Originally Released in 1973.
- Production Number: 112
- Running Time: 83 minutes.
Cartoon Production Information:
The film was produced on a very small budget of only 1 1/2 million dollars. Because of that, anywhere they could, the director reused earlier animation. Scenes of the Merry Men dancing reuses animation from Snow White dancing with the dwarfs. Interestingly, some animation of Little John was re-purposed bits from The Jungle Book of Baloo. It is interesting because Phil Harris voiced both characters.
Legendary animator Gary Goldman began his career in 1972 with Walt Disney Productions on this film as a rough assistant animator to supervising animator Frank Thomas.
This was the 21th film in the official Disney list of animated films.
The years of development on the story of Reynard the Fox, however, were put to use in Robin Hood- several points, including Robin's affinity for disguise and kissing the prince's hand to steal his rings were lifted.
When the production of Robin Hood was first announced, Tommy Steele, star of Half a Sixpence(1967) and Disney's The Happiest Millionaire (1967) was slated for the role of foxy Robin Hood. The casting of Steele never came to be, and British actor Brian Bedford was the final voice. The film took a critical drubbing, but was a popular smash and financial success- it became the biggest box-office hit of any Disney animated feature to that time.
Legendary Disney animator Ken Anderson was the driving force behind translating the characters of the Robin Hood legend to their animal counterparts. Even as the rest of the animation staff was concentrating on the production of The Aristocats (1970), Anderson was hard at work developing the visual world of Robin Hood.
"As director of story and character conception," Anderson stated, "I knew right off that Robin Hood must be a fox. From there it was pretty logical that Maid Marian should be a pretty vixen. Little John, legendarily known for his size, was easily a big overgrown bear.
"Friar Tuck is great as a badger, but he was also great as a pig, as I had originally planned. Then I thought the symbol of a pig might be offensive to the Church, so we changed him. Richard the Lion-hearted, of course, had to be a regal, proud, strong lion; and his pathetic cousin [sic] Prince John, the weak villain, also had to be a lion, but we made him scrawny and childish. I originally thought of a snake as a member of the poor townspeople, but one of the other men here suggested that a snake would be perfect as a slithering consort to Prince John."
Again, the Disney team relied on a strong "personality voice" cast including Phil Harris (in his third animated role) as Little John, and hysterical comic performances by Peter Ustinov and Terry Thomas as Prince John and Sir Hiss. Pat Buttram played the lazy, oafish wolf, the Sheriff of Nottingham, and Andy Devine was Friar Tuck.
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