(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Robin Hood)
Doug (vo): How many of us were introduced to Robin Hood through the Disney movie? Well, I can certainly say I was. And it's interesting, because I think this is the only Disney film where all the characters are animamorphic life forms. Oh, there's other movies where they use them*, but I think this is the first one where every character throughout the entire flick is half-human, half-animal, there's no people in it. I'm not sure why they decided to make this the only one, but it works okay. Having Robin Hood as a fox is a clever idea, Little John as this gigantic bear, that works out pretty well, and the others lend their way to a lot of creative jokes also.
Doug (vo): Okay, what's the story? Well, as Robin Hood goes, I guess it follows it pretty close. Robin Hood robs from the rich and gives to the poor in order to defeat Prince John. He's in love with the lovely Maid Marian and tries to win an archery contest, but gets caught in the process, only to fight off the men through many battles and many fun-raising adventures.
Doug (vo): There's a lot of the cutesiness that you'd expect from a film like this, but actually, there are some very entertaining action scenes. Despite it being animated, I'd say many of these scenes are just as impressive as the Errol Flynn version. You can get away with a lot more, so it looks more impressive. Robin is pretty much your very basic nice hero and Maid Marian is very much a very typical nice Maiden. Just a nice little romance to soak up the kids' attention. They stay in their basic roles and I guess that works out okay. Though, have you ever noticed that Maid Marian just disappears in the last third until they get married? Couldn't they at least have a scene where he says goodbye to her before he goes off to adventure, or maybe she's helping out with the scheme, or maybe she's watching him as he's running away? I don't know. She had so many scenes before. Why just cut her out of the third act?
[The film's villain, Prince John, is shown]
Doug (vo): Anywho, the villain is Prince John, and he's a very fun comedic villain, especially when working off of his sidekick Hiss. He's definitely a very femme villain, and a lot of times, that leads to a lot of very funny moments, including some great arguments with Hiss, which makes them look very much like a married couple.
[Cut to a scene with Prince John having a tantrum]
Prince John: (crying) No! No! No! No!
Hiss: I knew it! I just knew this would happen! I tried to warn you, but, no, no, no, you wouldn't listen, you just had to... (Prince John gets angry and raises a mirror over Hiss) Aah, aah, aaaah! Seven years bad... (Prince John smashes the mirror on Hiss) ...luck.
Doug (vo): When watching it again, I actually found the Sheriff of Nottingham was pretty funny, too. He is just such a bastard in the various ways he'll find to rip people off. Even a blind person, that is evil.
Mother Rabbit: What a dirty trick!
Doug (vo): The climax is one of the best in Disney history. I know that's weird seeing how they're all cutesy animals, but it's a really suspenseful climax. The first half of it is done very much in silence; a lot of whispering, a lot of quiet music, a lot of sneaking around, and then once the cover is blown, it's just fast-paced action throughout the rest of it.
[An action-packed scene plays out]
Doug (vo): It's just great, because everywhere the main character turns, there's always something else trying to get him. He just cannot get a break throughout this entire scene. You got arrows flying at him, axes, henchmen, fire. And it just keeps building higher and higher throughout the castle. It's a really good setup.
[Another action-packed scene plays with Robin trying to escape a fire]
Prince John: Shoot him!
Doug (vo): Overall, Robin Hood is a very good kids' adventure film. It's not great and I don't know how many great things are really in it, but it is very entertaining. Some parts drag, but when it doesn't, it's a lot of fun. Kids will definitely love it and my guess is, some of the adults might find themselves getting sucked in as well.
[The final scene, showing Robin and Maid Marian riding away on their wedding carriage, is shown]
Chorus: Oo-de-lally, oo-de-lally, golly, what a day!