Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Robin Hood

This week's film takes us to Sherwood Forest in Nottingham, England.  Yes.  It's the tale of Robin Hood as only the Walt Disney Company could tell it.

Robin Hood premiered in 1973 and features some recognizable voice talents, but more on that later.  Robin Hood is the tale of Robin Hood, an excellent archer who steals from the rich to give to the poor.  The penniless inhabitants of Nottingham are ruthlessly taxed by the disreputable (and rather juvenile) Prince John, who has seized control of the kingdom in his brother, King Richard's, absence.  The dislikable Sheriff of Nottingham carries out the prince's orders.  Ergo, our hero (and a few friends) have taken it upon themselves to steal back from Prince John what rightfully belongs to the people.

Robin Hood is a marvelous story- full of adventure, villainous villains, a dash of romance, a great sidekick, and a few laughs.  For whatever reason though, it did not hugely delight me.  Through this year long journey, I'm learning that one of the most important film ingredients for me is a good dash of humor- I appreciate the corny and slapstick as well as the more clever, subtle plays on words and situations.  And Robin Hood simply didn't hit me in my funny bone.  I am also finding that I seem to have a greater fondness for movies that I grew up with.  (See here and here.)  Robin Hood was not in my movie arsenal growing up.  I suppose this would be an instance of where having a brother would have been helpful.  ;)

One of the best parts of Robin Hood has got to be Robin Hood's sidekick and partner in arms- Little John (a not so little bear...).  Phil Harris once again lends his iconic voice to this classic picture as the voice of Little John.  Phil also voiced both Baloo and O’Malley.  His smooth, deep voice is easily recognizable, but also really makes the characters come to life.  J
The narrator for the film is “The Rooster.”  He’s got country twang and a guitar and adds a very folksy tone to the story.  Beware the propensity of his tunes to get stuck in your head!  There is also a fantastic scene involving an exciting badminton match.  Birdie for the win!
Robin Hood definitely fits the mold of classic Disney fare.  And it's certainly worth a visit to Sherwood Forest.  Let's just say it's not going to make my list of Top 10 Disney movies.  :)  Also, I have got to give a shout out to Robin Hood: Men in Tights - a truly comedic spin on this classic tale.  After you watch Disney's version, be sure to give Mel Brooks' a try.  ;)
Tonight I'll leave you with Robin Hood’s advice for romance:
Ah, but remember faint hearts never won fair lady.
Ain't that the truth?  Have a great week!
Coming Up Next Week: The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

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