Robin Hood (1973)
Fun, Though Lacking
I can't exactly call Robin Hood an obscure film. This is Disney after all. But it is one of their lesser known films, which is due to it being a worse film than other Disney films. It's not bad, by any means. It's another solid Disney film, I just can't call it a masterpiece.
This is basically an adaption of Robin Hood, but with animals portraying the characters. Robin Hood steals from the rich, gives to the poor (with the help of not-so Little John), while King John and his henchmen attempt to arrest and execute him.
There are three things that Disney is known for in their animated films: Good songs, memorable characters, and romance. Unfortunately, Robin Hood doesn't completely deliver.
The songs are a major disappointment compared to Disney's previous work. One or two are decent, but most are forgettable, and unoriginal. The songs are partially saved, however, by a fantastic score, courtesy of George Bruns who previously scored The Jungle Book.
The characters are often stereotypes. The King John is cowardly, Robin Hood is cunning and cocky, the sheriff is generically evil, etc. We've seen many of these characters before, and Little John is just WAY too similar to Baloo for comfort (it doesn't help that Phil Harris voices both).
But is there romance? Well, yes, but it's not very good. Like the characters, it's very stereotypical, but it still helps to move the story along.
So, you're probably asking yourself, right about now, what IS good about Robin Hood? Well, I'm glad you asked.
While the characters are stereotypes, the voice acting is superb. Characters are often funny. The action is decent for an animated film. And I already mentioned the fabulous musical score.
Robin Hood manages to entertain from start to finish.
The best part of Robin Hood, though, is the first act. It's not complex; Robin Hood and Little John rob Prince John. That's all there is to it. But it's funny, and extremely entertaining. In the end, nothing else in the film tops the first act.
The animation, is obviously cut-rate. We see repeated character animations, and it's all just very lazy looking. I didn't mind too much, though.
Robin Hood is geared more to kids than other Disney entries, but this is still solid fun. Just don't expect a Beauty and the Beast or an Aladdin.