This week’s family movie night review is the 1973 animated version of Disney’s Robin Hood, which features an all animal cast. Robin Hood is a fox. Prince John is a lion whose mane has not developed yet. Little John is a bear (voice by Phil Harris). There are many other animal characters. They’re all drawn so that they are loveable, except the bad guys of course. They’re not scary, but they do not appear as happy.
If you are at all familiar with the adult versions of Robin Hood movies, you might be wondering how this could be appropriate for children. First of all, this is a musical. The characters break out in songs that children enjoy. There are many more silly moments than there are serious or dark moments.
Some of the actors include: Brian Bedford, Phil Harris, Roger Miller, Peter Ustinov, and Terry-Thomas.
The Robin Hood Story
Little John and Robin Hood rob from the rich and give to the poor. They find every way they can to prevent Prince John’s plans from panning out, while remaining loyal to King Richard.
The rabbit kids accidentally find themselves on royal land. They bump into Marian and her chaperone. Marian reminisces of their childhood by showing some rabbit “children” their tree carving. Marian’s chaperone makes fun of Prince John in a memorable way- acting like him by sucking his thumb. Maid Marian and Robin Hood’s affection is innocent. Kids will pick up on the fact that they want to get married.
The kids loved the arrow shooting contest. The prize is a kiss from Maid Marian. Of course, it is a trap to capture Robin Hood because he can’t resist an archery contest. Robin Hood shows up as a crow-like animal on stilts. Though Prince John isn’t on top of his game, he is quick to spot Robin Hood when he shoots a bulls eye. My four year old son was a little scared when Prince John was going to kill Robin Hood when his identity was revealed.
Prince John knows all about Robin Hood. He tries to capture Robin Hood again by leaking the news that Friar Tuck will be hung.
I love the music that goes with this film. It’s silly at the appropriate times and adds to the exciting moments.
As an adult, it’s hard to take this movie seriously. Even my kids were laughing throughout the movie.
Family Movie Night Setting
My oldest boys, 9 and 11, went with my husband to a church meeting, which is why I chose this movie. I did, however, turn it on before the boys left. They were hooked right away even though they watched it many times when they were little.
My younger children haven’t seen this movie very many times- my 2 year old daughter was introduced to it tonight. She stayed in the room throughout the movie. Though, my 4 and 7 year old sons have seen it before, they loved it, too.
For snacks tonight, we had buttered popcorn and brownies.
A Movie For Kids
I definitely recommend Disney’s Robin Hood because it is uplifting, which is a stark contrast to many movies geared toward children today. It’s also an excellent way to introduce the legend of Robin Hood because it’s not gory.
As an adult, I enjoyed it too. I grew up with this movie and still love it. Like other Disney movies from this time period, it’s a great movie for families.
I look forward to reading your comments about your experiences with this movie. See you next week, when I review another movie.