|Note from Eva: Miss Jane's blog - Classic Ramblings|
When I think of Robin Hood, the first image that pops into my mind isn't the golden-haired, merry outlaw of the original book. Nor is it Jonas Armstrong. Instead, it's a brave fox with a drawly British accent and a penchant for mischief. Yes, I said “fox”. Because I'm talking about the Disney Robin Hood, more generally known as “the animated version.” This movie was my introduction to Robin Hood, and it still holds a special place in my heart.
This version is really one of the best and most faithful adaptations of RH I've ever seen, despite the fact that it's made by Disney (and thus has a happy ending) and has animals as its main characters. It changed the story around quite a bit, but it has the same feeling as the book.
Now, since this is supposed to be a review, I shall start reviewing properly. And since you're supposed to begin at the beginning when writing a coherent review...I will begin with (who else?) Robin Hood himself.
Robin is a fox who lives in Sherwood Forest, steals from the rich to feed the poor, likes to tease Prince John whenever possible, and is in love with Maid Marian. There are two sides to his character: he has compassion for the people who are starving because of Prince John's rule, and he has a happy-go-lucky, laugh-whenever-possible view of life. He is much the same as the original book, except that, well, he's a fox. And he only has one member of his merry band: Little John.
Little John is what might be termed a “sidekick.” He's a big...bear, I think, with not too much brains to spoil his temper. :D He and Robin are very good friends, and Little John is sort of the sense of the operation, although his sense doesn't go very far with a guy like Robin. However, “Johnny” (as Robin calls him), does have a sense of humor and the camaraderie between the two is very fun. Especially when Little John is teasing Robin about his love, Maid Marian.
Maid Marian is a very sweet fox. She loves children (and Robin, of course!) and is polite and helpful to everyone. Her dresses are gorgeous (yes, they are, even though they're animated), and she keeps a Robin reward poster in her wardrobe for lack of a better picture. And while I'm on the subject of Maid Marian, I must say a few words about her lady-in-waiting, a hen named Lady Cluck. Lady Cluck reminds me of Mrs. Jennings a little bit- she gossips and teases Marian about Robin, but she has a good heart and she's devoted to Marian. Also, she manages to knock over an entire army of rhinoceroses. Plus a couple of towers and a few elephants.
The army and the towers belong to Prince John, a cowardly lion of sorts. His crown falls down over his ears all the time, and he...well, this song says it best:
“And he throws an angry tantrum if he cannot have his way
And then he calls for Mum while he's suckin' his thumb
You see, he doesn't want to play
Too late to be known as John the First
He's sure to be known as John the worst
A pox on that phony king of England!”
But although Prince John can be hilarious at times, the real comic relief honor goes to his, um, snaky advisor, Sir Hiss. Sir Hiss is always right and Prince John is always wrong, and so the prince is quite harsh on poor Sir Hiss. Hiss gets shoved into a wine cask and a wicker basket, and several mirrors are cracked over his head during the course of his career. I'll just share a few of my favorite quotes of his while I'm on the subject, because they are quoted quite often in our family.
Prince John: One more hiss out of you... uhm... Hiss, and you are *walking* to Nottingham. Hiss: Snakes don't walk, they slither. Hmph. So there.
“Sire, if you don't mind my saying, you have a very loud thumb.”
Hiss: Well, I was only trying to help.
Prince John: I wonder. Silly serpent.
Hiss: "Silly serpent"?
“I share your loathing, Sire. That scurrilous scoundrel who fooled you with that silly disguise, who dared to rob you and made you look so utterly ridiculous...”
See why I have a fondness for Sir Hiss?
The third in the trio of villains is the Sheriff of Nottingham, a large, fat, whiny wolf. He has a habit of sleeping on the job and absolutely no sense of loyalty. He often abuses the vultures he commands (one in particular whose bow and arrow keeps malfunctioning), but he has his funny moments too, as might be guessed.
So what's my conclusion to these ramblings? If you haven't watched this movie, why, remedy that immediately, poor dear! If you have watched it, I highly advise you to watch it again. This movie perfectly captures the spirit of Robin Hood, if not the letter. This might sound cliched, but it always makes me feel like I'm seven years old again. This is a movie for everyone, at every time.
And because I'm bad at thinking up good endings for posts, I'll use one of my favorite quotes from Robin Hood, one that sums up Robin's character well:
Robin Hood: Rob? Tsk tsk tsk. That's a naughty word. We never rob. We just sort of...borrow a bit from those who can afford it.
Little John: Borrow?...Boy, are we in debt.