Robin Hood (1973)

Genres - Adventure, Children's/Family  |   Sub-Genres - Animated Musical, Swashbuckler  |   Run Time - 83 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - G
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Review by Aubry Anne D'Arminio

From the swashbuckling idols of Douglass Fairbanks and Errol Flynn to the gritty antiheroes of Sean Connery and Kevin Costner, Robin Hood has undergone several transformations throughout the history of live-action film. Yet, none of them are as enjoyable, or as handsome, as Disney's crimson fox in this much-loved cartoon feature. Director Wolfgang Reitherman and Disney animators create a fantastical animal world where each species' traits appear to coincide seamlessly with the well-known characteristics of Nottingham's inhabitants. The voice work is performed with bravado, especially Peter Ustinov, Terry Thomas, and Pat Buttram's contributions as the film's villains, Prince John, Sir Hiss, and the Sheriff of Nottingham. The musical numbers are an eclectic mix of folk, country, and children's rhyme that is not without a period flair: According to Disney historians, songwriter George Bruns went to great lengths to incorporate medieval instruments like the harpsichord and mandolin into the tunes. Furthermore, the film's quick and lively pace, combined with a short screening time, make Robin Hood a fun and painless watch, even for those with an aversion to cartoons.