Moving along in our Disney Films Project list, we hit upon one of the bigger splits in our opinions. Most of the time, we are pretty close on our viewpoints, but this one definitely left us divided.
Robin Hood was one of my favorite Disney films while I was growing up. Granted, there weren't a lot of them back then to choose from, but I always loved the simple story and the way that animals were used to depict the tale of Robin Hood. I thought Prince John was somewhat funny and also laughed at Sir Hiss. I loved Maid Marian, Friar Tuck, and the buzzard guards were my favorite.
When I became a parent and showed Robin Hood to my children, I could never understand why they didn't really get into it. It wasn't one that they asked to watch over and over again. I never thought much about it until we came to do the review for this project. Alex was not pleased when it was time to watch this movie. I was surprised to hear his opinions and once he pointed out some of the flaws of the movie, it did change my viewpoint a bit. However, I still like this movie and I stand by that.
The animation isn't top notch and the story is simple, but I enjoy the characters. I also think the music is cute and does a good job of moving the story along. This one won't win any awards, but I give it 7 out of 10 Mickeys.
Second Opinion with Alex Nelson
Me and my maw. I said I liked all things England last review, and of course they serve up something problematic.
It’s not that the film lacks animation. In between the Xeroxed sequences, there’s innovation enough, I suppose. In fact, if there were better support, this could be a good film.
No, the problem lies in the story.
The title character, the ladies Marian and Kluck, Friar tuck, our Minstrel, and the Sherriff of Nottingham and his goons. That’s all the good characters out of the way, except for, well:
This marks Phil’s whopping THIRD time playing basically the same character. I guess the script formula requires our actor somewhere in the film.
The whole thing is formulaic, make no mistake. I wouldn’t be putting this so low if it weren’t for a real issue.
Children just being children actors is problematic, complete with a sequence written after the writers needed to put plot exposition somewhere in the film. (NOOO! We forgot the ROMANCE! Quick, write an explanation, anybody, we’ve got to hit our deadline!)
But the real issue lies with our opposition.
I already mentioned my distaste for comic villains in the napkin I wrote the Aristocats Review on. I’ll gladly expound on that. If a villain isn’t meant to be taken seriously, they at least need something threatening about them. Look at Kaa. Kaa isn’t much of a villain unless you’re on your own. Fortunately, his intentions are bad, and he knows where to avoid crossing the line.
Look at Captain Hook. He collapses in fear of the Croc? No worries, he’ll blow up your home, and go in for a sneak attack. Codfish, maybe, but when push comes to shove, he’s perfect form for evil.
Prince John and Sir Hiss couldn’t evil their way out of a paper bag. The snake is meh. Not enough cunning, and such a nag. He’s half prop most of the time, and considering the pedigree of his predecessor, Kaa, that’s not suprising, but he’s so- So foppish! He’s practically sniveling!
But our real culprit needs no intro. When you’ve got a villain with embarrassing habits, a villain the other characters routinely mock behind his back, and a villain who’s a wet fart in the bottle of noxious odors that is villainy? When you’ve got that, you SCREWED UP!
PRINCE JOHN ISN’T SMART, ISN’T MENANCING, AND HE SUCKS HIS THUMB. WHAT SORT OF VILLIAN SUCKS THEIR THUMB AND CRIES FOR MOTHER?
Am I dead? Is this my punishment for loving Britain so much in my earlier reviews? To observe this pretender to the throne? Whatever sin I’ve done, I take it back, just, please, make this idiot go back to his preschool or whatever he came from.
If it weren’t for the Sheriff, portrayed as a corrupt old west looter, I don’t think any of the villains would get passing grades. Props to the person who pulled that off. Not to mention he’s actually menacing, unlike our snake and lion.
All in all, the film Gets… 5/10 Mickey ears? Am I writing this right? The Film is Mediocre?
Yes, for no other reason than the perfect casting of our heroes, including the perfect charlatan for Robin Hood, and yes, even the overused Phil Harris.
So that leaves the royal rock pile. (Well, I feel like some punishment is due!) For imperfectly executed menace, a villain that ruins the name villain for all other villains in Disney including Pete, and a completely messed up sense of villain’s purpose, I condemn the writers for Prince John & Sir Hiss to a fate suitable for their treason: Acting as villains in Dora the Explorer. And so shall it be law.