Exciting news! To commemorate its 40th anniversary, on August 6th, Disney is releasing a much loved classic on Blu-ray for the first time ever – Robin Hood. I can remember watching this movie over and over again in the late 80s with my younger sister. She used to know all the words by heart and would recite the movie as it played (which I HATED). I recently showed it to my son for the very first time this weekend and was surprised as how I still knew the songs. Even more surprised was that after only one viewing, I’ve heard Whistler singing some of the tunes while playing with his toys. This is truly a classic that will be instantly loved by all!
Reminiscing lead me to about a half dozen interesting facts found online that I don’t believe most people know about Disney’s Robin Hood.
- Prince John’s character and his infantile behavior whenever someone mentions his mother is a sly reference to the real King John “The Fool” of England. In Disney’s version of Robin Hood, Prince John claims the place of main villain instead of Sheriff of Nottingham.
- The University of Southern California (my college!) fight song, “Fight On,” is played during the chase scene after the archery contest. University of Wisconsin’s fight song “On Wisconsin,” is used during the “football” sequence of this scene.
- People who watch Robin Hood may get a sense of De Ja Vue. Due to it’s modest budget artists reused footage from previous animated movies. Many people especially notice it during the song-and-dance number, “The Phony King of England”; the characters’ movements resemble those from The Jungle Book, The Aristocats, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
- Little John, the bear in Robin Hood, is nearly identical to that of Baloo in The Jungle Book. Both characters were voiced by actor Phil Harris, and have similar personalities. The slight difference is that Little John more closely resembles a brown or grizzly bear while Baloo was based on an Indian Sloth Bear – and Little John is slightly more responsible (albeit villainous) than Baloo.
- Robin Hood was the first animated feature to be produced almost completely without Walt Disney’s involvement after his passing. Thus it’s success was going to be treated as a foreshadowing of whether or not the studio could carry on without his magic.
- The voice of Lady Cluck, Carole Shelley lent her voice to Lachesis in Disney’s Hercules, 26 years after Robin Hood.
Do you have any other fun facts to add?