Monday, September 2, 2013

"…You worry too much, old boy!"

Here is a very simple and effective scene with Robin Hood in the opening sequence of the film.
He responds to the bear Little John, who is concerned about the pursuits by the Sheriff of Nottingham. "Ah, come along, you worry too much, old boy!"
The animation reads beautifully because the action is broken up very clearly. Robin raises his arms and slides down the side of an oak tree to land in a sitting position, hands behind his head. To show his confidence as well as comfort level, he crosses his legs at the end of the scene. During this leg motion the rest of body is kept pretty still, so it doesn't interfere with the principal action.
Milt Kahl animated the character in this early sequence to establish his personality.
I like the final pose, it shows that Robin is utterly unconvinced that the Sheriff poses any threat.
As a matter of fact he is so relaxed, it looks like he is about to take a nap.

Little John is worried, Robin is calm. Remember what Frank Thomas said: "When you have two characters interacting, they better show contrasting emotions."


  1. Terrific animation. The first minutes of the film not only have great animation, they create complete characters, with full personality.

  2. How much animation did Kahl do personally in the film? I can tell particular scenes which have his trademarks, but I get the impression from the many sequences that he dominates the film.

    1. Kahl did animation on almost all the characters except Prince John and Sir Hiss. This usually helped to set the models, so other animators could follow Milt's designs.

  3. Robin Hood, despite some of its budget problems and recycled animation, has always been underrated in my book. It's got so many great little interactions like this one, and I just love its use of characterization.

  4. Just a few seconds with so much personality. :D

  5. The days you do Robin Hood posts are always my favorite Andreas!
    This is the film that first inspired me to become an animator.
    Curious to know if you can talk at all about the opposite acting happening with Little John in this sequence?

    Thanks again for sharing these!

    1. As in this sequence, it is usually more interesting to show characters who don't think alike. The fox and the bear assess their situation differently here.
      Prince John and Sir Hiss mostly disagree on things.
      Maid Marion is doubtful of her future with Robin, while Lady Kluck
      is optimistic.
      This kind of contrast makes for more entertaining situations and relationships.