Sunday, July 20, 2014

Robin Hood Character Moments

Beautiful staging and drawing is evident in these animation drawings from the film Robin Hood.
Except for Prince John, who was brilliantly handled by Ollie Johnston, the images are from scenes by Milt Kahl. (Mother Church Mouse is a model sheet, drawn by Milt).
The animation doesn’t have the energy we see in the anthropomorphic animals from Song of the South, but these characters live in a different world, and the situations within the story call for more subtle acting. Milt recalled that even though Robin Hood is a fox, he is the equivalent of a handsome hero type, so his actions and expressions needed to reflect that. 
Ollie had a great time animating Prince John and Sir Hiss, two characters with rich vocals that helped to establish them as entertaining, comic villains.
My favorite character design from the film is probably Lady Kluck, Maid Marian’s lady-in-waiting. I love the simplicity of her silhouette, her sharp beak and the way her wings articulate human gestures. 
This is an appealing cast that deserved to be placed in a better story. 
When Ward Kimball (who was not involved with the film) saw an early screening of Robin Hood, he complained to Frank and Ollie: ”How on earth can you tell this story without having Robin Hood save Maid Marian from the clutches of Prince John?”

Nevertheless, as a much less critical kid I enjoyed watching this film a lot when it was first released in 1973.

There are many previous posts about Robin Hood, the most unique one would have to be this interview with Milt Kahl:


  1. I loved you have said ''as a much less critical as a kid I enjoyed watching this film a lot.'' When finish some animation pencil test always show to my little cousins​​, they are the best guarantee that the sequence is running (maybe even better than any technical critical in animation).
    I love'' Robin Hood''.

  2. I love Robin Hood even though it has it's hiccups from the animators point of view but I love the animation shots in the song number "Phony king of England" where it featured Aristocats, Snow White, and Jungle Book for the dancing sequence. My best friend loves this movie but he was wondering about one thing regarding with the leading lady Maid Marian. Did Reitherman want more sequences with Maid Marian besides the introduction to the children who get into King Richard's castle, the archery contest, and Sherwood forest?

    1. I really don't know, Woolie directed he film, so I would think that the final film represents his story concepts.

  3. Robin Hood is definitely an impressive movie for its time, especially for the animating. Its still impressive today but like you said, when I was less critical back when I was younger, I certainly enjoyed it a lot. It hasn't aged particularly well but its still entertaining to watch nonetheless.

  4. That cocky Sheriff cracks me up.