Hello everyone and welcome back to #moviemonday. It has been one of those days, and so I decided that I just wanted to sit down with a blanket and watch a Disney movie.
Today’s Movie Monday discussion is all about Walt Disney’s Robin Hood.
Let’s dive into #moviemonday.
Robin Hood was released in 1973 and the movie was directed by Wolfgang Reitherman.
There are countless versions of Robin Hood, but the general story is always centred around Robin Hood, the thief who has a heart of gold. He is an outlaw who steals from the rich to give to the poor, and this movie follows him as he fights against the ruthless taxation ordered by Prince John and carried out by the Sheriff of Nottingham. Robin Hood fights to help the poor people of Sherwood Forest, and he also tries to woo his true love, Maid Marion.
Robin Hood is our protagonist. He is a witty, quick thinking thief who has a heart of gold. In my opinion, Robin Hood is somewhat similar to Will Turner because he is the underdog who is acting outside of the law but even though his actions are illegal, they are moral. We root for Robin Hood because we know he is doing the right thing even though he is stealing.
The other protagonists in this movie are Maid Marion, Little John, and the other residents of Sherwood Forrest who are starving and struggling all because of Prince John’s greed. They are kind, honest people who don’t deserve the struggles that they face because of a heartless, greedy ruler.
The movie’s antagonists are Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham. The Prince is greedy and immature. He uses his snake counsellor to hypnotise people so that he can get his way, and he orders the Sheriff to tax the people of Sherwood Forest relentlessly. The Sheriff always does as he is told and he never seems to think about the suffering he is causing. He is on a quest to arrest Robin Hood although he never manages to succeed.
This is a Disney animated adaptation however the nuanced themes of the story are still present. Robin Hood has always been a commentary on greed and the divide between the rich and the poor. In Robin Hood, we can see how the rich Prince John has more money than he could ever need but he is fuelled by greed to take more, and more, and more. The people of Sherwood Forest don’t have anything more to give but it is still not enough for Prince John. The Sheriff of Nottingham follows every order he receives, and he does tax the poor and demand the money that he knows the people don’t have. He never seems to care about their struggles or the fact that they have nothing. He never seems to feel guilty about his actions either. He says he is just doing his job, which on one hand is true, but on the other hand, this can make one think about how even though the Sheriff is obeying the law, his actions are morally wrong.
I have spoken before about how in some narratives, what is legally right and morally right don’t always coincide. Robin Hood is a very interesting character because he is acting in the best interests of the people. He is standing up to a tyrannical ruler. He is helping those who have nothing. He is only stealing from someone who has so much money that they won’t miss it and giving it to those who are starving and penniless. Technically, he is acting illegally and so his actions are somewhat “wrong”, but morally Robin Hood is doing what is right, and we root for him because he has more heart than the Sheriff of Nottingham, and we also root for him because most audience members will most likely agree with Robin Hood’s actions.
I think that the themes depicted in Robin Hood will always be relevant because we will always be able to have discussions about class divides, and the rich and the poor, and how it is unfair that some people just take, and take, and take, while some people have nothing to give.
I also think that this story will always be an interesting one because the idea of what is legal and what is moral not always being the same is very interesting to me. I like questions such as do the ends justify the means? Do good intentions justify certain actions? When analysing literature and characters within literature such as Robin Hood, these kinds of questions lead to really interesting discussions.
This version of Robin Hood is not a long movie. It isn’t even an hour and half long, and because it is a Disney movie, I think that the structure is as always, rather straightforward. I think that this movie is visually very beautiful. There are times when it looks like a painting. I think that the songs are really catchy, and I think that while it’s a short movie, we are still given a really good story that’s easy to follow.
My final thoughts are that I needed to watch a Disney movie today and I am very happy with my choice. I love the story of Robin Hood, I always have, and someday in the future I would like to discuss different, darker, more adult versions of the tale because as I said earlier, there are so many versions of Robin Hood and I would like to explore some more of them.
If you need a time out to relax and watch something lighthearted that still has a good story to it, then give Robin Hood a chance because I think it is one of Disney’s classics. It is a really good choice that isn’t too long and has some great songs.
This has been Movie Monday. I hope you enjoyed it. Have you seen any version of Robin Hood? What do you think of this story? Let me know.