Robin Hood (1973)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Robin Hood</strong> (1973)

(On TV, February 2018) There are Disney movies that leave me indifferent, but few of them feel as irritating as Robin Hood. It shouldn’t be like that—I grew up with a lot of Robin Hood paraphernalia, and I rather like the idea of playing with the classic Robin Hood story with animal archetypes. But knowing about Robin Hood and watching Robin Hood are different things—for viewers used to Disney’s ability to entertain whole families at once, Robin Hood seems far too clearly aimed at younger kids, with stand-in child characters taking a lot of time and the overall film pitched to a much lower common denominator. Then there are other annoyances, some of whom may not apply to others. As a rather proud taxpayer, I was really disappointed to see the film take on a quasi-Republican take on “all taxes are evil”—if, like others have claimed, Robin Hood was incredibly influential, then we have a single film to blame for both furries and libertarians. Maybe all copies should be locked up and designated dangerous. OK, I kid, but not too much—there’s a lot of caricatures going on in Robin Hood, and they all aim for a young and impressionable age. I wasn’t particularly impressed by the result, and part of it may be due with familiarity with the source material and the consequent lack of anything “extra” from the film to make it even better. Other, similarly familiar Disney movies usually had something more (songs, witty repartee, quality of animation, even sheer odd psychedelic sequences) that went beyond my childhood memories. Robin Hood doesn’t, and that’s why it feels so flat when it’s not being actively irritating.

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