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Robin Hood is a 1973 American animated adventure musical comedy film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by Buena Vista Distribution, based on the English folk tale of the same name with the characters reimagined as anthropomorphic animals. Produced and directed by Wolfgang Reitherman, it is the 21st Disney animated feature film. The story follows the adventures of Robin Hood, Little John, and the inhabitants of Nottingham as they fight against the excessive taxation of Prince John, and Robin Hood wins the hand of Maid Marian. The film features the voices of Brian Bedford, Phil Harris, Peter Ustinov, Pat Buttram, Monica Evans, and Carole Shelley.
The idea to adapt Robin Hood into an animated feature dated back to Walt Disney's interest in the tale of Reynard the Fox during his first full-length feature production, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). The idea was repeatedly shelved until writer and production designer Ken Anderson incorporated ideas from it in a pitch of the legend of Robin Hood using anthropomorphic animals rather than humans during the production of The Aristocats (1970).
Robin Hood was released on November 8, 1973. The film was a commercial success, having garnered $32 million at the box office. While it was initially met by positive reviews by film critics, who praised the voice cast, animation, and humor, its critical reception became gradually mixed since its release. Despite this, the film has garnered a cult following and has become a Disney fan-favourite over the years.
The story is narrated by Alan-a-Dale. He introduces Robin Hood and Little John, who live in Sherwood Forest, robbing from the rich and giving to the overtaxed townsfolk of Nottingham. The Sheriff of Nottingham tries to catch the two, but he fails every time. Meanwhile, Prince John and his counselor Sir Hiss arrive in Nottingham. Earlier, Sir Hiss hypnotized Prince John's brother King Richard to go off on the Crusades, allowing Prince John to take the throne as de facto King. Unfortunately, the Prince is greedy and immature, even sucking his thumb whenever his mother is mentioned. Robin and Little John rob Prince John by disguising themselves as fortune tellers, prompting the Prince to put a bounty on their heads.
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