From left to right: Friar Tuck, Maid Marian, Robin Hood, and Little John.
"You know, there's been a heap o' legends and tall tales about Robin Hood — all different too. Well, we folks in the animal kingdom have our own version — it's the story of what Robin Hood
really happened in Sherwood Forest."
— Alan-a-Dale's Opening Narration
, the 1973 animated feature by Disney and 21st film in the Disney Animated Canon
, takes the classic story of the original Robin Hood
, adds and removes stuff here and there
, and replaces all the characters with furries
. Among the cast and the animals they're portrayed as:
- Robin Hood — a fox
- Maid Marian — a vixen
- Little John — a bear
- Friar Tuck — a badger
- Alan-a-Dale — a rooster
- Prince John — a lion
- Sir Hiss (Prince John's assistant) — a snake
- The Sheriff of Nottingham — a wolf
- Nutsy and Trigger (the Sheriff's Mooks) — vultures
- Lady Kluck (Maid Marian's Lady-In-Waiting) — a chicken
This movie was the first in the Disney Animated Canon
that was made completely independent of Walt Disney, who had died in 1966 - The Aristocats
was personally greenlit by Walt. Therefore, it is one of the most visibly - how can we best put this kindly? - economical
Disney animated films. The studio was suffering financially during its production, resulting in plenty of recycled animation from a multitude of films. Luckily for the company, the movie made enough money in the box office to pull through. That didn't prevent Disney from viewing it as one of their worst entries
- during production, and even after the box office success. Additionally, the movie was poorly received critically and has ended up branded "Rotten" on Rotten Tomatoes
. But in contrast, fan reaction has always been almost unanimously positive, to the point where the movie has been Vindicated by History
through 80s and 90s kids who know it from VHS, definitely helped by it being the first Disney animated movie (at least among the Untouchables) ever released on a home video format, with Disney making the decision following a less profitable re-release in 1982, the logic being that there wasn't much more profit it could gain from the traditional periodic theatrical re-releases. With its beautiful character designs and occasionally witty dialogue, it's also considered one of the gateway drugs to the Furry Fandom
.Take a shot
when you notice recycled animation.
Disney's Robin Hood provides examples of:
- Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: Marian fears this is what happened to Robin. However, it is quickly subverted in the next scene, as Robin is shown daydreaming about her. He's just afraid that he might not be good enough to be with her due to his status as an outlaw.
- The Ace: Robin himself; expert archer, master of disguise, champion of the people, etc.
- Action Girl: Lady Kluck joins the brawl that caps the archery tournament.
- Adapted Out: No band of merry men here; just Robin, Little John, and Friar Tuck.
- During the "Phony King of England" musical number, Little John does make reference to the merry men as "Robin's wily pack". It does seem like he's just referring to himself and Friar Tuck though...unless the rest of the outlaws are always conveniently off-screen.
- All Balloons Have Helium: Sir Hiss and his balloon head bag.
- Except for that he seems to be fine breathing inside it.
- All-Knowing Singing Narrator: Alan-a-Dale is the one telling this story, but he also takes part in it. For instance, when he's arrested and thrown in jail, he already knows what's happening outside.
- Alliterative List: At the start Sir Hiss is also called "silly serpent" and "reluctant reptile" while Friar Tuck is a "corpulent cleric". At the end when Prince John chases Sir Hiss and tries to hit him with his stick, he calls him a "cowardly cobra," "procrastinating python," and an "aggravating asp." All of these could also count as Alliterative Nicknames.
- Ambiguously Gay: Prince John and Sir Hiss are both contenders. It's ironic as historically King John was a notorious womanizer and adulterer and King Richard was the one historians claim may have been homosexual.
- Anachronism Stew:
- Arguably averted in the case of the voices. The accents are not far off of what it was like in Merry England. The reason being is that what the world considers to be an American accent is really the original British accent, with Southern drawl being another import to the New World, and the modern English accent first appeared in the 1860's. If anything, the American accents are more accurate than the English accents. Still, intent counts, and many of the voices were filled from the Disney Studio's stable of Western Movie actors, particularly the Sheriff and his men, who attempted to play the roles off as a corrupt sheriff and his deputies from the Old West.
- Although Friar Tuck comes from the original legend, his presence during the reign of Richard I makes no sense, as the first Mendicant order was not founded until 1209, a full decade after the Lionheart's death.
- The rabbits sing "Happy Birthday to You" - which was written in the late 19th century in Louisville, Kentucky - to Skippy. The film takes place in the 12th century. America hadn't even been discovered yet.
- While in the ale barrel, Sir Hiss sings "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" (although he says "for I'm a jolly good fellow"). Again, that song hadn't been written yet— it was written in 1709.
- In their first scene, Maid Marian and Lady Cluck are playing badminton, which was invented in the 18th century.
- Nottingham Castle has a scaffold gallows, even though it was invented by the Scot Deacon William Brodie in 1787.
- The (American) football segment when the game was invented in 1869 (rugby can be traced back to the 1400s, which is still after the events of the film). To take it further, "On, Wisconsin!" plays in the background, which was written in 1909. Granted, no one's actually playing football, it's just part of the preceding battle sequence.
- Animal Stereotypes:
- Archer Archetype: He's Robin Hood; what do you expect?
- Artistic License – Gun Safety: Trigger keeps pointing his crossbow at the Sheriff. It also has a tendency to randomly go off even when the safety is on. Eventually the Sheriff gets Genre Savvy about this and insists that Trigger walk ahead of him when he's carrying the crossbow.
- Artistic License – History: To be expected considering the Robin Hood genre.
- Lore commonly puts the outlaw as a contemporary of John and Richard rather than (probably) Edward I. However, just to reiterate, John was not taxing the poor of England just so he could swim around in mountains of gold coins; though he was definitely attempting to seize the throne, he had no authority to raise revenues from any but his own possessions (of which Nottingham was one). note Richard didn't imprison John or the Sheriff of Nottingham (though the sheriff did lose his job) when he got back; in fact, John eventually became king, the first after the Norman Conquest (possibly) to speak English fluently. John did make a lot of enemies and suffer a lot of setbacks, but it is debatable whether he was the grasping, cowardly tyrant portrayed in the film.
- The Church was very powerful in the 12th Century and would have made a serious fuss over the Sheriff helping himself to the contents of the church poor box. Especially since the Crown had no authority to collect taxes on church income at all at that point in history - that was one of the many issues that the Church and Crown argued over until Henry VIII broke from Rome in the 16th century. Similarly, the question of whether a civil authority such as the Sheriff could arrest a clergyman at all was a major political hot topic, much less having a priest executed by the order of a secular authority. Prince John would have known that, after the major political mess caused by the death of Archbishop Thomas Becket during his father's reign.
- The line "too late to be known as John the First" in The Villain Sucks Song is strange, since he is (so far) the only King John of England. Presumably it's because at the time, he was not yet officially the king — being the younger brother (i.e. born "too late"), he had no right to call himself John the Anythingth.
- Ass in a Lion Skin: Robin, a fox, disguises himself as "the spindle-legged stork from Devonshire" and as Nutsy, a vulture.
- Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: When the rhino soldiers he'd ordered to attack the jail come charging right at Prince John.
- Attractive Bent-Gender: Little John gets wolf-whistled when in disguise.
- Babies Ever After: Discussed when Robin proposes to Marian.
Robin: We'll have six children...
Marian: Six? Oh, a dozen at least.
- They are foxes and that many kids isn't unusual for human families in that time period.
- Skippy tags along on the wedding coach, saying that "Robin Hood's gonna have kids. Somebody has to keep their eye on things."
- Badass Preacher: Friar Tuck ("GET OUT OF MY CHURCH!!"). He delivered a righteous beating on the Sheriff for stealing from the Poor Box.
- Barefoot Cartoon Animal: A few of the characters, most notably Lady Kluck, Alan-a-Dale, and the rabbit family (for whom this trope might overlap with Barefoot Poverty).
- Batman Gambit: How Prince John fooled Robin Hood to take part of the archery tournament. Knowing that he's in love in Marian, he announces that the winner of the tournament shall get a kiss from Marian as a first prize, knowing that Robin wouldn't refuse to take that opportunity. The tournament was just a trap to snare Robin Hood in, based on who was the unnatural superior archer. He didn't actually see through Robin Hood's "stork" disguise, but considering that the stork was somehow much better at archery than most of the others, he didn't really need to; by process of elimination, Prince John figured out that, therefore, the stork must be Robin Hood.
- Beary Funny: Little John is a downplayed example; he's Robin's straight man.
- Berserk Button:
- Mentioning King Richard in front of Prince John. Mentioning his mother is probably okay, as it just causes him to bluescreen and start sucking his thumb.
- For Friar Tuck, dismissing his 'sermons' is one thing, but outright disrespecting him, a man of the church, by telling him that his 'preachiness' is gonna soon land him in a hangman's noose while stealing out of the poor box is another thing entirely.
- Beware The Cute Ones: Skippy, a seven-year-old rabbit, successfully shoots an arrow at Prince John's rear end! (It bounces off).
- Beware the Nice Ones:
- Do not take money from the poor box in front of Friar Tuck.
- Little John is generally a happy-go-lucky kind of guy until Robin's in trouble. He'll threaten lives if it means saving his buddy.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Prince John can be very comical, but if you mock him badly enough, he will not let you get away with it.
"DOUBLE THE TAXES! TRIPLE THE TAXES! SQUEEZE EVERY LAST DROP OUT OF THOSE INSOLENT...musical...peasants"
- Big Bad: Prince John is the source of the story's conflict. Robin's hiding out, his inability to marry Marian, the heavy taxes, it's all him.
- Big Brother Instinct: Robin Hood towards Skippy and the other kids. He goes to their birthday with gifts and everything.
- Big Good: King Richard is seen by his subjects as the paragon of the The Good King. He fixes everything when he comes back.
- Robin Hood himself is this during King Richard's absence.
- Blackmail Is Such an Ugly Word: When Little John questions the morality of robbing the rich to feed the poor:
Robin: "Rob"? (Tuts) That's a naughty word. We never rob! We just... sort of "borrow" a bit from those who can afford it.
John: "Borrow"? Heh. Boy, are we in debt.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Both Little John and Lady Kluck are fierce party animals.
- But He Sounds Handsome: During the archery tournament, Robin, disguised as a stork, praises himself and taunts the Sheriff of Nottingham about his failure catching him. He also claims Robin is a better archer than he is, while landing a perfect bullseye.
- Captain Obvious:
Prince John: Hiss. I've been robbed.
Sir Hiss: [more vehement than at any other time in the movie]: Of course you've been robbed!
- Card-Carrying Villain: Not only does the Sheriff use underhanded tactics to collect every last coin from the townspeople, he enjoys every minute of it.
- Cassandra Truth: Sir Hiss sees through every single disguise. While he might not know who it is, he knows they aren't who they claim to be. Yet every time, Prince John assumes he's just jealous of the attention they're getting. Now, if Prince John had listened to Hiss' advice now and then (don't trust the strange gypsy women, for one), he'd have been spared some of his humiliations.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: Robin proposing to Marian and the two of them discussing the plans for their honeymoon and children rearing during a major Sword Fight.
- Cats Are Mean: Played straight and inverted with Prince John and King Richard (who are both lions), respectively.
- The Centerpiece Spectacular: The Tournament sequence.
- Chekhov's Gun: The little rabbit sister can't run nearly as fast as the other kids. This becomes very important in the final battle when she's struggling to keep up with the evacuating villagers, and Robin Hood has to turn around and rescue her, leaving him trapped on the opposite side of the portcullis.
- Clueless Deputy: Nutsy and Trigger; the former is a ditz and the latter can't keep his crossbow under control. (Not that the Sheriff is much better, but he looks like it in comparison.)
- Corrupt Hick: Despite being set in Medieval England, the Sheriff and his underlings act like stereotypes from the American deep south.
- Cover-Blowing Superpower: Robin Hood gives himself away at the archery tournament with his Improbable Aiming Skills.
- Cuffs Off, Rub Wrists: Friar Tuck does this after being released from his shackles by Little John.
- Cunning Like a Fox: Robin Hood is a fox in this version because of his cunning.
- Cute Little Fangs: Being heroic foxes, both Robin and Marian have these.
- Damsel in Distress: Marian. She's lovely and graceful but almost completely helpless, even when her love is about to be executed before her eyes. However, she almost manages to convince Prince John to spare Robin through The Power of Love and hits a guard aiming for Robin with a pie, which just goes to show how helpful she can be when she tries.
- The Dark Age of Animation: With all of the Limited Animation and the child-pandering, Saturday-morning-level hijinks and characters, this is clearly the feature that best represents the era's effects on Disney animation.
- Dead Hat Shot:
- When Robin is shot at, only his hat emerges from the water at first. See Disney Death for more.
- There is also a near miss in the first scene that gets Played for Laughs; an arrow comes within inches of Robin's head and impales his hat instead.
- Deadly Dodging: Robin uses this tactic against the mook archers, causing them to hit each other. Of course, they don't actually hit each other with arrows. They just get pinned to walls through the collars or somesuch.
- Department of Redundancy Department: "I sentence you to sudden, instant, and even immediate death!"
- Dirty Coward: Prince John in the Archery Tournament fiasco. While Robin Hood was fighting off the guards, Prince John tried to blind-side him. However, Robin Hood easily disarms him before that happened, and Prince John immediately runs away in fear while pathetically begging for his life.
- Disguised in Drag: Robin Hood and Little John both pulled this trick at the beginning, stealing everything valuable that wasn't nailed down after Prince John dismissed the notion of female bandits as "rubbish". Robin was good at it, Little John...not so much; his cover would have been blown if he spoke to anyone up-close.
- Robin's voice actor, Brian Bedford, performed in drag after Robin Hood's theatrical release. He probably did so before the film too, given that his female voice is fairly convincing.
- Disney Death:
- Dolled-Up Installment: Ever wonder why it's Robin Hood with funny animals? That's because Disney had previously been trying to make a movie about Reynard the Fox but abandoned the idea. Since they had tried to make the character more appealing by giving him Robin Hood-like qualities, it wasn't too hard to take what they had and turn it into a Robin Hood the fox story instead.
- The Dragon: The Sheriff of Nottingham to Prince John. One of few Disney examples in plain sight, he's aggressive, takes orders from his (slightly) brighter boss, orders the Mooks around, and serves as the primary physical threat to Robin as demonstrated nicely during the final battle scene in the tower.
- Ear Worm:
- An in-universe example — "The Phony King Of England" is so catchy even Hiss and the Sheriff enjoy it.
- As well as Roger Miller's quite memorable folk/country tunes "Whistle-Stop" and "Oo De Lally", which he played as In-Universe character Alan-a-Dale (the Rooster). How earwormy is the former, you might ask? Enough to spark an internet phenomenon almost three decades later. Enjoy the Hamster Dance? It's "Whistle-Stop" sped up by about 60%.
- Elite Mooks: The crocodile and the executioner rhino, who at least looks slightly less moronic than the regular kind.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Prince John's relationship with his mother is... complicated. He seemed to react with a huge amount of remorse when he ends up either wrecking her things (ie, her mirror and her castle) or is reminded of her in some way, and childishly sucks his thumb. However, he also disparagingly states that his mother liked Richard much better than him.note
- Even Evil Has Standards: Sir Hiss has no problem with Prince John's evil deeds until he decides to hang Friar Tuck.
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: The Sheriff of Nottingham. He's only ever referred to as "Sheriff", even by his close associates.
- Everyone Can See It: All of Nottingham ships Robin/Marian, though the pair are initially uncertain of each others' feelings. Little John goes further and tries to make it happen via royal decree (at knifepoint).
- Evil Is Hammy: Prince John chews the scenery with abandon, such as his "DOUBLE THE TAXES!" scene. Sir Hiss and the Sheriff also have their moments, but their evil boss is still hammier.
- Evil Laugh: Prince John's "Ah-ha! AH-HA!"
- Lampshaded on one occasion: "Forgive me a cruel chuckle: Eheheheheheh, power."
- Evil Plan: Prince John is on a power trip. After sending his brother off to fight muslims, he plunders the kingdom in the name of taxes.
- Little John could be Baloo's long lost twin brother, ditto Sir Hiss for Kaa of The Jungle Book. Also, Nutsy and Trigger (and another one of Little John's identical twins) got smaller roles in Bedknobs and Broomsticks.
- Nutsy and Trigger also share animation models with the Beatles-esque vultures from The Jungle Book. Many other characters are drawn similarly to other Disney characters. The elephants look like the elephants from The Jungle Book, the crocodiles and hippos look like the ones from Fantasia, the owls look similar to Archimedes from The Sword in the Stone.
- Robin Hood and Maid Marian may be the inspiration for Tod and Vixie of The Fox and the Hound.
- Eyes Never Lie: Marian realizes it is Robin in disguise after she looks deeply into his eyes.
- Fake Aristocrat: Little John masquerades at "Sir Reginald, Duke of Chutney" to get close to Prince John.
- Falling in Love Montage: "Love goes on and on...", although, in this case, they were already in love.
- Fantastic Fox: The anthropomorphic Robin and Marian.
- Fat Bastard: The Sheriff, with his big belly and crass demeanor, is the closest example.
- Faux Affably Evil: The Sheriff; he's always cheerful and polite while doing sadistic things.
- Five-Bad Band:
- Flirting Under Fire: Robin Hood proposes to Marian during a battle, and they start making plans for the honeymoon and starting a family.
- Foe-Tossing Charge: In one of the funniest and most awesome parts in the entire movie, Lady Kluck does this while inventing football several centuries early.
- Foreshadowing: If the original ending under What Might Have Been had been used, Robin's comment about "That one almost had my name on it" would have been a lot more significant in the beginning.
- Freudian Excuse: Prince John has serious maternal issues.
- Frothy Mugs of Water: Averted. During the archery tournament, the barrel Sir Hiss is stuffed into is marked "ALE"
Hiss: Please, please let me out... I don't drink!
- Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal: Several characters, including:
- Maid Marian (a lovely pink and purple dress and headscarf);
- Prince John (royal robes and such);
- Friar Tuck (brown habit); and
- The Sheriff of Nottingham (a red and purple thing like some lesser noble).
- Furry Confusion:
- In some ways, this is averted; i.e. no one in this world has pets or rides horses — there is a blacksmith dog that is seen making horseshoes, but perhaps anthropomorphic horses still have hooves. On the other hand, it is worth noting that we never see who or what is pulling that carriage in the last scene.note
- Following the tradition of the Robin Hood myth, Maid Marian is said to be King Richard's niece. She is a fox. He is a lion. This could be Fridge Brilliance - historically, it's debatable whether or not Richard ever consummated his marriage with Berengaria and may have only married her for political reasons, so it's entirely possible that Richard's unseen wife was a fox after all. A lion and a fox could never successfully inbreed with each other, but his other wives (i.e. not Marian's aunt) would presumably have been lionesses to provide heirs.
- Furry Fandom: Notorious for being popular in it, but nowhere near to the extent of The Lion King.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- Near the beginning, when Robin and Little John are disguised as women, Robin keeps Little John from running away by pushing him by his false breasts.
- A male rhino guard is shown to clearly be checking out Little John's butt while he's in drag.
- Robin, disguised as a woman, makes off with Prince John's clothes, except his underwear. This is immediately after "she" spent a good deal of time feeding him compliments. Raising the idea of how she probably got him out of those clothes.
- Robin Hood's gonna have kids?!
- ... The next line - "Somebody has to keep an eye on things." He may be an innocent child now...
- The running "A pox on the phony king of England". "Pox" was often used to mean syphilis, although it was also a general term for disease (as in smallpox, chicken pox etc). The song's probable real-world inspiration, "The Bastard King of England," is a hilariously filthy song about John getting the clap.
- During the scene where Skippy sneaks into the castle to get his lost arrow, Lady Kluck quite clearly loses the shuttlecock down her bodice and spends several hilarious minutes dancing around, trying to get it out.
- Get Thee to a Nunnery: "A pox on you" (in this case, on the phony king of England) is a Shakespearean-era insult meaning, "I hope you get a disfiguring and potentially deadly disease, like smallpox or syphilis." It did also have a more general meaning along the lines of "To heck with you," so it might be a milder case of Getting Crap Past the Radar.
- Glasses Girl: Mother Rabbit, who wears glasses and whose personality affects the sense of moe associated with them.
- Good Shepherd: As usual, Friar Tuck is a devout and admirable man. When the Sheriff helps himself to the poor box, he flies into a rage not because it cuts into his bottom line but because it's supposed to help the poor.
- As a Freeze-Frame Bonus, "Forgive them all" is carved into the wall of Friar Tuck's cell. It may have been put there by a prior tenant, but it would be a characteristic statement for him to write.
- Goofy Print Underwear : Lady Kluck, despite being a Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal, has these on under her feathers.
- Greed: Prince John is depicted as not only hoarding gold, obsessively counting it, and fondling it, but even sleeping with it in his bedchamber. To be fair, no one could expect the royal chambers to be vulnerable to any but the most daring and skillful of thieves, but surely there were more secure places to put it... right?
- Greek Chorus: Alan-a-Dale sings the story that he's a part of.
- Guile Hero: Robin is Cunning Like a Fox and it shows. His gypsy thievery and his castle break in are two great moments.
- Hail To The Thief: "The Phony King of England"
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Robin and Little John, among others. Really, this applies to most characters, except those listed under Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal.
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: Prince John vs. Sir Hiss. You can practically see the flecks of scenery flying from their mouths.
- Harmless Lady Disguise: "Oh, poppycock! Female bandits? What next? Rubbish!
- Hat Damage: The movie opens with a chase that leaves an arrow stuck through Robin's hat (triggering the Stock Phrase "That one almost had my name on it!"). Later, after a climactic fall into a castle moat, the hat bobs up, with another arrow through it, but with no Robin, and the onlookers assume he's dead.
- Heli Critter: Sir Hiss, kept aloft by a balloon and propelling himself with his tail.
- Historical-Domain Character: Both Prince John and King Richard were real historical figures, though one imagines that even Medieval Morons would have noticed if they had been real lions.
- Historical In-Joke: Prince John begins crying and sucking his thumb when his mother is mentioned. John's mother in real life was the infamous Eleanor of Aquitaine, who really did favor her elder son, King Richard, over John.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: Prince John, who in this story taxes people out of sheer greed and is even responsible for Richard's crusades, via his hypnotic Evil Chancellor.
- Human Knot: Happens to Sir Hiss. It helps that he's a rope-like snake.
Prince John: Get out of that if you can.
- Hypocritical Humor:
- Hypocrite: After he is captured at the archery contest, Prince John calls Robin a traitor to the crown, despite the fact that he unlawfully seized the throne while Richard was off on the Crusades. Robin calls him out on it in the most badass way possible.
- I Call It "Vera": Trigger and his trusty crossbow "Betsy".
- I Kiss Your Hand: Robin and Little John use this trope to steal PJ's finger rings at the beginning. He gets wise to this trick when Little John tries it again later.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: In the archery contest, Robin still manages to score perfect bull’s-eyes even though the arrows he's using are made of two twigs tied loosely together with cord. When a cheap shot causes him to aim high, he fires a second arrow at the first one to redirect it back to the bulls-eye, even knocking out the Sheriff's arrow in the process. HE'S FRIGGIN' ROBIN HOOD! Accept no substitutes.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Terry-Thomas as Hiss. Complete with Thomas's gap in his teeth, perfect for having his tongue flicker out.
- Instrument of Murder: Friar Tuck and Alan-a-Dale use Alan's lute as a bow. In this case though, it's more to pop a balloon than to kill someone.
- Interactive Narrator: Alan-a-Dale sometimes chats to the audience, sometimes sings a song about what's going on just then, and sometimes gets stuck into the fighting. The sheriff even arrests him.
- Ironic Echo: Early in the movie, the characters talk about how if Robin marries Maid Marian, Kind Richard will have an outlaw for an in-law. At the end of the movie, Richard says this exact phrase while laughing about the marriage.
- I Want My Mommy: A Running Gag with Prince John.
- I Warned You: "I tried to warn you. But no, no, no, you wouldn't listen..."
- Jerkass: Both Prince John and the Sheriff are rude, power tripping, jerks. They are also the villains and get their comeuppance in the end.
- Just Following Orders:
- A throwaway line from the Sheriff as he hums; "They call me a slob...but I just do my job..."
- As stated below, this is implied to be why Trigger and Nutsy weren't arrested.
- Karma Houdini: Trigger and Nutsy are the only villains that weren't arrested. Given that they weren't abusing their power like John, Hiss, and the Sheriff were, this shouldn't be a surprise. They're seen guarding the imprisoned John, Hiss, and the Sheriff for King Richard at the end, so it's clear they just do their job no matter who's on the throne. Either that or they did a Heel-Face Turn.
- Kid-Appeal Character: Skippy Rabbit is a young boy that admires Robin Hood, much like the audience.
- Kill It with Fire: The Sheriff's plan for dealing with Robin during the tower fight scene. It takes the castle with them but nobody dies; No one we see, anyway...
- King of Beasts: King Richard and Prince John are both anthropomorphic lions.
- Large Ham: Prince John (Peter Ustinov):
This crown gives me a feeling of power! POWER!
Forgive me a cruel chuckle - aheheheh
- When Robin Hood said the crown rightfully belonged to King Richard, Prince John stamps on his throne shouting 'I am King! KING! KING!'.
- He's even hammier when things go wrong - he cries for mom and sucks his thumb...and doesn't want to play.
- Lean and Mean: Prince John is scrawnier than his benevolent older brother.
- Little Bit Beastly: Friar Tuck seems to be borderline, as he lacks the regular coloring of a badger, yet has humanoid ears.
- Little "No": When Little John thought Robin's dead.
- Maid And Maiden: Lady Kluck and Marian respectively. They fit the archetype as the latter is the beautiful and romantic young lady and the former is older and spunkier and takes care of her.
- Male Gaze: One of PJ's rhino soldiers wolf-whistles with a flutter of his ears at Little John in drag after checking out "her" butt, enlarged by smuggling solid gold hubcaps.
- Man Child: Prince John, who's very whiny, often throws temper tantrums, constantly sucks his thumb and cries very easily.
- Men of Sherwood: This being Robin Hood, it's expected.
- The Middle Ages: Castles, kings, friars, and bows and arrows, and talking animals.
- Misplaced Wildlife:
- Any raccoon that shows up in this movie fits this trope because raccoons are native only to the Americas. This may be a Petting Zoo People movie, but this movie takes place in Medieval England, and people in Europe back in the Middle Ages have not heard of raccoons, so this counts as Anachronism Stew as well.
- Friar Tuck is seemingly based on an American badger rather than a European badger.
- There's also all the crocodiles, vultures, rhinos, etc, but it's probably safe to assume the animators knew they weren't typical British wildlife.
- The fireflies Little John uses to make the crystal ball glow near the beginning. (Wolves and bears aren't found in Britain now, but would've been at the time.)
- Money Fetish: Prince John sleeps with bags of taxes.
- Neck Lift: Prince John to Sir Hiss. Of course, being a snake, he's pretty much all neck.
- Neutral Female: Averted by Maid Marian; she typically isn't of much help when things get dangerous, but she does have a couple of moments where she's actively trying to assist the protagonists.
- Nice Mice: The Sexton and his wife. They gave their last farthing to the poor box.
- No Gun Safety: The guards are dangerously reckless with their crossbows, one of which has a very unreliable trigger mechanism. Even though "Ol' Betsy" explicitly does have a safety, it just doesn't seem to work very well.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries:
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Some of the voice actors are real Brits, but some are Australians, and others are Americans best known for Westerns and rural Sit Coms whose accents aren't at all what you'd expect to hear in a film set in medieval England. (Although it is worth noting that rural and Southern accents of American English are a lot more closely related to medieval English than we tend to think — had to come from somewhere, after all.) The very well-spoken English Robin Hood for some reason adopts a Cockney (London) accent when disguised as a stork...from Devonshire! His lack of West Country burr should have blown his cover the moment he opened his beak!
- Not-So-Harmless Villain:
- Yes Prince John is a cowardly, childish mama's boy, but that doesn't stop him from being a cunning and ruthless tyrant who is a fan of lethal and amoral force.
- The Sheriff as well. He's a bumbling goof, but nearly kills Robin in the climax of the film, burning the castle down in the process.
- Off Model: During most of the film, characters have four digits—three fingers and a thumb. This is forgotten a number of times.
- As the Sheriff is shaking his hands while Friar Tuck is yelling, he has four fingers. When he's finished, though, he's got three again.
- When the Sheriff points Trigger's crossbow away, he has four fingers.
- Four again when said crossbow fires.
- Four fingers appear again when Skip is holding Little John's arm and crying.
- Offscreen Teleportation: The turtle when the children climb through the back gate. He is clearly too large to fit through, so when the scene switches, he has suddenly appeared on the other side.
- Off with His Head!: What nearly happened to Robin—by order of Prince John, who even quotes the trope verbatim.
- One Steve Limit: Averted; Prince John and Little John.
- Panthera Awesome: Prince John and King Richard are lions but only the latter is awesome.
- Pantsless Males, Fully-Dressed Females: Most of the female characters are fully dressed and most of the male characters are pantsless.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Played with. Prince John figures it out while the sheriff said he could see through any disguise Robin could cook up. He was wrong (the stork costume was good; from a distance, you'd never know). Earlier, Prince John and his guards failed to realize anything suspicious about the "gypsies" that come to visit while they're riding in a carriage full of gold. This made John perceptive enough to catch on to Robin the second time around. However, none of the bad guys ever see through Robin's blind-beggar disguise, although Trigger suspects something is up.
- Petting Zoo People: Animals like real life, except they're humanoid.
- Pinball Projectile: Sometimes arrows do this. Robin can do it because he's just that good.
- Please Spare Him, My Liege!: Marian to John after Robin is captured. It might have worked if Robin hadn't taken offense to being called a traitor to the crown. Then again, since Prince John was interrupted after saying "but traitors to the crown must die..." Robin would probably have been executed anyway, just not "suddenly, instantly, and immediately."
- Pragmatic Villainy: While Sir Hiss seems genuinely shocked that Friar Tuck is going to be hanged, he might be afraid that doing so would get them excommunicated from the Catholic Church.
- Properly Paranoid: Trigger is the only one who even suspects Robin Hood's beggar disguise, and is insistent that he'll try a jailbreak. Naturally, the Sheriff doesn't listen to him.
- Reed Snorkel: This is how Robin escapes the moat at the end. When Little John leans over to investigate, Robin spits water in his face.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Sir Hiss the snake, Prince John's Evil Chancellor. There's also the crocodile Elite Mook, although like Trigger and Nutsy he's probably Just Following Orders.
- Revealing Skill: The "bandy-legged stork" is just a little too good at archery when a kiss from Marian is on the line.
- Right Behind Me: The Sheriff and Sir Hiss are having a good laugh over the song "The Phony King of England" when Prince John enters the room. Hiss immediately starts singing lyrics praising PJ before the Sheriff corrects him ("... the sniveling, groveling —"). PJ throws a wine bottle at him.
- Righteous Rabbits: The rabbit family are all good natured. Their family is solid and loving, though given to bickering as families do.
- Rule of Symbolism: King Richard's crown is too big for Ki- Prince John's head, and his trying to wear it keeps making him look foolish. Why not get it adjusted/padded? 'Cause it's a metaphor. (That and it doesn't really belong to him yet...)
- Savage Wolves: The Sheriff of Nottingham, one of the main antagonists of the series, is portrayed as a wolf. So are his Mooks.
- Scooby-Dooby Doors: Done without doors, but otherwise true to the trope, when the tent stuffed with rhino guards (and the Sheriff and Little John) races back and forth between the other rows of tents.
Little John: Who's driving this flying umbrella?
- Seize Him: Prince John takes every opportunity to invoke this phrase.
- Shaped Like Itself:
- The Sheriff's observation of Friar Tuck: "Well, looky there! Friar Tuck, the old do-gooder. He's out doing good again."
- The oath used by the rabbit kids: "If I tattletale, I'll die till I'm dead."
- Shoot the Bullet: In the archery competition, the sheriff has just scored a bullseye (by cheating). To make sure Robin (in disguise) can't win, the sheriff taps Robin's bow as he releases. The arrow goes in a high arc. Undaunted, Robin nocks another arrow and fires at the first arrow. It hits, changing its direction such that it too hits a perfect bullseye, right through the sheriff's arrow.
- Lady Kluck's attack on the guards bears a strong resemblance to a football player's charge (Hence the Fan Nickname). She even has her arm curled, as if holding a ball. Plus the angle and perspective of the rhinos who leap to catch her. The music played in this scene is in fact the University of Wisconsin Badgers fight song. Notice the pan to Friar Tuck.
- Prince John often mentioned that his mother always liked Richard best is a reference to the well-known Smothers Brothers bit "Mom always liked you best", 'you' referring to Dick (aka Richard) Smothers.
- Prince John and King Richard are lions. What film came out five years before?
- Shur Fine Guns: Trigger's Ol' Betsy is notoriously unsafe.
- Smug Snake: All of the villains are pompous and nasty, though Sir Hiss is notable for being a literal example.
- Snake Talk: Ssssir Hisssss ssssayyyss Ssseeccrets.
- Splitting the Arrow: Naturally, Robin has to show off by doing this.
- Spoiled Brat: Prince John immensely. When the Nottingham citizens shout out their loyalties to King Richard, John's response was whining while jumping up and down on his throne.
Prince John: "NO! I AM KING! KIIIIIING!!! KIIIIIIING!!!"
- Spoiled Sweet: Despite being part of Prince John's household, Maid Marian is one of the nicest characters in the film, and also the most romantic.
- Stock Footage and Limited Animation:
- Much of the dancing in The Villain Sucks Song is recycled from earlier Disney films — including Snow White!
- The shots of marching rhino soldiers are the same shot each time.
- More an example of Limited Animation than Stock Footage: After loading all the civilians onto the cart (although as it turns out, missing the baby rabbit), as Little John exclaims "Onward to Sherwood Forest", look at the people on the cart. None of them are moving, not even breathing.
- Stout Strength:
- Little John, Friar Tuck, and the Sheriff of Nottingham are all grossly fat (though to be fair to John, he is a bear). They're also among the most physically powerful of the named characters in the film (although the Sheriff only really gets to show it in the climax).
- On the distaff side, we have Lady Kluck. Just look at the way she took down those rhino guards!!!
- Sweet on Polly Oliver: One of the guards wolf-whistles at Little John when he's Disguised in Drag, mistaking the stolen loot down the back of "her" pants for, ahem, junk in her trunk.
- Talking Animal: The entire cast. This is the animall kingdom after all.
- Tempting Fate: Used and lampshaded.
- Took a Level in Badass: Skippy. He goes from nearly wetting himself over Prince John conceivably executing him to firing an arrow at Prince John's butt, and later helping Robin stop some guards.
- Trigger Happy: The aptly named Trigger has trouble with his crossbow.
- Un Evil Laugh: Prince John has one of these, suitably for silly villain like him. (You can hear it at about 1:35 into the video, among other spots.)
- The Unfavorite: "Mother always did like Richard best!" Doubly funny because there is historical evidence that she did. Though their father favored John, particularly since he didn't rebel like his three elder brothers.
- Villainous BSOD: A mild form. Mention Prince John's mother around him, and he grabs his ear and begins to suck his thumb. Even while covered in mud:
I've got a dirty thumb.
- The Villain Sucks Song: "The Phony King of England".
- Villainous Breakdown:
- Violent Glaswegian: Lady Kluck, thick Scottish accent and a Boisterous Bruiser, fits this to a T.
- Visual Pun:
- King Richard the Lion heart.
- There are also literal church mice, who are poor as church-mice.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Where were Maid Marian and Lady Cluck, who actively participated in the riot (and The Villain Sucks Song), when the whole town was thrown in jail? The ending listed under What Could Have Been implies Maid Marian had been hiding in the church. Considering that it was more than obvious by that point that both of them were allied with Robin Hood, common sense would say anyway that they were in hiding, probably in Sherwood Forest.
- Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Referenced:
Sheriff: Crimenently, now I know why yer momma calls ya "Nutsy".
- Working on the Chain Gang: The final fate of Prince John, Sir Hiss, and the Sheriff. Although if the notes for Decade are to be believed, they are pardoned eventually (granted they had help).
- World of Funny Animals: This is the animal kingdom as designed for pre-teens.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: During the melee that ensued after the archery tournament, seven-year-old rabbit Skippy shot an arrow at Prince John, which bounced off his rear end. Despite the result, he's guilty of assaulting royalty with a deadly weapon. Yet when he and his family are thrown in jail because they didn't pay their taxes, Skippy isn't singled out for punishment for that. Is it an example of this trope, the censors stepping in, or an oversight? You decide.note