1973 animated Disney movie
- John going Ax-Crazy against Sir Hiss. Having a Psychopathic Manchild chasing you through a castle that is burning to the ground is probably not a very pleasant experience. The thumb sucking somehow made it worse.Sir Hiss: HELP! HE'S GONE STARK RAVING MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!
- The scene where Robin is captured at the archery tournament and sentenced to death. One of the royal drummer starts doing a solitary drum roll as a black-hooded executioner ( a red-eyed rhino, no less) approaches with his axe.
- Luckily, Robin is saved by Little John's intervention as he sneaks behind Prince John's throne and grabs him by the collar through the curtain behind him. This itself is kind of scary: Little John's easygoing demeanor is completely gone and he's practically choking the corrupt monarch, simultaneously putting a knife to his back for good measure, not the kind of behavior you would expect of a heroic character in a Disney movie. Moments later, the Sheriff goes to investigate, realizing that there's no way in hell that Prince John would order the release of the most notorious outlaw in England after capturing him minutes before and he makes Little John let go of the prince. The very instant he's been freed, Prince John abandons all ceremony and orders his guards, "Kill him!!! Don't stand there, KILL HIM!!!" Man, Disney got hardcore after Walt died.
- Both Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham are usually Faux Affably Evil or Laughably Evil, but there are moments that show them as the vicious tyrant and brutish thug they respectively are.
Sheriff: But sir, it's a big hit! The whole village is singing it!John: Oh, they are, are they? Well, they will be singing a different tune now. Double the taxes! Triple the taxes! SQUEEZE EVERY LAST DROP OUT OF THOSE INSOLENT... uh, musical peasants.
- John's furious breakdown when he overhears Hiss singing "The Villain Sucks" Song the citizens had come up with as some tiny form of rebellion. If you think he was bad before... Even the Sheriff is shocked at his boss's uncharacteristically frightening behavior. John outright orders that Nottingham be taxed down to the last drop, and anyone who can't pay be thrown in the dungeons with no mercy at all. Even the kids are chained up.
- There's Prince John's physical behavior in this scene, too: when he walks in on Hiss and the Sheriff joking about the song, Hiss sees him first and immediately switches to stuttering out compliments, terrified of what John might do to him if he says even one more word against him, while the Sheriff—who doesn't know John is in the room yet—corrects him. He gets about three words in before John screams, "Enough!" and throws a pitcher of wine at him, hitting the wall behind the Sheriff and dousing him instead. This could stir up bad memories for people who've had experience with violent alcoholics who could be set off at a moment's notice, especially if they're the movie's intended demographic of children...
- The Sheriff's threatening Friar Tuck with execution for badmouthing Prince John, and later builds a hangman's stockade in the castle courtyard intended for the friar. What really makes this jarring is how the Sheriff had previously treated everyone's contempt for Prince John with a kind of smug condescension, like he couldn't care less.
- Despite Prince John being one of Disney's least threatening villains, something has got to be said for the scene of him stewing on his throne (right after Friar Tuck's arrest). It is legitimately terrifying. For a minute or so, he is absolutely silent - no foppish Peter Ustinov voice to deflate the image - and all we can see is the pure unadulterated seething hatred and fury on his face. Even Sir Hiss, who regularly isn't afraid to talk back to his boss, is downright scared.Sir Hiss: (clears throat, scared) Sire...? If I may... may venture an opinion... you're not your usual cheerful, genial self today.
- Then he's Suddenly SHOUTING! when Hiss mentioned Friar Tuck has been arrested.FRIAR TUCK???? It's Robin Hood I want, you idiot!
- Finally his plan to hang Friar Tuck just so he can use him to trap Robin Hood. The way he says his final words of his plan is absolutely bone-chilling. Even Sir Hiss is outright horrified at the plan.Prince John: I'll use that fat friar as bait to trap Robin Hood.
Sir Hiss: Another trap?
Prince John: Yes, yes, you stupid serpent. Friar Tuck will be led to the gallows in the village square, don't you see?
Sir Hiss: B-B-B-But, sire, hang Friar Tuck? A man of the church?
Prince John: Yes, my reluctant reptile. And when our elusive hero tries to rescue... the corpulent cleric... my men will be ready.
- Then he's Suddenly SHOUTING! when Hiss mentioned Friar Tuck has been arrested.
- Tagalong is accidentally left behind during the jailbreak which forces Robin to come back for her, all the while arrows are flying around her and grab her just before one gets her.
- During the climax, the Sheriff has a brief fight with Robin, but it's easily the most intense one. The Sheriff was wearing a nightgown, but he was also wielding a torch, and was willing to burn the whole castle down if it meant killing Robin. In fact, this is the first and only time we see Robin react with terror to an enemy's presence. For the first time, Robin has completely lost control of the situation. Only a convenient wall of flames keeps the Sheriff from pursuing him up the tower.
- The original ending, which had Prince John personally try to murder Robin while he was recuperating from his injuries in a church.