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Western Animation / Robin Hood (1973)

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Oo-de-lally, oo-de-lally, golly what a day...

"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 really happened in Sherwood Forest."
Alan-a-Dale's Opening Narration

Robin Hood, 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 Funny Animals — making this the first Disney Animated Feature to feature exclusively anthropomorphic characters.

The film, as narrated by the rooster Alan-a-Dale, begins in the wake of Prince John's usurpation of the crown from his heroic brother, King Richard. He has burdened the country with outrageously high taxes, and his chief enforcer, the Sheriff of Nottingham (a heartless wolf), has no qualms stripping the residents of their very last farthing.

The people's hope rests in Sherwood Forest, where a fox known as Robin Hood and his trusty bear companion Little John have made their hideout. They steal from Prince John and his lackeys with a variety of schemes and disguises, giving the funds back to the struggling citizens. They also have a liason of sorts in town, the meek yet principled badger Friar Tuck.

Meanwhile, a beautiful and benevolent vixen known as Maid Marian lives in Prince John's castle along with her lady-in-waiting, a hen named Lady Kluck. She is Richard's niece, and in happier times she and Robin Hood were very close; even today, neither has forgotten the other, though they haven't been able to see each other in years. Unfortunately, Prince John is more than willing to use their affection to trap the thief who has humiliated him so many times...

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. The studio was suffering financially during its production, resulting in plenty of Recycled Animation from a multitude of films and within itself (this makes it one of the more economical entries in the Disney Animated Canon). Take a shot when you spot recycled animation or an animation blooper. While largely dominated by the handiwork of studio veterans such as the Nine Old Men and art director Ken Anderson, the film does, however, mark the debut of Don Bluth as a full-time animator for the Mouse, beginning the arc of his long and tumultuous relationship with the studio in full.

This film is actually Disney's second adaptation of the Robin Hood legend. The first one was The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men, a live-action film from 1952. Furthermore, Disney has announced a CGI/live-action remake of this film, with the same kind of furry characters planned for it.

Disney's Robin Hood contains examples of:

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  • Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: Marian worries that this is what happened to Robin, since they haven't seen each other in years. However, the very next scene proves that her fears are unfounded, as Robin is shown daydreaming about her and worrying that his status as an outlaw makes him Unable to Support a Wife.
  • Accent Slip-Up: When Robin disguises himself as a blind beggar, he gives himself an old decrepit voice and a West Country accent to further the act. When he hears that Friar Tuck is going to be hanged, he briefly slips into his normal voice out of shock.
    • At the beginning of the movie, Robin masquerades as a lady fortune teller, and is about to take a bag of gold when Hiss (who's been confined to a basket by Prince John) slaps his hand. Robin grunts out an unladylike “Ayy!” which luckily goes unnoticed by the prince.
  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Sir Hiss wears only a hat, and occasionally a matching cape. The crocodile military captain and the vulture mooks similarly only wear hats/helmets and capes. Also, Toby the turtle wears only a hat and glasses, while his father wears only a hat.
  • The Ace: Robin is an expert archer, master of disguise, champion of the people, etc.
  • Action Girl: Lady Kluck is more than happy to get physical with people and gleefully joins the brawl that caps the archery tournament.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Marian gets wistful and sad when talking with Skippy, his friend Toby and his sisters about Robin Hood, saying Robin has probably forgotten all about her. When Skippy proposes that Robin Hood would come to save her and storm the castle if Prince John did anything, Klucky pretends to be Prince John and mock-fights him to cheer him and Marian up. While they circle and playfight, Marian starts laughing and calling for "Robin Hood" to save her. (Becomes heartwarming when Robin does a rescue for real during the tournament—and proposes to her to boot!)
  • Actually Quite Catchy: Even though its whole purpose is to make fun of their boss, both Sir Hiss and the Sheriff take a liking to "The Phony King of England" and cheerfully sing it while on the job...and while Prince John is in earshot. (Prince John himself, however, does not find it amusing at all.)
  • Adaptation Amalgamation: One of both the story of Robin Hood and the legend of Reynard the Fox, taking the animal characters from the latter and placing them in the roles of Robin Hood and his associated characters. For example, Reynard the fox became Robin Hood, Bruin the bear became Little John, Grimbeert the badger became Friar Tuck, Chanticleer the rooster became Alan-a-Dale, Ysengrim the wolf became the Sheriff of Nottingham, and King Nobel the lion became Prince John.
  • 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.
    • The text in the Storybook Opening of the film says "Robin Hood had a band [...] men which included a m[...] named Alan-a-Dale who..." This at least implies that there are other outlaws assisting Robin.
    • Also, while Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham are present, Guy of Gisborne is nowhere to be seen; Canon Foreigner Sir Hiss more or less fills his role.
  • All Balloons Have Helium: Sir Hiss sticks his head into a balloon and turns himself into a sort of impromptu dirigible, with his tail as a propeller.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Sis Rabbit makes it sound like some bad boy attraction when Robin shows up at her brother's birthday party. Of course, in truth, he is wanted because he is good to the people.
    Sis: Oh, he's so handsome... just like his reward posters!
  • 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 called "silly serpent", a "suspicious snake", and "reluctant reptile" while Friar Tuck is a "fat friar", and 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. The Sexton also at one point refers to the Sheriff as a "big bellied bully".
  • Ambiguously Gay: Prince John, who has a very campy inflection to his voice, behaves very childishly and effeminately and is very quick to cry. As if all said wasn't obvious, he also lacks a mane (which, in lions, usually means low levels of testosterone). He's also very receptive to "Sir Reginald's" compliments.
  • Anachronism Stew:
    • Many of the voices were filled by actors known for working in Westerns; as a result, some of the characters display mannerisms more akin to a Western (in particular the actors for Sheriff and his men play their roles as if they were a sheriff and his deputies from the Wild West or Deep South).
    • 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.
      • While it might be argued that "Friar" may represent Middle French/Middle English "Frere" = "Brother," which was in use as a form of address in the older monastic orders, Tuck's brown habit and (especially) rope girdle mark him clearly as a member of the Franciscan order, which would not be established until a good fifteen years after Richard's return to England.
    • 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 12th century England.
    • 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 Kluck are playing badminton, which was invented in the 18th century.
    • During the Archery Contest, balloons are shown being handed out to children while Hiss hides in one to use as transport to survey the scene. Rubber balloons weren't invented till 1824 and it would be many more years before they became commercialized.
    • Nottingham Castle has a scaffold gallows, which was invented by the Scot Deacon William Brodie in 1787.
      • Well, that's the story, anyway. In actuality, scaffolding is a very old invention, and was used in situations where there wasn't a tree handy. The trapdoor, however, is very firmly an anachronism, as gallows didn't use them much before the Nineteenth Century.
    • Sir Hiss is able to spy on the crowd at the archery tournament by putting his head inside one of the balloons a merchant is selling to the children. Setting aside the whole issue of Balloonacy, rubber balloons weren't invented until the 17th century. While the Aztecs are believed to have made balloon sculptures from animal intestines as early as the 1300s, nothing of the sort is known to have existed in Europe before the time of Galileo.
    • 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!" which plays in the background, was written in 1909 (originally written for archrival Minnesota and adapted). Granted, no one's actually playing football, it's just part of the preceding battle sequence.
      • In the same sequence, Little John asks at one point, "Hey, who's driving this flying umbrella?!" While umbrellas (or similar devices) have existed since ancient times, the word itself wasn't coined until around the year 1610.
    • Mother Rabbit and Toby Turtle both wear eyeglasses, which weren't invented until roughly a century after the film is set.
    • The orthopedic cast that Otto wears on his leg wasn't invented until the 1850s, during the Crimean War.
  • Animal Stereotypes:
    • Mother Rabbit has a horde of children.
    • Toby, the timid turtle.
    • Prince John and King Richard as lions (one with a mane; one without), though Prince John may not have a mane due to being a young man and may develop one in the future.
    • Our hero is a cunning fox and his Love Interest a vixen.
    • Lady Kluck, a hen, is very nurturing to the little kids, and also to Maid Marian, whom she serves as a lady-in-waiting.
    • The animators were open to playing with the trope at the concept stage, such as making the Sheriff a goat, but the director couldn't be bothered to deviate from stereotypes and overruled them.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: When Robin Hood is about to be executed, Marian tearfully begs for the life of the man she loves. John makes the situation even more emotionally charged by asking if Robin even feels the same way.
  • Anthropomorphic Animal Adaptation: As Alan-a-Dale puts it, this is how the animals tell the story of Robin Hood.
  • Arson, Murder, and Admiration: When Prince John reacts to "The Phony King of England" becoming a hit even among his subordinates:
    Prince John: They'll be singing a different tune! Double the taxes! Triple the taxes! Squeeze every last drop out of those insolent... [suddenly takes on an eerily pleasant tone] musical peasants.
  • Artistic License – Biology
    • Rabbits in this movie are depicted with paw pads and hairless noses, which they do not have in real life.
    • Maid Marian is explicitly stated to be King Richard's niece. Richard is a lion. Marian is a fox.
      • The only way this makes any possible sense would be if Queen Berengaria, Richard's wife, was a fox, and Marian was the child of one of her siblings. She would then be Richard's niece by marriage. (This actually seems quite likely, since it's repeatedly stated that Marian is Richard's niece but no one ever mentions her also being John's niece, even though Richard and John are brothers.)
    • It may or may not just be the animation style, but Sir Hiss, a snake, appears to have fur in some shots.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Trigger keeps pointing Old Betsy at the Sheriff. 'She' has a tendency to randomly discharge even when the safety is on. Eventually the Sheriff gets smart about this and insists that Trigger walk ahead of him when he's carrying his crossbow.
  • Artistic License – History: To be expected, considering the Robin Hood genre (especially see Anachronism Stew). Lore commonly puts the outlaw as a contemporary of John and Richard rather than (more likely) Edward I. However, consider the following:
    • 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. The Church didn't actually pay taxes, which was one of the things that they argued with the Crown over - up until Henry VIII broke from Rome in the 16th century.
    • Could a civil authority arrest a clergyman? Possibly, but the Church would demand the right to try and sentence Friar Tuck, and they'd probably let him off (especially since the whole incident started over the Sheriff taking church alms money, which the local bishop might very well consider to be a crime in its own right, as discussed in the previous bullet point). To allow the Sheriff to do so would set too much of a precedent, as many members of the clergy had less than sterling morals, having no fear of the arm of the law. They would never allow Friar Tuck to hang. Prince John should have known that, after the major political mess caused by the death of Archbishop Thomas Becket during his father's reign. Sir Hiss is shocked that Prince John would hang a "man of the Church", but this was more to show John as a bad person, rather than the strength of the Church. (The hanging was intended as bait for Robin Hood.)
    • Prince John certainly had aspirations to seize the throne while his brother was away, but the taxes weren't for his benefit but mostly to fund the ongoing Crusades and then later as Richard's ransom. Also, the money for his ransom was raised by a special collection largely overseen by Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard and John's mother, by taxing the church. Prince John's plan involved raising money to persuade the Emperor to continue to hold him prisoner for a while longer - which ironically probably would have saved his life.
    • Speaking of Eleanor of Aquitaine, you'd be forgiven for believing she's dead by how Prince John refers to her. Except she wasn't — she outlived almost all of her children, including Richard. She even lived many years into John's reign as the legitimate King of England once Richard died. (The deleted alternate ending does have Richard mention that she'd be upset if he exiled John, but nothing that remains in the film proper establishes she's still around.) The bit about how she always liked Richard better is accurate, at least.
    • What did Richard do when, against all odds, he got back to England alive? Start ruling? Get an heir ready to continue the empire he had built up? No, he poured all his resources into the military and rekindled his war in France, and then died of gangrene at 41 after he was shot by a young man within his own castle walls in Limousin.
    • King Richard didn't imprison John or the Sheriff of Nottingham (though the sheriff did lose his jobnote ) when he got back. He completely forgave his brother, and then named him as his heir, because he never sired any legitimate children. John was not accepted as heir by Richard's French territories, who much preferred Richard's nephew Arthur of Brittany (who admittedly had a better claim to the throne, his father being older than John). This lack of direct heirs was the first step in the dissolution of the Angevin Empire.
    • 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 Anything.
    • One historical point the film actually got right was that, while it's unlikely that John ever whined and sucked his thumb about it (especially as a grown man), Richard was their mother's favorite child. John himself was their father's favourite child, so Richard also was very jealous of John for their father’s affections.
    • And, of course, John wasn't the first regent Richard left in power, nor the least popular. That "honor" goes to William de Longchamp, a Norman, who so alienated the English that John was more popular.
    • Most significantly, the movie ends with John convicted and Working on the Chain Gang and Richard back on the throne. Anyone with a passing knowledge of English history knows that Richard died young while he was king and was succeeded by John because of a lack of legitimate heirs. (Though, given that they're all talking animals here and any sense of history is loose to begin with, things might turn out differently.)
  • Artistic License – Religion: Friar Tuck. In addition to friars not being invented yet (see Anachronism Stew above), he apparently has charge of the local church like a parish priest.
  • Aside Glance: Hiss stares into the camera in disbelief after the two Johns laugh off his complaints about having his seat stolen.
  • As You Know: Prince John and Sir Hiss remind each other in John's coach how they got rid of King Richard by sending him to the Crusades.
  • Ass in a Lion Skin: Robin, a fox, disguises himself as "the spindle-legged stork from Devonshire" and as Nutsy, a vulture.
  • Assumed Win: The disguised stork archer (Robin Hood) comes forward to receive his golden arrow prize, only for Prince John to use his sword and cut away Robin Hood's disguise.
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: When the rhino soldiers that Prince John ordered to attack the jail come charging right at him.
    Prince John: Guards! Guards! To the jail! Rhinos, halt! Stop! Desist!
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Little John uses stolen golden hubcaps and coins to give "herself" really exaggerated buttocks and breasts, attracting a wolf-whistle from one of John's guards. Robin's fortune teller getup isn't too shabby either.
  • Awesome Ego: In-Universe, Robin is an unparalleled archer, a great improv actor, and a master of disguise - and he knows it. This ego in no way prevents him from being a Nice Guy, but he is extremely confident, as indicated in his earliest conversation with Little John. Unfortunately, this confidence draws him straight into the trap at the archery contest; not only can he not resist the chance to win a kiss from the woman he loves, but he just can't tone down his archery skills enough to hide his true identity. Prince John was counting on him to show off and thus give himself away.
  • Babies Ever After: Discussed when Robin proposes to Marian.note 
    Robin: We'll have six children...
    Marian: Six? Oh, a dozen at least.
    • Skippy's explanation for why he tags along on the wedding coach is that "Robin Hood's gonna have kids. So somebody has to keep their eye on things."
  • Badass Adorable: Skippy, a seven-year-old rabbit, shoots Prince John in the backside with an arrow! (It bounces off.)
  • Badass Preacher: Friar Tuck ("GET OUTTA MY CHURCH!!!"). He delivers a righteous beating on the Sheriff for stealing from the Poor Box, and probably would have done worse if the Sheriff's vulture lackeys hadn't been nearby.
  • Balloonacy: Everything having to do with Sir Hiss in the balloon is nonsense. First of all, for the balloon to float, it would need to be full of Helium or Hydrogen or some other gas lighter than air. If that were the case, Sir Hiss would choke to death in a few seconds with no oxygen. Secondly, he would not be able to inflate the balloon any further by gasping and blowing into it. He's already fully inside it, so any air he's inhaling is coming from inside the balloon already. He'll only be filling it with more carbon dioxide (which also doesn't float) so even if he somehow did manage to fill it even more, it would only float lower, not higher. Not to mention the fact that a single balloon would not be enough to get a snake the size of Sir Hiss afloat. Balloonacy is present on so many levels.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: A few of the characters, most notably Lady Kluck, Alan-a-Dale, the church mice, and the rabbit family (for whom this trope might overlap with Barefoot Poverty).
  • Batman Gambit:
    • Prince John's archery tournament. Knowing that Robin Hood is in love with Maid Marian, the prince offers a kiss from her as part of the winner's prize, certain that Robin wouldn't be able to resist that kind of bait. While the Sheriff and Prince John didn't actually see through Robin's "stork" disguise at first, all they needed to do was wait for the best archer to reveal himself and then have him arrested. As soon as Robin fired his first arrow, John's suspicions were raised, and Maid Marian favoring him didn't do Robin any favors.
    • Prince John's final trap is an unplanned, accidental one in-universe. John obviously had no idea Friar Tuck would get caught up in the Sheriff's taxation arrests. But once he does, John realizes they've unwittingly set up a perfect Batman Gambit. John orders Tuck's public execution, knowing Robin will move Heaven and Earth to rescue his friend (no matter that it's almost certainly a trap intended for him). It nearly works, too and is only done in by dumb luck.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: Robin Hood has to fend off the Sheriff and his torch after said torch sets curtains on fire and immediately spreads to burn the tower around them. Robin jumps back through the burning curtains to escape the Sheriff, who somehow gets out since he's seen at the end of the film.
  • 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.
  • Bespectacled Cutie: Mother Rabbit, who wears glasses and whose gentle personality accentuates the sense of cuteness associated with them.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • It's not a good idea to steal from the poor in front of Friar Tuck. It's an even worse idea to take from the poor box in his own church while he's watching, especially if you threaten to hang him afterwards. He won't take it well. At all. Seriously, don't fuck with him. Just don't.
      • Even Father Sexton gets this; when the Friar attacks the Sheriff, he starts shouting, "Give it to him! Give it to him! Give it to him, Friar!"
    • 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.
  • 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 demonstrates this for Skippy and the other kids. He goes to Skippy's birthday party with gifts and everything. Later, in the climax, he shoots a bunch of guards when Skippy briefly stays behind to fire at them, letting the rabbit think he was making the winning shot.
  • Big Good:
    • King Richard is seen by his subjects as the paragon of The Good King. He fixes everything when he comes back.
    • Robin Hood himself is this during King Richard's absence.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: The three main antagonists. The Sheriff of Notthingham is a Fat Bastard (Big), Prince John is a skinny lion (Thin), and Sir Hiss is a small snake who can be concealed in a basket (Short).
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: When Little John questions the morality of robbing the rich to feed the poor:
    Little John: You know somethin', Robin, I was just wonderin'. Are we good guys or bad guys? You know, I mean, uh? Our robbin' the rich to feed the poor.
    Robin Hood: "Rob"? (tuts) That's a naughty word. We never rob! We just... sort of "borrow" a bit from those who can afford it.
    Little John: "Borrow"? Heh. Boy, are we in debt.
  • Blind People Wear Sunglasses: Exploited by Robin Hood when he dons a tattered shawl and tinted glasses to pose as a blind beggar. Robin is able to fool the merciless Sheriff of Nottingham in this disguise when both are together at Skippy's birthday party, and again later when the gallows is being constructed.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Both Little John and Lady Kluck are fierce party animals.
  • Book Ends: Robin Hood gets an arrow shot through his hat in the opening scene. His hat gets shot again in the climax while swimming away from arrow fire.
  • Borrowed Without Permission: Robin Hood claim they're just borrowing from those who can afford it. Little John scoffs at this, saying they're seriously in debt.
  • Bowdlerise: In a novelisation of the story (oddly published nearly twenty years after the movie's release) when Sir Hiss is stuffed and trapped in a barrel by Friar Tuck, there’s no mention of said barrel being full of ale. Instead, Hiss is yelling to be let out.
  • Bowled Over: Robin Hood and Little John release a cart of wine barrels on Prince John's guards. The guards are knocked over to bowling pin sound effects.
  • Brick Joke: In an early scene, Lady Kluck jokes that when Maid Marian marries Robin, that will mean King Richard will have "an outlaw for an in-law". In the end, when Robin and Marian do get married, King Richard himself makes the same remark to Friar Tuck.
  • …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. If Prince John had listened to Hiss now and then (don't trust the strange fortune teller women, for one), he'd have been spared some of his humiliations.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Overlaps with Flirting Under Fire; Robin proposes to Marian and the two of them plan their honeymoon and future family while dodging through a chaotic open brawl. Marian finds it Actually Pretty Funny.
    Robin: Marian, my love, will you marry me?
    Marian: Oh, darling, I thought you'd never ask me. [giggle] But you could have chosen a more romantic setting.
  • Cats Are Mean: Played straight and inverted with Prince John and King Richard (who are both lions), respectively.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The overall film is light-hearted and comedic... until the third act of the film, where the Sheriff arrests the Nottingham villagers. Also, there are some violent moments particularly with Prince John, such as planning to hang Friar Tuck by using him as bait to capture Robin Hood.
  • The Centerpiece Spectacular: The Tournament sequence is roughly in the middle of the film and is one of the most spectacular parts of the film.
  • Character’s Most Hated Song: Prince John becomes very angry when he hears "The Phony King of England," which the residents of Nottingham have started singing - even his own Co-Dragons, Sir Hiss and the Sheriff, admit they find it catchy and entertaining. It's a justified example, since the song is about Prince John, but his reaction is what puts it in this trope; his response is to triple the already-punishing taxes, which soon results in the entire town being locked in prison because they can't pay them.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Despite the Sheriff's attempts to cheat during the archery tournament by having one of his Mooks hide inside the target and move it into place and hitting his opponent (Robin Hood) between the legs, the opponent still manages to win.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Prince John's loud thumb-sucking. When he does it in his sleep, it wakes Sir Hiss just in time for him to see Robin Hood stealing bags of gold from the castle, leading to the final battle.
    • The little rabbit sister Tagalong 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 wrong side of the portcullis.
  • Church of Saint Genericus: Several scenes are set in churches or chapels, the Crusades form an important part of the back story, and a major character (Friar Tuck) is "a man of the Church." As for the mice, lesser functions like sexton (a caretaker or janitor) probably don't require a vow of celibacy, unlike the main clerical figures. But beyond that, any specific trappings of religion are pretty ambiguous. Then again, the characters are all animals, so perhaps it's best not to press the theological question too far.
  • 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.)
  • Coin-on-a-String Trick: The Sheriff of Nottingham pulls a variation on this when Robin is disguised as a blind bigger: flipping a coin into Robin's cup with so much force that it bounces itself and the two coins already in the cup out, where he snatches them in mid-air.
  • Combat and Support: The two varieties of Mooks: there's the rhino guards who attack with halberds and the wolf archers who are employed by the Sheriff of Nottingham.
  • Composite Character: Almost every character is a mashup of one from Robin Hood and another set of medieval folktales starring Reynard the Fox.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: One of the expenses we see Prince John spend the money he gets from taxes is outfitting his carriage with solid gold hubcaps. It just goes to show what a bastard he is considering many of the ordinary folk are struggling just to feed themselves.
  • Cover-Blowing Superpower: Robin Hood gives himself away at the archery tournament with his Improbable Aiming Skills.
  • Crisis Catch And Carry: While he and Little John break everyone out of jail and try to make a getaway for Sherwood Forest, Robin notices Skippy's baby sister trying to catch up to them with guards close behind. He runs back in to get her, but the portcullis is lowered before he can get out, so he slips her to Little John through the bars before attempting to escape.
  • Cry into Chest: After pleading for Robin's life, Maid Marian hides her face in Lady Kluck's arms as Prince John orders Robin to be beheaded.
  • Cunning Like a Fox: Robin Hood is a fox in this version because of his cunning.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Little John effortlessly defeats the Sheriff, who is easily the most dangerous servant to Prince John.
    • Lady Kluck against Prince John's guards at the archery tourney.
  • Curb-Stomp Cushion: In his fight with Friar Tuck, the Sheriff mostly gets shoved around and whacked stupid by the livid Friar. Before Trigger intervenes however, the Sheriff recovers and handily slashes Tuck's club clean in half. Though Tuck still doesn't lose footing until Trigger distracts him, he is clearly panicking and fighting much more desperately.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Being heroic foxes, both Robin and Marian have these.
  • Dark Reprise: The earlier parade music plays with a more ominous sound as Robin, having just won the archery tournament in disguise as a stork, struts to the pavilion, blissfully unaware that he's been found out and oblivious to the guards trailing behind him.
  • Dead Hat Shot:
    • When Robin flees a volley of arrows in the castle moat, 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; Robin finds an arrow stuck through his hat after he and Little John narrowly escape the Sheriff's archers.
      Little John: You know something, Robin? You're taking too many chances.
      Robin Hood: Chances? You must be joking. That was just a bit of a lark, Little John.
      Little John: Oh, yeah? Take a look at your hat. That's not a candle on a cake.
      Robin Hood: [sees arrow] Hello. This one almost had my name on it, didn't it?
  • Deadly Dodging: Robin uses this tactic against the mook archers, causing them to almost hit each other. Of course, they both duck in time.
  • Deer in the Headlights: Prince John tears through Robin's disguise and reveals him to the crowd. Instead of immediately attempting to escape, the outlaw just stands atop his stilts with a dumbfounded expression. To be fair, he wouldn’t have had much luck trying to scarper: he was surrounded by rhino guards.
  • Defiant to the End: As Prince John prepares to sentence Robin to death as a "traitor to the Crown," Robin yells back, "That crown belongs to King Richard! LONG LIVE KING RICHARD!" When the townspeople join in, Prince John becomes infuriated.
    Prince John: ENOUGH!! I am King, KING, King!! Ach! OFF with his HEAD!!
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Prince John is prone to this.
    "I sentence you to sudden, instant, and even immediate death!"
    • Also, the oath the animal kids swear when Skippy shoots his arrow into the castle grounds. "If I tattletale, I'll die 'til I'm dead."
  • Deus ex Machina: The original planned ending, which can be seen in storyboard format on the DVD but was never animated; Robin Hood would have been wounded during the climactic escape from Nottingham Castle and dragged to a church to recover by Maid Marian and Little John. Prince John and Sir Hiss would have tracked Robin Hood down, but before Prince John could push Marian aside and stab the fox to death, King Richard would have returned at last and, having caught him red-handed, essentially shouted him into dropping the dagger, sitting down in a corner and surrendering.
  • Diegetic Switch: "Not In Nottingham" is played and sung by Alan-a-Dale, and when he finishes singing, the scene moves to the church, where Friar Tuck is ringing the church bell and the sexton is playing the organ to the tune, as Alan-a-Dale's lute fades out.
  • Digital Destruction: While most Disney films avoid using the DVNR process, the Most Wanted Edition DVD release of the film was an exception to the rule. While Disney is usually careful even when using the infamous process, the issue was that the film was made when Disney was using Xeroxing in place of hand-inked cels, and the itchy, hairy lines combined with a restoration process that is specifically designed to remove things it detects as scratches and dirt was a recipe for trouble. There are many obvious instances of linework and art erasing throughout this release. It's most noticeable in the opening (when Robin is chatting with Little John) and during the archery scenes, where the artwork of the arrows is frequently eaten away at into nothing due to DVNR art erasing.
  • Dirty Coward: Prince John in the Archery Tournament fiasco. While Robin Hood is fighting off the guards, Prince John tries to blindside him. However, Robin Hood easily disarms him before that happened, and Prince John immediately runs away in fear while pathetically begging for his life.
    Prince John: Don't hurt me! No, no, don't hurt me!
  • Disappeared Dad: Mother Rabbit (Skippy's mom) is said to be a widow, which is a big part of why she's having trouble feeding her large brood. It's actually completely unclear how her family is surviving at all, apart from what money Robin Hood is able to give them.
  • Disguised in Drag: Robin Hood and Little John both pull this trick at the beginning, stealing everything valuable that's not nailed down after Prince John dismisses the notion of female bandits as "rubbish". Robin is good at it, but Little John's cover would have been blown if he spoke to anyone up close.Useless trivia
  • Disney Death:
    • During the climactic battle, Robin escapes from the burning castle by jumping into the moat and starting to swim away, but the soldiers shoot arrows after him until he sinks out of sight. He is briefly presumed to have been shot, due to his hat floating on the moat's surface, with an arrow through it, but it turns out he was just hiding underwater.
    • The Sheriff manages to escape from the burning castle along with Prince John and Sir Hiss. If the final scene had been omitted, you could've easily assumed all the villains burnt to death or, at the very least, had their fur and scales burnt off.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: When Prince John learns that the villagers have been making fun of him (and he really had it coming anyway), he triples the (already harsh) taxes, driving the town further into poverty and imprisoning most of the villagers who were unable to pay.
  • Distant Duet: Variation—in her room at the castle, Marian wonders if Robin still loves her or even remembers her, while humming to herself the tune of their love song. Cut to Robin, who not only remembers her (and is daydreaming about her), but is humming the same tune. Also acts as a form of musical Foreshadowing, since at that point the audience hasn't heard the love song yet.
  • 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.
    • It could be argued that he's actually Co-Dragons with Sir Hiss, who is bar none Prince John's most intelligent lackey (almost to the point of being the Only Sane Man). Friar Tuck and Alan make a point of neutralizing Hiss early in the archery tournament because they know how dangerous he can be. Unusually for the Co-Dragons trope, Hiss and the Sheriff seem to get along perfectly amiably, to judge by the only scene where they interact; it probably helps that their distinct roles mean they're never in competition with one another.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: In the climax, Robin disguises himself as Nutsy to sneak past the Sheriff, and later Little John locks away the Sheriff and steals his clothes to stop him from investigating the bags that are being pulled from the castle chamber to the cells.
  • Ear Worm: "The Phony King Of England" is so catchy, even Hiss and the Sheriff enjoy it. The Sheriff especially seems surprised that John himself doesn't enjoy it because "it's a big hit".
  • Elite Mooks: The crocodile guard captain 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 seems to react with a huge amount of remorse when he ends up either wrecking her things (i.e., 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.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Sir Hiss has no problem with Prince John's evil deeds until he decides to hang Friar Tuck. Hiss is genuinely disturbed by John executing a popular, respected holy man. Alternately, it may also just be Pragmatic Villainy; killing the Friar will not go over well with the Church and could cause them serious problems.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Sheriff of Nottingham. He's only ever called "Sheriff", even by his close associates. We have no idea what his real name is.
  • Everyone Can See It: All of Nottingham ships Robin/Marian, though the pair are initially uncertain of each other's feelings because they haven't met for several years. 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 both plays this straight and lampshades it at different points in the film:
    • His standard "Ah-ha! AH-HA!"
    • The Lampshade Hanging early in the film: "Forgive me a cruel chuckle: Eheheheheheh, power."
    • Robin has one of his own when he's disguised as a fortune teller; while running away with Prince John's gold, jewels, and robe, "she" waves a cheery goodbye, cackling with glee Wicked Witch style.
  • Evil Plan: Prince John is on a power trip. After sending his brother off "on that crazy Crusade," he plunders the kingdom in the name of taxes.
  • Expy:
    • Little John could be Baloo's long lost twin brother (bonus for both characters being voiced by Phil Harris); ditto Sir Hiss for Kaa of The Jungle Book, although his voice actor is different. 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.note 
    • Robin Hood, of Reynard the Fox. In 1937, Walt Disney showed some interest in adapting the 12th-century legend of Reynard, but the project stalled due to Walt's concerns that Reynard was an unsuitable choice for a hero. He commented, "I see swell possibilities in 'Reynard', but is it smart to make it? We have such a terrific kid audience... parents and kids together. That's the trouble – too sophisticated. We'll take a nosedive doing it with animals." A proposed film about Reynard and Chanticleer was scrapped in the early 1960s in favor of The Sword in the Stone. Later on, in 1970, while 'The Aristocats'' was in production, Ken Anderson began exploring possibilities for the next film, commenting that "As director of story and character concepts, I knew right off that sly Robin Hood must be a fox. From there it was logical that Maid Marian should be a pretty vixen."
  • Eyes Never Lie: At the tournament, Marian realizes it is Robin in disguise after she looks deeply into his eyes.
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • Robin is so busy strutting and bowing to the crowd, in his stork disguise, that he doesn’t notice the rhino guards marching behind him as he makes his way to the Royal Box. This is a highly strange way to act towards someone who’s just won a tournament. Little John doesn’t seem suspicious about this either until it’s too late.
    • The crocodile announcer at the archery contest utterly misses the massive riot going on around him, which leads to his getting run over by the tent stuffed with hippo and rhino guards (and Little John).
  • Fake Aristocrat: Little John masquerades as "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, and this is an affirmation of that love as opposed to an epiphany.
  • Fantastic Foxes: The cunning and anthropomorphic fox Robin, who uses a combination of skill and trickery to outwit his enemies.
  • Fatal Flaw: Robin is cocky, sometimes to the point of picking up the Idiot Ball. This nearly gets him beheaded when he can't resist showing off his Improbable Aiming Skills while in disguise.
  • 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.
  • Fisher King: While under the rule of Prince John, Nottingham is drab and miserable, with its ragged peasants barely scraping by. After King Richard's return, the town looks more pristine and everyone's wearing nicer clothes.
  • 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 of 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.
    • During the "The Villain Sucks" Song "The Phony King of England", Little John sings the lyrics "we'll find a way to make him pay and steal our money back". That's exactly what happens during the jailbreak - Robin Hood steals Prince John's taxes and sends them over to Little John and Friar Tuck as they bust the townspeople out of prison.
    • The kids worry when Skippy shoots an arrow into Prince John's territory, worrying about how the prince may react about them trespassing. Marian and Lady Kluck reassure them they're not going to tell anyone about the children sneaking inside. Prince John later shows he'll lock up children if their parents can't pay taxes, and orders his archers to fire on them when they escape.
  • Forceful Kiss: Played for Laughs. While taking part in Skippy's roleplaying game, Marian tells him that the hero kisses the damsel upon rescuing her, something Skippy refuses to do. An offended Marian decides that if he won't, then she will. She then grabs Skippy and sweetly kisses his cheek, which earns him ridicule from the other children watching them.
  • Forced to Watch: In the climax, all Skippy and his family can do is watch with horror as his little sister is running behind the giant escape wagon. Their mother in particular looks aghast and terrified. Robin Hood rescues her barely in time from a slew of arrows.
  • Freudian Excuse: Prince John has serious maternal issues. It's implied that he's always been The Unfavorite compared to Richard.
  • Friend to All Children: Robin Hood gets along well with his prepubescent fans, and both Maid Marian and Lady Kluck are all too happy to play with the children who "trespass" on Prince John's castle grounds.
  • Fully-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Several characters, including:
    • Maid Marian (a lovely pink and purple dress and headscarf).
    • Prince John (royal robes and long underwear underneath).note 
    • Friar Tuck (brown habit).
    • The Sheriff of Nottingham (a red tunic and purple doublet like some lesser noble).
  • Funny Animals: Animals like real life, except they're humanoid.
  • Fur Is Clothing: It's only there for a second, but during the first big fight scene, this happens to Lady Kluck.
  • Gallows Humor: Conversed by Robin and Little John; when an arrow goes through Robin's hat, he jests that the archers' aim is improving:
    Robin Hood: Hello. This one almost had my name on it, didn't it? They're getting better, you know? You've got to admit it, they are getting better.
    Little John: Huh, yeah; the next time that sheriff'll probably have a rope around our necks. [imitates a choking sound] Pretty hard to laugh hanging there, Rob.
    Robin: Ha, the sheriff and his whole posse couldn't lift you off the ground.
  • Getting the Boot: Friar Tuck starts fighting back against the Sheriff and kicking him out of the chapel when he takes the last farthing from the poor box; subverted when Trigger pulls the cowl over Tuck's face, and the Sheriff arrests him.
  • Get Out!: In response to the Sheriff telling him that he's gonna preach his neck into a hangman's noose, Friar Tuck yells, "Get outta my church!!!!" Unfortunately, Trigger pulls Tuck's cowl over his head, allowing the Sheriff to seize him.
  • 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 Gosh Dang It to Heck!.
  • Girls Have Cooties: The reason why Skippy refuses to kiss Maid Marian during their game. When Maid Marian decides to make him play along and kisses him he's visibly embarrassed, and his friend and sisters think it's hilarious.
  • Good Shepherd: As usual, Friar Tuck is a devout and admirable man. A couple of notable examples in which he demonstrates this trait:
    • When the Sheriff helps himself to the poor box, he flies into a rage - not because it cuts into his bottom line but because that money is 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.
    • When Little John gets into the cell and starts releasing Tuck from his bonds, explaining that they're getting him out of there, the relieved friar declares, "Thank God! My prayers have been answered."
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Lady Kluck, despite being a Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal, has these on under her feathers.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: The "Not in Nottingham" scene, where all the townspeople are shown languishing in jail, is accompanied by a gloomy rain.
  • 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 in which he's also participating.
  • Green Gators: Captain Croc is a green crocodile.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Partly because it's a kid's movie and partly because of the lack of budget, Prince John's soldiers and henchmen are remarkably bad at their jobs. His rhino henchmen don't even notice Little John stealing from the treasure box right in front of them! Special mention goes to the crocodile captain, who swings an axe at Friar Tuck and still misses.
  • Guile Hero: Robin is Cunning Like a Fox and it shows. His thievery while disguised as a fortune teller 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.
  • Hanging Around: After finding out that Friar Tuck had been arrested, Prince John gets the idea to hang him at dawn in order to lure Robin Hood into a trap, and then hang him as well.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Prince John vs. Sir Hiss. You can practically see the flecks of scenery flying from their mouths.
  • Hand Puppet Mockery: During "The Villain Sucks" Song "The Phony King of England", the Merry Men entertain Maid Marian with a puppet show featuring crude puppet versions of Prince John and Sir Hiss.
  • Harmless Lady Disguise: "Oh, poppycock! Female bandits? What next? Rubbish!"
  • Hartman Hips: Maid Marian mainly has a slight and slender figure throughout the film, except for when she shakes her butt during the "Phony King of England" song, in which her bottom half appears much peachier than usual.
  • 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.
  • High-Class Glass: Little John wears a monocle as part of his disguise as Sir Reginald, Duke of Chutney. (Yet another piece of the film's Anachronism Stew.)
  • High-Dive Escape: Robin leaps from the roof of the burning castle into the moat.
  • 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 Hero Upgrade: As always in the Robin Hood story, Richard looks much better than he did in real life because of his Big Good status.
  • Historical In-Joke:
    • Prince John begins crying and sucking his thumb when his mother is mentioned, and grouses about how she always liked his brother better. John's mother in real life was the infamous Eleanor of Aquitaine, who really did favor her elder son, King Richard, over John. Richard and John’s father, King Henry II of England, on the other hand, favoured John.
    • Richard and John being lions references lions being on the coat of arms of the House of Plantagenet (and which is actually seen in the background in a few shots, such as John's carriage in the beginning).
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Prince John, in this story, taxes people out of sheer greed and is even responsible for Richard's crusades, via his hypnotic Evil Chancellor. As noted in Artistic License – History above, the heavy taxes were raised in order to finance Richard's wars and his ransom when he was captured by the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. John was a pretty lousy king, but he wasn't quite as bad as he's depicted here.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: While Robin get exposed during the Tournament, he's not done in by his disguise (which was actually convincing enough to fool most of the authorities). Instead, Robin exposes himself because of his archery skills. John knew Robin would not be able to resist attending the Tournament and was specifically watching for any archers who displayed the same level of skill with the bow and arrow as the infamous outlaw. Robin flirting with Marian didn't help his disguise much either.
  • Holy Pipe Organ: The Sexton Mouse is seen playing a pipe organ using his hands and feet in the church of Friar Tuck.
  • Hope Spot: Halfway through the climax, Robin and his band managed to bring the villagers across the courtyard to the drawbridge, Robin lowers it, the villagers all pile onto a cart, and they're all about to escape, right? Don't Celebrate Just Yet: one of Mother Rabbit's children fell behind and Robin has to double back to help her.
  • Human Knot: Happens to Sir Hiss. It helps that he's a rope-like snake.
    Prince John: Get out of that if you can.
  • Humiliation Conga: The entire film could be seen as this for Prince John. In the first heist that Robin and Little John perform, he is scammed, robbed and stripped of his royal robes, his carriage gets destroyed and he falls in a muddy puddle, getting run over by his guards who are chasing the scammers (under John’s orders) and is left without guards, cold and muddy, wearing nothing but his underwear. During the archery tournament, his plan backfires, he's shot in the backside by a child, beaten by a chicken and dubbed "The Phony King of England". Finally, his second plan to capture Robin ends with him being thrown out of his bed chamber, charged at by his own guards, then chasing Sir Hiss with a stick while sucking his thumb. And to add the cherry on top, he ends up in prison in the epilogue.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: As Prince John is quite lacking in both brawn and brains for a Big Bad, he has his two most important followers make up for it, the Sheriff in brawn and Sir Hiss in brains specifically.
  • 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 awesome way possible.
    Prince John: But traitors to the crown must die—
    Robin Hood: [beside himself in moral outrage] "Traitors to the crown"?! That crown belongs to King Richard! Long live King Richard!
  • Hypocritical Humor:
  • 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. Robin stealthily slips off the ring before kissing the hand while Little John actually sucks the jewels off the rings. He gets wise to this trick by the time Little John tries it again later.
  • I Want My Mommy!: A Running Gag with Prince John is him sucking his thumb and calling for his mother whenever someone mentions her.
  • I Warned You: "I tried to warn you. But no, no, no, you wouldn't listen..."
  • I Will Show You X!: Friar Tuck's response when the Sheriff of Nottingham collects taxes from the poor box, before chasing the Sheriff out of the church.
    Friar Tuck: You want taxes? I'll give you taxes!
  • Idiot Ball: Even though it was most likely because love was blinding him, one would expect that someone as smart as Robin would have thought to Do Well, But Not Perfect in order to not be spotted during the archery tournament.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: None of Prince John's archers can ever hit the heroes for squat. And the ones that do make their mark end up getting blocked or deflected. At least actual Stormtroopers have hit their targets occasionally.
  • 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. Of course, this inimitable prowess comes back to bite him in the tail, because Prince John knows that no one else could have done such a thing.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Friar Tuck uses Alan-A-Dale's lute as a makeshift bow to shoot down Sir Hiss.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Terry-Thomas as Sir 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, to prevent Sir Hiss from blowing Robin's cover during the archery tournament. 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 into the fighting. The sheriff even arrests him.
  • Ironic Echo (also an instance of Strange Minds Think Alike): Early in the movie, the characters talk about how if Robin marries Maid Marian, King 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.
  • Irony: Little John's Establishing Character Moment is telling Robin off for acting too recklessly. He's shown to go along with Robin's schemes, albeit reluctantly, and is quick to stop Robin from taking risks. After Little John saves Robin from being executed by intimidating the prince, he becomes cocky and composes an insulting song about “the Phony King of England”. When Prince John hears about the song, he triples the taxes as retribution. It’s not Robin Hood who is at fault for things getting worse, but Little John.
  • Jerkass: Both Prince John and the Sheriff are rude, power-tripping jerks. They are also the villains and get their comeuppance in the end.
  • Jingle the Coins: The Sheriff of Nottingham loves to shake the money inside his purse and hear it jingle. He's also made aware that the blacksmith is hiding spare coins in his leg cast by their jingling, so he "helps" him put his foot up and get the remaining coins.
  • Just Following Orders:
    • A throwaway line from the Sheriff as he hums: "They call me a slob... but I do my job..." However, he takes way too much pleasure in doing said job.
    • As stated below, this is implied to be why Trigger and Nutsy aren't arrested.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Trigger and Nutsy are the only named villains who aren't arrested at the end of the film. 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.
    • In the original planned ending, all three of the established baddies — Prince John, Sir Hiss, and the Sheriff of Nottingham — would have more or less gotten a smack on the wrist for their misdeeds; the Sheriff would have even been a guest at Robin & Marian's wedding! Presumably because of the Sheriff's sheer cruelty in the film, he instead joins Prince John and Sir Hiss in the rock-breaking pit in the finalized ending.
      • In fact, this is a result of making the Sheriff a more active antagonist. A deleted scene had him collecting taxes at a pavilion in the middle of town. This would have been more historically accurate than walking around to the houses, but rather passive, making him look less villainous. Changing it to his more active role, as seen in the finished film, makes him much nastier.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: Skippy Rabbit is a young boy who 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...
  • Killed Off for Real: Averted, but this is what's intended for Friar Tuck at the movie's climax. Robin and Little John are both distraught at the prospect, and realize that a jailbreak in the dead of night is his only hope of survival.
    Robin: We've got to, Johnny... or Friar Tuck dies at dawn.
  • King of Beasts: King Richard (a straight example) and Prince John (an inversion) 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... power.
    • When Robin Hood says the crown rightfully belongs 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.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: Hiss does one of these in "The Phony King of England" when Prince John walks in, swapping in complimentary adjectives. Unfortunately for him, the Sheriff is unaware that John is there and corrects Hiss, singing the insulting version.
  • Laugh of Love: Maid Marian, upon recognising Robin (who's disguised as a stork), giggles while wishing him luck.
  • Lean and Mean: Prince John is quite skinny, compared to the benevolent Richard, who is tall and muscular. Richard also has a mane, while John doesn’t. However, the reason for John lacking a mane and muscles could be because he’s still young.
  • Lethal Chef: Don't leave Robin in charge of the stew. He'll start daydreaming about his beloved Marian, let the thing boil over, and the result will be - as Friar Tuck puts it - "well done."
  • Lighter and Softer: Considering it's an adaptation of the legend, it's very comedic and only has some cute cuddly animals.
  • Limited Animation: In the "Recycled Animation every other scene" sense.
  • 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 thinks Robin's dead.
  • Lured into a Trap: A disguised Robin Hood easily wins the archery tournament, and seemingly about to be praised by Prince John, but...
    Prince John: And now, I name you the winner. Or more appropriately... (chuckles and slices Robin's disguise with the sword, revealing his true self) ...the loser! Seize him!
  • Maid and Maiden: Lady Kluck and Marian respectively. They fit the archetype as the former is the older and spunkier one who takes care of her, and the latter is the beautiful and romantic young lady who is Robin's love interest.
  • 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.
  • Manchild: Prince John, who's very whiny, often throws temper tantrums, constantly sucks his thumb and cries very easily.
  • Manly Tears: Big, tough Little John's eyes fill with tears when he and Skippy momentarily think Robin has been shot by Prince John's archers.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": When Robin is exposed by Prince John, at the end of the archery tournament, Marian, Lady Kluck and the entire crowd gasp in shock and horror.
  • Men of Sherwood: This being Robin Hood, it's expected (though there aren't quite so many of them as in other versions).
    • At the start of the film, the Sheriff's soldiers prove to be an evil example of this. One manages to get an arrow right through Robin's hat!
  • 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 Funny Animal movie, but this movie takes place in Medieval England, and people in Europe back in the Middle Ages would have not even 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, elephants, hippos, etc., which it's probably safe to assume the animators knew aren't typical British wildlife. However, some of these animals were known in England during the time period of the film, thanks to the zoo that was kept at the Tower of London for several centuries and populated with exotic animals gifted to the assorted monarchs.
    • The fireflies Little John uses to make the crystal ball glow near the beginning do not exist in the United Kingdom.
    • Sir Hiss being a python is another glaring example—there are three snake species native to the UK, the smooth snake, grass snake and European viper. None of them are pythons or even as large as Sir Hiss is.
    • Averted by the wolves and bears; although they aren't found in Britain now, they would have been at the time.
  • Money Fetish: Prince John sleeps with bags of taxes.
  • More Expendable Than You: When the tournament fight starts, Kluck orders Marian to run, saying, "This is no place for a lady!" Meanwhile, she steals the golden arrow and uses it as a weapon on some guards and the Sheriff, to buy Marian a window of time to escape.
  • Mugged for Disguise: Little John ambushes the Sheriff of Nottingham and puts on his clothes during the jailbreak scene. The Sheriff spends the rest of the climax in his underwear.
  • Musical Exposition: "Oo-De-Lally" introduces Robin Hood and Little John as a pair of Lovable Rogues, and shows how they have to keep running from the Sheriff's mooks.
  • Mutual Pining: In back-to-back scenes, Robin and Marian are shown thinking about each other and wondering if they still love each other, since they haven't been together in years. While Marian wonders whether Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder, Robin is distressed because he's Unable to Support a Wife as an outlaw, and a Proper Lady like Marian deserves better than he can provide.
  • Mythology Gag: There are several call-backs to The Jungle Book, which was released six years earlier; Sir Hiss's hypnotic eyes use the exact same pattern of colors as Kaa's did, whilst amongst the Recycled Animation, the scenes of Baloo dancing with King Louie are clearly used as the basis for the shots of Little John dancing with Lady Kluck during the "Phony King of England" song sequence.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Prince John orders the guards to tie up Robin Hood and orders the executioner to behead him after finding out he's disguised as a stork. The only reason Robin Hood is spared is Little John tricked Prince John by poking him.
  • Neck Lift:
    • Prince John to Sir Hiss. Of course, being a snake, he's pretty much all neck.
    • When Trigger realizes that Little John mugged the Sheriff for his disguise, the outlaw grabs Trigger by the throat, keeping him from attacking while the townsfolk flee the jail.
  • Neutral Female: 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. Arguably justified, since as a high-ranking lady of the court, she was almost certainly never given any kind of combat training.
  • Never My Fault: In the climax, Sir Hiss, in telling him off for not listening to him, informs Prince John that his plans to capture Robin Hood never work, and now, John's obsession with capturing Robin has resulted in his — or rather, his mother's — castle being burnt to the ground. Shocked at what happened, John, while crying out for his mother as usual, sucking his thumb and all, loses his temper, and with his free hand, takes a stick to beat up Sir Hiss with it, blaming him for everything.
    John: You cowardly cobra! Procrastinating python! Aggravating asp! Ooh, you eel in snake's clothing!
    (Sir Hiss slithers off for his life through the burning castle, John chasing after him)
    Sir Hiss: Help! He's gone stark raving MAAAAAAAD!!!
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • The townspeople's appraisals of John as the "Phony King of England" do not sit well with the Prince, and in retaliation, he enforces even more aggressive taxes and the arrest of all those who fail to pay. The good people of Nottingham were most certainly not singing by the time he was done. Well, except for Alan-a-Dale, but it's much more melancholy ("Not in Nottingham"), to describe the depths to which Nottingham has sunk as a result of Prince John's tyranny.
    • During Robin's looting of the Prince's chamber, he can’t resist taking all the money bags, including those under Prince John's pillow and that he’s holding. Doing so doesn’t wake him up, but agitates him in his sleep, causing him to suck his thumb. This wakes up Hiss, who sees Robin getting away with the gold and causes a commotion, alerting Prince John and starting the final battle.
  • 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 "Old Betsy" explicitly does have a safety, and Trigger frequently assures the Sheriff that it's on, it doesn't seem to work very well.
  • No Name Given: We don't know the names of any of Mother Rabbit's children, except for Skippy.
  • Non-Lethal Warfare: Zigzagged. Robin fights to incapacite, not kill, but Prince John, the Sheriff, and the soldiers clearly want him dead. The film also averts Never Say "Die", with Prince John explicitly pronouncing a sentence of death or ordering his men to kill Robin.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Lady Kluck (although one shot implies it's not actual cleavage, just a persistent wrinkle in her rather plump form).
  • 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 sitcoms whose accents aren't at all what you'd expect to hear in a film set in medieval England. (However, 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 — those accents 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 Above It All: The calm mouse sexton is very eager to fight the Sheriff when the latter storms into church. He doesn't move from the piano but he has a Death Glare. When Friar Tuck starts knocking the Sheriff around with a stick, the sexton is shouting, "Give it to him! Give it to him! Give it to him, Friar!"
  • 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. He also has no qualms about hitting a dog in his broken leg, stealing a child's birthday money, or stealing the last money from the church's poor box, and despite summoning Friar Tuck's wrath in the process, he still overpowers and gleefully almost hangs him. He also is not above trying to burn down the castle if that's what it takes to kill Robin Hood.
  • 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 happens to Robin—by order of Prince John, who even quotes the trope verbatim.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted; Prince John and Little John.
  • Only Sane Man: Mouse in this case. When the Sheriff stomps into the church, the Sexton and Friar Tuck are ready to pick a fight, but the sexton's wife tells them to be quiet. When the Sheriff takes the farthing, she simply orders him to put it back in the poor box rather than insult him.
  • 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. For instance, Robin is wearing a tunic and a hat, while Marian is wearing a floor-length dress and a headscarf.
  • "Pan Up to the Sky" Ending: The movie closes with a pan up from the carriage into the sky.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Played with.
    • Prince John and his guards fail to see through Robin and Little John's fortune teller costumes, though it does make John more perceptive to catch on to Robin the second time around.
    • Prince John figures out Robin's disguise as a stork (which itself is actually pretty convincing), while the Sheriff claims he can see through any disguise Robin could cook up - he can't, and proves it on four different occasions.note  However, Prince John figures out who Robin is because of his archery skill in the tournament, and the fact that he "amuses" Maid Marian; Marian was the only one who actually saw through the disguise.
      • On the other hand, Prince John never sees through Little John's less convincing "Sir Reginald" disguise despite sitting right next to him.
    • Hilariously, none of the bad guys ever see through Robin's blind beggar disguise, although Trigger suspects something.
  • The Pardon: The epilogue shows a "Pardoned by Order of King Richard" sign covering Robin Hood's wanted poster.
  • Parental Favoritism: Prince John bitterly remarks, "Mother always did love Richard best." (Hilariously, this counts as a Historical In-Joke as it was apparently Truth in Television for the real Eleanor Of Aquitaine.)
  • Perilous Marriage Proposal: Robin proposes to Maid Marian while fighting off Prince John's army after chaos breaks loose at the archery tournament. Doubles as Casual Danger Dialogue, and naturally overlaps with Wacky Marriage Proposal.
    Robin: Marian, my love, will you marry me?
    Marian: Oh, Robin, I thought you'd never ask me! But you could have chosen a more romantic setting.
    Robin: And for our honeymoon, London...
    Marian: Yes!
    Robin: Normandy...
    Marian: Yes!
    Robin: Sunny Spain!
    Marian: Why not?
  • Phony Psychic: In the opening scene, Robin Hood and Little John disguise in drag as fortune tellers with the intent of robbing Prince John's coach. Sir Hiss is skeptical and points out that they may be bandits, but Prince John is taken in and quickly fleeced of everything but his crown and underwear.
  • Pie in the Face: How Maid Marian takes down a mook during a brawl.
  • Pinball Projectile: Sometimes arrows do this. Happens frequently with Trigger's crossbow bolts. Robin can do it because he's just that good.
  • Please Spare Him, My Liege!: Marian to Prince 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 just be afraid that doing so would get them excommunicated from the Catholic Church. This was a pretty big deal at the time of the Divine Right of Kings; it was essentially The Pope declaring a ruler to be illegitimate. This actually happened to the historical (by then king) John in 1209, and only ended when he pledged England as a feudal domain of the Pope.
  • Properly Paranoid:
    • Sir Hiss is the only one who thinks that "Sir Reginald, Duke of Chutney" might not be on the level, and tries repeatedly to warn his boss. But Prince John pays him no mind and finally kicks him out of the royal box.
    • Trigger is the only one who even suspects Robin Hood's beggar disguise, and is insistent that there's going to be a jailbreak. Naturally, the Sheriff doesn't listen to him.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: The Sheriff of Nottingham often attempts to invoke this, whenever anyone calls him out on his ruthless tax collecting; but even in the beginning, when he arguably has a case about only doing what Prince John orders him to do, he clearly enjoys depriving people of what little money they have far too much. It isn't long before he shows he's just a sadistic asshole.
    Sheriff: They call me a slob. But I do my job!
    • Later, he crosses the line when he takes the last farthing from Friar Tuck's poor box for Prince John's taxes, and Friar Tuck loses his cool:
      Friar Tuck: You thieving scoundrel!
      Sheriff: Now, take it easy, Friar, I'm just doing my duty.
      Friar Tuck: Collecting taxes for that arrogant, greedy, ruthless, no-good Prince John?
      Sheriff: Listen, Friar, you're mighty preachy and you're gonna preach your neck right into a hangman's noose!
      Friar Tuck: GET OUT OF MY CHURCH! Out! Out! Out! Out!
    • Played straight by Nutsy and Trigger, regular guards who really are just doing their jobs and aren't abusing their position. This is reflected by the end of the movie, when the two are shown not as prisoners in jail, but as standing guard over the imprisoned John, Hiss, and Sheriff.

  • Rapid-Fire Descriptors: The song "The Phony King of England" describes Prince John as "sniveling, groveling, measly, weaselly, blabbering, jabbering, gibbering, jabbering, plundering, plotting, wheeling, dealing".
  • Rascally Raccoon: While the raccoons are probably honest townsfolk arrested for not paying extortionate taxes, the scenes where they are depicted in prison stripes deliberately invoke this trope. It's especially noticeable because they are the only imprisoned townsfolk dressed that way.
  • Recycled Animation: The most infamous example in the Disney Animated Canon, as Disney was strapped for cash after Phase One of Walt Disney World opened two years prior.
    • Much of the dancing in "The Villain Sucks" Song is recycled from earlier Disney films — including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs! Notable examples include Little John and Lady Kluck dancing like Baloo and King Louie from The Jungle Book, then Maid Marian and Robin Hood dancing like Duchess and O'Malley from The Aristocats - Marian also at one point does the twist and afterwards wiggles her butt in the same manner as Duchess. Later during the song, she dances with some other characters just like Snow White dances with the dwarves.
    • The shots of marching rhino soldiers are the same shot each time. Likewise with most of the shots of them running and the shots of the trumpet announcers during the tournament (with matching recycled sound clip).
    • The same animation of the Sheriff of Nottingham often appears more than once, just with the lip sync changed to match with whatever he's saying in a shot, along with his distinct walk cycle. The Sheriff's animator, Milt Kahl, was reportedly not amused at how his animation was being reused more than once.
    • More an example of Limited Animation: After loading all the civilians onto the cart (although as it turns out, missing the baby rabbit), Friar Tuck exclaims "On to Sherwood Forest!" Look at the people on the cart. None of them are moving, not even breathing.
    • The exact same shot of the children rabbits laughing is used when they first meet Maid Marian and during "The Phony King of England."
    • Speaking of children rabbits, the exact same shot of the dancing rabbits at Skippy's birthday party is reused during the archery tournament. Even more, the multiple dancing rabbits in both scenes are just one couple of rabbits with multiple palette swaps copy/pasted four times across the screen in a looped animation.
    • Much of Sir Hiss's animation is borrowed from Kaa, most particularly his eyes.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: When the church bells ring to announce Robin Hood and Maid Marian getting married, the tolling sequence is borrowed from Cinderella.
  • 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 "spindle-legged stork" is just a little too good at archery when a kiss from Marian is on the line.
  • Rhetorical Request Blunder: Prince John, in a throne room full of taxes, laments how Robin Hood has eluded his grasp once again:
    Sir Hiss: [trying to cheer him] Sire, taxes are pouring in. The jail is full. Oh! Oh, and I have good news, sire - Friar Tuck is in jail.
    Prince John: FRIAR TUCK? It's Robin Hood I want, you idiot! Oh, I'd give all my gold if I could just get my hands on... [Beat] Did you say Friar Tuck?
    • Unfortunately, the "giving all his gold" statement backfires dreadfully when Robin takes all the gold from Prince John's palace.
  • 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 tries to cover up by singing lyrics praising Prince John before the Sheriff corrects him ("... the sniveling, groveling —"). PJ throws a wine bottle at him.
  • Righteous Rabbit: The rabbit family are all good-natured. Their family is solid and loving, though given to bickering as families do.
  • Roguish Romani: At the beginning of the film, Robin and Little John disguise themselves as female fortune tellers in order to rob Prince John.
  • 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...) As the lyrics of "Phony King of England" say, "King Richard's crown keeps slippin' down around that pointed head."
  • Running Gag: The unreliable safety on "Old Betsy".
  • Satellite Love Interest: Maid Marian has an interesting backstory due to being the niece of the evil Prince John and the good King Richard but her actual role in the movie is little else but "be happy and lovey-dovey around Robin".
  • Savage Wolves: The Sheriff of Nottingham, one of the main antagonists of the series, is portrayed as a wolf. So are his Mooks, although they're scraggly enough to be mistaken for Wicked Weasels at a casual glance.
  • 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. (Recycled Animation from Alice in Wonderland.)
    Little John: Who's driving this flying umbrella?!
  • Secret Message Wink: While disguised as the stork for the archery tournament, Robin gives a flower to Maid Marian and gushes about how it's an honor to be shooting "for the favor of a lovely lady like yourself." He adds that he hopes he'll win her kiss (part of the promised grand prize) and then winks, which tips her off as to his real identity.
  • Seize Him: Prince John takes every opportunity to invoke this phrase.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: King Richard and Prince John.
  • Shaking the Rump: During the "Phony King of England" song, Marian at one point shakes her rear end enthusiastically.
  • 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 kids: "If I tattletale, I'll die 'til 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.
  • Shot in the Ass: The little rabbit Skippy shoots Prince John in the rear with an arrow (it bounces off) during the big battle at the archery tournament. (Luckily for Skippy, it goes unnoticed as to just where the arrow came from, in part because Lady Kluck bashes the prince over the head shortly after; otherwise, he would have been in serious trouble considering Prince John's general attitude at that point.)
  • Shout-Out:
    • Lady Kluck's attack on the guards bears a strong resemblance to a football player's charge. 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. To top it off, the sequence ends as Lady Kluck goes flying through the air and a rhino guard tries to catch her, looking exactly as if he's running to catch a football out of the air. Fans refer to this part of the movie as the 'Football Chicken' scene.
    • Prince John often mentioning 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 earlier - and included both of them in its cast to boot?
  • Shown Their Work: Of course Robin would suggest Normandy as part of his honeymoon with Marian. That is where the English nobility of the setting originates from.
  • Shur Fine Guns: Trigger's crossbow Old Betsy is notoriously unsafe. There's a reason the Sheriff is terrified of it.
  • Single Tear: When Robin is exposed and facing execution, Maid Marian pleads for his life. Prince John sneers and asks if he even loves her back. A tear runs down Marian's face as she waits for Robin's answer.
  • Slippery as an Eel: "You eel in snake's clothing!"
  • Smooch of Victory: Marian expects one from Skippy during their roleplay game, and when he refuses she smooches him, much to his embarrassment.
  • Smug Snake: All of the villains are pompous and nasty, though Sir Hiss is notable for being a literal example.
  • Species Subversives: King Richard may be representative of the typical brave and noble lion, but his brother Prince John definitely isn't.
  • Splitting the Arrow: Wouldn't be a Robin Hood film without it. Unfortunately, Prince John was expecting Robin to reveal himself through his archery skill and cannily arrests the 'winner' of the tournament.
  • Spoiled Brat: Prince John, immensely. When the Nottingham citizens shout out their loyalty to King Richard, John's response is whining while jumping up and down on his throne.
  • Sssssnake Talk: Sir Hiss, naturally, but this is downplayed.
  • Stealth Pun: When Prince John gets word of "The Phony King of England" being sung around the kingdom - even by Sir Hiss and the Sheriff of Nottingham - he doubles and triples the taxes, ordering the Sheriff to squeeze every last drop out of the insolent, musical peasants; in other words, it could be said that Prince John is collecting royalties from the villagers.
  • Stepping-Stone Sword: When guards hurl spears at Robin Hood when he's clinging to a wall, one embeds itself in a gap between the blocks. Robin uses it to hoist himself up to the top.
  • Still Sucks Thumb: Played for Laughs when the villainous Prince John still sucks his thumb when things don't go his way.
  • 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!!!
  • Suddenly Shouting: Reversed. During Prince John's outburst after hearing about the mocking sing-song about him, he angrily screams to the Sheriff "Double the taxes! Triple the taxes! SQUEEZE EVERY LAST DROP FROM THOSE INSOLENT..." though suddenly finishes in a calm, outright amused tone ", musical peasants".
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • At the archery tournament, Robin wears a convincing disguise that makes him look like a stork. It fools the Sheriff, but Prince John and the crocodile captain of the guard figure out it's him because only Robin Hood has the level of archery skill that the "stork" repeatedly demonstrates during the competition.
    • Robin and Marian being childhood sweethearts, with the whole of Nottingham knowing about it. While everyone ships them, Prince John more than likely knows about their love as well, and is willing to exploit it.
  • Sympathetic Villain, Despicable Villain: Sir Hiss goes along with much of Prince John's evil scheming, but even he seems mortified that John would consider hanging Friar Tuck. Though not reformed by the end, Hiss is shown having a light-hearted laugh at the film's end when John and the former Sheriff of Nottingham are nearly skewered by Nutley's stray arrow (which, in fairness, Hiss himself barely dodged).
  • Talking Animal: The entire cast. This is the animal kingdom, after all.
  • Talking in Your Sleep: Prince John while Robin takes the bags of tax money.
    "ROBIN HOOD?! I'll... get..." *snoring*
  • Tears of Joy: Lady Kluck, as the newlywed Robin and Marian exit the church, is seen weeping into a handkerchief and declaring, "I've never been so happy!"
  • Tempting Fate: Used and lampshaded.
    Friar Tuck: Well, it's raining now. (chuckles) Things can't get worse!
    Sheriff of Nottingham: (from behind them) Howdy, friar! (the Sexton plays a dissonant chord on the organ) Looks like I came by just in time!
  • 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.
  • A Truce While We Gawk: A brief one, but Little John and the Sheriff exchange terrified looks when they see the rabble they've got caught in is about to run straight into a tower.
  • Un Evil Laugh: Prince John has one of these, suitably for a 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. However, their father Henry II favored John, thinking he hadn't rebelled like his three elder brothers; when they showed Henry John's name and seal on a list of those subscribed to the conspiracy, his spirit was broken and he died shortly thereafter.
  • Verbal Business Card:
    • "I'm Alan-a-Dale, a minstrel."
    • "I am Sir Reginald, Duke of Chutney."
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Happens accidentally. 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 seconds dancing around, trying to get it out.
  • Vile Vulture: Trigger and Nutsy, the Sheriff of Nottingham's vulture henchmen, assist him in making life difficult for the beloved outlaw. Nutsy is a subversion, as he's too stupid and good-natured to do anything terribly villainous, but Trigger plays it straight. However, unlike the Sheriff himself, the vultures are only Punch-Clock Villains and are just following orders.
  • 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". Unfortunately, this song getting popular ruins things for everyone. When a Manchild with a lot of power hears the song, he increases the taxes so much, everyone gets arrested.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Unfortunately, once the "Phony King of England" himself hears the aforementioned song, it leads to him screaming new decrees about tripling the taxes right at the scared-witless Sheriff's face while strangling Sir Hiss.
      Prince John: Well they'll all be singing a different tune! Double the taxes! Triple the taxes!! SQUEEEEEEEZE EVERY LAST DROP!!! From those insolent... musical peasants!
    • After Robin frees all his prisoners, steals all his gold, causes part of his mother's castle to be burned up and escapes with his life, John goes berserk and chases Sir Hiss around with a stick, blaming him for everything:
      John: You cowardly cobra! Procrastinating python! Aggravating asp! Ooh, you eel in snake's clothing!
      Sir Hiss: Help! He's gone stark raving MAAAAAAAD!!!
  • Violent Glaswegian: Lady Kluck, with her thick Scottish accent and Boisterous Bruiser attitude, fits this to a T. This is a hen who tackles rhinos... and wins!
  • Visual Pun:
    • King Richard the Lionheart is a magnificently maned lion.
    • There are also literal church mice, who are as poor as church mice.
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: Robin proposes to Maid Marian in the midst of a serious battle. She happily accepts and jokingly comments how he could've used a more romantic setting.
  • "Wanted!" Poster: There are wanted posters for Robin Hood plastered all over Nottingham. Maid Marian has one pinned up inside her wardrobe, and moons over it like a poster of a rock star.
  • Watch Where You're Going!: During the football-inspired clash with Lady Kluck, this happens to two rhinoceros guards.
    • Also happens with Robin and Little John as they make off with the goods from Prince John's coach. The collision spills all the money everywhere, and the duo rush to hurriedly scrape it up again. The delay means that a suspicious Prince John, sticking his head out of the coach, catches them running off and realizes what's just happened.
      Prince John: Robbed! I've been robbed!
  • We Have Become Complacent: Throughout the film, Prince John and his enforcers seem to keep picking up the Smart Ball whenever the heroes start overestimating their incompetence. Things become downright bleak after they start a mocking song about the Prince.
  • Wham Line: In the climax, Friar Tuck and Little John successfully load the escapees onto a wagon, and Robin Hood opens the gates. It seems to be smooth sailing... and then Skippy's mother cries out, "STOP! My baby!" Cut to Tagalong running a great distance behind the wagon in the middle of flying arrows, calling for her mother. Robin turns around, rescues the little bunny, and slips her through the bars when the crocodile guard traps them both in the castle. He then has to spend the rest of the night evading the guards and the Sheriff.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: It's never made clear what happened to Captain Crocodile after the castle fire at the end of the film.
  • White Bunny: The members of the rabbit family are all light gray.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Referenced:
    Sheriff: Criminintly, now I know why yer momma called ya "Nutsy".
  • Wise Serpent: Sir Hiss serves as Prince John's chief advisor, and is far smarter than his foolish boss. He generally spends the movie trying to give John sound advice, in particular managing to see through every single disguise the heroes employ (he doesn't always know who they are, but he can tell that they're not who they pretend to be). However, John continually ignores his suggestions, leading to more humiliation.
  • Working on the Chain Gang:
    • During the scenes where all of Nottingham's citizens are imprisoned, we see the Sheriff opening the door for a chain gang of raccoons coming back from the rock-breaking pit.
    • The final fate of Prince John, Sir Hiss, and the Sheriff. However, 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 shoots an arrow at Prince John, which bounces 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  This is debatable anyway, as Skippy and his siblings are put in prison, and when they go off during the jailbreak, the soldiers don't hesitate about trying to shoot his baby sister while she is running.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Robin Hood


Prince John and Sir Hiss

Doug Walker chronicles every instance he can find of Prince John and Sir Hiss coming across as unintentionally homoerotic.

How well does it match the trope?

4.2 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / HoYay

Media sources: