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The foxiest Maid Marian ever!
on 7 October 2007
This was the first film I ever saw at the cinema, way back in 1973 when I was a small boy (when I did not know or care about aspect ratios). I used to live near Sherwood Forest so this film and the legend of Robin Hood were, and still are, very special for me.
It is great to see this film again on DVD in a re-mastered special edition. I found the picture and sound quality to be very good indeed even though I watched it on a small portable player. The film features some excellent actors doing the characters' voices - Peter Ustinov and Terry Thomas are perfect as Prince John and Sir Hiss and Phil Harris is a cool Little John even though this character seems to be a bit of a rehash of Baloo, the bear from Disney's version of The Jungle Book.
The animals chosen to play the human characters are an excellent choice. Robin Hood is a cunning fox and Maid Marian is of course a sexy vixen (Monica Evans has one of the most beautiful voices you will ever hear) and The Sheriff of Nottingham is a greedy fat wolf. A special mention must also be given to country singer Roger Miller as Alan-A-Dale (a rooster in this film) who narrates the tale and provides several of the songs.
The extras on this disc include a couple of fun games which younger children will enjoy and an unused alternative ending, albeit in storyboard form. I think it is a matter of opinion whether or not this ending would have been a better one than the one they actually used. I personally think this alternative ending is a bit dark compared to the tone of the rest of the film but it is interesting to be able to see it all the same.
To summarise Disney's Robin Hood, I would say that it is a great story with a host of wonderful characters, excellently voiced, and featuring some catchy songs that will have you singing along or whistling. This is my favourite Disney movie and it is still one of my favourite films of all time. If you have not seen it, it is definitely worth checking out - especially in this superb DVD version.