This Disney version of the venerable British legend has been a family favorite for years. It's one of those movies that we can all quote from and know each line before its spoken. Having said that, it's actually been a few years since we last saw it. Watching it again with the kids now teenagers, I was surprised just how well it stood up to memory. Sure, like any Disney folktale "interpretation" it has various problems, especially the heavy-handedness of the Disney corporate moral stance on something that is by its very existence a living piece of oral history.
Looking at the movie with modern eyes, the animation style is rough in places and some scenes are repetitive; the characters are stereotypes and their development shallow. But it comes across as a likeable attempt, and is a fair introduction to the legend for kids. Let's face it: no one has yet managed to do a really good Robin Hood movie and, if you can get past the "cute animal" factor, this one stands alongside other interpretations.
And I'd challenge anyone to watch this movie and not coming away whistling at least one of the tunes.
This "Most Wanted" edition DVD is much better than the previous 2004 DVD release. In addition to improved picture and sound quality, it also adds two more songs to its "sing along" section as well as two new interactive trivia games. The high point of the extras is a storyboarded "alternate ending" which had a darker tone than the final product and would have made for a stronger final story arc.
The DVD also includes the 1933 Mickey Mouse short "Ye Olden Days", which was also included on the 2004 release> It has little to do with Robin Hood beyond a common fantasy "medieval castle" setting, yet it's an interesting curiosity for animation buffs due to its inclusion of a prototype Goofy going under the name Dippy Dawg.
The Film Itself: 8 out of 10
The DVD Extras: 7 out of 10