As you know, Disney has fallen into the habit of making pretty things ugly by taking their beloved animated lineup and transforming it into a live-action / CGI gumbo, one movie at a time. Cinderella, Jungle Book, Aladdin, Dumbo and The Lion King have all fallen victim; Mulan, Bambi, Lilo & Stitch and The Little Mermaid are next in line. And now, so is Robin Hood.
The 1973 original stands in history as the first animated movie Walt Disney Productions had to put together without any input from Walt himself. The remaining Nine Old Men decided to play it safe…VERY safe. Robin Hood is a very sleepy and laid-back film, and it would set the tone for what was coming over the next decade (The Rescuers, The Fox And The Hound). A new recruit named Don Bluth hated working on these soft films so much he left the company to make animation with more bite to it — like Secret of NIMH.
So like we said, Robin Hood is pretty laid back, but in this case we wouldn’t call that a bad thing. Not every animated movie needs to hit you like a truck. We hold a massive soft spot for this flick and its pathetic spoiled-baby villain, its smirking fox hero, and Phil Harris as ANOTHER slacker bear. The opening song, the drawled-out “Ooo-De-Lally,” pretty much encapsulates what a lazy summer afternoon feels like.
We expect the live-action version to be somewhat different, though — it ain’t the 1970s anymore. Carlos Lopez Estrada, the man behind the 2018 crime drama Blindspotting, has been hired as director, working from a script by Kari Granlund. Justin Springer will serve as producer, and yes, these characters will be animals again, only CG animals standing on filmed backgrounds.
The Robin Hood project was put into production prior to the Hollywood shutdown. For now the remake is slated for a Disney+ debut.