Friday, December 1, 2017

The Disney Boys - Part 4: Robin Hood

Click to read my introduction to this series, Part 1Part 2, and Part 3.

We've come to another gap between the timelines of the Disney Princess Analysis and the Disney Boys series. The fourth princess was 1989's Ariel, but the fourth gent is the title character of 1973's Robin Hood. Still, Ariel and Robin have some similarities. They're both adventurous, social, and generally likable people. 

I say people because even though I kept most of the "animal movies" out of this series, the characters of this film act like they're humans: the fact that they're drawn as animals is an artistic, stylistic, and thematic choice (as opposed to a film like Bambi where the characters are literally set up as animals). And even though Robin is a fox, we still know what type of a person he is. They drew him to look dapper and attractive, sort of suave and friendly. He has that smile that shows that he always likes to look on the positive side, even if he just had an arrow run through his hat.

That would be bravery, too, then. He doesn't even wink in fear at that brush with death. Maybe this nonchalance stems from his lack of concern over the future. This is where Robin is unlike the princesses. While they have hopes and fears about the future, Robin is just concerned with the present. All he's doing is trying to help out the people around him--while daydreaming about Marian (I'll come back to that last part presently). Even though he's so positive, in a way he doesn't have hope for the future: all he sees is the bad around him, the bad that he's trying to limit as much as he can.

Making others, particularly children, is Robin's biggest trait. He surprises Skippy on his birthday and doesn't hold back at all, even gifting the boy his own hat off of his head. Later, he risks arrows to go back and save Skippy's younger sister, sending her through the gate to Little John while telling him, "Keep going--don't worry about me." His nonchalance isn't from lack of knowing what danger or evil are. 

Robin is also inventive and sneaky. Even though he's the thief in the woods for humanitarian reasons, he quite enjoys his role. He likes being active and catching people off guard. He likes dressing up in disguises to trick everyone, whether it's dressing up as a gypsy woman to steal the rings from Prince John's fingers or as a beggar to distribute extra coins that he's stolen to the poor.

Primarily Robin a classic manly character: he's great at archery and sword fighting and protecting women and children. But he's also chivalric: he isn't afraid or hesitant to confess his love for Marian. For him, all of those "manly virtues," if you will, mean nothing if they're not grounded in the "matters of the heart," so to speak--that is, the love for his fellow mankind (not quite mankind in this film, but you get the idea), love for his king, and love for his lady. So what do we have there? Once you write it all down, Robin's characteristics have a great balance of the two sides that can make up a "good" person. He has heart and bravery, thief and outlaw through he is. 

No comments:

Post a Comment