28 February 2007

Ooh-da-lolly! (Movie Review 2)

Visited my father today, who had surgery. He won't be up and around for a while still, and hopefully he will recover. In the evening, we did have a family activity planned, coincidentally a movie night at the local library.

Being the library and especially being "family movie night", they won't show anything overly offensive or action-oriented to the kids, and they did deliver on that. Tonight's entertainment was a copy of the Disney animated film "Robin Hood".

This movie was a favorite of mine when I was growing up, and I really don't know too many kids (or even adults) who are unfamiliar with the movie. So therefore, instead of a summary, I'll just pick a few parts. And especially to say that the age of the movie is showing more than a bit. Pat Buttram (as the Sheriff) has one of the most distinctive voices for voice-work, and it is especially suited to this role. And Phil Harris' voice (Little John) is also highly suited to the character it was applied. I noticed in both the "train" sequence when the fair breaks down into chasing as well as the song that Little John speaks, the use of more than a couple twangers which also date the movie rather aggressively.

I also forgot exactly how much of a deus ex machina the movie ended with. But on the other hand, while I may cringe at it in my late-20s, it really does come at the perfect time in the movie, as my children now were just about ready for the movie to end anyway... and when I was younger, this ending was fine too.

In complete summation, Disney's "Robin Hood" is what movies nowadays fail to be. It is unabashedly tied to its late-60s to early-70s era, and is also unabashedly mostly a children's movie.

Disney, Dreamworks, and other animation studios have really forgotten a key fact about the child demographic that they purportedly try to court... that these children really do not have the attention span for the movies they produce. "Robin Hood" clocks in at about 80 minutes, whereas most recent films usually pass an hour and a half and can drag for small children.

Though of course, the major downside is the fact that this film really doesn't have much to recommend to the adults other than possibly a huge dose of nostalgia, and possibly to try to figure out which bear Phil Harris played better, Baloo or Little John.

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