Reel Rumbles: The Aristocats vs Robin Hood


We achieve our fourth technology of animated Disney historical past right here within the Nice Disney Reel Rumble Retrospective. We head boldly into the Bronze Age, tackling its first two motion pictures as Walt Disney Animation Studios wrestled with the lack of its titular visionary and the place to head subsequent.

The Bronze Age, often referred to as the Trendy Age and even the extra drastic Darkish Age, ran from roughly 1970 to 1988 and is outlined through the lack of Walt Disney himself. With out the corporate’s chief, others had been left to pick out up the items within the animation division and any individual else needed to make the calls on the place the flicks would cross. Naturally, this ended in a substantial amount of experimentation. Whilst experimenting isn’t a foul factor in and of itself, this era of trial and mistake led to a lot of duds for Disney and is thought of as an technology of decline for the dep..

The studio strayed clear of fairy-tale tales on this length. As within the Silver Age, xerography was once the principle animation taste as hand-inked motion pictures had been all however deserted. It will have stored money and time, however it led to the ones darkish, scratchy strains prior to now discussed on this sequence, and they’re very noticeable right through the Bronze Age.

There was once an general loss of ambition with the tales as smartly. Large issues of affection and distinctive feature and magic had been deserted as motion pictures tackled a lighter tone and more effective tales. Many of those motion pictures have fallen through the wayside consequently, although possibly unfairly. A couple of are nonetheless classics within the minds of lovers, and so they do have facets to be remembered and favored. However on the time, best two of the flicks might be regarded as business and significant successes, and one was once regarded as a really perfect flop.

There was once a normal perspective that with out Walt, those motion pictures had been only a money-grubbing undertaking to stay the speculation of Walt Disney Animation alive and stay bucks flowing in. As an organization Disney in large part all for theme parks and live-action motion pictures, which didn’t assist diminish this concept.

The hole movie of this period is The Aristocats. This movie can hint its origins again to early 1962. Walt had tasked a couple of of his staff with discovering some concepts for his or her live-action display, Superb International of Colour, and certainly one of them discovered a youngsters’s e-book a couple of mom cat and her kittens misplaced in New York Town. They determined it might make for a excellent two-part episode. With the hot good fortune of One Hundred and One Dalmatians, which was once set in London, the group determined to transpose the tale to Paris so as to add a little bit international aptitude.

A chain of rewrites passed off, ensuing within the tale going thru a number of iterations. To start with the tale started as a contest between a butler and maid to do away with the cats that had been inheriting from their mistress. Boris Karloff and Francoise Rosay had been in robust attention for those roles. This script, then again, was once rejected through an unknown Disney government in August 1962. The writers took it immediately to Disney afterwards, and Walt himself licensed it.

Cuts persisted to be made, and the venture was once shelved for a time. It needed to wait whilst manufacturing on The Jungle Ebook was a concern. As soon as director Wolfgang Reitherman discovered of it, he recommended it because the studio’s subsequent movie, and Walt licensed it for manufacturing and assigned Ken Anderson to make a choice on whether or not an animated movie could be very best.

Anderson and Reiterman labored in combination and pared the tale down, focusing extra at the cats and losing the maid. In a while earlier than his passing, Walt reviewed the initial sketches and licensed the movie for manufacturing, making it the remaining one he ever checked out. Reitherman formally took over as director and sought after to emulate Dalmatians additional through concocting a identical journey hijinks tale.

One in all Walt’s ultimate movements earlier than his dying was once to touch Phil Harris and ask him to voice Thomas O’Malley. Eva Gabor was once introduced in as smartly. Louis Armstrong was once to start with forged as Scat Cat, however needed to again out because of sickness. Ken Anderson took over personality route, and as with The Jungle Ebook, he all for letting the characters be formed through their actors. 5 of the mythical 9 Previous Males labored in this venture’s animation. This could end up to be the overall movie the Sherman Brothers did track for, having grown bored with Disney’s inventive restraints.

In any other emulation of The Jungle EbookThe Aristocats launched close to Christmas in 1970. A tight good fortune, it earned $10.1 million in the USA and Canadian field administrative center through the top of 1971 and completed as the most well liked normal unlock in Britain. The French additionally loved being highlighted within the movie, making it extremely widespread around the Channel as smartly; The Aristocats nonetheless rests because the 18th highest-grossing movie of all-time in France. Critics had been additionally favorable on the time, with in large part certain critiques, although a couple of famous the movie lacked originality. Lots of the certain observation targeted at the nice voice forged.

Reception has cooled over the years, with maximum now noting it as certainly one of Disney’s extra middle-of-the-road efforts. Whilst the track and abilities nonetheless obtain reward, The Aristocats lacks sufficient specialty to be considered a vintage. It isn’t as represented in different Disney media as many different motion pictures. A lot later, there was once an strive at a CGI sequel through Disneytoon Studios, however after John Lasseter took over at Disneytoon, he cancelled all sequels in choose of unique initiatives.

The following movie, Robin Hood, too can hint itself again to a Walt Disney thought. Because the studio’s beginnings, Walt Disney have been making an attempt to evolve the legend of Reynard the Fox (an obscurity if there ever was once one). He struggled with making it attraction to youngsters and in the end shelved it, although he additionally regarded as bringing it in as an animated segment to Treasure Island earlier than nixing that as smartly. Reynard was once additionally regarded as as a villain within the adaptation of Chanticleer prior to now discussed within the sequence, however as said in that article, that was once additionally canned.

The results of this fount of failed fox options reached its fruition, in the end, following The Aristocats. With Walt long gone, Ken Anderson sought out concepts for the following movie and recommended adapting the legend of Robin Hood. In the hunt for to honor Walt and considering a fox would make a excellent Robin Hood because of its slick, cunning talents, Anderson pitched the speculation and was once supported through others. Although Anderson sought after to set it within the Deep South to be like Track of the South, different executives had been justifiably worried about that concept because of Track of the South‘s rising unhealthy recognition, and so they stored the tale in England.

Manufacturing quickly started, although Anderson’s disappointments persisted to mount. He sought after to experiment with personality archetypes extra, and he to start with had the Sheriff of Nottingham as a goat to play towards sort. He additionally sought after to incorporate extra of the Merry Males. However Reitherman overruled him at each flip, ensuing within the Sheriff as a Wolf and slicing the entire Merry Males except for Little John.

With all of this confrontation, manufacturing fell in the back of and animators struggled to maintain. They reused a couple of dance sequences from older motion pictures to make up for misplaced time, a characteristic of Bronze Age motion pictures that contributes to their moderately deficient recognition. Possibly scared of doing anything else other, a number of of the similar Disney forged ended up being known as again, with Phil Harris returning over again to play a large undergo, in addition to Monica Evans. Harris’s undergo bears greater than a little bit resemblance to Baloo, and a snake sidekick to the evil Prince John seems so much like Kaa.

Different forged participants had been extra unusual, with western staple Andy Devine and the good nation singer Roger Miller being known as for personality roles. Miller additionally supplied songs for the movie’s soundtrack After his good fortune as a southern canine in The Aristocats, Pat Buttram returned in a bigger position because the Sheriff of Nottingham.

Robin Hood won its premiere at Radio Town Tune Corridor on November 8, 1973. Like The Aristocats, recent critiques had been lovely favorable. For many who had criticized The Aristocats, this one was once observed as a spice up in high quality. The tongue-in-cheek perspective was once favored, in addition to the catchy songs. Proceeding the rage of international good fortune, Robin Hood grossed $18 million in another country, surroundings a report on the time for Disney. Its home field administrative center was once additionally first rate at $9.6 million.

The vital reaction has dipped fairly over the years as writers have known as the movie’s humor or even track into query. The famous factor of reused animation has been a sticking level as smartly. That mentioned, Robin Hood has maintained a loyal following amongst lovers, and it’s been famous as a power on Zootopia in addition to the hairy neighborhood. It obtain an Oscar nomination for the track “Love.” Whilst no sequel has ever been made, and it doesn’t have a multimedia presence within the Disney canon, a live-action CGI remake is reportedly within the works.

As prior to now discussed, The Aristocats tale is reasonably easy and apes prior Disney journey/adventure motion pictures. The movie is kind of a number of comedic hijinks scenes because the cats, abducted through a grasping butler, combat to seek out their long ago house. The Duchess and her 3 youngsters obtain the help of an alley cat named Tom O’Malley, and so they care for a lot of animals and different jazzy alley cats.

That is no advanced story, and its reasonably episodic nature does restrict its talent to ship anything else too resounding or poignant. Nonetheless, the intense, poppy track and Phil Harris’s attraction as Tom do create a number of a laugh scenes. The jazzy cats create an over-the-top psychedelic scene, and several other cutaways to Southern canines looking to thwart and being thwarted through the grasping butler personality are fun as smartly.

Robin Hood‘s storytelling could also be reasonably center of the street. The use of the fundamental tale of Robin Hood and his sidekick Little John combating to give protection to the deficient and downtrodden from the grasping Prince John, this movie additionally options quite a lot of comedic hijinks. Robin Hood assists in keeping thwarting Prince John, who retaliates upon the deficient, who then wonder on the prowess of Robin Hood, rinse and repeat.

There are a couple of subthreads right through. The romance between Robin Hood and Marian is hinted at, although it doesn’t have a lot occur till the movie’s finish. The placement for the townsfolk and Robin’s allies is going from unhealthy to worse, with two doable hangings concerned. But those turns are in large part simply setup the following comedic scene.

Neither have a tale of any explicit complexity or pastime, however Robin Hood‘s tale feels particularly disjointed and arbitrary. The Aristocats no less than provides a adventure house as a throughline that assists in keeping you right through. Robin Hood can have been organized in a couple of other orders and felt the similar. For that, The Aristocats takes the win.

Winner: The Aristocats

The Aristocats lacks in any all-time vintage tunes. A number of songs ended up getting minimize because the inventive group moved the point of interest clear of track. Nonetheless, there are catchy songs that punctuate the soundtrack. Probably the most well-known, “Ev’rybody Needs to Be a Cat,” is a jazzy and upbeat music that most likely serves as probably the most memorable a part of this film. The manic power of the track is infectious, and because it explodes right into a jazzy fanfare to near the movie, it does seize a a laugh power.

Additionally stress-free are “Scales and Arpeggios” and “Thomas O’Malley.” The primary music serves as an advent to the characters of the cats and their prissy dwelling, and it makes use of easy musical idea in a literal and efficient means. The second one track is sung with quite a lot of personality through Phil Harris to introduce his titular alley cat. It’s no “Naked Prerequisites,, however it has a couple of suave strains.

The soundtrack to Robin Hood makes intensive use of forged member Roger Miller, who supplies a lot of the movie’s tunes. After the iconic earworm “Whistle Forestall” that performs over the hole credit, the thrill “Oo-De-Lally” serves as an efficient advent, opening the tale as a folklore story with nation origins and hinting on the tongue-in-cheek option to be taken. Fairly a couple of songs right through are all sung through Miller as his hen narrator Alan-a-Dale strums on a lute, together with the mournful but infectious “Now not in Nottingham.”

The Academy-nominated “Love” is very best and delightful, paying homage to one of the nice songs from Cinderella and different previous Disney motion pictures. A humorous music now not sung through Miller is “The Phony King of England,” which mocks Prince John with a lot of suave strains set to mess around. The spritely lyrics right through this soundtrack assist in making it memorable.

Whilst The Aristocats does a have a track or two of observe, the soundtrack of Robin Hood is if truth be told a a laugh time, and using Roger Miller is very best. The strummy songs and peppy lyricism go away you buzzing lengthy after.

Winner: Robin Hood

Because of that xerography animation, the backgrounds of France are stuffed with darkish, scraggly strains in The Aristocats, as are the entire characters. This creates a grimy glance which, whilst purposeful in developing a grimy and frightening Paris, isn’t rather as gorgeous as previous Disney works. Nonetheless, there may be sufficient selection within the locales that the movie stays reasonably visually fascinating right through. From riverside fields to moonlit Paris, The Aristocats maintains some type of visible attraction.

The characters also are given quite a lot of expressiveness and specialty. Tom’s mug fits Harris’s voice because the pleasant, sly alley cat. The number of cat expressions and colourful eyes additionally assist the characters stand out. The fancy designs of the alley cat band stay issues visually dynamic as smartly, and the selection to pair personality designs to voice actors can pay off.

Robin Hood‘s animation additionally has robust characterization, although it too suffers from the similar darkish strains of Bronze Age motion pictures. That this movie reuses animation from previous motion pictures is a given, and the designs of Little John and Hiss don’t hassle to cover their money owed to The Jungle Ebook fashions. The backgrounds and visuals are much less distinctive than the plethora of places and main points in The Aristocats.

Nonetheless, the brand new personality designs are very good. Robin Hood and Marian do have extremely expressive faces, and Robin Hood’s skinny body and depraved grins put across his personality rather smartly. Likewise, Prince John’s heavy crown provides him a continuously bitter glance, and the animators cleverly care for his paw whilst nonetheless giving him the facility to boost issues as a human would.

It is a shut class, as each motion pictures proportion lots of the similar strengths and weaknesses of their animation. On the other hand, the brink will cross to Robin Hood. In spite of the repeated animation, the movie is colourful and brilliant and the anthropomorphic foxes and different critters are designed rather smartly.

Winner: Robin Hood

The Aristocats has a lot of robust issues, and regardless of being the start of a lesser age of Disney, this can be a reasonably first rate movie. Likewise, Robin Hood doesn’t measure as much as lots of the robust Golden Age or Silver Age motion pictures, however the Roger Miller soundtrack and witty script give it the brink and make it a little bit extra memorable than its tom cat adversary. Robin Hood is the simpler film, and other folks will nonetheless be making a song alongside to “Oo-De-Lally” for years yet to come.

The Aristocats

  • Ranked #2,550 globally
  • Wins 36% of matchups
  • 11,509 customers have ranked it 100,897 occasions
  • 16 have it as their #1 movie
  • Ranked 32/64 within the Walt Disney Animation Studios clear out

Robin Hood

  • Ranked #1,155 globally
  • Wins 45% of matchups
  • 18,100 customers have ranked it 162,826 occasions
  • 20 have it as their #1 movie
  • Ranked 9/64 within the Walt Disney Animation Studios clear out
  1. Bambi (1942)
  2. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
  3. Cinderella (1950)
  4. Fantasia (1940)
  5. Peter Pan (1953)
  6. The Jungle Ebook (1967)
  7. Robin Hood (1973)
  8. Alice in Wonderland (1951)
  9. Pinocchio (1940)
  10. One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)
  11. Girl and the Tramp (1955)
  12. The Aristocats (1970)
  13. Dumbo (1941)
  14. Dozing Attractiveness (1959)
  15. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)
  16. The 3 Caballeros (1944)
  17. The Sword within the Stone (1963)
  18. Melody Time (1948)
  19. Saludos Amigos (1942)
  20. Amusing and Fancy Unfastened (1947)
  21. Make Mine Tune (1946)



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