Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Film Review: Robin Hood (1973) - "Opposing Characters"

Robin Hood is a 1973 American animated film produced by Disney and directed by Wolfgang Reitherman. It retells the story of the legend of Robin Hood with anthropomorphic animals. It tells the story of Robin hood, Little John and the creatures of Nottingham as they fight back against the constant increasing taxes set out by Prince John.

The two main characters within the film, the Hero and the Villian, have very different perspectives on life and both have very different morals. This contrast between these two characters allows easy readability to show who is the Protagonist and the Hero within the film, and to show who is the Antagonist, the villain of the piece.

The two characters, Robin Hood and Prince John are already on polar opposites from the start of the film, Robin Hood has a very woodsman like name, and Prince John already states his position of royalty and entitlement. Robin Hood is a character who steals from the rich and gives to the poor, while the character of Prince John takes from the poor to gain more wealth for himself, presenting Robin's generous and giving nature, and selflessness as he risks his life for stealing the money to give to those who can not afford food. This nature contrasts greatly against Prince John's nature, of taking and taking from the poor who can not afford the simplest of things, just to give himself much more wealth than he already has. This in itself shows the contrast of the characters, and presents the already heroic traits of Robin Hood and the villainous selfishness of Prince John.

The design of Robin Hood shows that of his simplistic lifestyle and morals. He wears a very simple green tunic, a small hat with a single feather, and is usually wearing his bow and arrows. This relatively bare attire reflects Robin's simple outlook on life, and also shows that all of the money he steals from the rich he does not keep a single coin for himself, nor spends any of it on himself on lavish clothing or on material things.
However a character that does in fact spend a great deal of money on expensive and lavish clothing is Prince John. The lion prince physically appearance is that of lush velvets and furred clothing, adorned with rings and jewellery of rubies and gold, presenting his selfish nature, constantly expressing his wealth in his appearance where the luxuries are not needed, as they were paid for by the poor in their taxes.

Despite how heroic the hero is, he does in fact have flaws, however Robin Hood does in fact have a significantly less amount of flaws than Prince John. Prince John's flaws are that of his selfishness, and constant want for attention and wealth. These flaws make Prince John very unpopular with the townspeople, and in fact stops him from achieving what he in fact wants, the love an attention he wants from the citizens.
Robin's flaw is that he is in fact a criminal, however he redeems himself as what he takes is not for himself but in fact giving back to the people of Nottingham. Both Prince John and Robin steal, but Prince John steals from the people and uses the money solely for himself, whereas Robin's hood much more 'good' morals allow him to steal from the rich and give to the needy.

One final aspect of these two characters is their goals, and what they aim to achieve. For Robin Hood it is quite simple what his goal is, which is to steal from the rich, and give to the poor, and to also fight back against the excessive taxing, and to be with Maid Marian, presenting the heroic nature of the protagonist. The contrasting goal of the villain of the film is that of wanting attention, to make everybody praise him. This need for attention could derive from his constant reference to his mother and how he loved her, but she always favoured his brother. This constant want for attention from his mother is soon projected onto how he wants his subjects to appreciate him, and therefore took more money from them to make him more noticeable in clothing and lush lifestyle, which undid what he wanted to achieve.

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