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Robin Hood
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.66:1 Widescreen
  • English Dolby Surround
  • English DTS-HD 5.1 Surround
  • French DTS-HD 5.1 Surround
  • Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English subtitles
  • French subtitles
  • Spanish subtitles
  • 2 Discs
FEATURES
  • Deleted Storyline "Love Letters"
  • Alternate Ending
  • Oo-de-lally" Disney Sing-Along Song, Disney Song Selection
  • Robin Hood Storybook
  • Robin Hood Art Gallery
  • "Ye Olden Days" Bonus Short
  • Sing Along with the Movie

Robin Hood

Dual-Format Edition
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Wolfgang Reitherman
1973 | 83 Minutes

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $36.99 | Series: Disney
Buena Vista Home Entertainment

Release Date: August 6, 2013
Review Date: July 29, 2013

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SYNOPSIS

Join Robin Hood, his trusted companion Little John and his hilarious band of Merry Men as they outfox greedy Prince John to save the good people of Nottingham. Dashing from one daring deed to the next, Robin won't rest until he wins the hand of Maid Marian and restores King Richard to the throne. One of Disney's most beloved movies is even better on Blu-ray Combo Pack!


PICTURE

Disney’s take on Robin Hood makes its Blu-ray debut, presented in its original aspect ratio of about 1.66:1 on a dual-layer disc. The high definition transfer is presented in 1080p/24hz.

Similar to its companion release, The Sword in the Stone, it looks nice but just doesn’t have anything that truly stands out. Grain has again been removed and the image still holds up fairly well, but it does have a much softer look than I would expect. Lines look a little blurry in foregrounds, and some of the backgrounds don’t excel in detail, though this may be just the style. Colours look rather incredible and do jump off of the screen on the other hand. The restoration work has also been fairly extensive, though a noticed small blotches in a few places.

I think it looks a little better than The Sword in the Stone, but it does still have a soft look and could have maybe benefitted from less manipulation.

7/10

All Blu-ray screen captures come from the source disc and have been shrunk from 1920x1080 to 900x506 and slightly compressed to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

The film receives a DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround track, though like other Disney titles that have been remastered and upgraded there is little improvement. Everything is still focused to the front speakers with very little activity, limited primarily to music, making its way to the rear speakers. I couldn’t detect any splits with it sounding more like a 2.0 surround mix. Audio quality is excellent and there is a bit more fidelity and range in comparison to the previous DVD edition. But past that it's overall an unimpressive surround mix.

7/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Amazingly this thing is more barebones than The Sword in the Stone, and most of the supplements really feel like filler.

There are a couple of decent additions, though, starting with a deleted storyline called “Love Letters.” The 7-and-a-half minute segment, made up of storyboards that have been animated, shows a plot line where Prince John wants to send love letters to both Marion and Robin Hood (appearing to be from the other) in hopes of getting the two to meet, allowing him to spring a trap. I’m guessing this may have been in place of the archery tournament and if that’s the case they made a wise move. But I would have given anything to hear Peter Ustinov (who I have always felt gave one of the best voice over performances in an animated film) recite some of these lines. The voice actor they hired in his place just doesn’t have the same delivery.

There’s also an alternate ending, running about 4-and-a-half minutes. It runs after Robin escapes from the castle at the end, only to be hunted down by Prince John’s men. Prince John then finds him in a church. It has a rather lame Deus Ex Machina, making it a good choice to abandon the ending. It's made up from sketches and paintings made during the design process.

Other than one item the rest of the supplements are wastes of time. Disney Song Selection allows you to jump to a song in the movie. It plays the clip with subtitles for the lyrics.

Robin Hood Art Gallery presents a 9-minute slideshow of the artwork that goes into the concepts and designs for the film (by the looks of it there was considerations of a version not using animals) as well as photos of the artists at work. It then concludes with poster art and merchandising related to the film. I would have actually much preferred a photo gallery I could navigate through myself. It’s also upscaled from a standard-definition presentation, harming the overall presentation of the work.

Robin Hood Storybook is exactly that: a video presentation of a storybook version of the film, complete with text and pictures, read by a narrator. I have no idea who this was intended for, as I can only figure most, including children, would rather just watch the film. It runs 14-minutes.

And because there obviously wasn’t enough music related features we also get Sing Along with the Movie, which is simply just the option to have subtitles for the lyrics appear during the musical moments of the film. We then have an old sing-a-long of ”Oo-de-lally”, which looks to be a port from a video tape presentation. It’s an especially useless addition since the “Disney Song Selection” does the same thing.

Much better is a presentation of the old black-and-white Mickey Mouse cartoon Ye Olden Days, which is presented in 1080p and looks to have been restored (or at least gives the illusion of a restoration.) A nice addition, that I believe appeared on the previous DVD versions for Robin Hood.

The disc closes with “Info” on the disc, and then there is also a code for a digital copy of the film.

A really disappointing edition. I’ve always had a fondness for this film and I find it so bizarre that Disney always gives it the cold shoulder. There’s about 20-minutes of worthwhile content on here, with no features on the making of the film.

3/10

CLOSING

The picture and audio could be better but they’re acceptable. The supplements are pretty much non-existent and a big disappointment. I do hold out a small hope that Disney might revisit the film someday.




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