Disney’s Robin Hood is a very cute telling of the Robin Hood story. It’s one of my two favorite versions of Robin Hood – The Adventures of Robin Hood starring Errol Flynn being the other. I have enjoyed watching Disney’s Robin Hood for years. What I did not know until recently was that this animated movie originally had a different ending.
Just to give a little background, in both versions, a ways into the movie, all of the townspeople start singing a song that calls Prince John the phony King of England. Prince John becomes so angry at the people that he triples taxes. Friar Tuck and most of the other townspeople are imprisoned because they cannot pay Prince John’s tripled taxes. Prince John has ordered that Friar Tuck be hung for high treason against the crown. Robin Hood breaks into the castle to rescue Friar Tuck and the townspeople and to get back their money from Prince John. The people and money are rescued, but the castle catches fire and Robin has to jump into the moat to escape.
This is point where the story changes.
In the original ending, Robin is wounded in the moat. Little John takes him to the church to recover. Maid Marian is by his side and Little Sister, the mouse, is treating him.
Prince John and Sir Hiss trail Robin to the church. Prince John has a knife in his hand, ready to kill Robin. Maid Marian is frightened because Robin is unconscious and unable to defend himself. King Richard shows up just in time and saves the day.
Then Robin and Marian get married just like in the movie.
Here’s a copy of the original ending in storyboard form.
In the final version that was used in the animated movie, Robin uses a reed to breathe while swimming under water and swims to safety. Sir Hiss tells Prince John that he tried to warn him, and to look at what he did to his mother’s castle. Prince John exclaims “Mummy!,” and sucks his thumb.
It was great to be able to see what an alternate ending might have been, but I’m glad the movie turned out the way it did. I like the version that made it into the movie because it adds a sense of comic relief and lightheartedness to a previously tense scene. I prefer where Robin is not injured and looks like a hero to the end. In the alternate version, King Richard has to rescue Robin Hood from certain death. I think that ending makes Robin look less heroic.
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