When we think of Robin Hood, our minds automatically go to the Errol Flynn version from 1938. But this version, The Story of Robin Hood as presented by Walt Disney, is from 1952. This LP Record is from an even later date, that being 1964.
But no matter which version of the archer in Lincoln Green you prefer, they all have a quiver full of fun and adventure!
Let’s start by looking at the artwork on the cover sleeve. This is what made me purchase this LP for my personal vinyl collection. The artist is Paul Wenzel and he joined the Walt Disney company in 1958. In 1968, Wenzel painted Walt Disney’s portrait for the 6 cent U.S. commemorative stamp after Disney’s death in 1966. He was prolific for the company producing numerous Movie Posters, attraction artwork, and Christmas Cards over the years.
In 2000, Paul retired and now spends most of his time painting the subjects he loves, those being animals and American Indians.
This long-play (LP) record is a soundtrack of sorts. It contains a combination of narration, actual dialogue from the film, and music. The most notable songs are The Ballad of Robin Hood and Riddle De Diddle De Day. The latter song is repeated throughout the film as a device to connect plot points or simply to move the story along. The lyrics change with each warbling.
The Story of Robin Hood is the second of Disney’s complete live-action films, after Treasure Island (1950), that was made using British Box Office funds frozen during World War II.
Disney fan and oft-time Disney collaborator Leonard Maltin noted that the film was a “Zesty, colorful retelling of the familiar story, filmed in England by Walt Disney with an excellent cast. Not as personality oriented as other versions, but just as good in its own way.”
1994 saw the release of this film on glorious VHS. A limited Disney Movie Club DVD was released in July of 2006.
VHS has long passed it’s usefulness as a format, but in many cases, it is the only way you can see some of your favorite vintage movies. Not all stories find their way onto newer formats like DVD or Blu-ray. Most stores will still carry a limited selection of VHS players for this reason.
Let’s conclude with a short clip from the soundtrack. It’s found at the end of Side 2 of the LP, and I think it will make a great way to end this post:
FUN FACTS: Lincoln green is the colour of dyed woolen cloth originating in Lincoln, England, a major cloth town during the high Middle Ages. The dyers of Lincoln, known for colouring wool with woad to give it a strong blue shade, created the eponymous Lincoln green by overdyeing this blue wool with yellow weld.