The story of Robin Hood has been told within the movie world countless times, in many different ways, from gritty adaptations to family-friendly attempts. Disney’s version of this story is certainly one of the best, with the usual characters, from Maid Marian to Little John, being brought to life in an incredibly vibrant manner.
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With the usual over-the-top personalities that can be expected from an animated movie, the characters in this version are certainly larger than life, from Peter Ustinov’s delightfully dastardly Prince John to the magnetic personality of Robin himself. Those big characters bring brilliant quotes and there’s a great mix of humor and emotion throughout this Disney classic.
Updated on September 12th, 2021 by Mark Birrell: The best quotes from Disney’s Robin Hood don’t just belong to the wily fox at the heart of the story, the cast of classic characters ensures that great lines are coming from left, right, and center throughout the movie. The narration and songs of Alan-a-Dale form some of the most memorable moments of the movie and even the villainous Prince John gets some fun quotes. Each is worth remembering for its own reasons.
15 “Robin Hood and Little John walkin’ through the forest, laughin’ back and forth at what the other’n has to say.” (Alan-a-Dale)
Disney is known the world over for its ability to make unforgettable musicals and their Robin Hood movie gets off to a blazing start with Alan-a-Dale’s first earworm, the iconic song “Oo-De-Lally”.
Voice actor Roger Miller gives a wonderfully folksy edge to every scene that Alan-a-Dale is in and, after beginning the story, he introduces Robin Hood and Little John with a tune that’s all-but-guaranteed to get stuck in fans’ heads for the rest of the day. It also establishes just how relatably laid back the two heroes are, and the audience can’t help but fall in love with them from the word go.
14 “You Know Somethin’, Robin. I Was Just Wonderin’, Are We Good Guys Or Bad Guys?” (Little John)
Full quote: “You know somethin’, Robin. I was just wonderin’, are we good guys or bad guys? You know, I mean, uh? Our robbin’ the rich to feed the poor.”
It can be quite easy for things to get muddled with Robin Hood’s character, especially for younger audiences. He’s one of several fan-favorite Dinsey heroes who are literally criminals, but his crimes are some of the most heroic parts of the movie.
The conversation Robin has with Little John at the beginning of the story is a great way of clarifying this inconsistency. It’s a funny moment for the adults as it alludes to the situation which they can grasp, but Robin’s response also clearly sets up that they’re heroes.
13 “Rob? That’s a naughty word, we never rob! Just sort of… borrow a bit from those who can afford it.” (Robin Hood)
Robin’s response to Little John’s musings about their morality is perhaps the line that sums up Robin’s overall ethos in the movie the best. He knows right from wrong and it ultimately means very little to him if the mixed-up world around him considers him a hero or a villain.
Robin sees inequality in his community and acts to rectify it. He isn’t greedy at all, rather the magnitude of his thievery simply matches the extent of the evil going around him and he is right, Prince John can afford it.
12 “You Want Taxes? I’ll Give You Taxes!” (Friar Tuck)
Friar Tuck is one of the best characters in the movie. He is soft and generous, so when he ends up almost fighting the Sheriff of Nottingham it really catches people off guard, but it does a great job of highlighting just how angry the locals are about how much money Prince John is taking from them.
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When the Sheriff is collecting taxes and takes from the church’s poor box, Friar Tuck finally hits a breaking point. He yells out this iconic line as he attacks the Sheriff, doing what everyone in the audience wishes they could do to the unlikable henchman.
11 “If you don’t mind me saying so, you see, you have a very loud thumb.” (Sir Hiss)
One of the best running jokes in the movie is Prince John’s childish proclivity for sucking his thumb while rubbing his ear. It’s something that Hiss tries to dissuade him from to no avail, partially because Hiss has to sugarcoat everything he says to the prince in a vain attempt to not incur his wrath.
This hilarious line still does a good job of explaining the issue with Prince John’s thumb-sucking though, which is that it’s unavoidably obvious and seemingly the only thing that the prince can think about while he’s doing it. Watching Hiss try to handle the unstable Prince John is one of the most entertaining aspects of the whole movie and this line demonstrates their dynamic perhaps better than any other.
10 “Keep your chin up. Someday there’ll be happiness again in Nottingham, you’ll see.” (Robin Hood)
Of all of Disney’s many, many heroes, their take on Robin Hood stands out as one of the most genuine and heartwarming. There’s no selfish flaw at the core of Robin. He’s a little immature, sure, but he’s a genuinely kind and selfless character through and through.
It’s hard not to be a little reassured and even a little inspired by Robin’s clear stoutness of heart. This quote comes after he comes to console the poor family of rabbits that have been visited by the dreaded Sherrif of Nottingham. His parting words after lifting all of their spirits are more than just empty sentiment, the audience can tell that he really means them.
9 “Oh, For Heaven’s Sake, Son. You’re No Outlaw. Why, Someday You’ll Be Called A Great Hero.” (Friar Tuck)
Another great moment from Friar Tuck sees him really reassure Robin Hood of exactly how good of a person he is. Robin is one of Disney’s best heroes but he often doesn’t believe that himself and Friar Tuck saying it really means something to him.
Because Friar Tuck is such a well-respected character within the movie, it clearly has an impact on Robin, and it also makes it clear to the audience, once again, that he is one of the best Disney characters ever.
8 “Ah! Mommy!” (Prince John)
One of the funniest aspects of this movie is how much of a crybaby Prince John is. Despite his position of power, he proves to be a very whiney, child-like character, and that, in turn, makes him an even better villain.
He often sucks his thumb and cries, but when he starts calling out for his mother, that is when this character really goes over the top with his behavior. It’s not something that is expected from a villain in such a position of power, but it acts as a great catchphrase for the character.
7 “A minute before he knows we’re there, Ol’ Rob’ll snatch his underwear!” (Little John)
Not all of the memorable songs in the movie belong to Alan-a-Dale, with Little John getting his chance to shine with the playful “The Phony King of England”. The song ties into the sentiment shared by many of the main characters that Prince John is a weak ruler in comparison to his brother, King Richard, but is mostly used to lift the spirits of the people of Nottingham.
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In every way, Prince John is no match for Robin Hood and, though it’s mostly just a fun rhyme, it’s not that much of an exaggeration to suggest that Robin could actually pull this trick off.
6 “Too Late To Be Known As John The First, He’s Sure To Be Known As John The Worst!” (Various)
It’s made very clear that, despite the fact that Prince John is supposed to be feared in his position of power, everyone actually finds him to be a laughing stock. That includes his two right-hand men, the Sheriff of Nottingham and Sir Hiss, who are meant to be his closest allies.
However, even they get caught up singing the local town song about Prince John, even though it doesn’t paint him in a very positive light. The whole song is good-hearted fun, but the fact that Sir Hiss joins in really makes this moment stand out, and when Prince John sees it happen, Hiss’ reaction is priceless.
5 “Snakes Don’t Walk, They Slither. Hmph. So there.”
Despite the fact that he’s willing to do a lot for Prince John, Sir Hiss does have his limits when it comes to the prince’s buffoonery, which makes for a lot of funny dialogue.
Hiss isn’t anywhere near as much of a coward as Prince John is, and when he is able to talk back to his boss, it leads to some really funny moments. When John tries to claim that Sir Hiss will have to walk all the way back to Nottingham, the snake provides this apt response, showing just how much comedy their bickering back and forth can produce.
4 “I sentence you to sudden, instant, and even immediate death!” (Prince John)
Though Prince John is a bit of a joke, even to his own allies in the movie, he does get some great villain moments and one of his best lines comes from the moment when he finally thinks he has Robin Hood captured after the archery tournament.
The way that Prince John relishes the diabolical moment is befitting of one of Disney’s best villains and, of course, Robin Hood gets away, so the audience can enjoy it in all its silly glory without feeling bad about it.
3 “Marian, My Love, Will You Marry Me?” (Robin Hood)
While there is a lot of exciting action throughout Robin Hood, which makes the movie very exciting to watch, at the heart it is also a romantic story. Everything that Robin does is with Maid Marian in mind, and while it takes a while for that to be fully paid off, the story really is a gripping one.
Therefore when they have their big happily-ever-after moment of Robin proposing, it is one that really works and gets the viewers with a big smile. They’re a great, and even somewhat realistic, Disney couple, one that is simply very sweet together, so this is a great moment.
2 “Every Town Has Its Ups And Downs, Sometimes Ups Outnumber The Downs, But Not In Nottingham.” (Alan-a-Dale)
When people think of great songs from Disney movies, Robin Hood might not be one that comes up first. However, this particular song, sung by Alan-A-Dale is one of the most emotional within Disney history, which is perfect for any sad occasion.
There are many incredibly underrated Disney songs, and the song that this quote is taken from deserves to be remembered along with the greats. It takes place at a low moment for the heroes when they’re all locked up in the castle. But the catchy melody and lyrics are easy to connect with and, of course, it helps that the audience always knows that Robin Hood will come to save the day.
1 “Ah, but remember, faint hearts never won fair lady.” (Robin Hood)
This is one of the best quotes of the movie and really sums up Robin Hood’s somewhat reckless–but always admirable–attitude to life. However, it doesn’t really originate from the movie and is an adaptation of a real Middle-English saying.
Robin Hood says this to Little John as he insists on joining up for the archery tournament set up by Prince John to catch him. It certainly is a bit foolhardy for Robin to attend, even if he is disguised, but Robin is ultimately right. His courage does get him out of the scrape and he does indeed get the fair lady, Maid Marian.
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About The Author
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Matthew Wilkinson is a Senior Writer with Screen Rant and has been part of the team since 2019. In addition to his work as Screen Rant, Matthew is also a writer of pieces at The Sportster. Matthew has a major passion for movies and television, enjoying a variety of genres from animation and horror to fantasy and thrillers.
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