Rocket Robin Hood
|Rocket Robin Hood|
Opening credits to Rocket Robin Hood
|Written by||Ralph Bakshi|
|Country of origin||Canada|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||52|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Original release||9 October 1966 – 1969|
Rocket Robin Hood is a Canadian animated television series, placing the characters and conflicts of the classic Robin Hood legend in a futuristic, outer space setting, produced by Krantz Films, Inc. from 1966 to 1969.
Rocket Robin Hood leads his "Merry Men", including the strong, dimwitted, and likeable Little John; consummate overeater Friar Tuck (who designs all the Merry Men's weaponry); Robin's two-fisted, red-headed cousin Will Scarlet; Robin's plucky girlfriend Maid Marian; his sharp-witted right-hand man Alan-a-Dale; the scrawny, feisty camp cook Giles (a reformed crook and Gabby Hayes type); and other characters from the classic story of Robin Hood. They live in "the astonishing year 3000" on New Sherwood Forest Asteroid, and are determined to foil the despotic plans of Prince John and his bumbling lackey, the Sheriff of N.O.T.T. (National Outer-space Terrestrial Territories), and other villains such as Dr. Medulla, Manta, Nocturne, and the Warlord of Saturn. Rocket Robin Hood and his people fly in spaceships and use weapons such as "electro-quarterstaffs".
Each 22 minute episode is divided into three segments, with cliffhangers between the first and second part, and the second and third part.
All episodes feature short vignettes of the various characters.
A male chorus sang the opening and the closing themes for each of the three seasons of the cartoons, in the style of the old English ballads.
Rocket Robin Hood was animated and voiced by Trillium Productions, an animation studio that was part of the Guest Group—a creative group of companies owned by producer Al Guest. One of the key animators was Jean Mathieson, one of the first female animators, who later formed Rainbow Animation in Canada and Magic Shadows Inc in the U.S. with Al Guest, where they continued to produce animated TV programming.
Background designer Richard H. Thomas joined the group late in the second season and brought a dark, almost psychedelic feel to the production under director Ralph Bakshi, who would later become a well known animation producer and would be responsible for, among other things, the animated versions of Fritz the Cat and The Lord of the Rings. Third-season episodes were animated at Ralph's Spot in New York City, although voices continued to be recorded in Toronto.
Bernard Cowan was the narrator of the show and Paul Kligman, who played J. Jonah Jameson in the animated version of Spider-Man, was the voice of Friar Tuck. Len Birman, who appeared in the movies Silver Streak (1976) and Bayo (1985), was the voice of Rocket Robin Hood. Len Carlson subbed in place of Len Birman for Rocket Robin Hood in some of the third-season episodes. Carl Banas provided the voice of Little John. Chris Wiggins was the voice of Will Scarlet.
There was also a French version titled Robin Fusée, broadcast on French Canadian TV.
- Carl Banas ... Titanor / Dr. Manta
- Len Birman ... Rocket Robin Hood
- Chris Wiggins ... Will Scarlet / Infinata / Baron Blank
- Bernard Cowan ... Narrator
- Ed McNamara ... Little John
- Paul Kligman ... Friar Tuck
- Gillie Fenwick ... Sheriff of N.O.T.T
- John Scott
|Prince of Plotters|
|The Time Machine|
|Robin versus the Robot Knight|
|The Mystery of the Crown Jewels|
|Warlord of Saturn|
|Jesse James Rides Again|
|Giles the Great|
|City Beneath the Seas|
|Don Cayote McPherson|
|Michael Shawn the Leprechaun|
|Little Little John|
|The Marmaduke Caper|
|Follow the Leader|
|Cleopatra Meets Little John|
|The Magic Medallion of Morse|
|The Awful Truce|
|The Sad, Sad Sheriff of N.O.T.T.|
|Don't Make a Sound|
|The Orbiting Salesman|
|Marlin, the Magician|
|The Space Wolf|
|The Manta Menace|
|Young Mr. Ulysses|
|The Incredible Gem of Cosmo Khan|
|Who'll Kill Rocket Robin?|
|Genius in a Bottle|
|The Tree Kingdom of Caldomar|
|Catch a Comet By the Tail|
|The Emperor Jimmy|
|The Eternal Planet of Romarama|
|The Dark Galaxy|
|The Haunted Asteroid|
|The Plot to Destroy N.O.T.T.|
|The Solar Sphinx|
|Lord of the Underworld|
|The Ghost Pirates|
|Lord of the Shadows|
|The Living Planet|
|From Menace to Menace|
|Planet of Dreams|
|Slaves of Medulla|
|Jaws of Steel|
|The Storm Makers|
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This is a partial, but not strictly accurate, list of stations in the United States that broadcast Rocket Robin Hood in the late 1960s and/or in the 1970s. Alphabetized by city, they are:
- WATL-TV / Channel 36• Atlanta, Georgia
- WXNE-TV / Channel 25• Boston, Massachusetts (1978–1980)
- WSBK-TV / Channel 38• Boston, Massachusetts (1967–1970)
- WRET-TV / Channel 36• Charlotte, North Carolina
- WSNS-TV / Channel 44* Chicago, Illinois
- WXIX-TV / Channel 19* Cincinnati, Ohio
- WKBF-TV / Channel 61• Cleveland, Ohio
- WXON-TV / Channel 20• Detroit, Michigan
- KTVT / Channel 11* Fort Worth-Dallas, Texas
- WDRB-TV / Channel 41* Louisville, Kentucky
- WCCO-TV / Channel 04. Minneapolis, Minnesota (Late 60's)
- KCOP-TV / Channel 13* Los Angeles, California
- WPIX-TV / Channel 11• New York, New York
- WPHL-TV / Channel 17• Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- WPGH-TV / Channel 53• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- WKAQ-TV / Channel 2* San Juan, Puerto Rico
- WDCA-TV / Channel 20* Washington, D.C.
E1 Entertainment released Volume 1, which contains almost the entirety of the first season, in November 2009 as a 4-DVD set (English and French versions, 592 minutes). E1 stated that the episode, "Safari", was not included due to unavailable footage.
Volume 2, which encompasses all of seasons 2 and 3, was released in May 2010 as a 4-DVD set (English and French versions, 714 minutes). The French versions of these DVD collections are available separately as Robin fusée.
- Eury 2017, p. 220.
- Eury, Michael (2017). Hero-A-Go-Go: Campy Comic Books, Crimefighters, & Culture of the Swinging Sixties. TwoMorrows Publishing. ISBN 978-1-60549-073-1.