You Suck, Martin Goodman

16 min read

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ManiacalDude's avatar
One of the things I got for Christmas was The Animated Movie Guide by Jerry Beck, & it's pretty great. One thing I couldn't stand about it, though, were the one-star reviews of the Disney films "Robin Hood" & "The Sword In The Stone" by contributor Martin "Dr. Toon" Goodman. Granted, neither of them are among Disney's best films, but they certainly deserve more than one friggin' star! The Sword In The Stone was Walt Disney's penultimate film & the last one that was released while he was still alive, and while Robin Hood was made when the studio was suffering financially, they did their best with what they had. One thing that really irks me, though, was this part in the Robin Hood review:

"Worst of all, the animators actually retraced scenes from prior Disney films during the 'Phony King of England' musical number. Dances and animation from 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' and 'The Aristocats' are superimposed over new characters, a device seen only in the shoddiest of Saturday morning animation."

NO S***, SHERLOCK! It's called "RECYCLING ANIMATION"! It's a device they use to cut costs, and it's not new, either, a lot of stuff from Disney has done this before. Remember the scene from The Jungle Book where Baloo & Bageera were trying to save Mowgli from the monkeys? Yeah, that used animation from "The Adventures of Icabod and Mr. Toad" from a scene where Toad, Mole, Rat, & Badger are trying to get the Toad Hall deed back from the weasels. The Jungle Book also reused animation from The Sword In The Stone at the scene where Mowgli gets tackled by the wolves as they lick his face. How could you not NOTICE EITHER OF THOSE?!!? It's a common fact that Disney has recycled its own animation a lot of times in the past, and I know it when I see it!

Further more about Robin Hood, he stated that there was "basically no plot to the film, merely vignettes in which Robin Hood outwits the bad guys." Yes, it wasn't very well constructed, but cut them some slack, man, it's not easy to come up with a plot for Robin Hood without resorting to "vignettes". He also whined about some of the characters having "voices that seemed to come from rural Arkansas" and that the music and score was "far more mod than madrigal." It's called anachronism, dummy! About the music, I didn't feel ALL the music sounded mod, just some of the songs, several of which were sung by country singer Roger Miller, and the score during the fight at the tournament. And I think those "rural Arkansas" voices were meant to emulate the western style, which I feel is kinda appropriate for the SHERIFF (notice the emphasis) of Nottingham in this version. Seriously, Martin Goodman, have you no sense of humor?

He felt the "only redeeming morsel in all of 'Robin Hood' is Peter Ustinov's funny portrayal of Prince John." And while I do think Peter Ustinov is good, from what little I've seen of him, at least, I honestly felt there was more stuff about the film that was enjoyable than JUST that performance!

I could go on about his review about The Sword In The Stone but I've already have enough of this guy's bullcrap to market as fertilizer. Let me just say that I personally enjoyed those films, I enjoy a lot of the Disney animated films in general, and no animation critic is gonna make me change my mind.

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Spunkbug's avatar
I guess when it comes to animation critics or people like me, they're a little up tight when it comes to Disney as the studio has a monstrously high reputation with many people as well as children, and I guess when Disney under-delivers it really sets them a-flame.

I haven't seen "Sword in the Stone" and "Robin Hood" in years, but I kind of remember them being average. They weren't much special, but deserved higher than one star.

I remember a few other ratings in the book that urked me a little, one was rating "All Dogs Go to Heaven 2" a star higher than the first film which earned one and a half, I'm not a fan of "All Dogs" either, but I thought the sequel was even worse.

The other, also related to Bluth, was giving "Pebble and the Penguin" half a star while "Thumbelina" and "Troll in Central Park" earned a star more as well. There's little excuse for "Troll" to be higher than the more entertaining "Penguin". The "Tom and Jerry" movie and "Pound Puppies" were also half a star higher than "Penguin".