The synopsis of the show generally picks up where the adventures of Robin Hood left off except well of into the future. The year is 3000 and, well, the characters are the same. I'm sure everyone knows the story of Robin Hood and how he robs from the evil rich and give back to the poor. Well, this futuristic version shows this Robin Hood, who is I believe the great-great-great-great- grandson of Robin Hood of England, and his merry men who are also decendents of their ancestors who go and fight the forces of evil- usually the decendents of Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham (except being known as the Sheriff of NOTT- the National Outerspace Terristrial Territories. You readers might now get the picture). Anyway now being armed with rocket ships, lasers, electro- quarterstaffs, radar screens, and living on an asteroid powered by rockets to keep out of distance of NOTT castle (if I remember that correctly). The storylines are actually well written with cliffhangers happening before commercial breaks and before returning to the episodes the cartoon always shows the profiles of some of the characters on the cartoon. To the younger crowds, they may go thinking BORING! However for many of us grownups here in Canada that seems it wouldn't be the same if the producers edited out the character profiles but I think that was done to fill airtime.
However the animation was below average at times. However I think audiences overlooked that with great script writing and formulaic plots of the cartoon. I think that's what contributed to the cartoon's success here in Canada and therefore giving it cult-classic status.
The cartoon was transmitted in syndication from the mid 1970's to the early 1990's on CITV-TV in Edmonton, Alberta and was seen usually on weekday mornings at 8:00 am and Saturdays at 12:00pm and 12:30pm before Spider-Man aired at 1:00 pm on Saturdays. Therefore both the cartoon series were aired within the same time block as with several other TV stations across Canada. It then briefly aired on Teletoon between 2003-2005 during the summer months then disappeared.
I like the concept of Robin Hood being a space protector and the humor's not bad either. I love the Don Quixote reference they made at one point. Sadly, animations are horrible. Seriously, half the time, the characters end up somewhere different without actually moving. Seriously, the movement could stand to be a little more convincing. Like, sometimes, the people will be standing around, and 2 milliseconds later, with no explanation, they'll be in a trap. Great idea, good stuff, bonus points for the terrific theme song! Minus points for animation but a bonus point for decent humor. I really liked the nude joke they made at the end of that wizard episode. "Wherever he went, let's hope there are no ladies present." Just shows you why classical kid's shows were cancelled. Too many sexual jokes. Now, those jokes seem to flood kid's shows.
This cartoon shows its Canadian animation roots through and through. Only something this anti-Disney could find success in a nation starved for indigenous artistic and creative endeavors.
I think that it's a classic--watched it every morning before school! I still recall Friar Tuck forever eating a leg of mutton, then repelling intruders with his enormous belly. Classy!
In the late 60's, Canadian kids tuned in on Saturday afternoons to watch a cartoon show called Rocket Robin Hood that was unlike anything on TV at the time. The show dealt with the exploits of a descendent of the mythical Robin Hood, Rocket Robin Hood, and his band living on Sherwood Asteroid in a far off galaxy in the year 3000. Robin's main foe on a weekly basis was Prince John, the ruler of the National Outer space Terrestrial Territories ( N.O.T.T. , for short), and his chief aide the Sheriff.
The plot for the episodes was shown in three separate segments that had brief recaps of the episode before the second and third parts. As for the show's animation, it varied wildly in quality from abysmal in the first and second season to animation that was extremely unusual in the third one, to say the least. Backgrounds were barren in the first two seasons, for the most part, with fight scenes consisting of images of Robin flipping his opponent, Little John delivering a powerful blow or Friar Tuck defeating his attackers by having them run head first into his ample sized belly(!). In the third season, the style, both in animation and story tone, changed dramatically in correspondence to famed animator Ralph Bashki taking over the production of the series. Backgrounds were lush with buildings looking like they had come straight out of a medieval novel and creatures that were equally strange. The third season did give us some of the episodes that are considered among the best of the series by fans: ' Dementia Five ', ' Lord of the Underworld ' and ' Dark Galaxy ' were a few from season 3 that stand out and are memorable to this day.
Overall, Rocket Robin Hood was a show that is often dismissed by many today as cheap junk that should have never been made. However, this reviewer feels such animosity is unwarranted and suggests looking at the series for what it was: an entertaining show for Canadian youth to watch and enjoy with a few episodes that are quite startling in terms of depth and thought to this day.
“Rocket Robin Hood” went through three phases in as many seasons. It started as a Canadian program, voiced and animated in Toronto, but the animation came under increasingly strong American influence over the course of the show.
The first phase covers all of Season 1 and part of Season 2. The stories try to blend wacky humor with suspense. Prince John and the Sheriff of N.O.T.T. are the usual villains, inept in their duels with Robin and his Merry Men. A single blow from an onrushing fist is almost always enough to defeat a N.O.T.T. soldier. The animation shows signs of ambition at times, but often is poorly drafted.
The better eps of the first phase tend to spotlight Little John’s strengths and weaknesses -- he has muscle to spare, but isn’t as quick-thinking as the other Merry Men. However, he can be resourceful, as in “Little Little John” when he struggles to overcome the effects of a shrinking ray. “Michael Shawn - the Leprechaun” teams L.J. with the sharpwit title character. “Cleopatra Meets Little John” is a charming ‘unwelcome pet’ story. “City Beneath the Seas” is a standout thanks to its exceptional story which features an intelligent civilization. These folk can’t be made to ‘knuckle under,’ as L.J. discovers much to his chagrin.
Most of the early episodes, though, are lowbrow and slapdash. This is true all the way through Episode 24, “Marlin the Magician,’ in which one wishes that magic could be used to improve the draftsmanship.
The second phase begins with Episode 25, “Who’ll Kill Rocket Robin?” The stories become more focused on adventure and suspense from this point on, and the art improves somewhat. These changes reflect the arrival of Ralph Bakshi, an imaginative young animator who would later make his mark with the X-rated cartoon movie, “Fritz the Cat.” Strong eps from this phase include “The Incredible Gem of Cosmo Khan” (a stealthy work until L.J. opens his big mouth); “Dr. Mortula,” in which Robin must outwit a Dracula-like scientist; and “The Tree Kingdom of Caldomar,” wherein the Merry Men try to repel invaders who would burn the realm.
The third phase covers Season 3. Psychedelic title cards mark this last stage of the show, along with an emphasis on poses over animation (which was no longer done in Toronto). Bakshi moved back to New York City and recruited some skillful comic book illustrators (including James Steranko and Gray Morrow). Together they crafted the show’s most eerie episodes. “From Menace to Menace” features a humanoid locust named Dr. Manta, who uses a sonic organ to animate rocks (“The hills walk again!” as his henchman says). “The Living Planet” has the best-thought science in the series, plus effective animation of the hideously wrinkled villain. Dry wit highlights “The Solar Sphinx,” in which three of the Merry Men are carried off to a desert world. “Dementia Five” -- considered by many as the show’s outstanding episode -- kills a whole civilization and puts Robin and L.J. through genuine terror while letting the artists paint their most vivid graphics (reportedly while stoned on LSD).
Bakshi had trouble with the budget and the schedule -- 20 minutes of new footage had to be made each week at a unit cost of not more than $14,000. This drove him to re-use a lot of animation; toward the end, clumsy ‘cheater’ eps such as “The Storm Makers” and “Return Trip” became dominant. Like the poorer eps of the first phase, they dragged down the reputation of the whole show.
"Why, oh why, did I waste my time on this pointless show when I could've been doing something else?!"
That's, in fact, what you'll be saying to yourself after you watch this show. An unoriginal plot of Robin Hood in Space--even worse is the lame title. If you don't want to end up saying those words above, don't even glance at this poor excuse for a show!
I didn't know whether to say ahead of it's time, off the wall, or classic, but bring this show back to teletoon, I watched this astounding program for months, and now it's suddenly gone, replacing it at 8:30 on the time slot "For Better or for Worse" that show sucks sooooo much! If you've never watched rocket robin hood, find em all right now, you could probably watch them all in a matter of hours.
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