I have learned to accept the Top Five Unspoken Rules of Disney Animals:
1) Without explanation, animals can speak to each other in English. (Even when they are native Africans: The Lion King).
2) Humans can talk to animals and vice versa.
3) Goofy can walk upright and talk, but Pluto is just a normal dog.
4) When Donald Duck gets out of the shower, he is embarrassed by his nakedness, covering himself up with a towel. However, he never wears pants.
5) As a cartoon, Mickey Mouse is pretty much the size of a real mouse. But at Disney World, he is around 6 feet tall.
This exception to the rules involves one of my favorite Disney cartoon movies, Robin Hood. I’m referring to the 1973 version where Robin Hood is a fox. It contains an ever-addictive whistling theme which I can’t describe in words and the melancholy ballad “Not in Nottingham”. The movie is full of adventure, action, and romance.
The weird thing about it, though, is that it’s the only animated Disney movie I can think of where there are no humans AND the animals assume the role of humans (in other words the animals are anthropomorphic).
For example, in The Lion King there are no humans, but all the animals act like normal animals (other than the fact they can talk and sing). They live out in the wild and kill and eat other animals. The characters are beasts, not mutants.
But in Robin Hood, the animals wear clothes, eat food at a table, and walk upright, to name a few distinguished human traits. While this in no way discredits the greatness of the film, there’s not an animated Disney movie I can think of before or after its release that follows this formula.