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Rocket Robin Hood

From Academic Kids

Rocket Robin Hood was a popular animated television series that was originally made from 1966 to 1969. It was especially popular in Canada, having been originally produced there—so popular in fact, that Canada's answer to Cartoon Network, Teletoon, acquired the series in 2004.

The title character led a group dubbed "The Merry Men", which included Little John, Friar Tuck, Will Scarlet, Maid Marian and a variety of other characters that are featured in the commonly known story of Robin Hood (at least as it is known today; see Robin Hood for more information). They live in the year 3000 on Sherwood Asteroid, and are determined to foil the despotic plans of Prince John and the Sheriff of N.O.T.T. (National Outer-space Terrestrial Territories). Rocket Robin Hood and his people fly in spaceships and use weapons such as "electro-quarterstaffs".

The most infamous parts of this series are the short vignettes of the various characters. The most notorious is that of Friar Tuck in which, at the end, he takes a bite out of a piece of food, throws it away behind him, and repeats the process with other pieces of food.

The cartoon was produced by Krantz Films, Inc., which was also responsible for bringing Spider-Man to television (1967-1970); some stories, such as "Dementia Five" and "From Menace to Menace", were shared between the two television series. The show was first produced in Toronto, Ontario. It was animated and voiced by Trillium Productions, an animation studio which was part of The Guest Group - a creative group of companies owned by the legendary producer Al Guest. One of the key animators was Jean Mathieson- one of the first women 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. Ed McNamara, who appeared in the movies Silver Streak (1976) and Bayo (1985), was the voice of Rocket Robin Hood. Len Carlson subbed in place of Ed McNamara for Rocket Robin Hood in some of the third season episodes.


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