Robin Hood’s Merry Men aren’t all that merry in Robin Hoodlum, the first UPA cartoon released by Columbia. They’re quite dispassionate, more interested in drinking tea than anything. But when Robin’s in trouble, they spring into action, forming a little bunch of men.
Off they run to the castle to rescue Robin. They stop to pant because they’re out of breath. Note the animator has them at different angles to each other.
The fox and crow hardly behave like they did when Columbia was making its own cartoons. The cartoon is pretty droll. But it’s not altogether the kind of cartoon you’d expect out of UPA. The characters squash and stretch, there’s overlapping action, and the pig King John’s movements look like something out of a later Disney cartoon. However the backgrounds are stylised, and the actors avoid “cartoony” voices (the fox and crow had been voiced by Frank Graham for Columbia). All this resulted in an Academy Award nomination.
Bill Hurtz got a design credit on the short and the credited animators were Bobe Cannon, Rudy Larriva, Pat Matthews and Willis Pyle.