Sunday, July 13, 2008

Why, Yes, People Took Drugs in the 60s - Why Do You Ask?

Rocket Robin Hood, known in French as Robin Fusée, is a Canadian animated television series produced by Krantz Films, Inc. from 1966 to 1969. It takes the characters and conflicts associated with the classic legend of Robin Hood and sets it in a futuristic, outer space setting.

Rocket Robin Hood leads his "Merry Men", including Little John, Friar Tuck, Will Scarlet, Maid Marian and other characters from the classic story of Robin Hood. They live in the year 3000 on New Sherwood Forest Asteroid, and are determined to foil the despotic plans of Prince John, the Sheriff of N.O.T.T. (National Outer-space Terrestrial Territories), and other villains such as Dr. Medulla, Manta, Nocturne, and the Warlord of Saturn. Rocket Robin Hood and his people fly in spaceships and use weapons such as “electro-quarterstaffs.”

Rocket Robin Hood
was animated and voiced by Trillium Productions, an animation studio which was part of the Guest Group—a creative group of companies owned by producer Al Guest. One of the key animators was Jean Mathieson, one of the first female 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. Carl Banas provided the voice of Little John. Chris Wiggins was the voice of Will Scarlet.

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