Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Disney's Robin Hood and the Dukes of Hazzard

Just good ol' boys,
Wouldn't change if they could,
Fightin' the system like a true modern day Robin Hood.
(Theme song lyrics sung by Waylon Jennings)

Recently, I've been watching Disney's Robin Hood (1973) because of my kids, and I was struck by the parallels with the TV show, The Dukes of Hazzard (1979-1985). Both of these feature a minstrel / balladeer and a bumbling Southern-accented sheriff, with two brotherly countryfolk fightin' the system (Robin Hood and Little John / Bo and Luke Duke). The correspondences continue: Maid Marion morphs into Daisy Duke, King John into Boss Hogg, and Friar Tuck into Uncle Jesse. Of course, there are differences. Peter Ustinov's portrayal of an effete King John (a lion) is miles from Sorrell Booke's gluttonous Hogg. Nevertheless, the similarities impress me more than the differences.

Homage, rip-off, or coincidence?

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