Disney's Robin Hood Comic Strip 1.

The Story of Robin Hood was the first Walt Disney live-action movie to be adapted to a comic strip. This was yet another way in which Disney was able to advertise his new releases and keep the film fresh in the audiences mind. The strip version of the film originally ran for twenty five weeks, from 13th July till 28th December 1952 and was illustrated by Jessie Mace Marsh (1907-1966).

Down the years I have posted on this blog about Marsh and we have seen a few versions of his Robin Hood drawings in various stages of production. Unfortunately those examples were all I could find until recently when I was contacted by Matt Crandall. Matt runs the excellent Disney's Alice in Wonderland blog and has very kindly sent me images of all the Robin Hood strips that re-appeared in the Belgian Mickey Magazine in 1953. 

So Matt has now given the readers of this blog a chance to see how Jessie Marsh graphically interpreted our favorite movie in colour all those years ago. So in the coming weeks (thanks to Matt) I will be posting the series. Enjoy!

Please click on the images to enlarge them and to read more about Jessie Marsh and his work (including his work for Walt Disney) please click here.

Real Actors!

Mexican Lobby Card

Vanessa has recently sent me this image of a Mexican lobby card for Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men (1952). The title of the film was changed as Los Arqueros Del Rey which translates from Spanish into English as 'The Archers of the King.'

I do not know when the film was released in Mexico, but it's premiere in Madrid, Spain was on the 17th May 1954.
Vanessa says:
Please note just under the picture of Robin and Marian in blue ink it says "con actores reales" (with real actors). I suppose they wanted to make it clear so audiences knew it was not a cartoon movie for children as most of Disney early movies were.

That is a very interesting observation. I have seen these lobby cards before but never noticed that particular description. It shows how the audiences of the time would have been unfamiliar with the Disney organisation being associated with anything else other than cartoon animation (even though this was their second live action movie picture).

Many thanks Vanessa for sending this to me.

To see a collection of film posters for Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men from all over the world, please click here. There are also various lobby cards here.

Joan Rice and Alice in Wonderland

Joan Rice at the premiere of Alice in Wonderland

Above is a lovely press picture of Joan Rice attending the premiere of Walt Disney's animated cartoon Alice in Wonderland at the Leicester Square Theatre in London on the 26th July 1951. 

By this time, filming of Disney's live-action movie the Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men (1952) had just finished at Denham Studios in Buckinghamshire. This would be Joan's first 'big' movie as she had been personally chosen by Walt to play the part of Maid Marian.  J. Arthur Rank had billed her as the 'next Jean Simmons', so she was very popular with the British newspapers and magazines of the time. We can only imagine how this former waitress felt when she attended the premiere of Alice in Wonderland knowing she was the new toast of the film world.

Coincidentally I have been contacted recently by Matt Crandall who has a blog dedicated to Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland. It is a fantastic site, filled with amazing amounts of information and memorabilia from the classic movie. During his search for Disneyana connected to Alice, Matt had seen copies of the Belgian 'Mickey Magazine' containing the strip of Disney's Robin Hood and kindly said he would send me the images.

Below is an example of Matt's Alice in Wonderland blog:

Matt sent me this email:

I have recently come across what I believe is the complete adaptation as it appeared in Mickey Magazine in Belgium (French) issues 120-145.  Let me know if you'd like scans.


Matt has already sent me this sample (below) from the Belgium Mickey Mouse and there are more to come soon!

Matt's blog is here: Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland.

Walt Disney's Robin Hood Stamp Book

Special thanks this week go out to Vanessa and Christian who have both sent to me images of their copies of the Walt Disney's Robin Hood Stamp Book.

This is Christian's copy of the stamp book  (above and below) which was published in New York in 1955 by Simon and Schuster. The story inside was adapted from Lawrence E. Watkin's screenplay by Willis Lindquist with illustrations by Hamilton Greene (that could be coloured).

But what makes this book a 'must have' for all fans of Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men (1952) is the four pages of coloured stamps that were each titled and numbered. The owner had to stick these sixty stamps in the correct places on each page of the book.

Christian's copy has the stamp's still intact and his book is nearly in mint condition.

Readers of the blog will be familiar with most of these images on the stamps, but seeing them in colour like this shows why this wonderful movie was described as the best Technicolor film ever made in England. 

It also is another example of Walt Disney's phenomenal amount of promotion and advertising behind his movie production. 


Included among the stamps is an image ( shown above) of the Sheriff of Nottingham (Peter Finch) using a bow and arrow with a dead soldier in the foreground. It is stamp number '32' and has the title, "BRING HIM DOWN"  SHOUTS DE LACY." This is very interesting as the scene must have ended up on the cutting room floor, because it was never used in the movie.

Vanessa has also very kindly sent me a picture of the Spanish version of the stamp book that is in her collection.

I would like to thank both Vanessa and Christian for sharing with us their much-treasured albums.

Elton Hayes as Allan-a-Dale

Elton Hayes as Alan-a-Dale

Above is another still from Walt Disney's movie the Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men. It shows Elton Hayes (1915-2001) in his role as the minstrel Allan-a-Dale and I think you will agree that the lighting and atmosphere of this particular picture is quite unusual.

I have been amazed at how many various types of images from the film still exist. This is testament to the promotion and huge amount of publicity that surrounded Disney's second live-action film. The Story of Robin Hood would sadly be the last major movie to be produced at the legendary Denham Studios in Buckinghamshire, England but recent research on this blog has shown it to have been a big box-office success.

Down the years I have managed to accumulate many stills, posters and lobby cards from The Story of Robin Hood . In the Picture Gallery section there are now over 92 images and thanks to the input from my readers there are a lot more to come!

To access the Posters, Lobby Cards, Picture Gallery and the many other sections of this blog, just click on the links below and in the task bar.