King Richard is a character from Disney's 1973 film Robin Hood. He is Prince John's older brother. In the film, he was voiced by the late Peter Ustinov who also voiced Prince John. Although Ustinov also voiced Prince John in the German dub, he didn't do King Richard's German voice.
King Richard was the older brother and, according to Prince John, was favored by their mother. In contrast to Prince John, Richard is shown to be much stronger looking, and he sports a full mane. He is seen as an ideal king, kind, and considerate of his subjects. He apparently has family other than John, as Maid Marian is said to be his niece. King Richard looked like Mufasa from The Lion King
Role in the film
Sometime before the events of the film, Richard ruled England as King. He was hypnotized by Sir Hiss, the henchman of Prince John, to go off on the Crusades. In his absence, Prince John usurped the throne, and became known for his harsh, dictatorial rule.
Though King Richard is not seen for most of the film, he is alluded to. It is noted by many that the crown that Prince John wears belongs to King Richard, as it does not fit Prince John's head well. The very name of Richard is enough to cause Prince John to throw an angry tantrum. Later, when facing death, Robin Hood cheers on Richard's name, noting that the crown is rightfully his, and not Prince John's.
King Richard returns to England to set everything right at the end of the film, much to the relief of the people of Nottingham. He imprisons Prince John, Hiss, and the Sheriff of Nottingham for their crimes. He also pardons Robin Hood and gives his blessing for Robin to marry Maid Marian. After the ceremony, King Richard notes to Friar Tuck that he now has an outlaw for an in-law.
House of Mouse
He is seen making appearances on The House of Mouse, usually sitting at tables with Robin Hood,Maid Marian, or Little John. He is especially suspicious of his brother Prince John, Sir Hiss, & The Sheriff of Nottingham as he despises them.
An idea the Disney animators had thought of, but did not make the cut was where Prince John was about to strike Robin Hood and Maid Marian in the church, but is suddenly restrained by the sudden appearance of King Richard, who has just returned from the Crusades. King Richard sees firsthand the brutal oppression Prince John has imposed on the villagers, the misery and poverty of the commoners, and the fact the castle is all in flames. Richard is enraged that John has run his kingdom into the ground, but still cannot impose the punishment he wishes because John still is a family member and it would upset their mother. Had this idea made it on screen, it would have better explained the final scene and bridged the gap between the terrible fight in the burning castle and the joyous wedding. However, elements are shown in the film, such as Prince John (and his underlings) being punished at the Royal Rock Pile, the nullification of the tax burden, and Robin Hood's reinstatement into civilian society.
- In the movie, it is stated that Richard is Maid Marian's uncle, but this would have to be an inaccuracy, because the two are separate species (Maid Marian is a vixen and Richard is a lion).
- If you look real close, you can see that King Richard bears resemblance to 2 characters from films that came out after Robin Hood: the archdeacon from The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Mufasa from The Lion King. Like King Richard, the latter is also both a king and the older brother to the main antagonist.
- Both King Richard and Rapunzel’s father The King have “out-laws” for “in-laws”, so to speak: King Richard has Robin Hood while Rapunzel’s father has Flynn Rider.
- King Richard's appearance as a lion is symbolic as the real King Richard I was nicknamed "the Lionheart."
- When John mentioned how his mother favored Richard over him, this alludes to historical fact: Eleanor of Aquitaine, the mother of Richard the Lionheart and John, was well known for favoring Richard above all her other children.