Little John is a bear who appears in Robin Hood. He is Robin's loyal sidekick who was voiced by the late Phil Harris (the same person who voiced Baloo in The Jungle Book and Thomas O'Malley in The Aristocats). He serves as the secondary protagonist of the film.
Nothing is known regarding Little John's past. However, he is the best friend and sidekick to Robin Hood. Little John appears to be more cautious than Robin Hood and often reminds his friend of potential consequences of his plans. However, Little John is shown to be extremely loyal to his friend, going so far as to threaten Prince John when the tyrant sentences Robin to death for treason. When not participating in one of Robin's plans, Little John is shown to be fairly laid back, while also offering good advice to Robin.
Like Robin Hood, Little John is talented with disguises. His two disguises seen include a gypsy fortuneteller, and a Duke called Sir Reginald. He later impersonates the Sheriff of Nottingham. When fighting, he is seen using various weapons, including a quarterstaff, and a dagger. He appears to have some familiarity with archery, as he is seen using one during the jail break sequence.
Little John is often seen alongside Robin Hood first escaping from the Sheriff of Nottingham and his posse. Despite the successful escape, Little John worries about being captured and hanged. He later attempts to cite a law against robbing royalty to try to get out of robbing Prince John. However, he assists Robin Hood in the robbery of Prince John while disguised as a gypsy. While Robin Hood is in the royal coach with the prince, Little John remains outside and steals gold from a large chest as well as the gold hubcaps of the coach.
Later on, he is seen in his and Robin Hood's hideout trying to encourage the lovesick Robin to propose to Maid Marian, whom Robin loves. He then gets angry with Robin Hood for not paying attention when he was supposed to be tending to the fire, annoying saying "Aw man, you burnt the chow!" Robin seems unconcerned about the blackened food and dismisses the suggestion of engagement, claiming his outlaw status would not fit life with Maid Marian. Little John, somewhat sarcastically remarks for Robin to think of something, for he sure is not going to impress Maid Marian with his cooking abilities (as John annoying adds spices to try to salvage his dinner). When Robin Hood hears about Prince John's archery tournament, where Maid Marian's kiss is the prize, Little John notes that Robin Hood could win it "standing on his head" but also fears that the Prince's guards as well as the sheriff would be at the tournament. Little John is next seen at Prince John's archery tournament, reminding Robin, who has disguised himself as a stork to enter the tournament, that he must fool the Sheriff of Nottingham during the tournament. While Robin enters the tournament, Little John consorts with Prince John, while disguised as a nobleman named Sir Reginald, the Duke of Chutney. Little John is instrumental in helping Robin to avoid execution after he is captured; Little John threatens Prince John's life if Robin Hood is not released.
Later, while he and the folks of Nottingham (including Friar Tuck and his mice) are meeting Robin Hood and Maid Marian in Sherwood Forest, Little John begins playing his song "The Phony King of England" on his lute, and he even dances, too.
Near the end of the film, Little John assists in a jail break, to rescue the citizens of Nottingham as well as Friar Tuck, who was sentenced to hang at dawn. After Robin Hood retrieves the jail keys, Little John frees all the townspeople; Robin Hood travels to the royal treasury to reclaim the taxes that Prince John had taken from the people. Little John later impersonates the Sheriff to facilitate their escape, and pulls a cart containing all the Nottingham residents with the intent of taking them to Sherwood Forest. When Robin is trapped in the castle, and forced to jump in the moat to escape, Little John is seen watching from the forest with Skippy. He, like Prince John, believes Robin Hood to be dead, as the Sheriff's posse had been shooting at Robin. He is overjoyed to see that Robin Hood survived his escape from the castle, after believing Robin had been killed.
When King Richard returns, Little John is pardoned alongside Robin Hood. He drives the coach containing the newlywed Robin Hood and Maid Marian, and allows Skippy to join them.
In some episodes, he is seen sitting with Robin Hood next to Baloo and Bagheera after a cartoon ends.
In "Ask Von Drake", he is seen sitting at a table with Lady Kluck and a puppy from One Hundred and One Dalmatians and is later seen in the background during the Ludwig von Drake song when Ludwig von Drake names off Lumiere and Cogsworth.
At the beginning of the theme song, he is seen inside at the entrance talking and laughing with Baloo.
In the Enchanted Forest, Little John is part of Robin Hood's band of Merry Men who pilfer money from the wealthy for the needy. After successfully pulling a stealing heist on the road, everyone rejoices at their campsite. A new recruit, Will Scarlet, procures a large chest of treasures and is accepted into their group. Will suggests their next destination should be Maleficent's castle. Robin Hood accepts only after being convinced the rewards are worth the risk, as Maleficent is currently away, and the hordes of gold inside the castle will be enough to feed many poor villagers. Once they break in, Robin Hood emphasizes that only the gold will be taken and nothing else. Following the success, they once again regroup at camp, but are interrupted by the booming voice of Maleficent, who demands the return of a stolen item or suffer the consequences. Angrily, Robin Hood calls the thief among them to step forward, but no one does. Unknown to Little John, Will previously took a looking glass from the castle, and later escapes during the night. ("Forget Me Not")
Little John is portrayed by Jason Burkart in the third season. He turns out to live in the Enchanted Forest, exactly in the old mansion of Rumplestiltskin where he comes to help Baelfire and Mulan, with his friend and leader, Robin Hood. The way whether he was spared by the curse remain a mystery. A possible explanation is that Robin Hood, the Merry Men and himself were spared by the curse by the spell of Cora, as it was the case for Mulan, Aurora and Prince Phillip. Little John is also the protector of Roland, the son of Robin Hood and the deceased Marian.
- Little John bares a lot of resemblance to Baloo in appearance, personality and voice since they are both voiced by Phil Harris. But Little John is smarter, more serious and more responsible than Baloo.
- Little John appears to share the same height and build with Sheriff of Nottingham.
- Little John may be considered a love interest to Lady Kluck because he saved her from Prince John's army and they shared a dance.
- He is shown to be a skilled fighter, since he punched the Sheriff with ease and defeated the Rhino guards.
- Little John is one of the most famous characters in Robin Hood.
- Eric Allan Kramer portrayed Little John in Mel Brooks' Robin Hood: Men in Tights.