Last night I watched Disney’s rendition of Robin Hood, and was struck by a few things that I had never noticed before. First, I was struck by the economic implications of the movie. When Little John asks Robin Hood how he feels about stealing, Robin retorts by calling stealing a “naughty word,” and that he should think of it more like “borrowing from those who can afford it.” While they also do a good job of showing the true problem of Prince John not being the “true” king of England, it is interesting that they paint Robin Hood as a hero for stealing. I say this because small children who watch the movie are having more than just a nice Disney movie experience; they are having their morality formed. And I am not sure that there is great truth in the idea that we should “steal from the rich to give to the poor.” I say this because I don’t think it gets to the heart of the problem.
The true king is gone, and a corrupt king is in place.
Stealing from the rich and giving to the poor only means higher taxes and an angrier corrupt king. Perhaps a better movie would be Robin going after the king himself so he can no longer tax his fellow man. But this would not make for a good children’s movie.