Prince John is by far one of the wackiest Disney villains. He’s over-the-top, childish and pretty naive. But despite his ignorance, we still love him. After all, he is the the “snivellin’ grovellin’, measly weasly, blabberin’ jabberin’, gibberin’ jabberin’, blunderin’ plunderin’, wheelin’ dealin’ Prince John, that phony king of England.”
Prince John has a lot of insecurities, which stem from his older brother King Richard. “Mother always did love Richard best,” he even says at one point. Prince John clearly loves his mother (as expressed whenever he breaks one of her beloved mirrors) and, despite her being out of the picture, he’s still trying to impress her and show that he should be the favorite.
And let’s face it, King Richard is the more competent brother. He’s dubbed Richard the Lionheart because he was such a fierce warrior. During the events of Robin Hood, he has left England to personally fight in the Crusades. But what’s his brother do in his absence? Takes his duties as steward too far, thinking that he is the rightful king. He overtaxes the people and goes on a tour of the kingdom to make sure that those taxes are being collected. Not noble.
Not only is he cruel to his people, but he’s even more abusive to his right-hand snake, Sir Hiss. I’m not sure what compels Hiss to stand by Prince John’s side, perhaps it’s the money and power. But whatever it is, he is the voice of reason who attempts to steer the Prince John ship in the right direction. However, despite his best attempts, he’s rarely successful.
Even though Prince John is a sham and totally despicable, he still has some great lines. And yes, while nearly every line in Robin Hood is quotable, he delivers some exceptionally fine ones. “P.J.! I like that, do you know I do! Hiss, put it on my luggage.” And we can’t forget “Oh, poppycock. Female bandits? What next? Rubbish.”
So, in honor of the phony king of England himself, here is a gif appreciate post of some of his great moments from Disney’s Robin Hood.