Crazy as this might sound...
This is well done and a crafty execution of a complicated game. The game is "Fun for kids and fun for adults" some extremely talented directors and movie companies have failed (over and over again) at this delicate balance.
How does this little gem pull that delicate maneuver off? Well it starts with fantastic voices:
Peter Ustinov = Prince John (almost too good!!!)
Terry Thomas = The Snake "Sir Hiss" (Sniveling and subversive)
Phil Harris = Little John (Perfect)
Andy Devine = Friar Tuck (great voice and delivery)
And music by the very excellent Roger Miller... So good.
That's an all-star cast by any standard (period)
Many an A+ movie has been bogged down on the way to solving this issue, kids and adults, each being equally entertained. It's no small feat.
It's accomplished smoothly in this little animated classic with great (exceptionally great) voices and not a lot of "playing down" to the children. The interplay between Little John and Robin Hood is adult and vivid. The relationship between Sir Hiss and Prince John is absolutely hysterical and so well "spoken" it's comic mastery is still relevant.
Those two interactions are enough to carry the thing from start to finish. But Robin Hoods ultimate success is crowned with extra side dishes, such as The Sheriff of Nottingham and Nutsy as well as Clucky and Maid Marian's excellent interplay.
Taking it all into consideration the animation is good (not great but certainly enjoyable) and the story zips along probably compensating a bit to keep the younger group still focused. When the movie is over, touching ending and all, I'm left quite satisfied.
I am 39 and enjoy this for just exactly what it is, and that is "well done"