The Power Records Podcast 23 – Robin Hood/Little Women!


Chris and Rob are back to discuss two literary adaptations by Power Records, Robin Hood and Little Women, with a little help from special guest Cindy Franklin!

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Opening and closing themes courtesy Peter Pan Records.

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14 responses to “The Power Records Podcast 23 – Robin Hood/Little Women!

  1. Great show, Rob, Chris and Cindy.

    I’ve been a Robin Hood fan since childhood, and a Robin Hood scholar in adulthood, but I never owned this book and record set even though I had several Power Records as a kid.

    Alan-a-Dale is also used as a narrator / balladeer in the live-action 1952 Disney film The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men (played by Elton Hayes) and in the more familiar 1973 Disney cartoon (voiced by Roger Miller). It doesn’t surprise me to see he’s pulling the same duty here.

    I hope the Howard Pyle book that Chris had as a kid was an edition with Pyle’s own illustrations, as he was a true master of the form. There have been a lot of Robin Hood books that stick Pyle’s name on the cover but use neither his text or illustrations.

    Looking at the sheriff, I can see the resemblance to Basil Rathbone’s Sir Guy of Gisbourne. But I wonder if the inspiration is Alan Wheatley’s Sherrif in the 1950s TV series The Adventures of Robin Hood starring Richard Greene. This show played on the ITV channels in the UK and CBS in the US. And it had a healthy life in syndicated reruns too. Both Wheatley and John Arnatt who played the “deputy sheriff” who took over from Wheatley in the final season resemble the Power Records sheriff quite a bit, even if the set’s Robin Hood is far-removed from the clean-shaven Richard Greene.

  2. For a long time, our video library only included three Disney animated movies, and one of them was Robin Hood. When I wasn’t watching the Star Wars trilogy, or Aliens, or Eddie Murphy’s “Delirious” at far too young an age, I was watching the merry adventures of a sly fox named Robin Hood and a mandolin-playing Rooster singing “Golly What a Day”.

    More than three decades later, that’s my iconic version of Robin Hood. The live action version That I’ve seen the most is Prince of Thieves, probably because it seemed to have so many curiosities about it: Robin Hood’s non-accent, his black sidekick, Christian Slater basically playing himself, a witch, the Bryan Adams song (did I mention on FWR that was my first CD?). God, what a strange movie. Now that deserves a minute-by-minute podcast!

    But even so, to me Robin Hood is always a fox. Hmm… What would Disney have done if they’d made an animated Zorro with anthropomorphic animals…?

    Great episode. Loved hearing Cindy on the show.

    1. Originally, the 1973 cartoon was going to be about an actual fox – Reynard the Fox, another medieval trickster figure.

      It’s weird that the Disney cartoon is a bit of cultural blind spot for me. I would have been three when it was released. A bit too young for it to really stick in my memory if my parents took me to see it. And I suspect by the time I did see it (and I’m not sure when that was, but as I saw so many Disney films replayed in a cinema when across town, I expect I was still a pre-teen) .. well, I had seen the human Rocket Robin Hood cartoon, a stage show with a human Robin Hood, the Errol Flynn film on TV and books. I think people a few years older than me — who’d remember the first cinema showing — or younger — with all the TV repeats and VHS tapes — more often associate Robin Hood with the fox than I do, My friends who teach Robin Hood classes at university tell me that all these years later, the fox is still the most widely known Robin Hood by their students.

    2. I’ve got a soft spot for Costner’s Robin Hood. What I recall most is the audience in the theater bursting into applause when Sean Connery turns up for his cameo at the end. His mere presence made everyone so glad. That’s star power.

  3. I keep hoping Rob and Chris will eventually do an entire episode of the Power Records Podcast on the “SPIDEY SUPER STORIES” album from 1977.

    Despite being born in 1984, I had this record growing up. In fact, my childhood copy is still in my collection, and last time I checked, it still plays! It features eight short stories narrated by Morgan Freeman (who was “Easy Reader” on The Electric Company) and has gorgeous cover art by John Romita Sr. That iconic image of Spider-Man still sticks in my mind’s eye as the most perfect representation of Classic Spider-Man.

  4. Regarding the other books in Alcott’s March family saga, I still remember a bit from the original British “Whose Line Is It Anyway” series: In one episode, during a round of the improv game “Authors” (where the four improvisers take turns telling a story, each one adopting the style of a different author), Josie Lawrence announced that she would be narrating in the style of Louisa May Alcott, then explained “For those who don’t know, she wrote ‘Little Women,’ ‘Little Men,’ and ‘Little Wives.'” To which the host Clive Anderson quipped “And little else.”

  5. I have known about these adaptations (they even had “Moby Dick” on the back cover list, but it might not have been released officially), but I stopped at “The Amazing Adventures of Holo-Man”, as far as the series goes.

    Chris had made mention of the “Superman” song; it was from Golden Records in the early 50’s, written by Tom Glazer. The song was eventually paired with the Neal Hefti “Batman Theme” in 1966. The 45 was later issued circa 1975 under Wonderland Records. (Incidentally, I have the ’75 record!)

  6. An episode that can truly be referred to as classic. It’s incredible how wide a range of genres Peter Pan/Power Records presented.
    I can’t wait for the next episode, which I’m assuming will be The Power Records Guide to Basic Home Repair and How to Win Friends and Influence People for 2nd Graders.

  7. It was nice of you boys to invite Cindy into the tree-fort to listen to “Little Women!” That was an admirable effort to condense that book into this format. I confess that I got a little weepy at Beth’s foreshadowed fate!
    The Robin Hood selection certainly felt to me to be influenced by the Disney cartoon film. It was refreshing to hear a Robin Hood story that didn’t involve the art-told archery contest.
    Your discussion of the literary Power Records reminded me that I had a Treasure Island record (not a Power Record). I’ll paw through my collection and see if it’s still there.
    Thanks for including the link to the old web-site, and thanks for including all the pages there!

  8. I think the only version of Little Women that I’ve seen is the 1980’s anime one (yes, I can tie most things back to anime). This was one that we’d get from the video store fairly regularly, but I haven’t seen it in decades. Maybe I’ll show it to my daughter and get her opinion. (

    Obviously my favorite version of Robin Hood is the Errol Flynn one, which you can here all about on Film & Water Episode 28. 🙂 Close behind that would be the Disney version, with it’s all star cast. I have also recently watched another Disney adaptation, “The Story of Robin Hood”, which is a live action version that I had only known from a Disney story collection that used to belong to my mother.

    All around, it was a “classic” episode and it was great to hear Cindy’s thoughts on the subject.

  9. Impressive podcast. Most impressive. Er Little women. Sorry I was boooooard. Sorry. While I love Pride and predadous. I was ot a fan of this. Though I can relate to the pour gal with the heels. When I ware my 4 inch heels it takes me a sec to get use to them. Though when I ware the 2 inch heels I’m fine. And being a clouts. Ware the pour girl falls in the water. I’ve been there. But, I feel in the deep end of a pool and family had to save me. Wasn’t sure of the pink dress and yellow belt. But the artist makes it work.

    Maybe they can do like Pride and predadous and Zombie’s. And add Ware wolves or Vampires. Little women and Vampires? Little Vampires? Little Ware wolves? I don’t know. Maybe Ninjas. Little women and Ninjas? Moving right along. Robbin Hood was always great. Sadly ya’ll didn’t have Shagg on the show.. He could have mentioned that the Actor who played the 2nd doctor. Also played Robin Hood on a BBC thing. Patrick Troughton as Robin Hood had to be interesting. I know he was a war hero. A lieutenant in the Royal Navy. But, I always see him as the second Doc playing the flute. Any way this seems like an interesting enough adaptation.

    Though one big opps. hey have King Richard as the bad guy. In most adaptations it’s Prince John. e’s even drawn more like John in the comic. Since the Loin heart was treated more of a hero in fiction. Not fully in life. And king John did sign the Megacardia. But, weird they went with King Richard as the bad guy in this adaptation. This seems like a fun collection of stories. Any way did I mention I have a U tube page? That’s Elizabeth Anne Oswalt.

    Oh while I’m pluging my own U tube page. That’s Elizabeth Anne Oswalt. Here’s a few other folks I kind of know on U-tube. That have cool pages.

    Kiri Morning
    That Junkman
    Robert Willing

    Ramsey Dewey

    Can’t wait to hear the next pod cast. The old Crazy Woman that I am sighing off.

  10. Here is the record that Brian mentioned in his comment and Chris mentioned on the show. I got mine in the late 70s, I think.

    Cindy is spot-on about Power Records being great for helping kids learn to read. She would be, since she’s a professional librarian, but I can offer supporting evidence. I became a Batman fan at five and my mom was thrilled (Dad not so much) because I was very eager to learn to read so I could collect comics. My mom got me EVERY super hero Power Record (none of the horror ones, though) book & record set. The sets were very instrumental in me learning to read before & during kindergarten and before I got to first grade. I tested very high on my reading levels and I’m sure I was the only student in kindergarten who knew what a lobotomy was, thanks to Stacked Cards.

    As you can tell, I’m definitely a Power Records fan. I may be getting to be too much of a Fire and Water fan, because I never thought I would listen to a podcast about Little Women. I recognized one of the voice actresses was that same lady who portrayed the overly nasal Lois Lane on the Superman records and gave me a mental image of Gladys Kravitz from Bewitched. I do appreciate you guys covering this weird corner of the Power Records universe, but it didn’t entice me to read the original novel or watch any of the film adaptations…unless there is some 70s drive-in European sex comedy version of Little Women I don’t know about. Hey, there were 70s drive in versions of Fairy Tales and Shakespeare plays, so there could be. Think about it : Emanuelle Meets Little Women.

    Since Rob un-relatedly brought up Orson Welles…Rob, did you know that Orson was in a movie with Laura Gemser?

    Hey, I’m a Patreon now. You’ve got to put up with this sort of crap out of me. If Power Records hadn’t helped me learn to read, I wouldn’t be able to look up this kind of stuff. Shhhh….don’t tell Mom.

  11. Dang, typed out a long comment and it disappeared!

    I finally got around to listening to this edition of the Power Records Podcast and I gotta say Little Women was a snoozefest! If I had happened to see this book and record as a kid I would’ve looked at it in disgust and filed it away from all the superhero records.

    I suggest investing in a Spin Clean Record Cleaner. I have one and it works great on cleaning records and getting rid of surface noise (there will still be clicks and pops due to scratches but it probably would eliminate that annoying static sound during Little Women).

    Finally, if time allows I am going to try and isolate the voice portion of The Hulk LP in certain areas and add the Hulk transformation sound effect from the TV into the story as well as some of the music. Imagine how much better the stories would be with The Lonely Man playing at the end of each story. it can be done and I have the equipment to do it but just don’t have the time.

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