Role in the film
Allan-a-Dale is first seen walking in the Sherwood Forest with his dog as he sings while playing his lute about Robin Hood and his Merrie Men. A few days later, after King Richard leaves for the great Crusade, his greedy brother, Prince John rules the land, and he and his new Sheriff of Nottingham organize an archery tournament at Nottingham fair in order to choose which archer will join and serve them in gathering taxes from the poor in King Richard's absence, Allan-a-Dale can be seen singing about the Sheriff, his men, and their unjust tax gatherings.
Later, when Robin's father, Hugh Fitzooth has been killed and avenged and Robin has become a leader of outlaws known as Merrie Men, who rob from the rich to feed the poor, Allan-a-Dale can be seen singing in a crowd of peasants at Nottingham Square about Robin's heroic tales as he walks around earning money from people who can afford to pay him to listen to his songs.
Two years have passed, King Richard's Crusade has ended in failure, and the King finds himself imprisoned in Austria to be held for a ransom of 100,000 marks. Next, Allan-a-Dale sings to a crowd in a village about more heroic tales of Robin Hood and the Sheriff's failure and continues to walk around trying to earn money again but to no avail, not even from Midge the Miller, until Maid Marian; Robin Hood's childhood playmate, love interest, and Queen Eleanor's responsibility disguised as a page boy to leave the castle against the Queen's wishes to find Robin Hood to prove the Queen and the Archbishop of Canterbury of his and that of his men's loyalty since her son, Prince John has tried to convince them otherwise, is able to kindly pay him. When a peasant asks him if he can help them fill a bowl with money, he tells them that they'd have to reach Clipston if they want to hear it but to get there, they have to pass through Sherwood Forest. Allan-a-Dale proceeds to go to Sherwood Forest accompanied by his dog, Maid Marian, and Midge, who finally manages to pay him with his last penny to hear him sing one of his songs about Robin Hood, hoping Robin and his men will hear it and let them know that the trio are on his side; despite the peasants' warnings about Robin Hood and his men.
As Allan-a-Dale sings while his dog and friends follow him, they are confronted by Robin, Little John, and Will Scarlet, who appall Marian by insisting that Midge, who is notorious for hoarding gold, pay a toll while Allan-a-Dale is playfully forced to play some more music and songs about Robin Hood the outlaws loved and found amusing by Little John instead of being paid for it. During the confrontation, Allan-a-Dale stops playing and singing in shock and surprise when he finds out that the page boy is a woman, none other than Maid Marian. Then, Robin and Little John cheerfully abduct Marian and Midge while Allan-a-Dale and his dog join along with them as they follow Will Scarlet back to their hideout while Allan-a-Dale continues singing, where Robin quickly convinces Marian of the integrity of their behavior. Marian devises a plan in which she will present the Men's riches to the queen during the next day's money-raising ceremony, in order to prove their loyalty to Richard. As Robin Hood and his clergyman friend, Friar Tuck take Maid Marian back to Alford Abbey for the night, Robin and Marian share a kiss after Robin helps her cross the stream as Allan-a-Dale joins along to sing a love song for them; much to Friar Tuck's delight.
The next day, during the donation at Nottingham Square, Maid Marian presents everyone with Robin Hood and his men's donations; much to Prince John and the Sheriff's chagrin and the Queen and the Archbishop's joy. When the Sheriff tries to object on behalf of the Prince, Robin and his men (including Allan-a-Dale disguised as peasants) make him pay 1,000 marks; an act which provokes the crowd to ask for as well from him. To avoid embarrassment and suspicion, Prince John has the Sheriff donate as well (1,187 marks) while Robin, his men, and Allan-a-Dale (disguised as a treasurer) inconspicuously empty out the rest of the treasury (more than 10,000 marks) into one big chest and present it forth to the donation in front of everyone too, thus, the deliverance of their King is assured; much to the Prince and the Sheriff's shock. After Robin and his men mockingly thank and congratulate the Sheriff for his contribution, they throw him in the river when the Sheriff sees through their disguises and escape.
A few days later, after foiling Prince John's plans involving the King's ransom money and vanquishing the Sheriff for good, at Robin's lair, Robin Hood is wounded and sick, thus, forced to reluctantly stay in bed in a cave and eat broth and barley at Friar Tuck and Maid Marian's insistence. Allan-a-Dale is told to sing another song by Little John about Robin Hood despite Robin's condition. At first, Allan-a-Dale seems reluctant until Little John starts playing his lute and singing a song, which inspires and encourages Allan-a-Dale to continue singing the song in his own tune as the men join along to sing and dance as well about Robin's recovery, King Richard's safe return, and Prince John's upcoming mocking fate. Then, a mysterious black rider appears. The rider says he seeks Robin Hood, thus, making Robin Hood suspect he could be one of Prince John's men and then forcing the rider to take off his hood.
To avoid misunderstandings, the rider reveals himself to be in fact, King Richard, whose ransom has been paid and who has returned safely to England. Not wanting his apology for his rash behavior and indebted to his good deed and that of his men, King Richard knights and dubs Robin, the Earl of Locksley. When King Richard spots Maid Marian, wearing an outlaw's disguise, he tells her that her father awaits her at Huntingdon where the Queen vows to marry her to the Earl of Locksley. At first, Marian seems shocked since she remains oblivious to the fact that Robin Hood is in fact the Earl she is to marry until the King reveals him to her.
Allan-a-Dale and the men watch Robin and Maid Marian share a kiss as they prepare to be married. Then, Allan-a-Dale walks off into the sunset with his dog as he happily sings about Robin Hood again for the final time.