Swiss Family Robinson [DVD]
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Disney version of the Johann Wyss novel about the adventures of a family who have been marooned on a desert island. Using teamwork and ingenuity, the shipwrecked family skilfully overcome the obstacles of nature, but the ultimate challenge lies ahead when a band of cutthroat pirates threaten to destroy their makeshift paradise.
The Disney touch is all over this grand, colourful version of the Johann Wyss adventure of a European family setting off for the new world of New Guinea. The film opens on a ship jostled and torn by a raging storm while a family struggles to make it through alive. Tossed into a reef near a deserted tropical island, father John Mills takes charge and the family soon turns their island prison into a veritable paradise. Their multi-level tree house, built in record time, is complete with running water and a working pipe organ scavenged from the ship, while their grand yard is abloom in English roses. As a tale of hardship and pioneer pluck it's pure fantasy, but as entertainment it's energetic and appealing. The island is impossibly populated by ostriches, zebras, lions and elephants, a private zoo that delights the youngest boy and offers plenty of comic relief. The two older brothers discover even wilder life when they rescue the prisoner of oriental pirates (led by hard-bitten Sessue Hayakawa). There's little real danger anywhere in the film: even the climactic battle with the pirates is a cartoonish affair, with coconut bombs and non-lethal booby traps, until the final desperate, deadly moments. Hardly a faithful adaptation of the novel, but a lush, beautifully shot film and an entertaining adventure safe for all ages. Dorothy McGuire co-stars as the proper, worry-prone mother. --Sean Axmaker
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Top Customer Reviews
The family consists of Mum, Dad and three brothers.
They get ship-wrecked, and they get on a lovely Island, but there are pirates and wild animals. will they survive? its a really good watch for kids and big kids too!!
It's a high quality production and I rate it highly.
This movie has a great family feel to it and I really liked the animal races; it is a classic Disney. The pirate attack scene was suspenseful. You are kept wondering if, and how they will get out of it.
You can see John Mills play a more serious side with his real daughter Hayley Mills in "The Chalk Garden" (1964).
The mother, played by the lovely Dorothy MaGuire, is always clean, perfectly groomed and coiffed. The father, played by the wonderful English actor, John Mills, is positively cheerful the entire film. Talk about optimism. His three sons, played by the hunky James MacArthur, the adorable Tommy Kirk, and the cute-as-a-button Kevin Corcoran, work tirelessly to make their new home into an island paradise.
In record time, they build a multi-level house to die for, high up in the trees. Somehow, they manage to get a pipe organ off the wrecked ship, ashore, and up into their multi-level tree house, so that they can sing Christmas Carols at the appropriate time. Kevin Corcoran even has a baby elephant for a pet, and they parade around their sculpted lawn which is surrounded by what appears to be a manicured, English country garden.
After a while, two of the boys set out on a home made sail boat to check the terrain around the island. They discover yet another casualty of the pirates' onslaught, delightfully played by Janet Munro. The two older boys are sweet on her, which causes a little fun loving tension. All is well, until the pirates come a-calling on the island, and all you know what breaks loose. Never fear. Rescue is on the way.
Who in their right mind, however, would ever want to be rescued from this magical island, where nothing can possibly go wrong, and everyone loves each other? Pure Disney fantasy, this film is a lot of fun to watch and, better yet, can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Based on the classic novel by Johann Wyss this film is simply about a European family who leave their home country to start a fresh in New Guinea. However a huge storm leaves them stranded on some jagged rocks just off-shore from what appears to be an unihabited island. By using the timber from the boat, they construct a raft and within no time they have landed on this new island, and created a wonderful, multi-story tree house complete with running water, a fridge and they even managed to salvage an old organ from the wreck.
Still wanting very much to continue on to New Guinea, the two sons, Fritz and Ernst construct a small boat, and sail round the island to see if there is any way off it. On their journey they come across an old man, and a young boy, both being held prisoner by a group of nasty and very mean pirates, with big swords, and proceed to free the boy and make a daring escape.
After arriving safetly back to their home, the family bagin to set up loads of bubby traps, including tiger pits, cocanut bombs, and even a collapsing draw bridge, so that when the pirates come, they won't win so easily.
There have been many adaptations of this classic novel Johann Wyss but i have to say that this one is one of the best, and deserves the five stars which i have given it. Overall, a great disney adventure film, that the whole family can sit down and watch and enjoy together.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Amazing classic, really enjoyed this with my two boys and husband. They don't made 'em like this anymore. Really good version.Published 2 months ago by S. Mox