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Swiss Family Robinson [DVD]

4.5 out of 5 stars 143 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: John Mills, Dorothy McGuire, James MacArthur, Janet Munro, Sessue Hayakawa
  • Directors: Ken Annakin
  • Writers: Johann David Wyss, Lowell S. Hawley
  • Producers: Basil Keys, Bill Anderson, Walt Disney
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Disney
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Feb. 2001
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004D07K
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 160,967 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

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

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
My mum had the book the swiss family robinson, and she gave it to me to read. I found it very exciting and interesting. I was soo happy when i found the video of Swiss family Robinson.

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!!
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By A Customer on 26 Oct. 2004
Format: DVD
This is without a doubt one of Walt Disney's greatest live action films. Originally released in 1961 and feauturing a stellar cast including John Mills. A New Guinea-bound family is shipwrecked by pirates and manages to transport the goods from the stranded ship to an island where they create their own paradise. There they build their own breathtaking treehouse and have to find a way to survive using only what nature provides. With some wonderful cinematography (especially in the dramatic opening of the shipwreck and then the journey on raft by the Robinson family to exotic shores and yet. They begin to enjoy life in this 'paradise' carelessly on the island with a variety of wild animals and inevitably they begin to have run ins with some dangerous creatures. Along the way they encounter many threats including pirates, but will their island paradise prove toi be a paradise or a prison?
It's a high quality production and I rate it highly.
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By Bernie VINE VOICE on 10 Jun. 2005
Format: DVD
A family is shipwrecked on a seemingly uninhabited island. Using the remaining recourses of the wrecked ship they build an elaborate tree house. They have a realy nice Christmas scene. Then the adventure begins.
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).
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By lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 Nov. 2002
Format: VHS Tape
You can't get much more wholesome than this. This film definitely has the Disney stamp all over it. The Swiss Family Robinson are on their way to New Guinea. Chased by pirates on the high seas, their ship runs up against a reef, and they find themselves shipwrecked by a deserted tropical island. They manage to get themselves and all their belongings and animals ashore, intact and none the worse for wear.
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.
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Format: DVD
You can tell as soon as you start watching this film that it is definately a disney production, and this "stamp" remains right the way through the film, even in the climatic battle at the very end, with the nasty pirates.
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.
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