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on 5 July 2008
This 1990 film is based upon the book by the same name written by Oluf Vilhelm Falck-Ytter, and was directed by famed Norwegian filmmaker Nils Gaup, who's film "Pathfinder" ("Ofelas") was nominated for Oscar in 1988. Its plot is as simple as it is classic: a young boy goes from his homely surroundings at the family farm to adventures at sea when he leaves home to work as a deckhand on the trading ship "Flora". From growing into his new role as a young sailor, the main character Haakon has to tackle both his new surroundings, his sceptical shipmates and his first encounter with love.

When the ship is taken over by pirate lord Merrick (Byrne), who has survived the onslought of the British navy and tries to recoup his losses by collecting his secret cache, Haakon and his mates find themselves in the middle of an adventure involving pirates, hidden treasure and the southern seas. Stranded on a desert island after abandoning ship in a furious storm, Haakon fends for himself and gets by as best he can. Upon discovering the gruesome truth behind Merrick's scheme, he has to use his ingenuity to fight the pirates, save his friends and win the pirate treasure.

The language in this film changes from Norwegian to English and back again depending on who does the talking, miraculously without affecting the coherence the slightest. In fact, the use of the English language is woven elegantly into the plot as the natural language of international sailors, and as actions are more important than words in this adventure, understanding the plotlines is as simple as putting on a hat.

The only drawback of the film is that it tends towards the cliché. Some would say that it is nothing more than the average adventure movie, put in a Norwegian context. I would have to agree to an extent, but the grand production of the film, along with the sheer talent of the actors, still makes this an entertaining spectacle. It is one of the classics of modern Norwegian pictures, and should be seen by anyone who has an interest in Scandinavian films.
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on 8 April 2014
Loved the film, loosely based on Treasure Island this is the story of a young boy from Norway who goes to sea to earn enough money to save the family farm. The plot continues as the ship is taken over by pirates and of course they are all shipwrecked, the film then follows the young boys adventures on the desert island and the eventual outcome of the story, excellent film for all ages, well worth watching.
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on 4 July 2008
This 1990 film is based upon the book by the same name written by Oluf Vilhelm Falck-Ytter, and was directed by famed Norwegian filmmaker Nils Gaup, who's film "Pathfinder" ("Ofelas") was nominated for Oscar in 1988. Its plot is as simple as it is classic: a young boy goes from his homely surroundings at the family farm to adventures at sea when he leaves home to work as a deckhand on the trading ship "Flora". From growing into his new role as a young sailor, the main character Haakon has to tackle both his new surroundings, his sceptical shipmates and his first encounter with love.

When the ship is taken over by pirate lord Merrick (Byrne), who has survived the onslought of the British navy and tries to recoup his losses by collecting his secret cache, Haakon and his mates find themselves in the middle of an adventure involving pirates, hidden treasure and the southern seas. Stranded on a desert island after abandoning ship in a furious storm, Haakon fends for himself and gets by as best he can. Upon discovering the gruesome truth behind Merrick's scheme, he has to use his ingenuity to fight the pirates, save his friends and win the pirate treasure.

The language in this film changes from Norwegian to English and back again depending on who does the talking, miraculously without affecting the coherence the slightest. In fact, the use of the English language is woven elegantly into the plot as the natural language of international sailors, and as actions are more important than words in this adventure, understanding the plotlines is as simple as putting on a hat.

The only drawback of the film is that it tends towards the cliché. Some would say that it is nothing more than the average adventure movie, put in a Norwegian context. I would have to agree to an extent, but the grand production of the film, along with the sheer talent of the actors, still makes this an entertaining spectacle. It is one of the classics of modern Norwegian pictures, and should be seen by anyone who has an interest in Scandinavian films.
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on 14 October 2004
I have had this film on VHS both pal and ntsc for some years now and Walt Disney have made this a w/s DVD and the colours are about as perfect you can get on DVD.
The story is of the old style of pirates, It is a good film for all ages to watch with plenty of action.
I hope walt disney will bring out their older valt collection of made for tv films such as The Boy and the Bronc Buster, The Young Loner, and Strange Companions, The Skys the Limit, The Blue Yonder all I have, but would like after a Walt Disney remaster on DVD
Regards
Bloodwagon
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on 2 November 2013
Disney's Shipwrecked was released in 1990, the same year that I became intimately acquainted with the TNT production of Treasure Island (1990 TVmovie) starring Charlton Heston. My then-ten-year-old self became endlessly obsessed with all things pirates, sailing, and tall ships for years to come. Shipwrecked was a Norwegian production based on by Norwegian author O. V. Falck-Ytter's "Haakon Haakonsen. En norsk Robinson," a Norwegian children's novel from 1873 that was a tale of a "Norwegian Family Robinson." Directed by Nils Gaup and starring almost entirely Norwegian actors, it was filmed on location in Norway, Spain, the UK and Fiji.

The plot revolves around the titular Haakon Haakonsen (Stian Smestad), a young boy in 1850s Norway who is forced to go to sea as a cabin boy when his father is injured on a sea voyage. His father's friend Jens (Trond Peter Stamsø Munch) agrees to look out for him on board the Flora. Haakon goes through some inevitable growing pains as a boy onboard a ship for the first time; some of the seasoned sailors have fun playing pranks on him at first, but Haakon is watched over by Jens and the kindly captain. After a shore leave in Sydney, Haakon discovers a stowaway on board; Mary (Louisa Millwood-Haigh), an orphan trying to reach her uncle in Calcutta). But the voyage meets an abrupt end when a suspicious Royal Navy officer (Gabriel Byrne) takes control of the ship and the crew is shipwrecked in the tropics.

The movie moves along quite well until the ending, which is a tad disappointing in tone after the great setup (it borders on unintentionally comic; for a really great pirate chase, check out the end of Fraser Heston's 1990 made-for-TV Treasure Island for TNT; now there's a scurvy lot to give you nightmares!) Beautifully shot and with a memorable score by Patrick Doyle, Shipwrecked is a family-friendly tale of loyalty, discovery, and adventure on the high seas. It's short on special effects and low on violence or profanity; instead, it's built on solid characters and a well-crafted plot.

All of the Norwegian actors are strong, particularly the two leads, and Louisa turns in a spirited performance as a feisty orphan. Gabriel Byrne puts in a deliciously wicked turn as the villain; you can just sense the danger that lurks under the surface when he snarls out threats (if you enjoyed Byrne in Shipwrecked, check out his captivating performance of a loving father struggling with grief and alcoholism in Disney's magical Into the West). The Norwegian actors have slight accents, but nothing that should interfere with understanding the dialogue.

Shipwrecked made quite an impression on me, and I'm grateful that it's finally available on DVD as of fall 2008 (it was previously only available as a Club Disney selection). Those who enjoyed Swiss Family Robinson (Vault Disney Collection), Robinson Crusoe, and Treasure Island should find much to like in Shipwrecked. Sadly, the DVD doesn't come with *any* extras save subtitles, but it's a worthy addition to any family's DVD collection.
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I have always had a fascination with the sea and sailing, so you can bet that the Disney distributed Shipwrecked was right up my alley. I first saw it when it was released in the US in 1991 and enjoy pulling it out for a rewatch every few years.

The story is set in the 1850's, and our main character, Haakon Haakonsen (Stian Smestad) works on his family farm while his father is away at sea. But after an accident, Haakon must go to sea to save the family farm. He sails on his father's old ship under the watchful eye of Jens (Trond Peter Munch).

Haakon quickly begins to adopt to his new life at sea, but danger lurks not too far below the surface as they take on some additional crew in London and Haakon finds a stowaway after a stop in Australia. When a hurricane hits the ship, Haakon finds himself stranded on an island. What secrets might that island hold? Will he ever get home again?

The film was made starring almost all Norwegian actors and is based on a Norwegian book from the 1870's. But don't let that scare you away for a moment. While most of the cast does have faint accents, they are faint accents. I've never had a problem understanding a word that anyone says.

Because it is a Norwegian production, the actors are pretty much unknowns. We do have Gabriel Byrne as the villain. Rounding out the leads is Louisa Haigh as stowaway Mary. Now just because you've never heard of them, don't worry. The cast does a great job bringing their characters to life. Even the large cast of sailors who only have a few scenes are great.

And the scenery is wonderful. It was filmed on location in Norway, England, and Fiji. Let me tell you, I would love to spend some time on the island that plays an important part in the final third of the film.

As a kid, I was enraptured with the story. I would watch it quite a bit and loved every minute of it. As an adult, I do notice some flaws in the storytelling. Many of the scenes are short, giving the movie a choppy feel. Even though the American release was called Shipwrecked (it's Norwegian title is Haakon Haakonsen), you're over half way through before the storm that sinks the ship actually happens. Granted, the action up to that point is needed to make the rest of the story work, but as an adult I might get a tad frustrated with it if I watched it for the first time. When I sit down to watch it, the adult is silence by the kid in me who still gets caught up in the story. Although we both do find the gorilla and its sub-plot laughable.

This movie was not made with tons of special effects. Instead, we got stunts and real people doing real things. As much as I enjoy some of the special effects we get today, I do enjoy the realistic feel of this movie. The stunts aren't anything spectacular, but they do help tell the story.

Even for a PG movie, this film is very tame. There really is nothing for parents to worry about here. Since this film does have pirates, there are a few deaths and some violence and intense scenes. However, they aren't too scary and everything is very bloodless. Frankly, the scene that bugs me the most is a scene in a port involving a couple of prostitutes. If they had left those 30 seconds out, it would be perfect.

Shipwrecked is low budget and low tech and all the more charming for it. Your kids will enjoy the adventure, especially if they love ships, pirates, or both.
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on 28 June 2014
This is a true family adventure film classic. Great for boys and even has a female character with some spunk that girls can identify with. A great family night movie. One of my favorite movies. Recommended to anyone who loves sea adventures like treasure island.
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on 24 July 2010
This tale is similar to the treasure island story. It follows a you Norwegian boy who has to leave home to save the farm from being taken off the family to repay their debt. It is a classic adventure for the kids and adult with a inner kid in them who enjoys the classic pirate adventure :)

Note: The version of DVD I have is all in English.
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on 27 December 2014
This is a very pleasant story of the adventures of a resourceful boy who saves the family home. Good twists and turns and a happy outcome to make the family feel good at the end.
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on 23 May 2014
a simple disney movie shot in the sunny south pacific. Predictable but also very watchable. A great movie for the young and old.
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