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Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great family adventure film - but get the 2-disc NTSC version, 28 Nov. 2008
This review is from: Swiss Family Robinson [DVD] [1960] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Walt Disney's hugely expensive adaptation of the classic tale of a family of castaways on a desert island maintains enough of a running thread not to seem too episodic even if it does drag a tad in places. There's not much sense of danger, despite the fact that the anaconda James MacArthur and Tommy Kirk wrestle with in one sequence turns out to be real - this is far too wholesome for that. The Robinsons are very much Disney's idea of the ideal All-American sixties family: the girls don't get to have any fun, unless you count girly stuff like dancing. Some of the animal scenes are a bit worrying 30 years on (such as the Great Danes attacking the tiger) and Kevin Corcoran is plain annoying, but for all that it remains an entertainingly old-fashioned adventure story.

While the UK and European PAL releases typically boast no extras whatsoever, the 2-disc NTSC `Vault Disney' release is as handsome a package as you are ever likely to see and can be heartily recommended to all fans of the film.

Aside from an audio commentary with director Annakin, Tommy Kirk, James MacArthur and Kevin Corcoran, the copious extra fatures include an 18-minute cutdown of the 1940 version of Swiss Family Robinson, featurettes, storyboard-to-film comparison, 6 radio spots, radio story album, stills galleries, original location scouting reports, script extract, the original theatrical trailer and TV spot. But the highlight (or lowlight, depending on your point of view) of the supplementaries is the 'Swiss Family Robinson Calypso' in a 28-minute extract from an episode of 'Disneyland' devoted to the making of the film -

'Yes my friends we had a lot of fun,
Making Swiss Family Robin-sun,
Yes my friends we had a lot of fun,
Spending Walt Dis-i-ney's five mill-i-un.'

Uncle Walt himself, resplendent in brylcream, begs to differ - it was actually $4,518,000, but heck, that wouldn't rhyme (the calypso was actually released to cinemas as a promotional single). If it would have been nice to have seen more of the programme, it does include fascinating footage of the hurricane that hit the crew in the middle of filming one of the raft sequences.

Highly recommended - the NTSC version, that is!
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Review Details

Item

Reviewer

Trevor Willsmer
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   

Location: London, England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 39