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  • IMBD refused to post this in the "Trivia" section, so I'll add it as a comment: note that throughout the film, the men are often shirtless; however their pants and shorts are always carefully tailored to cover their navels, like Barbara Eden's harem-pants in "I Dream of Jeannie".

    If you have access to the DVD, it is very well worth it to watch the special-features documentaries and interviews on disc 2. What the actors and crew went through to make this thing is incredible! The many animals used are mostly nasty and potentially very dangerous. That no one got disemboweled by a zebra or ostrich kick, or a tiger-claw, is a miracle; let alone the face-off scene with the hyenas! Wrestling an anaconda chest-deep in a mosquito and leech-infested swamp is probably not a role most actors dream of. James MacArthur was told by the snake's handler to just dunk the snake's head under water when it started to constrict him; apparently it worked, as he lived to tell the tale!
  • kolob5 October 1999
    This is one of Disney's best efforts. Beautiful scenery, great soundtrack music, and a hard-working cast add much to this compelling story of a shipwrecked family. To me this film is an exception to the less-weighty fare that Disney was wont to produce over the years. I like Disney flicks, but this is one I can go back and watch when I want to get lost in an idyllic setting (with beautiful soundtrack music to establish the mood). You've gotta love those coconut bombs!
  • Pure Disney magic! What a movie....might just be the greatest Disney film of all, might throw in "Pollyanna" and "Song of the South" in there as close competition. What is there not to like? Beautiful photography and a perfect casting of Dorothy McGuire as the mother who is the glue that holds the family together along with the suave British actor John Mills (Hayley's father) as the dad of the family. Great opening scene of foundering ship nearly stuck on a reef during violent quickly recognizes they will be on the island for the long haul and makes it an island paradise complete with a tree house that the Hilton hotel chain could rent out for big bucks. Family makes use of every scrap of fabric, wood, powder, and weapons as they struggle to survive the hazards of the island they are stranded upon. How in the world did the Disney team transport all of the animals onto that small island for this wonderful film? Zebras, elephants, snakes, tigers, and throw in an ostrich too for a family fun filled ride picnic. Only thing I wondered about was how the entire crew of pirates seem to be madeup of asians....most pirates in films are usually caucasians. Tommy Kirk, Kevin Corcoran, who flew into Tobago days after finishing "Pollyanna" and James McArthur play splendid roles as the three sons who grow up physically and discover themselves as young men on the island. Love the scenes of the watering hole complete with a natural water slide and swinging vines to traipse back and forth on. Janet Munro plays the stranded girl, rescued by McArthur and Kirk, and becomes a tug of war for affection between the two. Just the scenery alone on the island and the lagoons makes me want to visit the filming sight. This is a timeless classic, watch it a couple of times a year and it is just as entertaining the second time as the first. Wish Disney would re-release this film to theatres so you could see it on a big wide screen, preferably Imax. Movies just do not get any better than this one. Perfect film for family viewing.
  • I loved this movie growing up, and had to get the recent DVD. It's great! The extras are wonderful and the movie is even better. I love Disney movies, but some of the older live-action movies get annoying to me after awhile. This one doesn't. I love to imagine myself on that island with all the animals and fighting pirates. It's great. I definitely recommend it!
  • SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON is the ultimate family adventure film from Disney, photographed on the island of Tobago for some lush scenery and exotic settings. But that tree house rules!! Everyone's favorite fantasy is this sort of adventure whereby a shipwrecked family finds refuge on what appears to be a deserted island, only to find that they're not exactly alone.

    DOROTHY McGUIRE and JOHN MILLS play the parent roles (played originally by Thomas Mitchell and Edna Best in the B&W '40 version), and the kids are played with equal skill by Kevin Corcoran, Tommy Kirk and JAMES MacARTHUR, who excels as the oldest son.

    There's some rough going when the pirates invade, but it's all done in true Disney style and you know there's going to be a happy ending.

    Summing up: The kind of film the whole family can enjoy. A lot more visually appealing than the old B&W version filmed on RKO sound stages.
  • This is a Disney adventure film at its best. Excitement, adventure, far off exotic places, shipwrecks, pirates - all the ingredients for a thrilling recipe of family ties that bind (love), and respect for a father who protects and leads his family to battle the hostile elements of the outside world in order to survive.

    Tigers in pits, wild animals domesticated, outside fresh air away from all civilization, this is a movie for the whole family to watch together, preferably on a big screen at a theatre, where the producers designed to have it seen in the first place.

    This movie is fun, exciting and scary with pirate ships and uphill battles that make this one worth owning.

    I remember my Dad took me to see this film when I was 7 years old and the nostalgia of security of family rooted in a firm grounding and foundation of family tradition, for me made this film a memorable one for all time. I hope you enjoy this one too for old time's sake.
  • I first saw this during it's initial theatrical release when I was 6 years old and of course immediately loved it and have seen it several times over the years. It's one of those family classics that even though it's dated it seems to live on forever entertaining new generations. A great live-action film from the Disney studios. When many years after I first saw this movie, I first visited Disneyland in 1984, the first thing I wanted to see was the Swiss Family Treehouse exhibit. The attraction had lost it's luster and I was the inly one visiting it. They've since turned it into Tarzan's tree house from what I understand. The movie doesn't lose it's luster and the tree house is the film's central attraction. It does seem a little unbelievable that a family who could construct such a fantastic structure why couldn't they use those same skills to repair their ship wreck or build a new ship to take them away from the island? This is beautifully photographed by cinematographer Harry Waxman, John Howell is the production designer and Jack Stephens is the set decorator. Ken Annakin who directed several adventure films is the director. Lowell S. Hawley who was one of the writers on Disney's Zoro TV series wrote the screenplay in his adaptation of the Johann David Wyss novel. John Mills and Dorothy McGuire play the parents and James McArthur, Tommy Kirk and Kevin Corcoran are their sons in the story of a family shipwrecked on a remote island with dangerous animals and the threat of bloodthirsty pirates in the waters. Janet Munro, Sessue Hayakawa and Cecil Parker round out the cast. I would give this an 8.5 out of 10.
  • A Swiss family is escaping Napoleon and heading to New Guinea. After being attacked by Indonesian pirates they are shipwrecked to a deserted island.

    With no means of escaping, they have to make a new life for themselves on the island surrounded by exotic animals. This includes building a tree house but the threat from pirates is always there.

    The film should had tone down the very American accents of the kids. The young child who captures the baby elephant just made me winced. Also someone at Disney surely hated tigers in the 1960s.

    It is an episodic film, the two older brothers fall out when they discover one of the cabin boys they rescued from the pirates turns out to be a woman.

    I think the film has lost its charms and thrill over the years. I rather watch Journey to the Centre of the Earth starring James Mason.
  • Gorgeous production with Disney all-star-cast , funny sequences , spectacular adventures and amusement . Amusing family fun in which a Swiss family formed by a father (John Mills) , mother (Dorothy McGuire) and children (James McArthur , Kevin Corcoran , Tommy Kirk) must survive being shipwrecked on a deserted tropical island . As a family seeking to getaway Napoleon's wars in Europe , set sail for New Guinea , but shipwrecks on an island . There they built an idyllic life , only to be confronted by a gang of pirates (led by Sessue Hayakawa). Furthermore , they battle anaconda , tiger , and finally dispatch a group of cutthroats . Meanwhile , they domesticate animals , as among the Robinson's pets are : Duke and Turk the dogs, Rocky the elephant, Lightning the donkey, Clementine the ostrich, Duchess the Zebr and an anaconda was actually pregnant during filming .

    The picture contains noisy adventures , humor , emotion , stirring action and sensational outdoors . The film displays some scenes have you on the edge of your seat as the amusing images when the protagonists fight an anaconda and against a band of pirates . Lots of adventure for family viewing , including an climatic as well as bemusing ending battle ; it was a direct influence on the final Ewok skirmish in ¨The return of the Jedi¨ , as George Lucas was a huge fan of the film . Excellent , powerful cast with sympathetic protagonists , many of them Disney ordinaries such as Janet Munro , James MacArthur ; in fact , Dorothy McGuire, Tommy Kirk and Kevin Corcoran had previously played a family in Disney's Old yeller . However , Tommy Kirk considered quitting at one point as he was so desperately homesick . Colorful cinematography reflecting marvelous landscapes by Harry Waxman , filmed on location in island of Tobago ; although set in a tropical paradise, the filming was considerably hampered by almost constant rain . Lively and evocative music by Willyam Alwyn , conducted by customary Muir Matheson . It has abundant special effects and some matte painting by Disney specialist Peter Ellenshaw ; being Walt Disney's first film in Panavision . In fact , this is one of Disney's rare widescreen films, shot with Panavision lenses , previous widescreen efforts from Disney had usually been in CinemaScope. It's a winning Disney effort made by its usual director Ken Annakin. At the box office, the film took roughly $40,000,000 , around $367,000,000 in today's money, making it one of the most successful family films ever made . It's a must for the Disney fans but is beautifully released , being recommendable for all family and especially for little boys public . Rating : Good , entertaining and with great lots of amusement .

    This fun picture was professionally directed by Ken Annakin , being enthusiastically funny though overlong . It was stunningly realized in splendidly amusing style , is all color , thrills and action . Ken was an expert on Adventure genre such as ¨The new adventures of Pippi Longstockings¨, ¨Pirate movie¨ , ¨Paper tiger¨, ¨The fifth Musketeer¨ , ¨Call of wild¨, ¨In search for the castaways¨, ¨Land of fury¨, ¨The Sword and the Rose¨, ¨The story of Robin Hood and his Merry Men¨, ¨Third man on the mountain¨ and Wartime genre as ¨Battle of the Bulge¨, and ¨The Longest day¨.
  • Embark on a family voyage with the "Swiss Family Robinson," the 1960 film from the happy mind of Walt Disney. Based on a book by Johann David Wyss (which I read and found terrific as well as this movie version), this family (Are they really Swiss?) gets shipwrecked on an island in the ocean. They do stuff like provide state-of-the-art survival (for the time), have fun, fight off pirates, and more!!!!!

    What I like about this film: My family loves it. While they still have the 1997 VHS, I want to see this on DVD in the future. I've seen the end of it on the Old Disney Channel back in 1997. The family loves it; I love it!!!!!

    "Swiss Family Robinson" - enjoy!!!!!

  • The Swiss Family Robinson is one of the best family adventure films, and definitely one of Disney's finest family films. Based on the Johan Wyss novel is the story of a British family shipwrecked during a storm, interuppting their migration to New Guinea.

    Not sure of how long they will be stranded or the whereabouts of the remaining crew (Disney ambiguously glosses over the issue of whether the crew is dead, but given the presence of sharks in the ocean and the tenacity of the storm the caused the wreck, I think it's safe assume they're night), they make the new island their home. Any young kids would probably love this aspect of the movie, the thought of having the jungle where you get to play in the river and build one of the most gnarliest treehouses (oddly complete with many modern conveniences despite the lack of electricity, etc). I would imagine that the actors who played the three brothers (Disney regulars, of course) had a lot of fun filming this movie. (Note: They recreated the treehouse for a walk-through tour at the Orlando Walt Disney World theme park).

    But, as Mother Robinson (Dorothy MacGuire) suggests, their jungle abode should only be considered temporary, because they can't forget that they are the only ones on the island. Being the typical maternal Disney character, she worries staying on the island provides no life and no opportunity for the three sons, Francis (MacArthur), Ernst (Kirk), and Francis (Corcoran), especially because there are no other girls there other than Mother. But the boys and their father (Sir John Mills) are also aware that they must also question whether it is a good idea to stay there because the pirate ship that they keep seeing.

    Pirates and treehouses? Oh, this is a good adventure story! The only way they can tell whether they're on a peninsuala (Enrst suggests there is or was a land bridge because of the presence of many different animal species in one area) or an island is if the two oldest brothers try sailing around it. And that's where they run into a gang of pirates who have taken a British diplomat and his kid hostage. Saving them would make the Robinson boys pirate targets for sure, and their family, too. But, it seems like the Robinsons are ready for anything. Who's scared of a little machette-weilding pirate, eh?

    This is a fantastic adventure film for younger children, though they may tend to get bored by some of the dreamy conversations between Mother and Father Robinson as they discuss their son's prospects and other concerns about the island. But, it is often non-stop adventure and looks like a lot of fun (like the Ostrich racing scene).

    Present, however, are some of the Disney stereotypical elements. The pirates, the villains, are Asian (I don't even think the pirate actors use a real language) and the good guys are the British. The female characters don't do any strong arm work and often engage in conversations limited to domestics (family life, nothing too intelligent). When Roberta is revealed to be a girl, all of a sudden anything she did that was macho while in disquise, vanishes and she becomes a helpless girl (it is Francis and Ernst who have to wrestle the snake and Roberta freaks at the sight of a lizard and so forth).

    Despite all of that, this is exemplary of what good old-fashioned adventure tales were made of, so younger boys would definitely be drawn to those elements, and hopefully, younger girls as well. Pirate chases, monster treehouses, snake wrestling. It's good times. And surprising for an older Disney film, has very little singing numbers. Skip on the remake of the 'The Swiss Family Robinson' and check this one out.
  • The producers of SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON appear to have taken the original novel by Johann Wyss, copied across the characters and the basic premise, and then get rid of it entirely in favour of a typically twee Disney-fied adventure. That's the only explanation I can give for this extraordinarily dated would-be adventure yarn, which is colourful and exotic but a far cry from the contemporary Jules Verne adventure films like JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH or 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA.

    The problem with SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON is that it's so kiddie-centric. Viewers are stuck watching an annoying little brat racing around and shouting all the while. Apparently the viewers think this kind of behaviour is cute, but it really isn't. Half of the running time seems to consist of wild animals being trapped and abused for human pleasure; they're treated as circus objects throughout and I this didn't sit well with me at all. What about that poor baby elephant, taken away from its family and sitting around tied to a tree for most of the running time, all on the whim of a bratty kid?

    Elsewhere, there are so many goofs and unbelievable things happening that this plays out as an unintentional comedy (the bit where they build a water wheel with a few basic tools is a highlight). There's some late stage fun to be had with some Oriental pirate villains, and John Mills can be relied upon to deliver a solid performance, but as a whole? SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON isn't very good.
  • This movie was truly great. I am not a fan of family-films, or non-animated Disney films either, but this was excellent. It is about a family who is traveling in the sea to Europe but is shipwrecked on an island and they are able to build a paradise there but are continuously faced with new challenges. There are plenty of dangerous wild animals, lack of food, and pirates come and a fantastic gun & sword battle erupts near the end of the film which is not too violent for a Disney film but is very exciting. This whole movie is great, it has great scenery, excitement and great color film for a 1960 movie. You must see this! Feel free to email me with any questions or comments.
  • John Mills was a fine actor, but in this he's a bit like a rocket engine attached to hot-air balloon in this.

    I'm a fan of old movies, but found this example to be a pretty poor one and not recommended for anyone interested in giving old classics a shot.

    It's certainly not short of budget or "adventure". Things are happening constantly. Including the most annoying soundtrack I can ever recall. With peculiar incidental music that accompanies absolutely every tiny thing that happens along the way. Constantly.

    What I found most disturbing, by today's standards, was the many examples of animal cruelty in the film. Including a tiger being harassed by 2 great dane dogs (potentially lethal for the dogs and distressing for the tiger), riding an ostrich and a zebra trapped in mud. All done with real performing animals.

    Couldn't be rated as a true old classic in my opinion. Probably only thought of fondly by people who saw it when they were young.
  • There are some films made for children (or, more correctly, featuring children) that have lasted and retain their appeal, such as 'Whistle Down the Wind' or 'The Railway Children'. The 1960 production 'Swiss Family Robinson' was pitched at eight year olds then but is unlikely to satisfy a modern-day eight-year-old. Certainly it should be avoided by any 1960-era eight year old (now 60 year old) tempted to believe the charm can be conjured a second time. In the hands of an imaginative director, the story has elements that might have been made into something lasting. Nothing about this production, however, suggests those involved felt conviction for what they are doing. It looks, sadly, like a cash register in celluloid.
  • Filled with action, adventure and romance, this classic tale of a swiss family trying to escape the suppression of their native land and wind up ship wrecked on a tropical island, is nicely adapted on the big screen. The acting is nothing to go woof over but what it lacks in that department it surely makes up for in scenery. You get the impression that the cast was just to breath taken to perhaps concentrate on their lines, being surrounded in paradise. The entire movie was shot on location, in the lavish South Seas. Dorothy McGuire does a nice job playing the mother of three sons, struggling to raise them "properly" although they are in the middle-of-nowhere; while James MacArthur gets loads of screen time with just him and his bare chest. And yes, just as you think you were safe...that annoying kid who was in EVERY DISNEY MOVIE IMAGINABLE...pops up as the youngest (and whiniest) of the brood, Francis. Don't let his stupid remarks, ruin the movie for you. Disney compensated us with many slick plot twists involving: pirates, wild animals and a love interest for Fritz (chest boy) and his punier brother, Ernest. This is a movie EVERYONE can watch munching on popcorn and having a few laughs. My score: 6
  • The title makes one wonder: are the Robinsons really a family from Switzerland? Yeah, Ernst and Fritz are German names, that's true. We don't know the parents's names but Robinson and Francis do not sound swiss at all, they do sound like americanos or even British.

    As for the movie, I admit that at first I was doubtful about it, but it's a watchable family movie. It's an okay adventure/family movie. I mean, of all the live-action Disney films, I wouldn't say this is my favorite or one of my favorites, but it remains faithful to the traditional ones in many ways, even if it isn't as good as the best.

    Many people say this movie looks very dated, but I disagree. Sure, looking at it we know immediately this is an old movie. What I'm trying to say is that, considering its age, it doesn't look that dated. It doesn't look as old as it is. For example, "The Ugly Dachshund" was made a few years after this and looks way more dated. "Popeye" is another perfect example of this: it came out 20 years after this and looks much more dated than this.

    The story of this is a kind of story very familiar in numerous adventure films, taking place in a desert island after a ship sinking or getting stuck on rocks (in this case, it gets stuck on rocks). It's a humble yet sympathetic plot, with comedy and lots of adventure.

    One of the things that bug me in this movie is the pirates. Those pirates can be quite annoying. And yet, the final battle with them is one of the movie's most hilarious moments, especially when little Francis Robinson throws them coco-nut bombs.

    The cast features 3 familiar actors from "Old Yeller": Dorothy McGuire, Tommy Kirk and Kevin Corcoran. Like in "Old Yeller", Dorothy McGuire plays the mom, while Tommy Kirk and Kevin Corcoran play brothers. It's amazing that they played brothers in 5 films. Extraordinary, isn't it? The main actors play well their roles. John Mills and Dorothy McGuire as the parents, James MacArthur as Fritz, Tommy Kirk as Ernst and Kevin Corcoran as Francis. Here both Tommy Kirk and Kevin Corcoran are as good as in "Old Yeller". Tommy's voice, however, sounds a bit different here and he looks taller too (well, he was 3 years older, right?). Kevin Corcoran got a bit chubbier here, didn't he? (no complaints at all, just an observation)

    I've noticed that many people complain about the character Francis, they seem to consider him annoying and obnoxious. I don't think so: I think he's a cute and smart kid. He also loves animals and he has some great ideas, such as the tiger's trap and the coco-nut bombs.

    One of the movie's best things is its exotic sceneries and landscapes. What we see is real, pure and beautiful nature: trees, forests, green places, mountains, beaches, sea, lots of sun and some sunset moments, among other things. We also get to see some wild animals, such as a giant turtle, a tiger (magnificent animal), an elephant calf and others. Elephants are not really beautiful, but they are cute, magnificent and majestic creatures. I think exactly the same about hippos: they're simply fantastic animals.

    Since this is a movie about Robinsons, maybe the song "Mrs. Robinson" (by Simon & Garfunkel) would be good for the movie's Mrs. Robinson - lol. Just kidding. It's a great song, but wouldn't fit well in this kind of movie. Besides, the song is from 1968 and the movie came out 8 years before.
  • There are many things to love about this adaptation of the classic adventure novel. The setting is idyllic and photographed beautifully. The characters are optimistic and happy despite their predicament. No modern cynicism amongst these people! They are resourceful and manage to build an inventive and comfortable home among the trees. However there are parts of the film that reveals its age. The men design and build the house and then present it to Mrs Robinson, whose job I imagine was then to clean it and keep it immaculate. Generally, there is little depth to Mrs Robinson's character. She is not allowed to present any ideas to the men about the house or how to defend it. She is only there to smile and scream. Another problem with the film is its mixture of animals. I am no expert but I cannot recall ever learning of a tropical island, somewhere between Europe and PNG that has Asian tigers and African zebras, hyeanas and vultures. (There was a baby elephant, but I am not sure whether it was Asian or African.) I guess it does not matter, but accuracy often reveals a commitment to integrity and the intelligence of the audience. Overall, I enjoyed the film. It filled me with a spirit of adventure. It makes the prospect of being shipwrecked quite attractive.
  • This is a dazzling Disney production, beautifully photographed and colorful, but the treatment of its subject (survival on a desert island) is overly wholesome and unrealistic. The family seems to be treating the whole situation like the perfect holiday. Even at the face of many hardships they all remain surprisingly cheerful! And the parents have an annoying habit of calling each other "Mother" and "Father", even when they're alone. By far the most interesting element of the film is the antagonism between the two older brothers, each trying to win the affections of the teenage girl they take along in their adventures; it's the only part of the movie that provides some dramatic conflict. (**1/2)
  • I wanted to live on this island with the Robinsons! I love their house they built, I love the jungle and the animals, and the 3 sons, I love the 2 dogs they saved off the boat. I wish the Robinsons were my family... As for the movie - I love it! Great for the whole family. We own it on video. I loved the book as a kid, and I try to get my kids to read it now. (They've seem the movie, so it's hard to get them to read the book - if possible read the book 1'st.) Don't you wish you had a waterfall slide to play on? Pirates, romance, and a shipwreck on a beautiful island - a classic.
  • The novel of Johann David Wyss concerning a Swiss Family who become shipwrecked on an island on the way to New Guinea has been done on the big and small screen all the way back to 1903. There's even plans for yet another version in 2009. This Disney version holds up very well even with the sometimes annoying presence of Kevin Corcoran as the youngest son.

    The original novel had four sons and they weren't named Robinson as that is most definitely not a German name. As written in 1812 the only connection to Robinson was reference to another fictional hero who survived many years on a desert island, most of that alone, Robinson Crusoe.

    One thing I've got to say is that these people with what they could salvage off the ship when they were wrecked were living pretty good, not hardly as primitive as can be. Yet parents John Mills and Dorothy McGuire who are actually kind of liking their little paradise are concerned about inevitable problems for boys without female companionship. As delicately as Walt Disney could put it about the facts of life.

    Later on the two older boys James MacArthur and Tommy Kirk have occasion to rescue Janet Munro who is in drag as a boy from those same Malay pirates who who waylaid the Robinson ship in the first place. When they discover she's a girl those complications start rearing their ugly head.

    When the final battle comes with the Malay pirates led by Sessue Hayakawa, it starts off as an A-Team like fight, but later turns into quite a battle for the lives of the family. If I were John Mills I might have given Kevin Corcoran to the pirates. This kid who's been one royal pain in the butt from the start, actually whistles to get their dogs inside the compound when the pirates land and as they're going in the opposite direction attracts them to where the family is, setting off the events of the climax. But a lot of people back in the day thought young Moochie was cute.

    Other than Kevin Corcoran, the movie holds up very well, it's still a fun family film for families other than the Robinsons.
  • mike-325112 January 2015
    Per flagpants review:

    "What I found most disturbing, by today's standards, was the many examples of animal cruelty in the film. Including a tiger being harassed by 2 great dane dogs (potentially lethal for the dogs and distressing for the tiger), riding an ostrich and a zebra trapped in mud. All done with real performing animals."

    Me too. I was into this film as a kid in 1960 and was going to add it to my collection until we re-watched it and saw numerous examples (more than flag mentioned) of animals being mistreated for the various scenes in the film. I found myself rooting against the Robinson's after about 30 minutes and we cut our losses.

    Family film? No. Booo .....
  • An absolutely stupid, corny story with terrible bad acting and the most annoying movie character ever (played by Kevin Cocoran). John Mills, a mediocre actor at best, was OK here as the father but that awful third-rate actress Dorothy Macguire was just terrible as his wife. Like most Disney crap, the whole thing is too Americanized. The "acting" by James Macarthur and Tommy Kirk is absolutely awful. Kirk was later fired from the Disney company for sexually abusing an underage boy. How he did not serve time in jail I do not know. Janet Munro sticks out like a sore thumb and the idea of this twenty-something woman with large breasts being mistaken for a young boy is absolutely stupid beyond belief. Thankfully this crap could never be made today, not least because of the way the animals are treated.

  • Swiss Family Robinson is definitely slow, but there is something endearing about this film. The locations and sets are amazing, and the animals are surprisingly realistic (because they're real animals, not CGI). This is an impressive undertaking in filmmaking and it's an impressive movie to watch - even if it makes you fall asleep a few times.
  • I used to watch this movie as a child and I enjoyed it. As a school teacher I recently had the opportunity to use the novel in my classroom. As a culminating activity we are watching this movie. Anyway, seeing it from this perspective puts things a little different.

    First of all the family is not named Robinson...the title was given as a reference to Robinson Crusoe. People complain of the ludicrous compilation of animals and the unlikely events...well that is how the novel was written. In fact the novel goes much further in its extremism. My biggest complaints come from the way that the movie departs from the novel. Eliminating the son named Jack was an odd choice from the start. They accelerated the pace of necessity since it is a movie and cannot contain as much as the novel but reordering events or making the mother (who in the novel was quite capable and contributed just as much to the family as everyone else) into a 1960's movie era helpless female did not serve the plot well. Turning Francis into the whiny little boy on screen just makes me want to pull my hair out. The overall spirit of the film is in line with the novel however and it is not a horrible movie to watch, it is actually enjoyable to watch. The value of this movie increases when I use it in the classroom because it opens up a lot of dialog comparing it to the novel and it really gets the students back into the book and trying to read for further understanding. On the whole it is a good classic Disney hearkens back to a time when Disney didn't totally screw things up (can we say Pocahontas?)...I'd recommend it, especially for young boys.
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