My Favorite Movies #75 – Swiss Family Robinson

Swiss Family Robinson - PosterSwiss Family Robinson

1960

Directed by Ken Annakin

Netflix says… After being shipwrecked, the Robinson family is marooned on an island inhabited only by an impressive array of wildlife. In true pioneer spirit, they quickly make themselves at home but soon face a danger even greater than nature: dastardly pirates. A rousing adventure suitable for the whole family, this Disney adaptation of the classic Johann Wyss novel stars Dorothy McGuire and John Mills as Mother and Father Robinson.

  • This movie definitely hits me in the nostalgia.
  • It’s one that I remember watching a lot as a kid.
  • Swiss Family Robinson makes me think of the Disney Channel and the stuff they showed late at night.
  • Back in the day, the Disney Channel was a premium cable channel. Like HBO. You had to subscribe and pay extra.
  • And back then, they liked to show the old school Disney movies during those late night hours.
  • There was this, In Search of the CastawaysThe Parent Trap, and so many more. Some are way better than others.
  • Some could be completely forgotten and I’d be okay with it.
  • I’m looking at you, Apple Dumpling Gang.
  • If you’re not familiar with this movie, shame on you. It’s a classic.
  • An unnamed family from Switzerland (only named Robinson in the title because they’re stranded on an uncharted island like Robinson Crusoe) gets stranded on an uncharted island like Robinson Crusoe.
  • They make the most of a difficult situation by building the greatest tree house of all time.
  • That youngest kid, Francis, is kind of a brat. In everything I’ve ever seen that kid in. I think he got type cast throughout his career as a child actor.
  • Anyone else think it’s kind of funny that the two older brothers wind up fighting over the girl who they both believed was a boy when they met her?
  • Like a lot of older movies, I’m sure the Asian pirates that keep popping up are full of racial stereotypes.
  • I’m also pretty sure I spotted more than a couple white actors in make up that would seriously be frowned upon were this movie remade today.
  • I will say, it’s pretty impressive that this family of five… well, six when you add Roberta to the mix… is able to defend their makeshift home from a shipload of pirates.
  • Sure, it’s in the script that they’re able to successfully defend the island. Still…
  • Oh yeah… I forgot, Roberta’s grandfather shows up with a real ship that chases the pirates away.

Anyone else ever wonder what happens to this family after the end of this movie? I mean, they’re content to stay on the island. Except for Ernst, who jumps aboard Roberta’s grandfather’s ship and goes to university. But the family decides that this island is the colony of New Switzerland. That sounds great and all, but what happens when someone gets sick? Even if the father or mother had some kind of medical training, it’s not like you have access to any kind of medicines. Maybe that’s why there was never a sequel. They were doomed…

And on that pessimistic note, I’ll end things here. Next week we’ll switch gears with a more recent sci-fi flick: Arrival.

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