April 24, 2010

The Swiss Family Robinson

The other night I watched Disney’s The Swiss Family Robinson. This is a movie I remember watching as a kid and consider it one of Disney’s classic live action films.

The movie is based on a book, written by a German pastor Johann David Wyss. Written to preserve the tales he and his sons made up while imagining themselves in Robinson Crusoe's predicament. Not originally intended for publication, the narrative was later edited and illustrated by Wyss' descendants in 1812. It is about a Swiss family who are shipwrecked in the East Indies en route to New Guinea.

The family has many adventures they capture animals, rescue a girl and fight off a ship load of pirates, which is my favorite scene in the movie. Tigers in pits, giant logs rolling down the hill and of course the coconut bombs.

Their tree house was later turned into an attraction at Disneyland, though that has now been changed to Tarzans Jungle Bungalow.

I was watching this movie and I realized that half of these animals would not exist on the same continent let alone the same island. I can only assume one of two things. Either Johann David Wyss had no idea what animals lived in South East Asia or a ship full of animals from Africa must have also wrecked on the island many years prior to the Robinsons arriving.

They have hyenas’, ostriches and zebras. I didn’t think you could ride the last two but the Robinsons found a way to tame these beasts that no one else can. Maybe it has some thing to do with the animals diet or the weather in South East Asia that makes them able to be trained.

In spite of the inaccurate portrayal of animals this remains one of my favorite movies from my childhood.


Sayyadina said...

What about Old Yeller, The Cat from Outer Space or The Court Jester? Great, now I want to watch a bunch of old Disney live action movies.

Lindsay said...

I hadn't ever thought about the diversity of the animals on that island. I'm not sure if I'm ever going to be able to watch it again.

Thanks Scott. :)

KNOWLES said...

Ha ha great info! Way to do your research I'll never watch that movie the same!

Dave said...

I haven't seen this since I was little. All I remember is thinking the youngest kid was annoying and wishing he would fall into the tiger pit.