Swiss Family Robinson – Done the Disney Way – Spoiler


Not to long ago I read the Swiss Family Robinson and really enjoyed it. The story was a rehash of an earlier story, Robinson Crusoe but it still was enjoyable to read. The hardships that the Robinson family endured and coped with were less so than Robinson had to, being by himself and for a much longer period of time before discovery.

That is all besides the point. The point I was gearing up to was that I watched the 1960’s version Disney put out last night. I tried to get the 1940’s version but it hasn’t been released yet on DVD so I am waiting. In any case I watched the Disney version and have to say I was VASTLY disappointed. Almost everything was changed into the saccharine  sweet version they do with so many of the stories they have been doing for decades.

First off they remove one of the children right away; they gloss over time so all the events seem to take no time and happen in mere weeks rather than months and weeks. There were no pirates in the book and subsequently there was no English Captain and his granddaughter.

Seeing this movie decades ago I probably really enthralled with all the fun things that happened and how life seemed to be a picnic but after having read the book and re-watching the movie through adult eyes I can only say I am not impressed with what Disney has done here and with so many other movies they have done.

This is not to be an all out attack on Disney because there is much that they have produced that has merit and purpose (for me) but they have also put out much that has been not very good at all. Now, it could be that I am cynical but I like to say that I expect a little more quality from an institution like Disney for its movies.

After I came up with a list of all the movies I liked I found that there was lots that I would recommend seeing for whatever. As the list became longer and longer I realized that each one of them brought a smile to my face because I really enjoyed them for whatever reason it was. Maybe I was channeling my inner child or whatever. All I know is that they make as many stinkers as they don’t. I also have to face the fact that most of their films are geared towards younger audiences.

I also just found out that there is a new Swiss Family Robinson in the works with Will Smith, his wife and three kids. I think this will be a terrible film. Oh well can’t win them all and I will reserve that comment for after I have seen the movie.

Here are some of my favorites in no particular order.

  • Old Yeller
  • Darby O’Gill and the Little People
  • The Parent Trap
  • The Absent-Minded Professor
  • The Incredible Journey
  • Marry Poppins
  • The Gnome-Mobile
  • The Jungle-Book
  • The Love-Bug
  • The AristoCats
  • Bedknobs and Broomsticks
  • Herbie Rides Again
  • Escape to Witch Mountain
  • The Apple Dumpling Gang
  • The Rescuers
  • Pete’s Dragon
  • Herbie goes to Monte Carlo
  • Return from Witch Mountain
  • The Cat from Outer Space
  • Herbie Goes Bananas
  • Dragonslayer
  • The fox and the Hound
  • Tron
  • The Black Cauldron
  • The Journey of Natty Gann
  • Aladdin
  • Hocus Pocus
  • Toy Story I, II, III
  • Mulan
  • Atlantis; The Lost Empire
  • Monsters Inc.
  • Finding Nemo
  • National Treasure
  • Ice Princess (Don’t Judge Me!)
  • Sky High
  • Ratatouille
  • The Incredibles
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
  • Lion King
  • Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe
  • Wall E
  • Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
  • Up

Also I know I left off ALL the classic Disney movies. That was intentional. I enjoyed them as a child but they don’t hold up to the bring a smile to my face as I remembered them criteria. Sorry!

I think that wraps up this episode.

More to come…

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2 Responses to Swiss Family Robinson – Done the Disney Way – Spoiler

  1. Paul B says:

    I don’t know what you refer to as classic Disney movies. You have many from the 60s shown. You have Jungle Book and the Aritocats both classic Disney animation. Perhaps you are referring to classic fairy-tale movies. I’ll respectfully disagree with you even on the smile factor. How can you not smile at Grumpy’s antics in Snow White. Or the color battle between the the good caries in sleeping Beauty. Or how about the Wizards duel between Merlin and the mad madam Mim. Every classic fairy tale cartoon has humorous portions intentionally designed to entertain both child and adult. How can you not enjoy twiterpated in Bambi or the antics of the crazy genie in Aladdin. Every show has at least one smile moment. Plus, Disney has always had excellent award winning music and sound to enhance the experience. I think the big problem with Disney is that they have such a huge body of work that it difficult to remember those moments. Cartoons unlike live action doesn’t have the familiar actors or recurring characters that you see in live action. My opinion anyway. Black Cauldron is also one of my favorite cartoons but pretty much because of the character of Gurgi whose appetite for munchies and crunchies was a catchphrase around my home for many years.


    • So I had to go back through and reread my post to make certain of what I said so I could accurately reply. This also gave me some time to reflect on some of the movies I didn’t mention which were most of the older classic animated Disney. Snow White, Bambi, Peter Pan, 101 Dalmations, Lady and the Tramp, etc…
      I guess I would say that when I saw most of the films over the years I was more accepting of the message they were trying to convey. Actually I really enjoyed Peter Pan and I think Fox and the Hound was Disney too. I remember seeing the Black Cauldron in the theatre when it opened up. They had a raffle for prizes before the show started. It was awesome. Gurgi was also one of my favorite characters.
      To be fair I think I have misplaced my inner child or at least my acceptance of many things for what they are. Thanks for helping to remind me about much of what makes the movies more than animated doodles. There is musical score and awkward situations and horrible grotesque villains.
      Thanks for the reply.


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