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Swiss Family Robinson (Vault Disney Collection)
Swiss Family Robinson
Vault Disney Collection
Actors: John Mills, Dorothy McGuire, James MacArthur, Janet Munro, Sessue Hayakawa
Director: Ken Annakin
Genres: Action & Adventure, Classics, Comedy, Drama, Kids & Family, Animation
G     2002     2hr 6min

One of Disney's biggest and most fondly remembered hits, the spectacular screen version of the literary classic SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON is full of breathtaking South Seas scenery, hundreds of exotic animals, and treacherous ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: John Mills, Dorothy McGuire, James MacArthur, Janet Munro, Sessue Hayakawa
Director: Ken Annakin
Genres: Action & Adventure, Classics, Comedy, Drama, Kids & Family, Animation
Sub-Genres: Swashbucklers, Classics, Animation, Drama, Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Classics, Animation
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 05/07/2002
Original Release Date: 12/21/1960
Theatrical Release Date: 12/21/1960
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 2hr 6min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 100
MPAA Rating: G (General Audience)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Aimee M. (AimeeM)
Reviewed on 2/5/2008...
Well... this is a Disney, just remember that.
But I have always liked this movie. The actors are classic and lovable as ever (I have always been a James MacArthur fan) There isn't too much drama, but this isn't a complete flop either. There is plenty of comedy in it, and a little romance.

I LOVE the tree-house the family built. AND there is a Hidden Mickey in this film... won't tell you where though, you'll have to find it yourself! (Or just Google it)

Classic GREAT film.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Loaded special DVD deserves more than 5 stars
microjoe | 02/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I strongly recommend! Originally released in 1960, the film returned to theatres 4 times in later years. This is absolutely one of the most fun family films the Walt Disney Studios ever made. There is truly something for everyone... comedy, action, adventure, drama, romance, and suspense. Even at 126 minutes in length, it does not feel too long. Starting in the aftermath of a shipwreck, the Swiss family rebuilds their life on an uncharted tropical island. They use the wealth of salvage in livestock, tools, guns, furniture, wood, and more to build a safe home in the trees, complete with running water and other conveniences. The mother and father begin an idealic exhistance with their 3 boys aged 9, 16, and 18. But one day the older boys decide to take a canoe and survey the rest of the island. They stumble across pirates that are attacking the crew of a ship, and rescue the captain's daughter, bringing the wrath of the pirates on them since they are discovered.

Directed by Ken Annakin, the movie was filmed on location on the caribbean island of Tobago. While the production went way over budget for a total cost of $4 million, Walt did not get upset with his production team at the time since the film was looking to be success when he reviewed clips from the set. As it turned out, with subsequent theatre releases, television, and video airing, the film has turned out to be one of the top-grossing films from Disney.

The tropical scenery is spectacular as they filmed all over the island; waterfalls, forests, grass plains, flowers, beaches, cliffs, mountains, oceans, streams, and much more. Contributing a tremendous amount to the exotic locale of the movie are animals, pirates, ships, and a tree house to beat all tree houses ever made. Similar to the role the submarine "Nautilus" filled in the earlier film "20,000 Leagues Below the Sea", the tree house becomes a star in it's own right. The wonderful and inventive home designed by the castaways and from the ships salvage is incredible to behold.

Featuring a wonderful cast and crew assembled by Walt himself, Mr. Disney liked to stick with actors he knew could relate to a broad audience. Most of the actors in this film appeared in other Disney movies over the years, many times with other actors from this film. Hayley Mills (Pollyana, Parent Trap, That Darn Cat, Summer Magic, In Search of the Castaways, The Moon-Spinners), Dorothy McGuire (Old Yeller, Summer Magic), John Mills (Did not appear in other Disney movies, but was Hayley's real life father), James MacArthur (Light in the Forest, Third Man on the Mountain, Kidnapped), Kevin Corcoran (A Tiger Walks, Savage Sam, Old Yeller, The Shaggy Dog, Bon Voyage, Babes in Toyland, Toby Tyler, Pollyanna), Tommy Kirk (Probably the most proficient of all with Savage Sam, Old Yeller, The Shaggy Dog, Moon Pilot, Bon Voayage, Son of Flubber, The Absent-Minded Professor, Misadventure of Merlin Jones, The Monkeys Uncle, Babes in Toyland), and Janet Munroe (Darby O'Gill and the Little People, Third Man on the Mountain). Most of these actors also appeared in movies for the Disney television series as well.

The 2 disc DVD treatment that Disney gave this film is perfect, starting with great packaging and case. It is in Widescreen, the first widescreen release outside of theatres for the film in fact. And what a difference it makes in the beautiful location island vistas of the film. The film has been cleaned up and remastered to its original brilliance with lush colors, great image and depth, it just sparkles. The DVD transfer itself is very well done, a high quality job. The audio is very clean and crisp.

The extras on this DVD are what really make the best version released of this film, and they are not all listed here at Amazon or even on the packaging. You have to hunt them down and get creative with your remote. So let me help by telling you what to look for if you buy this... For starters they have the original cartoon that was released with the movie, "Sea Salts" allowing you to see this with the kids the way that it is meant to be seen. There is a 2 minute "1960 Disney Studio Album", a montage of projects, attractions, shows, and films being made and released that year. There is an audio commentary as an alternate track that features comments from cast and crew.

Next we have 23 minutes from a vintage Walt Disney television "Wonderful World of Disney" episode titled "Escape to Paradise", that show the making of the film behind the scenes. Up next is the original 1960 movie theatre trailers for the film, and the 1960 televison spots to advertise the film. Then there are "Storyboard to Scene Comparisons"; a seperate "Storyboard Gallery"; and a 2 minute "Production Gallery" of photo stills from behind the scenes at location. Another gallery is full of production stills; Next is "Biographies" on 8 principle actors; and then "Concept Art" on the films pre-production design work.

As if that's not enough a featurette titled "Adventure in the Making" was made just for this set, and at 49:00 minutes long it is very complete and satisfying, with recent interviews of the original cast and crew. There is great behind the scenes original footage in this piece, and the folks regale us with funny stories of the filming days. Peter Elleshaw (matte artist), Ken Annakin (director), Danny Lee (special effects), and actors John Mills, Tommy Kirk, Kevin Corcoran are all here for modern interviews. ANOTHER short 4 minute featurette that was also made just for this set is "Swiss Family Treehouse", narrated by Hayley Mills. It is the pre-opening footage and the actual Opening Ceremony of the "Swiss Family Robinson's Tree House" attraction (now gone, replaced with Tarzans Tree House) at the Disneyland Park. Walt himself is there and it is evident he is really enjoying himself in this must-see footage.

Included on the set is a very nice 12 minute interview with James MacArthur, who appeared in this film and 3 others for Disney along with a TV movie. This features great video as well. There is a "Pirates" music video sing along featuring pirate themed clips from Disney films, TV shows, cartoons, and the theme park attraction "Pirates of the Caribbean", all set to the Disney tune of "Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirates Life For Me". An unusual or unexpected extra is a featurette that has 20 minutes of excerpts from a 1940 non-Disney version of the story.

The dvd set has Audio Archives set to photos from the film, including 2 Interactive Sound Studios, 2 songs from the film, original 1960 radio spots. Another real treat is the complete LP soundtrack of the original "Storybook Album" of the movie released in 1960.

I really enjoyed this DVD, and this film really got the best of treatment by Disney. They simply outdid themselves and I am one grateful viewer. I wish all the really good classic Disney films got at least some of this royal treatment. They have a reputation as the best studio about protecting their old source material, archives, etc, but they are not always generous in using it for their DVD's so I can really appreciate the effort here by the decision makers. Thank you Disney for this compilation that really honors this gem of a film the way it should be!!!! My highest recommendation if you are considering buying this DVD.
Classic Disney adventure -- Superlative DVD release
microjoe | 05/29/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The folks at Walt Disney Home Video have put together four excellent new "Vault Disney" releases that truly showcase DVD technology at its best. "Swiss Family Robinson," one of Walt Disney's best-loved live-action adventures, benefits immensely from DVD technology, especially the wide-screen presentation and THX restored picture and sound quality. The widescreen alone would have satisfied most fans, so the plethora of extras on the supplemental disc are truly special. I have never seen a DVD with so many extras presented in such a creative and easily accessible way. Thank you to everyone at Walt Disney Home Video for this wonderful DVD. Hopefully, more titles will follow in this series (like Third Man on the Mountain, Darby O'Gill and the Little People, The Moonspinners, and Summer Magic) and ALL Disney DVD's will be released in their original theatrical ratios"
Vault Disney DVD packed with extras for a low price
Lulu | The Rat's Mouth, USA | 05/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"What a fantastic DVD this is. The Vault Disney series is wonderful, and I hope they give more films the same treatment soon. Not only is the film beautifully restored (in its original 2:35:1 theatrical aspect ratio, and with 5.1 THX surround sound), but the DVD itself is packed with delightful extras.There's a documentary about making "Swiss Family Robinson" that is nearly 50 minutes long and contains interviews with Sir John Mills, James MacArthur, Tommy Kirk, and Kevin Corcoran. There's a commentary track with the latter three contributing comments about the film. There's an additional interview with MacArthur about his film work, the original theatrical trailer and television spots, radio spots, the entire story album that came out with the film, a Donald Duck cartoon, and more! If you like "Swiss Family Robinson," get this DVD -- even if you already have the VHS tape. It's worth it just to finally have a widescreen version of this family-friendly classic (the better to view the wonderful island vistas), even if you don't figure all of the wonderful extras into the bargain."