Escape to an island full of castaway comedy as Disney favorite Dick Van Dyke and Nancy Kwan star in this hilarious South Pacific adventure. Lt. Robin Crusoe (Van Dyke) is an all-thumbs Navy pilot who ditches his plane afte... more »r engine trouble. He survives a riotous raft ride only to find himself marooned on a lush tropical island with a poker-playing chimp, a gadget-rich abandoned sub, and Wednesday (Kwan) -- a wild but beautiful native girl in exile for disobeying her overprotective father. You won't stop laughing as all the natives get restless in this paradise of clowning and chaos.« less
James D. Leverton | San Marcos, CA USA | 04/17/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"It's been a long time since I've seen this film, and I remember it to be an engaging slapstick farce with Dick Van Dyke in top form as the title character, a descendant of the original Robinson Crusoe who, while on training mission, crash-lands on a tropical island. He must fend for himself while awaiting rescue, with only fellow castaway Floyd the astrochimp and a native girl he names Wednesday to keep him company. It's a funny and fast-paced lark, and very typical of '60's Disney product.
Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this version of the film for purchase at this time. Here are five reasons why:
1. Like "Million Dollar Duck" and "Barefoot Executive", "Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N." is being released to DVD in a lazy, fullscreen version instead of the family-friendly 1:66:1 aspect ratio it was originally filmed in. As a film purist, I simply refuse to buy anything that isn't presented in the format it was originally filmed in. That Disney is dumping old films on DVD in the old fullscreen VHS format shows a total lack of respect for the filmmakers and the consumer alike.
2. I see no indication on the packaging that this film has been digitally restored. Therefore, I must conclude the DVD contains the same tired old print of the film that was originally released on VHS. Even more galling is the fact that the sound hasn't been upgraded to stereo, but according to the packaging is presented in "mono." I ask consumers everywhere: why bother replacing old VHS films with DVDs that are of no better quality than what you already have?
3. There are absolutely no extras presented with this film. No "making of" documentary, no commentary with Mr. Van Dyke, no original theatrical trailer, nothing. That Disney released this film with no extras makes the lack of a widescreen print even more annoying, since there is more than enough room on a DVD to present both fullscreen and widescreen versions of the film. Other companies, especially MGM/UA, do it all this time. Why can't Disney? It's simple: laziness and lack of respect for the consumer.
4. This DVD is ridiculously expensive, expecially at the original retail price of $19.95, which is a full $10 more than most bare-bones DVDs are priced by other companies. Disney has always been known for gouging its fans at the cash register, but this is ridiculous.
5. 1+2+3+4=ONE BIG RIPOFF. Once again, Disney rips-off its consumers, and they'll continue to laugh all the way to the bank unless we take a stand. Therefore, I ask fans everywhere:
BOYCOTT ANY DISNEY DVD THAT IS NOT RESTORED AND PRESENTED IN WIDESCREEN FORMAT. That's the only way we'll ever get through to these greedy corporate pinheads.
Film: *** (out of *****) DVD: * (out of *****)"
Finally, a childhood favorite makes it to DVD!!!
Nicholas Carroll | Portland OR United States | 02/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been waiting for this movie to come out on DVD so I can replace my well-worn VHS copy. I used to watch this film a lot as a teenager because I've always had an interest in "deserted south pacific islands" ("Gilligan's Island" was one of my favourite childhood shows, I loved "Swiss Family Robinson", I dreamed of visiting Tahiti and Fiji when a 4th grade teacher spoke about such islands existing, and a part of me still fantasizes about the Peace Corps).
This film is a Disney classic which still holds up well today. I'm not sure if savvy modern-day children will like this kind of film, but I imagine they will. The humor is timeless and Dick Van Dyke is the sort of actor that children gravitate to (perhaps "the Mary Poppins effect"). I like this retelling of the "Robinson Crusoe" story, modernizing it and adding much humor as well. The chimp as sidekick is great.
My favorite part of the movie is when Lt Crusoe meets the island ladies and they speak pidgin to comedic effect (like using "cow-cow"). There were so many lines in this film that my sister and I loved to quote to one another, such as "Kabuna say 'women got rights!'" Just the word "Kabuna" sounds funny when you say it. I love how Lt Crusoe plays with the natives' superstitious belief in idols, by making Kabuna (an Easter Island looking tiki rock carving that the island natives worship) speak with a booming voice. Ah, to be stranded on an island full of beautiful native women! This film is kind of a parody about the women's liberation movement, as Lt Crusoe changes the women to be less submissive and more independent, which has an unintended consequence for him...as they chase after him and he's still dreaming about his girl in the U.S.
This one is a classic and will definitely be a part of my collection. I could watch it over and over and still laugh myself silly. Unfortunately, Disney doesn't make movies like this anymore, but I hope they won't even attempt to remake it (as they did with other classics like "The Parent Trap" and "Freaky Friday"). This one is timeless and a perfect Disney comedy of the bygone era."
Disney Classics Never Die!
Shari Gunther | Utah | 02/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My Dad used to own a video store when I was young, so we saw all of the Disney movies and owned tons of them. Lt. Robin Crusoe is one movie I loved to watch because of the chimp in it. So when it came out on DVD I just had to get it. My two girls are ages 5 and 3 and I didn't think they would like to watch it just yet but I was wrong. They love it! Even though they don't understand some of the humor, they still enjoy it. The movies that are being made today are getting worse and worse, with the exception of Disney's and very few others. The movies that were made 20 years ago are so much more decent and very enjoyable for the whole family. This movie is one of the great Disney classics that should belong in every home!!"
Henry Krinkle | 04/11/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I give this four stars from memory only. I watched this movie many times on the Disney channel back in the day when it ment something to have the Disney Channel. I enjoyed it a lot. I always have had a soft spot for Dick's movies. I remember it being fun, clean and very entertaining...something you just don't get from live action Disney anymore. If you are looking for a family film that will grab the attention of the room...this should be it."
This is a Disney Sleeper That's Worth Buying
EDK | Provo, UT | 03/26/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"We've been waiting for a long time for this one to hit. If you've never seen it, and you like either the classic Disney movies or Dick Van Dyke, you'll like this one. I saw this as a 6 year old at the drive in, and got a lousy recording years ago on VHS off of the TV. My kids watch this again and again even though it's "old fashioned".
Funny, clean, smart, and thoroughly enjoyable. I truly think this would be a Disney classic on par with more famous flicks if only they would have changed the ending. For those of you that have seen it, you'll know what I mean when I say that Lt Crusoe should have returned! A perfect ending!"