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Swiss Family Robinson (1960), being shipwrecked on a Blu (1 Viewer)

Kyrsten Brad

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Well folks I haven't yet seen a offical thread for this release and I have yet to see it confirmed on the DMC site, however 'll go ahead and take a chance here that this is for real and that a childhood favorite of mine, Disney's Swiss Family Robinsion (1960) is finally making its way into Blu waters. Like a lot of folks here, I first go wind of this thru a "official" posting on the blu-ray.com site (I'll give credit where credit due).
UPDATE: Order links now up on DMC visible to members. Note to Ron, if you wish, go ahead and add a purchase link here, if you can for DMC).

SwissFamilyRobinson_Blu.jpg


As I mentioned, this was a childhood favorite movie of mine which I caught during one of Disney's theatrical re-releases (I was less than 1 year old when it was first released in 1960, it was re-released in 1969). One of those rotten weather Ohio weekend days where my parents would drop us kids off at the cinema for a afternoon. When they did this, I usually end up catching two showings of the same film which of course happened here.
Being I don't want to write any spoilers for those here who have not yet seen this film but want to check out the forthcoming Blu, I'll simply leave this Swiss Family Robinson Wiki link for those wanting further information.
Up until now this movie has never been remade by Disney or any other studio although a subplot or two of this film made its way into other Disney movie productions. The attacking pirates subplot for example re-appeared in the Disney productions Captain Ron (1992) and Six Days, Seven Nights (1998), both set in tropical locales.

It has also been reported that filmmaker Irwin Allen sought to get Disney approval for a tie-in for his Lost In Space TV series (also happily coming to Blu) but apparently Disney declined. Mr. Allen was still able to use the Robinson surname in LIS but no tie-in or whatever to Swiss Family Robinson was allowed.

There was some rumblings of a remake starting around December 2004 which have persisted to this day but so far, no official announcements or casting calls, though Will Smith has been tied to some of these rumors.

Swiss Family Robinson will be made available exclusively thru the Disney Movie Club. I know how some here feel about being "forced" to join DMC just to get some desired films but if you enjoy Disney classics and would like to pass along these movies to your children so that they could see how real cinema was made well before CGI, I say take the plunge and sign up. You won't be sorry.

As for me, I hope to be able to do a double order on DMC to include the new Cinderella movie (for my wife of course) and the DVD for Six Days, Seven Nights (which hopefully Disney will see fit to release to Blu in the future along with Captain Ron). Come to think of it, those two movies on Blu, packaged with Swiss Family Robinson would make a heck of a multi-Blu package for Disney. I also can't wait to package this Blu with the Special Edition Swiss Family Robinson DVD set (in its own purple tin) I got just a few months ago.
 

RolandL

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Was this released in 1960 with 4-track or mono sound? I know IMDB says 4-track but they are not always correct. I have the DVD and it sounds like the 5.1 came from a mono track.
 

Will Krupp

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Kyrsten Brad said:
Up until now this movie has never been remade by Disney or any other studio although a subplot or two of this film made its way into other Disney movie productions. The attacking pirates subplot for example re-appeared in the Disney productions Captain Ron (1992) and Six Days, Seven Nights (1998), both set in tropical locales.


It has also been reported that filmmaker Irwin Allen sought to get Disney approval for a tie-in for his Lost In Space TV series (also happily coming to Blu) but apparently Disney declined. Mr. Allen was still able to use the Robinson surname in LIS but no tie-in or whatever to Swiss Family Robinson was allowed.

Just a quick correction but it HAS been remade and on more than one occasion. It was remade as an animated TV movie in the early 70's and Irwin Alllen did, indeed, manage to remake it as a TV movie and subsequent series during the 1975-1976 TV season.


By the way, where the HELL is poor Tommy Kirk in that cover art?
 

Kyrsten Brad

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Will Krupp said:
Just a quick correction but it HAS been remade and on more than one occasion. It was remade as an animated TV movie in the early 70's and Irwin Alllen did, indeed, manage to remake it as a TV movie and subsequent series during the 1975-1976 TV season.

By the way, where the HELL is poor Tommy Kirk in that cover art?
Thanks. Never knew that Irwin Allen remade it as a TV series. Everyone (guys that is) was too busy watching Charlie's Angels.
 

Lord Dalek

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RolandL said:
Was this released in 1960 with 4-track or mono sound? I know IMDB says 4-track but they are not always correct. I have the DVD and it sounds like the 5.1 came from a mono track.
The old laserdisc was in Dolby Surround so it probably wasn't mono originally.
 

JoeDoakes

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It would have been nice if Disney had included the Selznick version on this as they surely had the disk space. But Disney isn't nice.
 

John Morgan

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JoeDoakes said:
It would have been nice if Disney had included the Selznick version on this as they surely had the disk space. But Disney isn't nice.
It was an RKO release and Disney does have the preserved film in its full-length version. It was cut in the 50s for reissue. I think the extra material came from 16mm, but it looks pretty good. Yeah, I wish they would have included it---even in standard resolution. The 40s version is decent, has a great cast and visuals, but hasn't even been offered to TCM. I don't think Disney knows what to do with it.
 

classicmovieguy

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Disney included an excerpt from the RKO version in the extras for the Vault Disney DVD, but beyond that, I doubt we'll see the complete film released by the company.
 

Will Krupp

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JoeDoakes said:
It would have been nice if Disney had included the Selznick version on this as they surely had the disk space. But Disney isn't nice.

I don't think Selznick had anything to do with it, though.
 

Lord Dalek

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Will Krupp said:
I don't think Selznick had anything to do with it, though.

He didn't. That said, its one of those Showboat/White Christmas-style situations where Disney had to buy the rights to the original film in order to remake it, thus it was NOT part of the package of Selznick International films they acquired after buying ABC in 1997.
 

JoeDoakes

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Will Krupp said:
I don't think Selznick had anything to do with it, though.
I think of it as together with the other classic era nonDisney films Disney owns. I stand corrected then.
 

Will Krupp

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Lord Dalek said:
it was NOT part of the package of Selznick International films they acquired after buying ABC in 1997.

I'm sorry, I'm confused. Why would it EVER have been part of a Selznick International package, though?
 

Lord Dalek

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Will Krupp said:
I'm sorry, I'm confused. Why would it EVER have been part of a Selznick International package, though?

Becuase Selznick's estate maintained control of all of his independently produced RKO distributed features (save of course for Gone With The Wind) until they sold them to ABC? That's how Disney ended up with all those Hitchcock films.
 

Will Krupp

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Lord Dalek said:
Becuase Selznick's estate maintained control of all of his independently produced RKO distributed features (save of course for Gone With The Wind) until they sold them to ABC? That's how Disney ended up with all those Hitchcock films.

That's what I'm getting at. It WASN'T a Selznick production, he had nothing to do with it. His distribution deal was with United Artists at the time, not RKO. THIS movie was strictly an in-house studio production.
 

LeoA

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Kyrsten Brad said:
Up until now this movie has never been remade by Disney or any other studio although a subplot or two of this film made its way into other Disney movie productions. The attacking pirates subplot for example re-appeared in the Disney productions Captain Ron (1992) and Six Days, Seven Nights (1998), both set in tropical locales.



There's some loose similarities with 'Lt. Robin Crusoe, USN', a Disney movie that I've always liked, despite seemingly not being very well liked by most people judging by reviews of the DVD from a few years ago.


Ironically, my favorite part is the first half, where as most of what I've read was especially critical of the earlier half of the movie. It's my favorite Dick Van Dyke movie, followed by Fitzwilly (I don't like his bigger movies like Mary Poppins, despite loving Disney films of this era).


Along with the title itself, he's a castaway stranded on a tropical island after his jet goes down, like how the family here is shipwrecked. There's a love story like here with the two teenage sons both falling for the girl that they rescued from the pirates. Animals are important to both stories. They both salvage what they use to help survive from wrecked vessels. And he even has to prepare the island to defend against the natives, much like how the family in Swiss Family Robinson has to defend their new home from the returning pirates.


Then at the very end, they're both saved by the cavalry, with a friendly ship sinking the pirate's vessel in the Swiss Family Robinson and a naval helicopter plucking Dick Van Dyke and the chimp out just in the nick of time in Lt. Robin Crusoe.


I wouldn't mind a Blu-Ray of that one although it's not nearly as high up in my list as the Swiss Family Robinson, The Parent Trap, and others, but I digress.
 

Dick

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Will Krupp said:
By the way, where the HELL is poor Tommy Kirk in that cover art?
Good question. Tommy Kirk was an underrated actor whose performance in OLD YELLER was actually Oscar-worthy, in my opinion. For whatever reason, Disney never gave him a decent shot at another serious role, and relegated him into dumb slapstick comedies with chimps and flubber and whatnot after SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON, which itself did not afford him with a very challenging acting opportunity. Kevin Corcoran, on the other hand, was largely an insufferable little tyke who always got his fellow characters into trouble. In OLD YELLER and in SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON, as well as most of his other films, he plays an obnoxious (if cute) urchin being marketed to boys in the audience who would find his behavior funny in a "snips and snails and puppy dog tails" sort of way, as I did when I saw this film at age ten. I liked him then, but find him cloying now. Tommy Kirk, on the other hand, had genuine talent that went largely wasted. He belongs on that cover much more than Corcoran does.
 

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