The Swiss Family Robinson
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this early '70s animated version of The Swiss Family Robinson definitely shows its age. Younger viewers may or may not get on board with the dated animation, but the story itself is timeless. There are instances of minor cartoonish violence -- a boy comes face-to-face with a snarling panther, a volcano causes an earthquake, gunpowder nearly blows up and destroys a father, son, and dog, and a bull herd charges the family -- but no one is ever seriously hurt.
What's the story?
When their ship washes ashore on a deserted island, the Robinson family must work together to survive, and ultimately thrive in their new home. Together, they build a treehouse in which to live, raise farm animals, and explore the island for other sources of water. Along the way, they must contend with monsoons, a volcano, a panther, and a bull herd, as the days turn to weeks, months, and years, and the Robinsons begin to doubt that they will ever be rescued. Through teamwork and tremendous effort, the family starts making a successful go of it on the island.
Is it any good?
Despite having all the hallmarks of cheap-o 1970s animation, this movie still manages to convey the classic, timeless tale in an economical and action-packed manner. Youngest members of the family should have no problem following along with what's happening, and as such, this could be a decent introduction to other, longer versions of this classic story.
That is, of course, if your family can get past the animation. Some of it appears out of focus, and the colors look faded, on top of the monotonous backgrounds, minimal movement, and characters who look basically the same except for their hairstyles. This will bother some more than others, but if you can tolerate it, consider The Swiss Family Robinson a dated yet entertaining entry course to a well-known tale of survival and family bonding on a deserted island.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how this story is based on a book. What do you think was cut out of this version? Do you prefer the story animated or live action?
If Swiss Family Robinson were remade today, how would it differ?
At one point during the story, the father tells one of us sons, "Books and learning are as vital to us as food and water." What does this mean, and why does the father hold books and learning in such high regard?