Swiss Family Robinson (1960)

Swiss Family Robinson (1960), directed by Ken Annakin.

I'm catching up on the family classics I missed in my first childhood.

This has a strong beginning with emphasis on the survival details essential to the best adventure stories. It succumbs to typical Disney diddling around, but comes back for a big battle with the pirates (who weren't in the book) which includes a massive exploding landslide defense, as well as coconut grenades.

Like the book their new land has every large animal species on Earth. And the film is set in the correct time period: they have flintlock firearms.

John Mills and Dorothy McGuire are mom and dad, both getting more action scenes than their usual films. James ("Book 'em, Dano") MacArthur is the eldest son. It's trouble in paradise for him and #2 son when Janet Munro shows up mid way. I remember her fondly from Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959) and The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961). She had a brief life and career; alcohol was the problem.

The only other thing I recall from the book is that the family is exceedingly devout and often stops for prayer breaks. Well, that's fine, but I kept hoping one of the boys would say "Gee, Dad, could we give thanks later and just skin the crocodile now?"

Filmed in Tobago, but set in the East Indies. There's a bit with some dogs worrying a tiger that I think would not be allowed today.