Legacy Content

Toon Talk: Swiss Family Robinson Vault Disney 2-Disc DVD
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Swiss Family Robinson Production Archive:

  • Three separate Galleries, showcasing Production Stills (both in black and white and in color), Production Art (one gallery each for Concept Art, in which it is apparent how much they had their act together prior to filming considering how closely these match the final product; and Storyboard Art of the opening shipwreck, including an abandoned encounter with a whirlpool) and Biographies (brief biographical information along with selected filmographies). Thumbnails are dispensed with, allowing you to more easily browse with your remote.
  • Some of the production stills can be seen in a montage format in the Production Gallery, accompanied by William Alwn’s thrilling score from the film.
  • Trailers and TV Spots includes a great retro trailer for the film’s original release, with now-campy over-the-top narration.
  • A split-screen Storyboard to Scene Comparison of Fritz and Ernst’s rescue of Roberta from the pirates.
  • Walt Disney Presents: Escape to Paradise, from the original Disney TV program, shows the making of Swiss Family Robinson, albeit not quite as informatively in-depth as the Adventures in the Making featurette. Features the seemingly endless “Swiss Family Robinson Calypso”, an islander’s musical salute to the visiting filmmakers.
  • Take a peek at the first cinematic version of the story in Excerpts: 1940 Swiss Family Robinson. This black-and-white film, starring a group of plump English actors who look like the wouldn’t last a day on such an island compared to the Disney cast, is hopelessly soundstage bound and shamelessly melodramatic, as films from that era often are in retrospect.
  • The Audio Archives includes no less then five Radio Spots, giving you a chance to get that calypso song stuck in your head again; two Sound Studios, where you get to toggle between dialogue only, sound effects/music only and full composite soundtracks for the Pirate Attack and Animal Race scenes; the full version of the film’s sole Song, “My Heart Is An Island”, with accompanying shots from the isle of Tobago; and the Story Album, featuring Kevin Corcoran but none of the other original cast members. While you listen to this last track, you view a slide show of images from the movie, but they are oddly out of sync with the story.

Disney Studio Album - 1960:
A nostalgic montage of the goings-on at the Disney Studios in 1960, including the theatrical releases of Pollyanna, Kidnapped and Swiss Family Robinson; the production of 101 Dalmatians, Babes in Toyland and The Absent-Minded Professor; the Disneyland openings of the Matterhorn, the Monorail and the Submarine Voyage; and television programs starring Elfego Baca, the Swamp Fox and Moochie.

This is an excellent way to get a sense of the history of that time at Disney, a welcome addition to this first set of Vault Disney titles, which, if Swiss Family Robinson is any indication, will be welcome additions themselves to any Disney fan’s video library.

Toon Talk Rating: A-

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