Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Swiss Family Robinson


This is one of the first books I remember reading as a child, and I surely did love it. My friends and I used to play like we were stranded on an island, building huts and stuff. And when this movie came out I loved that, too. Hell, I loved the Swiss Family Tree House at Disneyland, and was pissed off when they re-themed it to Tarzan, that musclebound ape. There are still Swiss Family Tree Houses in Florida, Paris, and Tokyo, but when will I ever get the chance to visit those? Oh well, I couldn’t climb that many steps these days, anyway. The trees have a scientific name, did you know that? They are Disneyodendron semperflorens grandest.

I’m sad to say that the movie was not a total delight for me this time. There is still a lot to like, such as the race on elephant, ostrich, and donkey. But the whole thing was almost spoiled for me by the presence of one of the most annoying child actors who ever squeaked (and that is a mighty high bar to top), Kevin Corcoran as Francis. He exists solely to disobey his parents at every opportunity, and thus get into trouble. I’ll admit I am easily irritated by child actors, and especially characters of little twerps who oughta be backhanded across the mouth until they learn to obey their parents. (Okay, don’t sound an alarm, I’m kidding.)

What I’d really like to see is a six- or eight-part TV adaptation, sticking faithfully to the book. Anyone listening?