Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Disney Classics, Part 1

I grew up watching what I would call classic Disney films. Swiss Family Robinson, In Search of the Castaways, Summer Magic, Parent Trap, Pollyanna, Bedknobs and Broomsticks; there are many to choose from.These films were all about family, and adventure and making the best of what life gives you while never giving up. Recently, we've introduced Bean to several of our favorites. The following includes spoilers of these classic films.
We started with Swiss Family Robinson. This film is based on a book by a Swiss pastor named Johann David Wyss, who wrote the book to teach his four sons about family values and how to use the natural world around us. It is the story of the Robinson family, Father and Mother, and their three sons, Ernst, Fritz, and Francis. While moving from Switzerland to New Guinea, the family becomes shipwrecked on a deserted, tropical island. At first, the entire family just hopes to be rescued, but soon realize that they need to start planning for an extended stay on the island. Father, Ernst and Fritz build an amazing tree-house with parts from the shipwreck, including the captain's pipe organ. A replica of the tree-house is still open in the Magic Kingdom at Disney World, and is a lot of fun to walk through. The family begins to enjoy the island, but wishes to know if they are truly alone. Fritz and Ernst decide to explore the island and discover a band of pirates and their captives, including a girl masquerading as a cabin boy, Bertie. The film ends with a bang, literally, as the family band together to fight off the pirates and protect their home. I have always enjoyed Swiss Family Robinson and am glad that Bean thought it was "one of the best movies ever."

Our next classic was In Search of the Castaways. This film is based on a book by Jules Verne. It's the story of two children, Robert and Mary Grant, who are searching for their shipwrecked father, Captain Grant. They are helped on their journey by a Frenchman, Professor Paganel, played by Maurice Chevalier, who has found a message in a bottle in the stomach of a shark, that seems to have been written by Captain Grant. They bring the message to Captain Grant's boss, Lord Glenarvon and his son John, who reluctantly agree to help them find him based on the information in the message. What ensues is an amazing adventure around the world. They start in South America, where they experience an earthquake and avalanche, a flood that strands them in a tree, and the heartbreak of not finding Captain Grant. Next, they head to Australia, where they find someone else who says he knows where to find Captain Grant. They end up stranded in New Zealand, captured by Maoris, and must flee the lava field of a volcano before finally being reunited with their missing father. Between the adventure and the songs, I've always loved this movie, and Bean did, too.

These are only two of the great Disney classics, and there are many more classics to explore. Be sure to check out part 2 tomorrow.

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