Swiss Family Robinson (film) The members of a Swiss family are the sole survivors of a shipwreck on an uncharted tropical island. With great courage and ingenuity, they use the salvage from the wreck to build a home in a huge tree, raise food, and protect themselves from a raiding band of pirates. The rescue of the granddaughter of a sea captain from pirates precipitates the ultimate attack by the buccaneers. The furious battle is almost won by the brigands when her grandfather’s ship arrives and routs the attackers. The romance between the eldest Robinson boy and the granddaughter culminates in their marriage. The new couple and much of the family decide to stay on the island paradise, but scholarly brother Ernst decides to go back on the ship to civilization. Released on December 21, 1960. Directed by Ken Annakin. 126 min. Stars John Mills (Father), Dorothy McGuire (Mother), James MacArthur (Fritz), Tommy Kirk (Ernst), Kevin Corcoran (Francis), Janet Munro (Roberta), Sessue Hayakawa (Pirate chief). The film was based on the book by Johann Wyss, written to preserve the tales he and his sons made up while imagining themselves in Robinson Crusoe’s predicament. Not originally intended for publication, the narrative was later edited and illustrated by Wyss’s descendants. Filmed on the Caribbean island of Tobago, the motion picture’s lavish preproduction planning and on-location shooting (22 weeks) resulted in a budget that exceeded $4 million, but the extraordinary box office returns, subsequent popular reissues in 1969, 1972, 1975, 1981, and a release on home video in 1982 has made it one of Disney’s top-grossing films. The creation of an intriguing tree house, matching the one in the movie, through which guests can climb in the Disney parks, has increased and perpetuated the popularity of the film.