Swiss Watching trivia, No 23: Swiss Family Robinson

August 23, 2010, 4 Comments

Almost seven decades before Heidi was born, another favourite Swiss book was published in 1812: Der Schweizerische Robinson, or Swiss Family Robinson. It was written by Johann David Wyss, a pastor and librarian from Bern who also penned the lyrics to Switzerland’s unofficial national anthem.  The shipwreck-and-survival plot was an updated version of Robinson Crusoe, hence the family’s very un-Swiss name, though the fantasy island could never exist, given the animals that co-exist there. The best-known film adaptation was the 1960 Disney adventure starring John Mills, which outdid both Psycho and Spartacus at the box office that year (and lives on in the Swiss Family Treehouse attraction at Disneyworld). Cult TV series, Lost in Space, was also based on the book, though in that, and the Disney film, Wyss’s original family of six was reduced to five: one son seemingly got lost in translation.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to Twitter Like This!

4 Comments on "Swiss Watching trivia, No 23: Swiss Family Robinson"

  1. Stephan Bögli Monday August 23rd, 2010 at 01:54 PM · Reply

    It’s “*Der* Schweizerische Robinson”. By the way: You haven’t yet written an article about the Swiss being extremely nitpicking, have you? 😉

    • swisswatching Monday August 23rd, 2010 at 03:38 PM · Reply

      There I was thinking that as it’s a story about a family, it would be ‘Die’, because family is feminine in German and/or more than one person. Stupid me! It’s a book written by a Swiss man, so of course the only character that counts is the father. Only the man is worthy enough for the title; after all this is the country that waited until 1971 to give women the vote. But thanks for the correction 🙂

  2. Katharina Monday August 23rd, 2010 at 08:11 PM · Reply

    The one son that was lost joined the Spartacus movement. That is way too gay for Disney Inc.
    But don’t worry, he happily lives in Los Angeles with the famous Fabio Lanzoni, whose nickname became Flabio, after eating too many doughnuts when watching the Swiss Family Robinson.

Leave a Comment