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Title (English) Robinson Family Lost at Sea, the
Title (Japanese) kazoku robinson hyouryuuki ..

book cover

Fantasy Novel

Notes kazoku robinson hyouryuuki fushigina shima no furoone
English name: Robinson Family Lost at Sea: Flone on the Marvelous Island
Creator(s): Johann Wyss (Der Schweizerische Robinson (Swiss Family Robinson))

A title in Fuji TV & Nippon Animation's World Masterpiece Theater (meisaku)TV anime series of adaptations of classic children's books.

Classification WMT
Synopsis Swiss family travel to the South Seas to start a new life. After shipwreck they build themselves a new lifestyle with characteristic resourcefulness and ingenuity.
Review I have only seen a few episodes in Dutch, a language I don't understand, and I had not read the book at the time of viewing, so I had to rely heavily on James S Taylor's review of the American dub edition in Protoculture Addicts #32.
The character design for the small girl looks a little odd, but apart from that this looks like a solidly designed series, with lots of substantial and well-executed background detail, of ship, raft, encampment and the island itself. In the second episode there is a well-animated sequence where Robinson and his son build a raft. The little girl reacts just as a little girl might, wanting to go and play despite their plight.
As for the story (and here I am relying on Taylor), it doesn't shy away from real disaster, pain and death. All the crew and some passengers have died (the captain is seen dead on the beach), and the elder son has lost his girlfriend. It is evident that an entire ship-load of farm animals has gone down, trapped in the hold of the ship. In one scene the elder son actually shoots a cute, furry animal in a dim light. Every episode advances our knowledge of the island and of the personalities of the characters.
Seems like a series worth watching if you can get it in a language you understand. With caution, the novel can be used as a script guide.
I borrowed "Swiss Family Robinson" from the public library. There was an androgynous-looking young person on the front cover, so when reading the first chapter was considerably surprised to find that the girl "Vroni" does not exist in the book, and that the family has four sons, instead of two sons and a daughter as in the anime. There are other minor differences: in the book the crew just escape, leaving the family to their fate, and at least some of the farm animals on board ship are rescued. The incidents of the captain saving the eldest son, who then finds him dead on the beach, are not in the book (not early on, anyway). So there has been a fair amount of tinkering for dramatic effect. Otherwise it seems basically the same story.
Raft building | Digging
Credits Series Director: Yoshio Kuroda
Producer(s): Koichi Motohashi, Takaji Matudo
Data from Ben Ettinger
Episodes 50
Release Jap:VHS, Jap:DVD, NL:VHS?
TV Showing See the whole series for free? This series may be syndicated to regional cable, satellite or terrestial TV stations. For Europe click here.
Date 1981 January 4 - 1981 December 27
Production Nippon Animation
Broadcaster Fuji TV
References & Help Look up the latest data on this title at:
Richard Llewellyn's Animated Divots, or
Anime News Network (see Encyclopedia section) ,
or in "The Anime Encyclopedia" (Clements & McCarthy, Stone Bridge Press, 2001).
Help & further information.



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