There are times when I just want to laugh. I don’t really care if the movie is a great movie. I don’t really care if the acting is great and I don’t care if the plot makes sense. I just want to laugh and enjoy wasting my time for a little while. Lt. Robin Crusoe U.S.N. staring Dick Van Dyke serves this purpose perfectly for me. The movie is housed in the Juvenile collection even though to really understand all of the jokes it is helpful to at least be familiar with Daniel Defoe’s story of Robinson Crusoe.
As one might guess from the title the film tells the story of a castaway on a deserted island. Lt. Crusoe is forced to abandon his navy jet when the engine fails.
After a number of days at sea he finds himself on a seemingly deserted island. While there he finds himself linked up with a missing astro-chimp named Floyd and a native woman who he calls “Wednesday.” Floyd has been living on the island for a number of years and may well be the most intelligent of the three. Wednesday is the daughter of an island chief who has come to the island in order to ask deliverance from her father’s plans from their island god Kaboona. Her father’s plans include throwing her and her sisters to the sharks as a sacrifice.
Lt. Robin Crusoe U.S.N. is not a politically correct film by today’s standards. The roles are stereotyped and over the top; which was not unusual for the mid ‘60’s. If I had to put a reason to why I like this film, I couldn’t do it. It’s just dumb, silly fun. It doesn’t pretend to be anything else; and maybe that’s the reason I like it. Lt. Robin Crusoe U.S.N. was one of the last Disney films that Walt Disney personally produced before he died and it was based on a story outline, according to the credits, by a man named Retlaw Yensid. If you don’t recognize the name reverse the letters. It was his only onscreen credit for a feature film story. This is not a great film, I’m not sure I would even say it is a good film. But it was funny enough to make me laugh and if that’s what you’re looking for I would give this one a chance to tickle your funny bone.