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New Switzerland is the fictional setting of the story The Swiss Family Robinson.

Description[]

New Switzerland is a tropical island in the East Indies.

The Swiss Family Robinson's Treehouse as seen in the film

Features[]

History[]

The Robinson family was a fairly wealthy clan from Switzerland which in the early 19th century, attempted to move to New Guinea to avoid the Napoleonic wars. On the July 17th of 1805, the family's ship The Swallow was shipwrecked in the East Indies after an encounter with Chinese pirates lead by Captain Kuala who chased them into a storm.

The family was marooned on a tropical island which they deemed, "New Switzerland" and made their new home. Here they constructed a treehouse estate for themselves within a giant Disneyodendron eximus tree. They acquired several pets for themselves on this island including dogs Duke and Turk, Rocky the baby elephant, Lightning the donkey, Clementine the ostrich, and Duchess the zebra; what any of these animals were doing on an island in the East Indies remains unknown.

Eventually the Robinsons had another encounter with Kuala's pirates who came to the island but were fought off by booby-traps and cannons set up by the Robinson family. The family was later discovered by the Swiss Captain Moreland who was searching for the family and destroyed Kuala's ship with Kuala aboard. Rather than leave the island, the family chose to stay with patriarch Father Robinson being deemed the official Swiss governor of the island of New Switzerland.

Appearances and allusions[]

Adventure Isle (Disneyland Paris)[]

Adventure Isle in Disneyland Paris (not to be confused with the Shanghai Disney, "Land" of the same name) are two connected islands in Adventureland which is inspired by the attraction Tom Sawyer Island. The northern island is themed to the Swiss Family Robinson and features not only their treehouse but also areas across the island. This includes the subterranean caverns of, "The Earth's Belly/Root Cellar" which are filled with the treehouse's trees roots, buried treasure and skeletons of pirates. Another feature is the Mer des Bretteurs (French: The Swordmen Sea) which holds shipwrecks such as that of the Swallow.

Sign for the Robinson family's treehouse

Swiss Family Treehouse[]

The attraction the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse of Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disneyland and formerly of Disneyland are all themed around the Swiss Family Robinson. As the name of the attraction would imply, it is themed to being the treehouse abode of the Robinson clan which guests can explore and interact with.

Connections[]

Adventure Trading Company[]

The Robinson family's treehouse is used for the likeness of the Treehouse Jujus of the Adventure Trading Company.

Pirates of the Caribbean[]

Disneyland Paris' Adventure Isle is themed to be in-line with the nearby Pirates of the Caribbean and Peter Pan's Flight attractions and as such the Southern Isle is themed to being a pirate's lair and holds the vast, "Pirate's Grotto". While due to Adventureland's anachronisms it is very likely that this is supposed to not be geographically located near New Switzerland, the pirate skeletons under the treehouse and isle's past affiliation with Kuala lend credence to the idea that the southern island might exist in the park lore as an addition to New Switzerland.

While most of the references to piracy on Adventure Isle are from an assortment of Disney media, one of the caverns of Pirate's Grotto is called Davy Jones' Locker. Davy Jones being a prominent figure of nautical folklore who was notably featured in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

Peter Pan[]

Adventure Isle is most heavily themed to the pirates of Peter Pan, namely the villainous Captain James Hook and the crew of the Jolly Roger. There are messages from Captain Hook to guests, a beach which is home to the Neverland crocodile, a rock formation resembling (but not identical to) Neverland's Skull Rock, a location called Peg Leg Point which shares its name with a Neverland peninsula, and Captain Hook's pirate-ship situated on the island's coast.

Hook's pirate ship however does not appear to be heavily modelled after the Jolly Roger from the film (having a different colour-scheme, mermaid figurehead instead of a skull, etc) and is never referred to be name. The ship closer resembles the pirate-ship The Chicken of the Sea which was one of the original park icons for Disneyland's Fantasyland before it was torn down; said ship having also been recycled for the restaurant Captain Hook's Galley. It would make sense that this was not the Jolly Roger given that at the end of Peter Pan, it is commandeered by Pan himself.

It should also be noted that (at least a version of) Captain Hook is a character within the Pirates of the Caribbean film continuity. In said continuity, Hook was an active pirate during the 17th century known as, "James the Mysterious" who was affiliated with the Brethren Court of Shipwreck Cove before he mysteriously disappeared and returned c. 1715-1720s missing a hand and having not aged a day; inferring that somehow (at least some of) the events of Peter Pan had already transpired.

Treasure Island[]

Also on the Southern Isle of Adventure Isle is Ben Gunn's Cave, named for the pirate Ben Gunn from Robert Louis Stevenson's book Treasure Island and its Disney film adaptation. Ben Gunn having been a crew-mate aboard The Walruswho was marooned on the titular island by his captain Flint and who safeguarded the island's treasure for decades as he lost his sanity.

Skipper Canteen[]

In the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen is an edition of the book The Swiss Family Robinson.[1] Said book being a rare hardcover edition translated to English by George Routledge.[2] There is also a book titled, Treehouse Construction by Mills. This references the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse in Adventureland as-well-as actress Hayley Mills who portrayed mother Robinson. It is however highly unlikely to have been written by any of the actual characters given the surname.

Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar[]

In interviews and promotional materials for this bar, the Swiss Family Robinson are frequently identified as being affiliates of Trader Sam, a character from the Jungle Cruise. The exact references to the family however have yet to be identified at time of writing.

Trivia[]

  • The Swiss Family Robinson is homaged in Tarzan's Treehouse with a victrola that plays the, "Swiss Polka" from the film which was played on the pipe-organ in the original attraction.
  • In the Magic Kingdom where the most mainstream version of the attraction exists, the tree is called Disneyodendron eximus (Latin: Out of the Ordinary Disney tree) while in the original Disneyland incarnation, it was called the Disneyodendron semperflorens grandis (Latin: Large, always blooming Disney tree).
  • Ned Land's song A Whale of a Tale from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Under the Sea from the Little Mermaidare played in Disneyland Paris' Adventure Isle.
  • The classic poster for this attraction shows a Jungle Cruise boat passing by the treehouse.
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