Mysterious Island (1961)


“You supply the ink. The soldiers supply the blood. ” – Captain Nemo

Number of Times Seen – 1 (7 Jan 2021)

Brief Synopsis – A group of Union soldiers escape from a prison camp during The US Civil War via a hot air balloon and end up on a strange and magical island in the Pacific Ocean.

My Take on it – I knew nothing about this film when it was recently suggested to me and was intrigued to see another adaptation of a Jules Verne novel.

The story itself is presented quite well and actually is enhanced by the stop motion animation that they utilize here.

They unfortunately don’t develop any of the character on more than a superficial level which makes them all seem far too stereotypical.

The story is able to unfold in an interesting way especially when they introduce other characters from previous Verne stories that help make things even more engaging and fascinating to watch.

They do a wonderful job of mixing together fantasy elements with historical ones in order to give us something that feels even more unique despite the fact that things feel a bit too incomplete in certain aspects of the story. The cast is mostly filled by unknown actors which make it even more difficult to care about here because it all seems a bit too unrealistic as things begin to unfolds in some very strange and unexpected directions.

Bottom Line – Intriguing idea that works better than one might expect due to the stop motion animation. The characters aren’t developed well enough and they all seem far too stereotypical along the way. The story unfolds in an interesting way, but fails to be more engaging. The way that the film mixes together fantastical and historical aspects helps make things more enjoyable to watch unfold even if this is far from being perfect. The use of mostly unknown actors in key roles here is actually detrimental to the story because it makes it harder to care about any of them.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Producer Charles H. Schneer claimed that he chose this story after reading an article stating that Jules Verne’s “Mysterious Island” was the most-looked-at book at public libraries. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)

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