Bad Movie Logo
"A website to the detriment of good film"

Custom Search
HOMEB-MOVIE REVIEWSREADER REVIEWSFORUMINTERVIEWSUPDATESABOUT


THE ISLAND AT THE TOP OF THE WORLD - 2 Slimes
Rated G
Copyright 1974 Walt Disney Productions
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 7 April 2002

The Characters:  

  • Professor Ivarsson - Archeologist, interpreter, and an expert at unraveling legendary mysteries. All around, this is the best guy to have on your team when discovering a lost viking colony.
  • Sir Anthony Ross - A bossy Englishman who has a nasty predilection for kidnapping. He must own a shipping business.
  • Captain Brieux - Inventor and pilot of a wondrous flying machine: the Hyperion. Darn proud of being French too.
  • Oomiak - Eskimo and master of hyperbole. I kept waiting for him to entertain us with tales of the days of high adventure.
  • Donald Ross - Okay, a fellow could do worse than find himself in a land brimming with blonde Scandinavian maidens.
  • Freyja - And here is a blonde Scandinavian maiden now...
  • The Godin - Freaky religious leader of the viking colony. His ability to outrun a burning hydrogen airship was lacking, so the Law of Natural Selection said he had to go (it is not always a fair statute).

Buy It!

The Plot: 

The film begins with a long credit sequence set to ominous/expansive orchestration. The baffling slideshow of "relevant" paintings used as a backdrop sort of catches the eye. Combined with the music, it creates the illusion of being at an art exhibition, one called "The Days Inn Collection."

Sometime after dusk, in London (it is foggy), Professor Ivarsson is summoned to the residence of Sir Anthony Ross. The wealthy jerk wants the archeologist's help in finding his son. It seems that they had a fight two years ago and Donald ran off to become a whaler. Things are pretty bad when your only son decides freezing his butt off and soaking in whale blood is preferable to your company. Anyway, Donald is now missing, having set out to find a legendary island where the whales go to die. The reason I will refer to Ross as an S.O.B. (it's an acronym, look it up) now becomes apparent when Ivarsson, who has not formally agreed to join the rescue, discovers their vessel is already underway.

Their first stop is France, where Brieux is happily fussing over the maiden voyage of his airship. The Captain is obviously proud of his aerodynamic creation. At one point in the film he crows about Britain ruling the seas, but France now rules the air. Side note: does ruling anything matter if you surrender the moment an opponent attacks? Forget it; the expedition now begins in earnest as the Hyperion departs for Fort Conger.

It is surprising that the airship's arrival at the trading post does not cause a panic. The eskimos even run forward to perform ground crew duties! However, they are little more than rambunctious nose-rubbers and the ship is tossed while the natives gleefully tug on the ropes. At the outpost they meet Donald's friend, Oomiak, who supposedly saw the "spirits" that abducted the Ross heir. Convinced the eskimo can help them find the island, the elder Ross engineers the Hyperion's departure while Oomiak is still aboard. Sir Anthony certainly is proving himself to be a royal S.O.B. (oh, that was delicious).

The searchers run across a bit of luck when they find the whale highway. A single ribbon of open water stretches off into the horizon, along which numerous whales can be seen traveling. The exact mechanics of why the highway exists are never explained, but obviously the plot device leads to the whale graveyard. When the island is first sighted it is no more than a thick bank of clouds. Brieux refuses to fly his ship into the murk. Only after Sir Anthony decides to go afoot does the inventor relent and urge the Hyperion forward. Bad move there, for inside the cloud is a swirling maelstrom of wind and snow. The airship is bashed against rocks; eventually one improbable crash throws Ivarsson, Oomiak, and Ross out into a snowbank. They watch, helpless, as the storm drags the little Frenchman and his invention away.

The vikings patrolling the area soon take the three prisoner. Lucky for them that Professor Ivarsson happens to speak the ancient Norse dialect; he repeats everything said to his companions. I have to tell you, this enlightened method of translating for the audience could have been annoying to the extreme. Somehow the actor playing the archeologist (David Hartman) manages to pull it off.

Reunited with Donald, who has been living in the temperate valley for some time (it is warmed by volcanic activity and the sun is always shining), the real danger is revealed. The Norse are a lost colony who have been living on the island for centuries. They believe the rest of the world is frozen wasteland and have a legend that someday the barbarians from outside will invade. Having seen a demonic air spirit float by (guess what that was), followed by the explorers' arrival, the populace thinks the invasion is imminent and the outsiders are spies. The Godin sentences them all to be burned alive.

Freyja saves her beloved Donald and his friends from the burning vessel in the nick of time. They use her small boat to escape, but the villagers are close behind. The pursuit never ceases and eventually the group is forced to flee through the island's volcanic region. This is delightfully cheesy, with superimposed lava fountaining into the air, apparently falling on the characters. The chase leads through a whirlpool, temporarily dry after the vikings rolled rocks down at the protagonists and blocked up the river. Ivarsson and his friends are finally safe, having reached the legendary whale graveyard. Hundreds of the creatures lie half-rotting along the icy bay. Boy, that must smell AWFUL.

While paddling across the bay on a chunk of ice the escapees are attacked by killer whales. Just try not to scream, "Willy no!" as the carnivores leap over the ice boat; especially when Captain Brieux arrives and saves the day. Ever wonder what killer whales do when they are shot? Why, leap out of the water in startling aerobatic displays, of course.

The innovative Frenchman devises a plan to escape: by detaching the heavy motors and main cabin from the wrecked Hyperion they can drift away from the island. Unfortunately, the winds push them over the viking encampment. The priest shoots a flaming arrow at the ship, resulting in something resembling the Hindenburg disaster (yes, I know it was the skin burning). The fiery mess falls on him, thus removing the radical religious viewpoint.

For the benefit of you conspiracy nuts, I have already checked: there were no priests of Odin at Lakehurst, NJ that day (at least according to official reports).

In the end everyone is happy. The islanders will allow the explorers to depart, provided one of them stays as a hostage. Professor Ivarsson immediately volunteers to remain and study a real viking society at work. Ross has his son, his son has a new bride, the Captain will definitely build the Hyperion II, and Oomiak is still alive. Yep, everybody is happy. The trouble is that the next time a two-headed lamb is born or Halley's comet passes the Earth, guess who the Norse are going to burn alive? Blushing blonde maids or not, I wouldn't want to be Ivarsson.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Travel anxiety can often be attributed to the railcar's curtains.
  • If you gun the engine and pop the clutch a dirigible can do an "air wheelie."
  • Dogs loooooove blimps!
  • Being lost sucks, but being lost in a blizzard with an Englishman really sucks.
  • In the old days politics was a physically taxing profession.
  • Vikings are a persistent lot.
  • Killer whales act as the policemen of the sea; hence the color scheme.
  • Hydrogen and Norse religion do not mix.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 7 mins - The map is almost an exact match for the Eskimo artifact; that is fortunate.
  • 12 mins - From the shadows cast here, the sun must be underneath the airship. Unless they used the same shot, but flipped.
  • 22 mins - Has anybody down there seen a carpenter?
  • 51 mins - I'm a little worried about what Freyja's father is thinking right now.
  • 66 mins - Where did Sir Anthony Ross get a comb and mousse?
  • 69 mins - This reminds me of the "Bog of Eternal Stench."
  • 72 mins - It is the "Bog of Eternal Stench!"
  • 74 mins - And so, the Kingdom of Fire is again at war with the Kingdom of Ice.
  • 88 mins - Evidently dogs also love eskimos.
  • 93 mins - Go to him; he is your daddy now.

Quotes: 

  • Brieux: "May I remind you that I am in command here! Only an idiot would attempt such a thing. I will do it myself."

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

FileDialog
Green Music Note itopworld1.wav Ross: "Something in the food hamper just bit me!"
Brieux: "That is not the food hamper. That is the small boudoir of Josephine."
Ross: "It's some kind of a dog!"
Brieux: "But of course. The best kind, French!"
Green Music Note itopworld2.wav Ivarsson: "We thought we'd lost you!"
Oomiak: "You can't kill Oomiak. I hide in water, swim far like white bear..."
Ivarsson: "Good, good, but let's go."
Green Music Note itopworld3.wav Donald: "We live by clocks and machines, instead of tides and seasons. You'll get used to it."
Green Music Note itopworld4.wav Ivarsson: "You know, this is a chance no archeologist could turn down. Not only to study the past, but to relive it! I mean, here it all is hidden behind this mist for a thousand years and I haven't even scratched the surface."

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 

ImageImageImage
ImageImageImage
Image


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipitopworld1.mpg - 2.3m
Willy NO!

 Leave a commentEXTRASBuy the movie 

Share It!Buy the movieIMDB Logo
Stumble This ReviewStumble This Review
Digg This ReviewDigg This Review
Buy it from Amazon.com (United States)

Buy it from Movies Unlimited (United States)

Internet Movie Database


Comments:Write CommentPages: [1]
The Island at the Top of the World
Reply #1. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by BoyScoutKevin
One of the few movies at this website, "Attack of the Crab Monsters" is another, that I liked better then our Andrew.
The story is not original. It is based on a book, which I have, called "The Lost Ones" by Ian Cameron.
The screenwriters did one thing right, I feel. They set the story back about fifty years in the past. As the book takes place in the present, or, as present as 1960 can be. Enjoy!
The Island at the Top of the World
Reply #2. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by steve
yet again the proprietor of this site has made me pee myself laughing with his commentary.  i also liked the 'willy NO!' clip.....did anyone see the one whale in the background bobbing on top of the water like a rubber duckie???
classic, god i love crappy movies
The Island at the Top of the World
Reply #3. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by ShifterCat
OMG, I actually saw this. My fourth grade teacher showed it to the class when we were doing a unit on the Vikings. At the time, I thought it was pretty cool. Though even then, I thought the whole "dodging lava" thing was pretty unlikely. Thankfully, I am older and wiser, and can laugh at these things now.
The Island at the Top of the World
Reply #4. Posted on June 15, 2004, 09:31:05 AM by night heron
Rule #1 never ever shoot a fire arrow into a hydrogen filled zepplen even if the zig zag pattern and british bulls eye logos make it look like a monster well that at least took care of the vikings superstcious leader and gave them a chance to be freindly
Re: The Island at the Top of the World
Reply #5. Posted on November 15, 2008, 01:56:33 AM by Balthor
hotNothing burns me more than finding technical glitches in movies!!!  Not that I've seen it yet, but the 'roundel' on the airship could not have been a British target, but a French one....Of course the only difference would have been the reversal of the color in the outer ring....Red, white and blue, or blue white and red....
  I do hate it when I'm watching an old 'b' flick or even the hi-budget ones and the Africa Corp cap has an Edelweiss pin...Which of course denoted mountain troops...
  But I digress, being an asatruar [google it}, I would love to catch this flick sometime...Maybe I'll stumbleupon Netflix next....Balthor
Re: The Island at the Top of the World
Reply #6. Posted on April 06, 2009, 06:55:41 PM by Tim
I just bought the 30th Anniversary edition of this. Hmmm... wonder why they didn't make a big stink about pulling this one out of the 'ol Disney vault?

But I loved this movie as a kid and I still get a kick out of watching it now and then. I absolutely LOVED your review of it, as it injected some modern humor into a nice effort on film from over 30 years ago. Great job!
Pages: [1]
 Share on Facebook
RSS Feed Subscribe Subscribe by RSS
Email Subscribe Subscribe by Email


Recommended Articles
How To Find A Bad Movie

The Champions of Justice

Plan 9 from Outer Space

Manos, The Hands of Fate

Podcast: Todd the Convenience Store Clerk

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

The Human Tornado

Maniac

The Educational Archives: Driver's Ed

Godzilla vs. Monster Zero

Do you have a zombie plan?

FROM THE BADMOVIES.ORG ARCHIVES
ImageThe Giant Claw - Slime drop

Earth is visited by a GIANT ANTIMATTER SPACE BUZZARD! Gawk at the amazingly bad bird puppet, or chuckle over the silly dialog. This is one of the greatest b-movies ever made.

Lesson Learned:
  • Osmosis: os·mo·sis (oz-mo'sis, os-) n., 1. When a bird eats something.

Subscribe to Badmovies.org and get updates by email:

HOME B-Movie Reviews Reader Reviews Forum Interviews TV Shows Advertising Information Sideshows Links Contact
Badmovies.org is owned and operated by Andrew Borntreger. All original content is © 1998 - 2014 by its respective author(s). Image, video, and audio files are used in accordance with Fair Use, and are property of the film copyright holders. You may freely link to any page (.html or .php) on this website, but reproduction in any other form must be authorized by the copyright holder.