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The Island at the Top of the World

Promotional poster for The Island at the Top of the World
Directed by Robert Stevenson
Produced by Winston Hibler
Written by Ian Cameron (novel)
John Whedon (screenplay)
Starring Donald Sinden
David Hartman
Jacques Marin
Agneta Eckemyr
Music by Maurice Jarre
Cinematography Frank V. Phillips
Editing by Robert Stafford
Distributed by Buena Vista Distribution
Release date(s) 16 December 1974
Running time 93 mins
Country United States
Language English

The Island at the Top of the World is a 1974 Disney film starring Donald Sinden and David Hartman.



A Victorian Englishman named Sir Anthony Ross (Donald Sinden), hastily arranges an expedition to the Arctic to search for his lost son. His son had become lost on a whaling expedition to find the fabled island where whales go to die.

Sir Anthony employs the talents of an archeologist Professor Iverson (David Hartman) and Captain Brieux (Jacques Marin), who pilots the expedition in a Jules Vernesque French airship named Hyperion.

Upon reaching the Arctic, the expedition discovers an uncharted island occupied by a lost civilization of Vikings, cut off from the rest of the world for centuries.


The film was based on the novel The Lost Ones, written by Ian Cameron, set in the location of Prince Patrick Island. To tie-in with the film, the novel was reissued with the movie's title. There were several changes from the book to the film. The novel is set in 1960, but the film is set in 1907. Instead of Prince Patrick Island, the island in the film is located due north of Ellesmere Island (cf. Crocker Land). Several extra characters and the airship Hyperion appear in the film but not in the novel.

The film was produced by Walt Disney Pictures, and in a family based-package was accompanied by Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too!. The film received an Academy Award nomination for its Art direction/set decoration (Peter Ellenshaw, John B. Mansbridge, Walter H. Tyler, Al Roelofs, Hal Gausman).[1]

The film contains a score by film composer Maurice Jarre.

To accompany the film release, Disney released a story record album containing audio clips from the film, an eleven page illustrated booklet, and narration by Thurl Ravenscroft. The album contains theme from the Jarre score, but rearranged for solo organ, in place of the film's full orchestration.

A sequel was planned, entitled "The Lost Ones," based more closely on the original novel, but was abandoned when it became apparent that "Island at the Top of the World" would not be a box office success.

Cultural references


Disneyland (Anaheim, CA)

A new land, Discovery Bay, was planned but never built (in the area now occupied by Toontown), which would have contained a reproduction of the Hyperion airship protruding from a recreation of Captain Brieux's hanger. Sections of the design for this land was used in Disneyland Resort Paris' Discoveryland area.

Disneyland Paris

The Hyperion airship was recreated at Disneyland Resort Paris in the Discoveryland area of the park, and was at its time in 1992 considered as the largest prop ever at any Disney theme park.


Hyperion is a brand used by Disney for publishing endeavours, from the early 1990s. Disney had a studio on Hyperion Avenue in Los Angeles early in their history.

Cast list

See also

Hyperion airship


External links


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