Ken Annakin directed four motion pictures for Disney, including the live-action classic “Swiss Family Robinson” in 1960. A director of epic proportions, Ken lent his vision and precision to realizing “Swiss Family Robinson,” which was considered one of Disney’s most lavish films at the time, costing more than $4 million to create.
Shot on location on the Caribbean island of Tobago over a 22-week period, a menagerie of exotic animals, as well as actors, were cast in the movie, including elephants, ostriches, tigers, and more. In his recently published autobiography “So You Wanna Be a Director?,” Ken recalled Walt Disney suggesting a scene with a tiger. Ken hesitated, however, based on a previous experience directing a tiger and suggested a lion instead.
“Oh-ho,” Walt said. “At last we’ve found something Ken’s afraid of. If you’re scared to film the tiger, I’ll come out with a sixteen millimeter camera and shoot it myself!”
The tiger stayed in the picture.