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Robinson Gruesome, marooned on a tropical island, has had nothing to eat but bananas for 28 years. Then Chilly Willy gets marooned with him.


Alex Lovy


Homer Brightman (story)


Daws Butler


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Credited cast:
Daws Butler ... Robinson Gruesome / Ape / Narrator (voice)


It seems Chilly Willy is doomed. He is marooned on a floating iceberg that is quickly melting away. Luckily, he hits dry land just as the last of the iceberg disappears into the sea. He has landed on a tropical island, the home of the lonely Robinson Gruesome. "28 years in the same location" as the sign outside his hut informs the nonexistent passersby. Now, finally, Gruesome has his first visitor. But the drawling dog is less interested in the penguin's companionship than he is in the bird's tasty flesh. For nearly three decades he has had nothing to eat but bananas. Sadly, his luck hasn't changed; it's only gotten worse. Chilly Willy is too wily to allow himself to get eaten. And somehow Gruesome's every attempt to catch Chilly puts him in the path of an angry ape. Written by J. Spurlin

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Release Date:

2 February 1959 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Color (Technicolor)
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Did You Know?


The title and the plot spoof Daniel Defoe's classic adventure tale, "Robinson Crusoe." See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: There are few things in the realm of nature more dramatic than the long journey of an iceberg. Starting from the cold regions of the Antarctic, it floats majestically towards the South Seas where the hot sun melts it rapidly.
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Version of Robinson Crusoe (1913) See more »

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User Reviews

Chilly Willy marooned
1 August 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Chilly Willy's best cartoons were perfect examples of how a potentially one-joke character and concept could end up actually being a perfect mix of the cute and the funny with a lot of colour and good comic timing to go with it.

'Robinson Gruesome' may not be one of Chilly Willy's best cartoons but is hardly a lesser effort. The tropical island setting, like the TV studio setting in 'Little Televillain', is different to usual and is used to good advantage. It is also different in not having Chilly in pursuit of warmth and food but preventing himself from getting eaten by Smedley...or should we say here Robinson Gruesome. Story-wise, 'Robinson Gruesome' is formulaic structurally but has enough variation in the gags and the lengths Chilly goes in his fight for survival to not make that a major issue.

The ape is not particularly well drawn, and while the action between him and Robinson (aka Smedley) is very amusing it gets a little repetitious. One also questions where the supplies come from when marooned.

Still, apart from a lack of refinement at times, the animation does have a lot of luscious colours and handsome backgrounds, Chilly and Smedley also well drawn and the tropical island setting has a nice atmosphere that suits the formula well. The music is full of lively bounce and character, with luscious orchestration. It not only adds to the action and visuals but enhances them too.

Many of the gags do amuse and beautifully timed, lifted by the sparkling chemistry between Chilly and Robinson Gruesome. It is always remarkable at what Chilly has up his sleeve and how he does it. Underneath all that irresistible cuteness he is one clever, funny and at times fairly brutal penguin.

Chilly is adorable and is also a lot of fun, with his actions speaking far louder than words. He may be a nuisance to his opponents but he wins the viewer over with his cuteness and timing. Daws Butler (in his distinctive Huckleberry Hound voice) delivers some solid voice acting as the title character, the slightly funnier and more interesting character and a lot of his dialogue is hilarious. He also voices the ape (also a good foil) and the narrator well.

In conclusion, very nicely done. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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