Back in the 1970s, the Walt Disney Company produced a series of adventure movies, some of which fit right into the steampunk genre. One is The Island at the Top of the World (1974).
The movie was co-written by John Whedon, grandfather of Joss Whedon of Buffy, Firefly and Avengers fame.
The story starts in 1907 London, where a British aristocrat is mounting an expedition to the Arctic to find his lost son. He travels there accompanied by an archeologist and the aeronaut and inventor as well as captain of the airship that is taking them there: the Hyperion.
The same Hyperion has been immortalized as one of the attractions in Disneyland Paris: Café Hyperion in Discoveryland. Although few visitors know it was part of a steampunk movie.
If it sounds like the plot isn’t sufficiently out-there, just wait for it, because added to the mix come a lost son found, Vikings, and well, an island where you really wouldn’t expect one.
And a dog. Let’s not forget the dog.
It’s a movie that fits right in with films like The Goonies: adventures with a quest and a plot that makes you wonder what the hell is happening next and if things will get even crazier. But all in a most excellent way.
Sadly, it’s one of those lost treasures of the Disney Studios and pretty hard to come by. Let’s hope it will be included in the new Disney+ streaming service. If you’re into steampunk and adventure movies, it’s worth making the effort to get your hands on this. It may be from the 70s, but it has stood the test of time well enough to still be enjoyable today.