The Late Movies: Johnny Castaway

Chris Higgins

Last week I posted a roundup of classic screensavers, but many commenters pointed out a big one that I missed: Johnny Castaway. Somehow, I had never seen Johnny! And that's odd, because it's epic, and apparently pretty popular. Johnny Castaway showed a man (the eponymous Johnny) on a small island with a single palm tree. He wanders around and performs daily tasks like building sand castles, fishing, and so on...but there's a larger story to the screensaver, and sometimes special things happen. Much of the joy of this screensaver was tuning in to see what Johnny was up to on any given day -- he even dressed up for the holidays.

In the videos below, I've collected what seems to be a good sampling of what happens if you watch Johnny for a long time. (Note that the videos were captured on Windows XP, so show a few visual artifacts that weren't present on older operating systems.)

For those who were born late: yes, this what we used to do with computers in the mid-90s. It was weird, and kind of slow, and we liked it that way!

The 11-Day Story Arc

According to YouTube user ruudje1976, this is the full story arc of Johnny's 11-day island adventure. Let's just say it doesn't end well. To quote Jack from Lost: "We have to go back!"

Lilliputian Pirates

Watch out, they're armed!

Bathing and Diving

When you're on a tiny island, you'll eventually want to take a dip in the ocean. My favorite part is around 2:30, right after a dive.


Gone fishin'.

People in Sight!

A series of missed connections.


Where does he keep that book when he's not reading? Behind the tree?

Everything Else

A collection of other scenes, including a light workout.