Gulliver's Travels

Overview

Impressed by the success of Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Paramount Pictures ordered the studio's resident animation producer Max Fleischer to come up with a feature-length cartoon of his own. Utilizing an expanded staff and new production facilities in Miami, Florida, Fleischer and his brother Dave Fleischer spent six months mulling over story properties before deciding upon Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels; 20 months later, the film was completed and ready for release. Only the first part of ...
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Overview

Impressed by the success of Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Paramount Pictures ordered the studio's resident animation producer Max Fleischer to come up with a feature-length cartoon of his own. Utilizing an expanded staff and new production facilities in Miami, Florida, Fleischer and his brother Dave Fleischer spent six months mulling over story properties before deciding upon Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels; 20 months later, the film was completed and ready for release. Only the first part of Swift's novel, taking place in the miniature lands of Lilliput and Blefuscu, was used in the film, while the original plot, a satire of warfare stemming from an argument over which end of an egg to crack, was jettisoned entirely in favor of a sappy love story with slapstick overtones. Shipwrecked by a storm at sea, normal-sized Lemuel Gulliver washes up on the shore of Lilliput, where the citizens are no larger than Gulliver's thumb. Discovered by excitable town crier Gabby, Gulliver is roped to the ground by the Lilliputians, only to escape with ease upon waking up. While longing to head homeward to England, Gulliver becomes involved in a feud between Lilliput's King Little and Blefuscu's King Bombo. On the eve of the wedding between Little's son Prince David and Bombo's daughter Princess Glory, the two monarchs have a falling out over which national anthem will be played at the ceremony. After a seemingly endless series of misunderstandings and intrigues-many of them perpetrated by Bombo's comic-opera spies Sneak, Snoop and Snitch-Gulliver solves everyone's problems by suggesting that both anthems be played together, resulting in what was supposed to have been the film's hit song "Faithful Forever." Lacking the emotional "pull" of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs--not to mention the excellence of Disney's animation--Gulliver's Travels must rely upon the slapstick antics of Gabby, the three spies, and carrier pigeon Twinkletoes to keep the audience awake (all of these characters would be spun off into cartoon series of their own). The songs, like the film itself, are nothing special, though Paramount managed to get a lot of mileage out of "All's Well" and "It's a Hap-Hap-Happy Day." Singers Sam Parker, Lanny Ross and Jessica Dragonette are heard as Gulliver, David and Glory, while such Fleischer "regulars" as Jack Mercer and Pinto Colvig play the comic roles. Its many flaws aside, Gulliver's Travels was reasonably successful at the box office, though one wonders if it wouldn't have been an even bigger hit had the Fleischers followed through with their original plan to cast Popeye the Sailor in the role of Gulliver.
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Special Features

Interactive menus; Original graphics; Chapters - direct scene access (go straight to your favorite scenes); Biography; Facts & trivia; Film information; Special collector's photo gallery
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
For the first animated feature by the Fleischer studio, Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels seemed a natural fit. Oversimplification of the story aside, Gulliver's Travels is lively entertainment that retains a great deal of charm. It is also filled with some genuinely enjoyable moments, especially the Lilliputians' initial encounter with Gulliver, and their subsequent attempt to tie him up. The film is further aided by the scenery which evokes the magical appeal of an ancient, tiny kingdom. Unfortunately, in most other areas it becomes obvious that Gulliver's Travels was made in a rush. The songs, including the Oscar-nominated "Faithful Forever," are far from memorable, the writing is sloppy and creates the impression that the first draft was the final draft, and worst of all, the animation is wildly inconsistent. For instance, the Lilliputians and their Blefuscu counterparts are the closest to the Fleischer tradition and the most cartoonish, drawn in a very fluid manner as absurdly shaped humans with exaggerated features. But for some unknown reason, Prince David, Princess Glory, and Gulliver himself are drawn in a much more "natural" fashion and as a result look as if they are from an entirely different movie. On the plus side, there are some slight gags tossed in to bring humor to the story. For example, when the hideout of Sneak, Snoop, and Snitch is burning, one of the spies takes the opportunity to make shadow puppets; and earlier, as the Lilliputians are panicking when they think Gulliver is going to invade, one villager seen fainting in her window bears an unmistakable resemblance to Snow White. Gulliver's Travels falls far short of its potential, and despite its worthwhile moments, probably just served to solidify Disney's domination of the animated-feature market.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/1/2003
  • UPC: 011891970099
  • Original Release: 1939
  • Rating:

  • Source: Tgg Direct
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Sound: Dolby Digital
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:14:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 48,425

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jessica Dragonette Voice Only
Lanny Ross Voice Only
Pinto Colvig Gabby
Jack Mercer King Little
Technical Credits
Dave Fleischer Director
Willard Bowsky Animator
Orestes Calpini Animator
Roland Crandall Animator
Max Fleischer Producer
Frank Smith Animator
Don Gordon Screenwriter
Winfield Hoskins Animator
Thomas Johnson Animator
Frank Kelling Animator
Seymour Kneitel Animator
Robert Leffingwell Animator
Grim Natwick Animator
Tom Palmer Animator
Ted Pierce Screenwriter
Ralph Rainger Score Composer
Charles Schettler Cinematographer
Edmond Seward Screenwriter
Izzy Sparber Screenwriter
Sammy Timberg Score Composer
Victor Young Score Composer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Love Blooms [17:49]
2. Troublesome [26:22]
3. Cooperation [15:04]
4. Peace Rules [18:34]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Gulliver's Travels
   Play Movie
   Film Info
   Facts & Trivia
   Biography
   Photo Gallery
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