Gulliver’s Travels (1939)

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Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 67% IMDB Rating: 6.7
AMR Rating: Mediocre.

Synopsis: Gulliver is washed up on the miniature lands of Lilliput and Blefuscu, which are fighting each other, though Princess Glory from Lilliput and Prince David from Blefuscu are going to get married.

Review: Some movies deserve merit just because they were one of the first. Gulliver’s Travels, made way back in 1939, is one of those movies. Though the characters are cheesy and the plot is thin, hey, at least the animation’s good! It was also clever how the two songs from the two kingdoms meshed together (though predicted). However, unlike Disney’s Snow White, which had a lot of feeling, this movie is more dull. It relies on the silliness of Gabby, the town crier, and other slapstick humor, which is definitely not sufficient. I could feel Snow White’s sadness and Maleficent’s anger, but in Gulliver’s Travels all I could feel was the intentional absurdity. However, the scenes are quite exciting.

The animation, for a film made in 1939, is done extremely well. The Technicolor palette is bright and vivid. The people and scenes are drawn nicely, typical of the old animated movies. The shading is realistic and Gulliver’s facial features are especially human-like. “Faithful Forever” is a wonderful song, together or separate.

Despite the thin plot, Gulliver’s Travels is a pioneer in animated movies, so it gets a Mediocre rating. You should watch it just to know about the history of animation and listen to “Faithful Forever.”

Background: The story is based upon the Lilliputian adventures of Gulliver depicted in Jonathan Swift’s 18th century novel Gulliver’s Travels. Made because of the success of Snow White, the film was nominated for two Academy Awards: Victor Young for Best Music, Original Score and Ralph Rainger (music) and Leo Robin (lyrics) for Best Music, Original Song for the song “Faithful Forever.” (Source)


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