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Gullivers Travels


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Gulliver's Travels is a 1939 Cinema of the United States traditional animation Technicolor feature film, directed by Dave Fleischer and produced by Max Fleischer for Fleischer Studios. The film was released on December 22, 1939 by Paramount Pictures, who had the feature produced as an answer to the success of Walt Disney's box-office hit Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937 film). The sequences for the film were directed by Seymour Kneitel, Willard Bowsky, Tom Palmer (animator), Grim Natwick, William Henning, Roland Crandall, Thomas Johnson, Robert Leffingwell, Frank Kelling, Winfield Hoskins, and Orestes Calpini. This is Paramount Pictures's first feature-length animated film.
Gulliver was the second cel-animated feature film ever released, and the first produced by an American studio other than Walt Disney Productions. The story is based very loosely upon the Lilliput and Blefuscuian adventures of Gulliver depicted in Jonathan Swift's 18th century novel Gulliver's Travels.


On November 5, 1699, Gulliver (voiced by Sam Parker) washes onto Lilliput and Blefuscu, after a shipwreck. While scouting the forest, the town crier 'Gabby' (voiced by Pinto Colvig), finds Gulliver unconscious body and rushes to warn the ruler of Lilliput, King Little (voiced by Jack Mercer). At this time, Little and his friend, King Bombo (voiced by Tedd Pierce) of Blefuscu, are planning to marry Princess Glory of Lilliput (voiced by Jessica Dragonette) to Prince David of Blefuscu (voiced by Lanny Ross). When they argue over which song is to play at the wedding, Bombo declares war.
After failures, Gabby tells King Little of the "giant on the beach" (i.e. Gulliver), and leads a mob to the beach to capture him. There, the Lilliputians tie Gulliver to a wagon on which they convey him to the capital. In the next morning, Gulliver awakens and breaks himself free; but when they see that the invading Blefuscuians are intimidated by his size, the Lilliputians enlist his help against their neighbor, treating him with hospitality and making him a new set of clothes.
King Bombo, who has sent three spies, Sneak, Snoop, and Snitch, into Lilliput, orders them to kill Gulliver; whereupon the spies steal Gulliver's flintlock pistol, confiscated by the Lilliputians, and prepare to use it against him. Meanwhile, Gulliver learns of the war's cause from Glory and David, and proposes a new song that combines the two proposed by their fathers.
When the spies assure King Bombo that they can kill Gulliver, Bombo announces by carrier pigeon 'Twinkletoes', that he will attack at dawn. Gabby intercepts this message and warns the Lilliputians; but is himself captured by the spies, who prepare the pistol. As the Blefuscuian fleet approaches Lilliput, Gulliver ties them together and draws them disarmed to shore. The spies fire at Gulliver from a cliff, but Prince David diverts the shot and falls to his apparent death. Using David's body to illustrate his point, Gulliver rebukes Lilliput and Blefuscu for fighting; but when they solemnize a truce, reveals that David is unharmed, whereupon David and Glory sing their combined song to the two peoples. Both thereafter build a new ship for Gulliver, on which he departs.


  • Gulliver - Sam Parker (actor)
  • Gabby - Pinto Colvig
  • King Little, Twinkletoes, Sneak, Snoop, and Snitch - Jack Mercer
  • King Bombo - Tedd Pierce
  • Princess Glory - Jessica Dragonette
  • Prince David - Lanny Ross


  • "Faithful/Forever" (Music by Ralph Rainger, lyrics by Leo Robin)
  • "I Hear a Dream (Come Home Again)" (Music by Ralph Rainger, lyrics by Leo Robin)
  • "We're All Together Now" (Music by Ralph Rainger, lyrics by Leo Robin)
  • "Bluebirds in the Moonlight (Silly Idea)" (Music by Ralph Rainger, lyrics by Leo Robin)
  • "All's Well" (Music by Ralph Rainger, lyrics by Leo Robin)
  • "It's a Hap-Hap-Happy Day" (Written by Sammy Timberg, Al Neiburg and Winston Sharples)
"All's Well", "It's a Hap-Hap-Happy Day", and "Faithful Forever" all later became standards of Fleischer, and later Famous Studios, cartoon scores. The film's song "I Hear a Dream" was also very popular as well.


The film was nominated for two Academy Awards:
  • Victor Young for Best Music, Original Score
  • Ralph Rainger (music) and Leo Robin (lyrics) for Best Music, Original Song for the song "Faithful Forever"

Popular culture

A couple of scenes from the film are briefly seen in two episodes of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius: "The Incredible Shrinking Town" and "Flippy".

Spin-off cartoons

The film was spun off into two short-lived Fleischer cartoon short series: the Gabby (film series) cartoons starring the Pinto Colvig-voiced Lilliputian sidekick of the film, and the Animated Antics cartoons starring Sneak, Snoop and Snitch (the three villains) and Twinkletoes (the carrier pigeon) from the film.

See also

  • List of animated feature films
  • Further reading

    • Michael Barrier (historian) (1999). Hollywood Cartoons: American Animation in Its Golden Age. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-516729-5.
    • Cabarga, Leslie (1976, updated 1988). The Fleischer Story. Cambridge: Da Capo Books. ISBN 0-306-80313-5.
    • Leonard Maltin (1980, updated 1987). Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons. New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-452-25993-2.

    External links

  • Category:1939 films
    Category:Paramount Pictures animated films
    Category:American animated films
    Category:Fleischer Studios films
    Category:Gulliver's Travels
    Category:Articles containing video clips
    Category:Television series by U.M.&M. T.V. Corp.
    Category:1930s musical films
    Category:Films set in a fictional country
    Category:Films directed by Dave Fleischer
    Category:1939 animated films
    Category:Films set on islands
    Category:Paramount Pictures films
    Category:Films based on Irish novels
    Category:Rotoscoped films

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