Gulliver's Travels 1977

Gulliver's Travels 1977

Starring Richard Harris, Catherine Schell. (U)


Jonathan Swift’s novel has been animated (1939), made into an adventure with effects by stop-motion genius Ray Harryhausen (1960’s The 3 Worlds of Gulliver) turned into a lavish miniseries (1996, with Ted Danson in the lead), and a vehicle for Jack Black (the 2010 comedy) and there is also this film version, a mix of live action and animation. Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a disappointment – especially to fans of the book – as it misses out whole journeys that Gulliver memorably takes (including the visit to the floating island of Laputa).

It’s 1699, and Gulliver (Harris), a ship’s surgeon, finds himself imprisoned by the people of Lilliput after his ship capsized at sea. To the little people of Lilliput, he’s a giant, and they see his arrival as an opportunity to finally win a war against their neighbours.

While grown-ups may snigger at Harris trying to act against, well… nothing (the animation being drawn in later), kids won’t be impressed by the dated animation or the slow storytelling. The 1996 miniseries is probably the best one to check out for anyone interested in a filmic version that actually stays close to the source material. 

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