Walt Disney said of this film, the first non Disney animated feature to hit theaters just 2 years after Snow White (the first animated feature), "We could have done better than that with our second unit of animators". Well, that may or may not be true, depending on how one looks at the film. True, the animation overall, but particularly of the incidental and secondary characters, is a bit on the crude side. Also, the character designs, as a whole, seem a bit more dated than the earlier "Snow White". Still, one of the things I have always loved about the Fleischer Studio is that they were the one studio that never tried to be Disney. MGM, Universal and even early Warner Brothers tried to emulated the lush quality of Disney cartoons and, for the most part, always fell short because by the time they got to where Disney was, Disney was already far ahead of them. But the Fleischer cartoons were always different. They developed a kooky but brazen quality all their own. There is no mistaking a Fleischer cartoon from the 1930s to around 1942. They have a unique, eccentric look and way of movement that no other studio had. A quirky, imaginative, jaunty quality that was bold, innovative, and unashamed. Once the studio was taken away from the Fleischers and changed over to "Famous Studios" all that changed and the studio output became more mainstream. But, during the great Popeye, Betty Boop and Superman era, the Fleischer cartoons remained origina and uniquel. And even with the rather "rubbery" Prince and Princess and the somewhat stiff Rotoscoped looking Gulliver, this feature embodies all the wonderful Fleischer qualities of their shorts, pushed up a notch for a feature and embellished with lavish backgrounds and dimensional sets or "setbacks", great songs and a wonderful rich score by Victor Young. Don't miss Gulliver and, if you like that, check out "Hoppity Goes to Town", (the second and final Fleischer feature). It is also very enjoyable. --By "Loopydloop" (Los Angeles, CA United States)
Lemuel Gulliver, the shipwrecked one, ends up in Lilliput. Its inhabitants are the Lilliputians--miniature people. To them, Lemuel is a giant, and they suspect that he is an enemy. So, while Lemuel Gulliver is sleeping, they tie him up. Upon awakening, he breaks free of the bonds, and shows the Lilliputians that he is their friend. The Lilliputians then love him. But some enemies of the Lilliputians do not. They plot to kill him. They manage to steal Lemuel's flintlock pistol, and set it up as a "cannon". In time, they deploy it in order to fire at him. In a battlefield scene, Lemuel Gulliver is dodging the miniature rocks hurled by the slingshots of the miniature-people enemies of the Lilliputians. Lemuel has no hostility to these people, and, in fact, wants to effect a reconciliation between them and the Lilliputians. He is completely unaware of the "cannon" set to be fired at him. I will not spoil the ending by informing the reader what happens to Lemuel Gulliver as he stands helplessly within sight of the barrel of the "cannon". --By Jan Peczkis (Chicago IL, USA)
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