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Gulliver's Travels [Remastered Edition] (1939) DVD


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Gulliver's Travels [Remastered Edition] (1939) DVD + March of the Wooden Soldiers (Colorized / Black & White)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Jessica Dragonette, Lanny Ross
  • Directors: Dave Fleischer, Willard Bowsky
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A2ZCDS.com
  • DVD Release Date: March 22, 2005
  • Run Time: 73 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007UPHR4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,264 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Gulliver washes ashore on Lilliput and attempts to prevent war between that tiny kingdom and its equally-miniscule rival, Blefiscu, as well as smooth the way for the romance between the Princess and Prince of the opposing lands. In this he is alternately aided and hampered by the Lilliputian town crier and general fussbudget, Gabby. A life-threatening situation develops when the bumbling trio of Blefiscu spies, Sneak, Snoop, and Snitch, manage to steal Gulliver's pistol. Written by Paul Penna {tterrace@wco.com}

Review

Unlike Disney's "Snow White," which was preeminently a fairy tale for adults, Max Fleischer's feature-length cartoon of "Gulliver's Travels" is a fairy tale for children and for children almost exclusively. As such we have no hesitation in recommending the Paramount's new film as a pleasant and diverting animated picture-book, drawn in the brightest Technicolor, happily free from ogres, hobgoblins and other nightmare-breeders, and so broad in its humor that the littlest 4-year-old can scarcely miss its jokes.

But, by any other standards than those of the juvenile audience, the film is so far beneath the level of Mr. Disney's famous fantasy that, out of charity, we wish we did not have to make the comparisons demanded by professional responsibility. If it were only possible to soften the blow by suggesting that the second feature cartoon automatically loses the novelty-value of the first, we should be cushioning our typewriter with the excuse right now. But it is far more than novelty that "Gulliver" lacks: it is the wit, the freshness, the gayety and sparkle, the subtlety, the characterization and, for that matter, the good drawing that are the trademarks of the Disney factory.

Pointedly enough, the best parts of the Fleischer show are those which are most reminiscent of Disney: the comet-like course of the lamp-bearing town crier of Lilliput when the first sight of Gulliver sends him rocketing through the city to spread the alarm, the Lilliputian methods of repairing the human giant's wardrobe, the music-box effect of the harmonic snores of King Little and other members of his court. And pointedly, too, the worst parts of it were Disney stumbling blocks also: inability to make a little Prince and Princess anything but expressionless dolls, to crease a natural human face into a smile or frown without the lines and shadows performing a square dance.

For comic cartoon purposes they have used only the roughest outline of the Jonathan Swift satire about Lemuel Gulliver, the shipwrecked sailor who came ashore in Lilliput, where the folk were only thumb-high but just as cantankerous and warlike as full-grown members of the race facetiously known as human. That is the beginning and virtually the end of the synopsis since animators have material aplenty just in the notion of a working crew of Lilliputians trying to capture a man seventy times their size but, for good measure, they have tossed in the Prince of Blefuscu and the Princess of Lilliput whose wedding is called off, and war declared, because King Little insists that his anthem, "Faithful," be sung at the wedding and King Bombo is adamant about the singing of his anthem, "Forever."

Some parts of it are amusing enough to adults, even by Disney standards. The capture of Gulliver, with block and tackle and monumental Lilliputian energy, is chuckling fantasy; the behavior of Bombo's three spies is good burlesque in the Three Stooges tradition, and we enjoyed the sequence when Gabby the would-be Dopey of "Gulliver" is blubbering about his indigestibility, his wife and kids "millions of em." The score is fair enough, thanks to Lee Robin and Ralph Rainger and to Jessica Dragonette and Lanny Ross, who sing their tunes; but even the score is familiar, a blend of "Snow White" and "The Wizard of Oz." The children, of course, won't be so critical: whether it's Disney, Fleischer or Mervyn LeRoy, fantasy in picture-book form is just what they want for Christmas. --The New York Times

Customer Reviews

My kids loved it.
Sasjenn
The video quality is poor and the original academy aspect ratio 1.37:1 (roughly 4:3) has been cropped and stretched to 16:9.
Gadget Guru
In fact, it might even be better.
socby19

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 87 people found the following review helpful By R. Lindeboom on October 29, 2000
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In 1939 when this movie was released, it faced stiff competition at the Academy Awards from 'Gone with the Wind' and 'The Wizard of Oz.' Nominated for an Academy Award in 1939, it didn't win. But those who love this film will always believe that is should have. By 1939, the Fleischer Studios had been crafting the finest animation around -- they actually produced the first full length animated movie (though Disney gets the credit). This is the very best that the Fleischer Studios ever produced. Its characters are every bit as rich and deep as the very best Disney, Bluth or Spielberg-Katzenberg efforts. (Anyone who hears the classic line: "There's a giant on the beach!" -- will never forget it!) For years, I have wanted to get my hands on this and remaster this movie digitally. (I do effects and compositing for a living.) It's wonderful to see that someone who loves this movie has given it the care and respect it deserves. Max Fleischer was a sheer genius, whose work includes the original Betty Boop, Popeye, the animated Superman -- and his own contributions to film include techniques of effects production that are still used today. He was a master of his craft who, sadly, has little recognition outside artists and animators. I have bought many copies of this over the years -- usually in versions so poorly recorded and transfered that they are pitiful indicators of the Fleischer talent -- and yet, everyone I've given it to, loves the movie. My personal gratitude to Winfield Hoskins, Seymour Kneitel and Thomas Reich for your tender care in restoring such a wonderful movie. Thank you. It is truly long overdue and it is a case of giving honor to whom honor is due.Read more ›
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94 of 100 people found the following review helpful By William McKeldin Jr. on March 21, 2009
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Edit: This is a review of the KOCH VISION Blu-ray, released in 2009!! The currently available THUNDERBEAN release has been *lovingly* restored and is worthy of 5 STARS!!!

GULLIVER'S TRAVELS has been butchered by a combination of cropping and geometric distortion to fill (or almost fill) a wide screen TV. The fact is that Hollywood movies made prior to 1953 were virtually all shot and framed for a 1.37x1 aspect ratio (all but identical to standard def TVs). For years movie fans have been hounding television stations and video distributors to show films made after 1953 in their proper wide screen ratios. Now that we have wide screen TVs the opposite situation exists, and it's the films made before 1953 that will suffer. I urge people not to support this practice. This is not a product that anyone who has an interest in movies should purchase.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Dwight Kemper on March 27, 2009
Format: Blu-ray
I'm new to Blue Ray so after the few that I've purchased thus far with the fantastic picture quality that only BR can give you I had high hopes for seeing Gulliver's Travels as I've never seen it before. Sadly, this was a great disappointment. The video quality is on par with VHS. Although the colors are quite vibrant, the picture is a horrible. Comparing this to the recent BR of Pinochio and Pixar's beautiful WALL-E discs, this is a version of Max and Dave Fleischer's Gulliver's Travels is a bad April Fool's Day joke perpetrated a month early. Avoid at all costs and demand a proper restoration of this classic film.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Urza on March 30, 2009
Format: Blu-ray
After viewing this on Blu Ray, what else can be said that others have not?

The film has been butchered for all the reasons stated.

Incorrect Aspect

EE,DNR,Poor Picture

Stay far away from this. The 5 star reviews are very suspect, as it is night and day,not just a small difference of opinion.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By AaronSch on March 22, 2009
Format: Blu-ray
The five-star reviews are incredibly misleading and suspect. This is a classic animated film that has unfortunately fallen into public domain and unscrupulous hands. It has been cropped and stretched to fill a wide screen while excessive digital noise reduction has been employed to "clean it up." This version is not from the original film elements and it is a major disappointment. Save your money and wait till this film is released properly.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Canuck21 on March 30, 2009
Format: Blu-ray
The original aspect ratio of this title is 1.37:1, that's roughly the aspect ratio of a standard def TV (4:3). The images in this BD have been cropped at the top and bottom to fill a widescreen TV (16x9) and that is simply unacceptable. Big studios have learn that staying faithful to the original aspect ratio is the right thing to do. Disney have recently re-released a remastered "Pinocchio" with amazing results and guess what, they kept the original aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

If all you want is a cartoon to babysit your toddler and couldn't careless if parts of the image are missing, then this BD might do it for you, but if you care about the integrity of the original art, then this BD is a travesty, there's no kinder word for such action.
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By tsb on March 30, 2009
Format: Blu-ray
This release is not in the proper aspect ratio and digital scrubbing and manipulation have left a nasty toll. Important details have been swept away. Bold lines of the drawings have turned faint and wispy, and the colors are thin and unstable. The image has been reformatted to fit the wide television screens of today, losing the top and bottom of the original frame. There is also some stretching distorting the picture.

If you want classics done right on BD, buy the Disney releases. This disk isn't worthy as a drink coaster.
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