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The 3 Worlds of Gulliver

4.2 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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(Apr 16, 2002)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Kerwin Mathews stars as Gulliver, the swashbuckling doctor who sets sail for fame and fortune in the fabled East Indies, but finds adventure, romance and danger instead in Brobdingnag and Lilliput, the infamous lands of the great and small. One of the most complicated films of its time, THE 3 WORLDS OF GULLIVER is both an enchanting fantasy and a captivating visual treat. Because the storyline calls for scenes that juxtapose forty-foot giants with six-inch-tall people, special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen perfected a state-of-the-art trick photography process so innovative, they had to invent a new word for it: Superdynamation.

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Imaginative special effects by the legendary Ray Harryhausen are the highlights of this adaptation of Jonathan Swift's classic fantasy novel. Kerwin Mathews, who rose to fame after appearing opposite Harryhausen's "Superdynamation" effects in The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958), stars as the English Dr. Gulliver, whose travels bring him in contact with both the diminutive Lilliputians and the gigantic Brobdingnagians. Director Jack Sher's script (with Arthur Ross) tempers Swift's pointed satire in favor of broader humor, and the musical numbers are decidedly unwelcome, but viewers of all ages will be delighted by the film's spirited action and Bernard Herrmann's rousing score. Harryhausen aficionados may be disappointed by the lack of fantastical creatures on display (though a giant squirrel and alligator are impressive), but his matte work here is nothing short of spectacular. --Paul Gaita

Special Features

  • Making-of featurette
  • "This is Dynamation" featurette
  • "The Harryhausen Chronicles" featurette

Product Details

  • Actors: Kerwin Mathews, Sherry Alberoni, Ray Harryhausen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, Widescreen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Columbia Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: April 16, 2002
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000062XE5
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,550 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The 3 Worlds of Gulliver" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
If you're considering a purchase of this title, but are wary because of the occasional misinformation and confusion regarding the original screen ratio and the preservation of this ratio in the transfer, then don't fret. With no intention of starting a debate, I can comfortably state that the film hasn't been re-formatted to fit your screen (although this is inaccurately stated before the film begins). Concerned that the studio/corporation had balked on an authentic widescreen transfer, I spent more time than I care to admit in pursuit of clues and/or answers without doing any severe film-scholar-like research. Anyway, although you may encounter what appears to be a 16X9 transfer in the U.K. and EU markets, I don't believe that these are any more accurate than the supposed widescreen preview/trailer found on several of the Harryhausen Collection discs. In fact, it's the very preview on "3 Worlds" for "3 Worlds" that solved the riddle. Here's the deal: It's a banded, or barred trailer (wherein the black bars at the top and bottom are actually hiding or covering the picture beneath). Whether this was done for exhibition on a 1:85 to 1 or 16X9 big screen, I can't say, but the visual material in between the bars is composed the same as the "supposedly" cropped transfer. I took a couple of easy-to-find images from the trailer and double-checked them by using the chapter search. Anyway, you don't want the widescreen version of "3 Worlds" anymore than you want a widescreen version of "Shane." It simply isn't the screen ratio in which these films were shot. If you think I'm wrong, then please check for yourself. Screen composition and visuals are only being compromised in the artificially "wide" versions.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
"THE HARRYHAUSEN CHRONICLES" focuses on the art of Ray Harryhausen. This affectionate and classy documentary is a perfect companion title to the feature "20 Million Miles to Earth." Narrated by Leonard Nimoy and written, produced and directed by Richard Schickel, Time magazine's film critic and film historian, this entertaining celebration of Harryhausen's singular cinematic legacy features numerous film clips and observations by George Lucas and others whose lives were impacted by his films. Harryhausen says the "essence of fantasy is the transfer of reality into the imagination." Certainly his remarkable stop-motion sequences have entertained generations and haunted memories. Schickel says it best with an observation spoken by Nimoy: "In this moment of mechanized imagination, this unforgettable work recalls for us the value of the open and wondering eye and the informed and compassionate heart."
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Format: DVD
Jonathan Swift's satirical novel is given the Ray Harryhausen treatment, and though most of the satire is lost, there still remains echoes of it. For instance, the war the Lilliputians are involved in revolves around the best way to crack open your eggs...from the top or the bottom? And of course in Brobdingnag, any unusual behavior is attached to witchcraft..sound familiar?
At any rate, this is one of the least visually impressive of Harryhausen's works, mainly because the script didn't call for a lot of the trademark stop action effects. The squirrel and alligator are impressive, but don't come near any of the other creatures Harryhausen so brilliantly created. For a 1960 film, however, the effects are impressive.
Kerwin Mathews, who gained his stardom with THE SEVENTH VOYAGE OF SINBAD and JACK THE GIANT KILLER is sort of a British John Gavin. His dashing good looks and charming accent made him an ideal catch for the idealist Gulliver. Jo Morrow (the original 13 Ghosts) played Gwendolyn, and June Thorburn (Tom Thumb) was Gulliver's Elizabeth. The talented character actor Gregoire Aslan was a perfectly foppish Emperor, and Lee Patterson (Tv'S Surfside 6) a gallant prime minister.
While not a bad film by any means, GULLIVER just doesn't have the overwhelming magic of previous Harryhausen efforts. But it is entertaining and I think kids will like it.
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Format: VHS Tape
Sad that so many people rated this as one star since in fact the chronicles are interesting and well done. Why the studio decided to release this on a separate DVD when it is all ready on most Ray Harryhausen DVD movies released is odd. Suffice it to say the chronicles are well worth seeing. If you want them just buy a great Harryhausen movie like "Jason and the Argonauts" or "Mysterious Island" on DVD.
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Format: DVD
This was one of the first films I ever saw and parts of it stuck in my imagination for 43 years. So, sitting down with my kids, I was very curious as to how I wd find it. In a nutshell, it is great.

But the most rewarding thing was how much my kids loved it, in particular my son. At 6, the whole story to him was fascinating and got him to ask me all sorts of questions, like, why are the Lilliputians arguning about such silly things and why are the giants so dumb? That is exactly what Swift was hoping to do with this tale, which espouses many of the theories (rationality, the uses of science in human society, etc.) that were becoming popular with the enlightenment. What a delight to discuss these issues with my kids!! THen there are the characters, such as Gulliver's naivte, which leads to some life-threatening situations. Finally, there are the wonderful special effects - Harryhausen had a certain genius for his time - which are crude by today's standards by still enthralling.

Warmly recommended for the entire family. (Note: I got this as part of the 5-film package deal of Harryhausen films, which cost just 1/3 more than this stand-alone version and lacks the documentaries, which I don't think are worth the difference in price.)
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