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Gulliver's Travels

(1939 c 76')

En: 5 Ed: 6


In this animated musical version of Jonathan Swift's classic novel Gulliver stops a war between two kingdoms of little people.

In 1699 the shipwrecked sailor Gulliver swims ashore. Gabby sings "All's Well" and finds the giant Gulliver. King Little of Lilliput and King Bombo of Blefiscu agree on the wedding of their children. Glory sings "Faithful" to David. King Bombo and King Little argue over whose song will be played at the wedding and declare war. David sings "Forever" to Glory. Gabby tells King Little about the giant on the beach and wakes people. They laugh at Gabby until they see the giant. They quietly tie down Gulliver with ropes as he sleeps. They hoist his body and lower it onto a wheeled vehicle pulled by horses. They take him to the castle. Gabby takes King Little out to see Gulliver, and the king runs away. Gabby has men search Gulliver for arms. After Gulliver's gun fires, he wakes and breaks his bonds. Gulliver picks up Gabby and puts him down next to King Little, who orders archers to shoot at Gulliver. King Bombo has his ships fire cannons but then flees. Gulliver greets King Little, who proclaims victory. People sing "Hap Hap Happy Day" as they shave Gulliver.

King Bombo sends a message by a bird to his spies to get rid of the giant. Gulliver dines with King Little. The spies see "Gulliver's thunder machine." King Little goes to bed, and Gulliver by the sea sings about home. Gulliver makes a sail boat. The spies set up the gun, but a fire starts; Gulliver puts it out. David sings "Forever," and the Lilliputians fight him. Gulliver picks up David and Glory, putting them together. Gulliver tells them to sing "Faithful" and "Forever" together. King Bombo plans to attack at dawn, but Gabby intercepts the message. The Lilliputians march, chanting "There is a war to be won; there is a job to be done." Gulliver walks ahead and stops the war by pulling Bombo's ships away. Glory sees Gulliver's gun, and David rides to stop the spies from shooting Gulliver. The gun and David fall from the cliff. Gulliver lectures King Little and King Bombo. Then Glory and David sing "Faithful" and "Forever." In the final scene King Little and King Bombo christen the Gulliver; as people cry, Gulliver sails away.

Though much of Swift's satire is missing, the powerful anti-war theme remains in the second animated feature ever. The absurdity of kingdoms going to war against each other over rival customs is clearly seen from a higher and more powerful perspective. How little this important message had sunk into humanity was clearly evident in the critical year of 1939.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

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