Gulliver’s Travel

Dave Fleisher

This animated feature film from 1939 by the brothers Fleisher, famous from their ‘Betty Boop’ films, is the second animated features ever to be produced in the US. It’s a reply to Walt Disney’s ‘Snow White’. This big-budget movie tells the story of Gulliver, a sailor who winds up on the Island of the Liliputters, after being shipwrecked. At first, they are afraid of him. This changes when Gulliver helps them fight another tribe of small people: the inhabitants of the neighboring island Blefuscu. He becomes the Liliputters’ secret weapon. In the meantime, the princess of the Liliputters and the prince of Belfuscu fall secretly in love. Gulliver helps them get together, and reunites the two fighting tribes.

The film is based on the famous novel by Jonathan Swift. Fleisher turned this social satire into a great adventure film for the whole family. They used a rotoscope on the production: the movements of the actors were turned into animated images. These images were restored in 1999 for the first time, after a manual process of recoloring which took two years.