The Three Worlds Of Gulliver DVD


The 1960 children's feature The Three Worlds of Gulliver brings to life the first two sections of Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels in a version which, while sanitised for youngsters, retains some of the satire and intelligence of the original. It also boasts excellent-for-the-time special effects by Ray Harryhausen, though the effects wizard keeps his trademark stop-motion animation to a minimum, featuring it only when Gulliver (Kerwin Mathews from 1958's The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad), has problems with an outsized crocodile and a foraging squirrel. Instead, Harryhausen... concentrates on portraying the miniature Lilliputians and the giant Brobdingnagians, and the results still impress over 40 years on. This is a colourful, witty, charming film, though it is also heavily Americanised, the dialogue anachronistic and some of the accents decidedly trans-Atlantic. Mathews is a little stiff in the role of a British doctor, but English actress June Thorburn makes a spirited and beautiful Elizabeth, Gulliver's fiancée who in this version comes along for the journey. While the 1996 TV mini-series Gulliver's Travels comes much closer to Swift's intentions Harryhausen's version will delight younger viewers and has the advantage of a beguiling score from the great Bernard Herrmann. Some viewers may be startled to learn that in the 17th century there were Spanish mountains just outside London, and that Wapping was just a minute's walk from the beach. On the DVD: The Three Worlds of Gulliver on disc has good mono sound while the picture, which is anamorphically enhanced and presented at 1.77:1, is of variable quality. There are very distracting fleck marks where the emulsion has been damaged on the print in many shots featuring Gulliver against a bright blue sky. These really should have been restored before transfer to DVD. Although the packaging refers to "The Ray Harryhausen Chronicles" featurette, this is actually the same superb 57-minute TV documentary which has appeared on other Harryhausen titles. Everyone should have it in their collection once. "This is Dynamation" is a three-minute special effects promo for The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad. Also included is a five-minute original "making of" featurette and trailers for The Three Worlds of Gulliver (1.70:1 letterboxed), The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (4:3) and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1.77:1 anamorphic), as well as basic filmographies of Jack Sher, Arthur Ross, Ray Harryhausen and Kerwin Mathews. --Gary S Dalkin [show more]

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22 April 2002
Columbia Tri-Star Home Video 
95 minutes 
Dubbed, PAL, Widescreen 
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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play. Doctor Gulliver is poor, so nothing - not even his charming fiancée Elisabeth - keeps him in the town he lives. He signs on to a ship to India, but in a storm he's washed off the ship and ends up on an island, which is inhibitated by very tiny people. After he managed to convince them he's harmless and is accepted as one of their citizens, their king wants to use him in war against a people of giants. Compared to them, even Gulliver is a gnome.

Vintage Charles H. Schneer/Ray Harryhausen version of the Jonathan Swift classic. Lemuel Gulliver (Kerwin Mathews) is a sea traveller who falls overboard during a long voyage, and is washed up on the shores of Lilliput, a land populated by people so small they fit in the palm of his hand. Gulliver later moves on again, only to discover himself surrounded by giants in the land of Brobdingnag. Will he ever find a way of returning home to the regular-sized people of his native England?

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