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Gulliver's Travels (1939)

Gulliver washes ashore on Lilliput and attempts to prevent war between that tiny kingdom and its equally minuscule rival, Blefuscu, as well as smooth the way for the romance between the ... See full summary »



(based on immortal tale), (story adaptation) | 5 more credits »

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Jessica Dragonette ...
Princess Glory (singing voice)
Lanny Ross ...
Prince David (singing voice)


Gulliver washes ashore on Lilliput and attempts to prevent war between that tiny kingdom and its equally minuscule rival, Blefuscu, 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 Blefuscu spies, Sneak, Snoop, and Snitch, manage to steal Gulliver's pistol. Written by Paul Penna <tterrace@wco.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

spy | gabby | prince | princess | waves | See All (57) »


Out of the Book...On to the Screen See more »


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

22 December 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

As Viagens de Gulliver  »

Box Office


$700,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


To produce this feature film, the Fleischer studio had to nearly triple in size, from about 200 artists to nearly 700. Max Fleischer had a 32,000-square-foot plant built in Miami to accommodate the new personnel, as well as to take advantage of that city's tax exemptions on film studios. (The fact that unionization had not taken hold in Florida was also a consideration, as there had been a long struggle to organize the Fleischer animators, culminating in a strike in 1937.) See more »


[first lines]
Gabby: [singing] All's well, what's a rainy day? / Never mind that cloud, behind that cloud you'll find a golden ray.
See more »


Spin-off The Constable (1940) See more »


I Hear a Dream (Come Home Again)
(1939) (uncredited)
Music by Ralph Rainger
Lyrics by Leo Robin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Beautiful and timeless
18 August 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I haven't read Jonathan Swift's story for a long time, but I remember loving it very much. This 1939 animated film mayn't be the best, definitive or the most faithful version, but can I be honest, it's actually my personal favourite. I don't know why, maybe because of nostalgia, this was a favourite of mine when I was a kid and I still love it. It is so warm, entertaining and beautiful, and might I say I consider it timeless too? The animation is actually really lovely, not tedious, undistinguished or dated as it has been criticised as. Instead it is beautiful and colourful. The colours are lavish, the backgrounds are mellow and the character designs are typical Fleischer, while the use of the Roto-Scope is incredibly effective.

I also love the story. As I have said it is not the most faithful to the original story, but it is still a great and sweet one. It is one that tells of love, hope, friendship, adventure and even humour, all those qualities that makes an animated film so great. In some ways the first half-hour is better than the rest of the film, however the film is full of charming moments such as when Gabby pleads not to be eaten, when Gulliver brings David and Glory together, "there's a giant on the beach", the interaction between the spies and of course my favourite the really touching ending. There is a bit of Romeo and Juliet too, with the idea of the feuding kingdoms and I think it works.

The script is really nice too, I admit I've heard better dialogue but there are much worse as well. Anything Gabby says cracks me up and Gulliver says some interesting things too. In fact, there is a perfect balance of humorous lines and touching sentiment. And I love the characters as well.

Gulliver apparently was made to look like a real person, a bold and ambitious move and one that pays off, is it me or isn't he handsome and I love his rich baritone voice, reminds me of Emile from South Pacific. The King of Lilliput is also a nice character, bumbling and humorous, same with Bombo who appears to be rather mean but there is a small part towards the beginning that suggests otherwise. David is someone we don't see much but he is very handsome with a kind presence with a voice that takes you to another world. My favourites though are Princess Glory and Gabby. Princess Glory is absolutely beautiful, and while she has a quivering vibrato(like Snow White does) she has a very limpid and pleasant voice. And what do I need to say about Gabby? There may be times in his cartoons where Gabby comes across as selfish, mean and unapologetic, but we see a different Gabby here. A somewhat funnier Gabby, and in some ways you feel sorry for him too.

The voice acting is also top notch for the time. Pinto Colvig, the wonderful voice actor he was, is great as Gabby, and Jack Mercer has fun as the King. Jessica Dragonette and Lanny Ross provide the voices of Glory and David beautifully, while Sam Parker is interesting as Gulliver. The pacing is brisk too, so the film never feels tedious or draggy, and while Gulliver's Travels is short it is very fulfilling.

But do you know what my favourite part was? It was the music. It's all an acquired taste of course, but I absolutely love this sort of music, the mellow and rich sounds that are almost reminiscent of Rodgers and Hammerstein. "All's Well" has had me humming the tune for days on end, "It's a Hap Hap Happy Day" is quirky and upbeat and "We're All Together Now" is wonderfully uplifting and memorable. "Come Home Again" is hauntingly beautiful, while "Forever" and "Faithful" are sweet and romantic.

In conclusion, beautiful, timeless and I think underrated film. 10/10 Bethany Cox

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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