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Gulliver's Travels (1902) More at IMDbPro »Le voyage de Gulliver à Lilliput et chez les géants (original title)


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Jonathan Swift (novel)
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Release Date:
13 April 1903 (USA) See more »
Of all the beautiful stories ever told none are more interesting than Gulliver's Travels. How Gulliver... See more » | Add synopsis »
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Superimposed Scale See more (6 total) »

Directed by
Georges Méliès 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Jonathan Swift  novel "Gulliver's Travels"

Produced by
Georges Méliès .... producer

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Le voyage de Gulliver à Lilliput et chez les géants" - France (original title)
"Gulliver's Travels Among the Lilliputians and the Giants" - International (English title)
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4 min
Color (hand colored)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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Movie Connections:
Version of "Gulliver's Travels" (1996)See more »


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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Superimposed Scale, 4 April 2010
Author: Cineanalyst

By "The Man with the Rubber Head" (L'homme à la tête en caoutchouc)(1901), Georges Méliès had figured out that he could use multiple exposures (superimpositions) of the negative to create an image that was smaller or larger than another image. Méliès was the most clever of early filmmakers, and he specialized in exploiting cinematic tricks, mostly for single-scene trick attractions, but also in adaptations of classic fairy tales and fantasy voyage stories, so it was only a matter of time after he discovered the aforementioned effect that he would adapt Swift's novel involving the tiny people of Lilliput and the giants of Brobdingnag.

Of course, five scenes in about four minutes can hardly render any novel very well. The film only provides visual cues, or selected moments from the book, to the spectator, who then need to have knowledge of the source or, back then, have the film explained to them by a lecturer. Similar non self-contained early film literary selections included "Scrooge; or, Marley's Ghost" (1901), "Alice in Wonderland" (1903), "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (1903), and earlier story films by Méliès, such as "Cinderella" (Cendrillon)(1899). It seems Méliès wasn't even concerned with adapting the story (which he really didn't do), but in using the popular source as a container for his scaled multiple-exposure tricks.

In the film's first scene, a miniature set is used to create the scale that Gulliver has come upon a race of very small people. Throughout the rest of the film, multiple-exposure photography manipulates scale. The effect is rather shaky when the two images share a similar amount of space in the frame, as in scenes two and three. Also of interest is that a hand-colored print of this film is available today, which includes some especially good skin coloring. Additionally, scenes are transitioned by dissolves, which is a technique Méliès began using in "Cinderella" and which other filmmakers adopted as well.

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