An Englishman returns after nine years abroad and tells strange stories of the tiny people of Lilliput, the giants of Brobdingnang, the flying island Laputa and the Houyhnhnms, a race of intelligent horses.
All star adaptation of Jonathan Swift's satirical tale about a normal man who, after returning home following eight years of absence, relates fantastical tales about how he was thought to be giant in the Land of Lilliput, but was only six inches high in the Land of Brobdingnag. He also tells of his visit to the floating island of Laputa populated by scientists who are so obsessed with reason that they act with no common sense. Finally, he tells of his journey to the land where his disturbing likeness to the bestial Yahoos and his inferiority to the intelligent horses there makes him question the very worth of his humanity.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Dr. Bates is tearing pages from Gulliver's journal and throwing them on the fire the pages change position between shots. See more »
All the Yahoo vices I can begin to accustom myself to once more. Except for pride. That I cannot tolerate. I see myself for what I truly am. I have lost eight years of my life... And yet, and yet, the moments I have had, the marvels I have witnessed, the wonderful truths I have seen. You see, when night falls and you close your eyes to sleep and dream, I have seen the things that you can only dream about. I have been there. I was lost at sea for a long time. But I have been there. Oh yes. All ...
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Ted Danson was a great choice to play Gulliver. Even though his background was mostly comedy, he shows here that he can do drama just as well or perhaps even better (though there is a lot of humour in this). Hard to turn a blind eye to his American accent especially since his character is supposed to be English but that's just a minor thing.
All the villains are equally well cast: James Fox, Edward Fox, Peter O'Toole, Warwick Davis, John Standing, etc. Despite the fact that most of them are either tiny people or giants, they are 100% believable in everything they do and their motivations are very clear e.g. the Lilliputians' unremitting suspicion of Gulliver, Grildrig the (giant) dwarf's hatred of him for usurping his position as court jester, Dr. Bates' attempt to have Gulliver proved insane so he can marry Mary.
Mary Steenburgen is great as Mary Gulliver (another 17th Century English character with an American accent but never mind). She is a deeply tormented character because she has been waiting nine years for her husband to return home and when he finally does, he is talking about tiny people, giants, a flying island and talking horses! Mary, despite the strong fantasy element in the story, is a very believable character.
The special effects are breathtaking especially when you consider that it was filmed on a television scale at a time when CGI was in its infancy. It looks very realistic when we see a 6 foot tall man walking through a city filled with people who are 6 inches tall.
The cameos are great as well: Omar Sharif, Richard Wilson, Sir John Gielgud, Kristin Scott Thomas, Ned Beatty. All great actors who create a strong supporting cast that complement Danson's superb acting ability.
The Houynhnhms and the Yahoos are probably the most effective element of the story on the satire side of things: a society of talking horses who do not possess any of the vices that humans have while the Yahoos are primitive, disgusting humans who mate forcefully and appoint their leader depending on how disgusting he is. Gulliver and Mistress' study of them is also very well done and displays the differences and similarities between humans and Yahoos.
The best version of "Gulliver's Travels" by far and one of the best mini-series ever.
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