THE 3 WORLDS OF GULLIVER
The 3 Worlds of Gulliver was made by cult stop motion animator Ray Harryhausen and his producer Charles H. Schneer, who had both just come from the enormous success of The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958). They cast the story as the same type of Cinemascope epic that The 7th Voyage of Sinbad was. Unfortunately, the Swiftian satire does not sit at ease with this. Kerwin Mathews, who was also Sinbad in 7th Voyage, is miscast as Gulliver he is all wooden heroics whereas Gulliver is a role that requires more in the way of intellectual prowess. Nevertheless, despite being scaling up as a big screen adventure, the film allows some of Jonathan Swifts social absurdities to show through. The pomposities of the Lilliputians and the Brobdingnagians do come across with a certain jolly amusement. At its worst as in the scenes with the Lilliputian ministers The 3 Worlds of Gulliver descends to clumsy lowbrow clowning, but these are not too many.
The 3 Worlds of Gulliver is celebrated as part of the great Harryhausen canon but surprisingly Ray Harryhausens work does not feature much. He only animates (not very well) a gopher and (extremely well) a giant crocodile. However, these creations are relatively minor and not the focus of the story for once the story is enough to stand on its own rather than as a showcase of Ray Harryhausens effects. The effects work that allows Gulliver to be tied down, to sit at a table as miniature pigs are winched up to him in on a pulley, his towing the Blefuscu ships over his shoulder and the like are all excellent. Frequent Harryhausen collaborator Bernard Herrmann delivers another fine score.
Other versions of Gullivers Travels are: George Meliess Gullivers Travels Among the Lilliputians and the Giants (1902); Segundo de Chomons Gulliver in the Land of the Giants (1903); a Russian version The New Gulliver (1934); Max Fleischers animated version Gullivers Travels (1939); a Japanese anime version Gullivers Travels Beyond the Moon (1965); a live-action Czech version in 1970; a live-action Hungarian version for tv in 1974: Gullivers Travels (1977), a partially animated Belgian version starring Richard Harris; Gulliver in Lilliput (1982), a four-part BBC tv version; The Voyages of Gulliver (1983), an animated Spanish version; an American animated tv series Gullivers Travels (1992); Gullivers Travels (1995), a tv mini-series starring Ted Danson, the finest and most faithful of the adaptations and the only one to cover the entire book; and the modernised film version Gullivers Travels (2010) starring Jack Black, which played the story as a comedy.
Ray Harryhausens other films are: The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), the granddaddy of all atomic monster films; the giant atomic octopus film It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955); the alien invader film Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers (1956); the alien monster film 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957); The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958); the Jules Verne adaptation Mysterious Island (1961); the Greek myth adventure Jason and the Argonauts (1963); the H.G. Wells adaptation The First Men in the Moon (1964); the caveman vs dinosaurs epic One Million Years B.C. (1966); the dinosaur film The Valley of Gwangi (1969); the two Sinbad sequels The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973) and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977); and the Greek myth adventure Clash of the Titans (1981).