We’ve recently seen the Fleischer Studio in action with their 1938 cartoon about the 1939 World’s Fair, and so now we look at their first feature-length animated film, commissioned by Paramount in response to Disney’s animated 1937 film about Snow White. From the YouTube entry:
Gulliver’s Travels is a 1939 American cel-animated Technicolor feature film, directed by Dave Fleischer and produced by Max Fleischer for Fleischer Studios. The film was released on December 22, 1939 by Paramount Pictures, who had the feature produced as an answer to the success of Walt Disney’s box-office hit Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
This film has an amazing backstory which contains facts, figures, and trivia about the film, including this gem: Due to its lengthy and extensive theatrical release, its many showings on television and its public domain status, some historians believe Gulliver’s Travels has been more widely seen than Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Take that, Disney.
Is it a good film? Well….The crowd in Miami was so large that it filled both the Sheridan and Colony Theaters, while in New York, Gulliver’s Travels broke box office records in its first two weeks at the 3,664-seat Paramount Theater. I remember it fondly from my childhood, and my mother told me that she had seen it in a theater in Dallas, Texas when she was 11. It’s a good family film with award-winning music and it is ‘safe’ children. If you’ve never seen it, give it a try. You could do worse.