Gulliver’s Travels

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Gulliver’s Travels is one of the most well known and most beloved books of all time, and new a movie adaption of the book is bringing Gulliver’s adventures to life for a new generation.  Written by Jonathan Swift in the 18th century the book was a satire of the British royal court written in the popular travel genre at the time. The original book follows Lemuel Gulliver through four distinct adventures. The movie adaptation only follows Gulliver through one adventure, his famous adventure to Lilliput. When Gulliver awakes after being shipwrecked and floating to shore in Lilliput he is amazed to discover that all the people there are one twelfth the size of a human being.  While he was asleep they have taken him captive and he finds himself unable to get up and face to face with his miniature captors. He goes to great lengths to talk them into letting him up and a good deal of the story focuses on the conversations he has with the Lilliputian soldiers who have taken him captive. Eventually they relent and take him the Queen of Lilliput, where he stays and has a few adventures in Lilliput before heading off for other lands.

The story of Gulliver’s adventures in Lilliput has been adapted into books, movies and television shows hundreds of times, but the newest interpretation of the story takes on a comical twist with two comedians playing the main roles. Jack Black plays Lemuel Gulliver in the 2010 movie, and British comedienne Katherine Tate plays the Lilliputian Queen. The 2010 adaption of the story, like the original story, is heavy with satire that will please audiences.  Having two comedic actors in the main roles gave the directors a chance to play with the absurdity of the story in a way that other adaptations haven’t been able to do. Using special effects and computer graphics will also make it possible to bring the tiny Lilliputians to life without making them mere caricatures of full size humans. The Lilliputians have their own mannerisms, their own characteristics, and a distinct personality that comes across immediately.

The move is set to be released in December of 2010 and will give holiday film audiences the chance to relax from pre-holiday stress with a funny, whimsical trip to an imaginary land that they have known about for many years.  Since this movie outlines only one of Gulliver’s adventures it’s quite possible that sequels could be made further in the future that bring to life Gulliver’s other adventures on his trip.  It’s hard to take a storyline that is as old and as well known as the story of Gulliver and inject new life into it but the comedic angle and the satire of modern culture that are prominent in the 2010 adaptation should breathe some new life into this classic tale of trying to find out more about yourself through travel and discovering other cultures.    This movie is sure to influence Halloween as promotions begin and continue for the movie.

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