Poster

Gulliver Mickey

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : May 19, 1934

Running Time : 8:49

Synopsis

Mickey tells the orphans how he once landed in Lilliput, was first attacked by its tiny citizens, but later saved them all from a giant spider monster.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
Orphans

Credits

Director
Bert Gillett
Animation
Art Babbitt
Les Clark
Norm Ferguson
Johnny Cannon
Cy Young
Dick Lundy
Bill Roberts
Hamilton Luske

Video

France
Contes et Legendes de Jiminy Cricket
Italy
Le Meravigliose Fiabe del Grillo Parlante

Laserdiscs

United States
Mickey Mouse in Black and White: Volume 1
Japan
Mickey Mouse : The Black and White Years

DVD

United States
Walt Disney Animation Collection : Volume 1 : Mickey and the Beanstalk
Mickey Mouse in Black and White
Germany
Mickey Mouse in Black and White

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 50: Storyteller Mickey
Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 14
The Mickey Mouse Club : December 7, 1955

Original Animator's Drafts


Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Technical Specification

Color Type: Black & White
Animation Type: Standard animation
Sound Mix: Mono
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Negative Format: 35mm
Print Format: 35mm
Cinematographic Process: Spherical
Original Language: English

Released by United Artists Pictures

Comments

  • A version of the short was released to the home movie market under the title "Mickey and the Lilliputians."

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : Once again today we have a short that could be considered a sequel. This time, Mickey gets in on the act, with Gulliver Mickey, a direct descendent of Giantland. Just like before, the short features Mickey telling his nephews a story, involving himself as the main character of a popular story. Before it was Jack and the Beanstalk, and here, it’s Gulliver’s Travels.

I have not read Gulliver’s Travels in quite some time, so forgive me for not being overly familiar with it, but this seems like a faithful adaptation up to a point. Mickey is shipwrecked (seems to happen to him a lot) and is washed ashore and falls asleep on the beach. When he awakes, he is tied down by the little people of Lilliput (although they are not identified as such in the short).

From there, we get some nice scenes of Mickey interacting with the Lilliputians. I have to say, though, that these scenes are lacking in something. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it’s possible that it’s just the harmlessness of the interactions that is bothering me. Mickey goes through the whole thing with a smile, chuckling at the little people’s attempts to destroy him.

It’s rather disconcerting, seeing giant Mickey smiling away as the little people shoot him with cannons, poke him with swords and drive their ships into his backside. It is supposed to be humorous, seeing the futility of these small people, but it really comes off as cruel to me. I think there is a failure of the animators to make this section worthwhile. It goes on for a while, and there’s really no muscle to it.

Things change at the end, as a giant spider, with Pete’s face, shows up, to battle Mickey and terrorize the town. This battle is the main conflict of the short, which makes the ending so much worse. Instead of Mickey defeating the spider and earning the trust of the townspeople, we simply fade back to the living room, where Mickey’s acting out the battle with a pillow.

Sure, this leads to a great gag with one of Mickey’s nephews scaring him with a plastic spider, but it leaves the Gulliver story unresolved. Simply having the townspeople celebrate him and thank him for beating the spider would have made the middle section better, and enhanced the ending of the short.

I have to say that this is the first Mickey short where I thought that the later criticism that Mickey is not a starring character was valid. This is a short that could have been much funnier with Donald or Goofy in the lead role. Mickey was a vehicle for a story that could have been told with anyone. Roles like this are likely what lead to him being phased out of the lead roles and the supporting cast taking on more of the burden in his shorts.


From David Gerstein at Ramapith : Ah, but had Mickey treated the situation with more determination—had the storytelling simply been more adventurous all the way through—I don't think you'd be questioning whether the role was right for Mickey.

We're beginning to see the watering-down of the character; when you begin to wonder whether a story is right for him, consider whether it might be "righter" with the Mickey of 1932 or 1933—or of Shanghaied, just a few months ago. Mickey's Man Friday, coming up, is another example of what I'm talking about.


From Mac : At this point Disney seems to be trying to make every cartoon a classic, but they dropped the ball on this one. I don't think it's just a matter of watering-down Mickey's character, it also seems to me like no one knew what to do with the story or anyone in Lilliput. The cartoon's ok up to the point where Mickey interacts with the mayor then it seems no one knew what should happen so it's just Mickey telling a tale where a load of random things happen.

Mickey's stranded in a strange land but he doesn't care, he just wanders around smiling. Despite being well drawn as individuals in early scenes, none of the citizens of lilliput are singled out and used for the purposes of a story. They just follow Mickey around and shoot him. No one seems like a danger to anyone. Mickey's resistant to the Liliputlian's attacks and, on the other hand, he's never shown from their point-of-view as an enormous threatening monster. Then a giant spider shows up and Mickey punches it. Yeah whatever! No wonder the baby was bored!

A missed opportunity that could have been so much better if there was a point to it.


From Jerry Edwards : I consider this a "sequel" of sorts to the 1933 Giantland since Mickey - in basically the same room setting and the same "orphans" - is playing out another story for them. Enjoyable cartoon, with plenty of action - but not much in the way of gags for me. The colorized version is nice also.
From Ryan : As Jerry Edwards pointed out up above, this short is similar to Giantland except that this time, Mickey is the giant. One funny scene was where one of the lilliputants was reading on a scroll and Mickey kept poking him. Mickey just couldn't resist bugging a little squirt like him. I don't mind the colorized version either as it makes the cartoon a little more appealing.
From Bill : I liked this short for the fact that they had the "orphans" in it. I know there are fans that think they are obnoxious and bratty, but there is something about those little guys that look like "baby Mickeys" that my wife and I love to see in the shorts. We think they add much to the short in gag material and storyline. This short again showed Mickey's compassionate side, seeing the orphans crying and telling them a story to make them feel better. Mickey is truly an "everyman." He is there for anyone who needs help whatever that may be. The story Of Mickey in Lilliputan Land was OK, not much on gags but the animation was great, especially the fight between Mickey and the spider who looked amazingly just like Pete! We also thought the ending was nice with all the Orphans laughing at Mickey because he was scared of the rubber spider. Just one of those feel good toons.
From Gijs Grob : Gulliver Mickey follows the same type of storyline as Giantland (1933): Mickey tells a familiar story to his nephews with himself in the starring role. Here he portrays himself as Gulliver in his first and most famous adventure: the one to Lilliput. Mickey's a Gulliver full of mischief. He takes none of the Lilliputters seriously, neither their cannons, nor their battleships. Unfortunately, the cartoon feels a little uninspired: most of it deals with the Lilliputs making war at Mickey. Then, completely out of the blue, a giant six-legged spider appears (with a striking resemblance to Peg Leg Pete) and Mickey has to fight him. The most inspired gag is the one when day breaks, literally.