GULLIVER’S TRAVELS AMONG THE LILLIPUTIANS AND THE GIANTS (1902)
aka Le voyage de Gulliver a Lilliput et chez les geants
Article 4130 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Georges Melies
What it is: Special effects adaptation of classic novel
Gulliver spends time with the Lilliputians and the Brobdingnags.
With a running time of only four minutes, no, you’re not going to get much of the satirical thrust of the Swift novel. It does serve, however, as a nice inspiration for Melies to practice on and develop his special effects techniques, and he rises to the occasion with some at times very impressive special effects. I like the way it forces Melies to use close-ups more extensively than is his wont, and certain effects (such as the scene where the Lilliputians shoot arrows into Gulliver) are very well handled. When it’s not just showing off the effects, it goes for laughs, such as the scene where Gulliver puts out a fire with a seltzer bottle and the one where he falls into a teacup. Simply in terms of its special effects challenges, this is one of Melies’s most impressive shorts.