Gulliver Returns Parent Guide
Low quality animation can be chalked up to a small budget, but that's no excuse for incoherent visual design.
Parent Movie Review
With the Blefuscu army at the gates, the people of Lilliput call on Gulliver (Wayne Grayson) to come to their aid. Forty years after his first Lilliputian adventures, Gulliver returns, but he’s not the giant of legend; he’s just a normal man. In the face of deadly peril, Gulliver will have to gather all his courage and ingenuity to defeat the attackers.
I’m going to nit-pick this movie for a nerdy reason, but stay with me. Historically speaking, the costumes, hair, and set design are a mess. Yes, I understand this is a fantasy tale, so it’s not necessarily set in a specific time or even in our world. That’s not the problem. The problem is there is no consistent or logical aesthetic vision and it’s very distracting. The costumes and hair range wildly from the 17th to the19th centuries, with a pinch of early 20th century just for fun. The set design is no better, with distinctly Victorian interior design in some places and Renaissance influences in others. I doubt that the children this movie was made for will notice or care, but it bothered me and speaks volumes to the level of care that was put into the design stages of the film. The animation is also low quality, but that can be chalked up to lack of budget, not effort.
The production doesn’t fare much better in other aspects either. The story has a lot of filler, obviously to pad out the runtime. There are two musical numbers, which feel very out of place because that’s not enough to be a musical, but also too many to not be. I think the film would have been more successful had the script committed either way: musical or drama. The editing is also clunky, with lots of black screen transitions. Even my 5-year-old commented on it, and I don’t think he knows what editing is.
All that said, the story does have some positive messages, though they are mostly shoe-horned in at the end. Gulliver learns that actions and good deeds are what make someone “giant” not their physical size. He solves problems through ingenuity, perseverance, and bravery. There is also very little negative content, aside from some slapstick fighting, making it appropriate for most audiences. While young children may enjoy their viewing experience, I alternated between bored and annoyed, feelings I suspect most parents will share.Directed by Ilya Maksimov. Starring Tyler Bunch, Wayne Grayson, Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld. Running time: 90 minutes. Theatrical release August 12, 2022. Updated August 13, 2022
Watch the trailer for Gulliver Returns
Rating & Content Info
Why is Gulliver Returns rated G? Gulliver Returns is rated G by the MPAA for material that is unlikely to disturb most viewers.
Violence: Moderate slap stick violence throughout including falls, hits on the head, hand to hand combat, and sword fights. One gun shot that doesn’t hit anyone.
Sexual Content: An adult couple kiss.
Profanity: Some mild insults. One use of a term of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None.
Page last updated August 13, 2022
Gulliver Returns Parents' Guide
What makes Gulliver a “giant” in the end? What are the qualities you admire in other people? What world figures impress you with their achievements? Why?
Loved this movie? Try these books…
The original novel by Jonathan Swift upon which this movie is based can be read for free on the internet at Project Gutenberg: Gulliver’s Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. Parents should be aware that this 18th century novel contains violent scenes and is not kid-friendly.
Versions of the classic book are available for young readers. Luke Hayes has written Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels for Kids. Peter Clover also adapted the tale in Gulliver’s Travels as part of the Classic Stories series.
Related home video titles:
Jack Black stars in a movie adaptation of the classic novel, Gulliver’s Travels.
Another classic tale that gets adapted for kids is Gnomeo & Juliet. This animated adventure is based on Shakespeare’s well known tragedy, Romeo & Juliet.