Jump to content

Gulliver's Travels (2010 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gulliver's Travels
A man pinned to the ground by many thin ropes.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRob Letterman
Screenplay by
Based onGulliver's Travels
by Jonathan Swift
Produced by
CinematographyDavid Tattersall
Edited by
Music byHenry Jackman
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • December 25, 2010 (2010-12-25) (United States)
Running time
85 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$112 million[1]
Box office$237.4 million[2]

Gulliver's Travels is a 2010 American fantasy adventure comedy film directed by Rob Letterman in his live-action directorial debut, produced by John Davis and Gregory Goodman, written by Joe Stillman and Nicholas Stoller with music by Henry Jackman. It is loosely based on Part One (and slightly on Part Two) of the 1726 novel of the same name by Jonathan Swift, though the film takes place in the modern day and contains references to modern pop culture. It stars Jack Black in the title role, Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Amanda Peet, Billy Connolly, Chris O'Dowd, T.J. Miller, James Corden and Catherine Tate, and is exclusively distributed by 20th Century Fox.

The film was theatrically released on December 25, 2010, in the United States. Even though the film received generally negative reviews and failed at the box office in North America, it earned $237.4 million worldwide on a $112 million budget.[2] Gulliver's Travels was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on April 19, 2011, by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.[3][4]


Depressed at his dead-end job in the mail room of a New York City newspaper, Lemuel Gulliver decides to impress journalist Darcy Silverman. He convinces her he could write a report about his (false) extensive world "travels" saying his dream is to become a writer. After suffering writer's block and thinking that Darcy will not want to hang out with a "guy from the mailroom", Gulliver plagiarises a report from other publications. The next day, Darcy, impressed by his writing, presents Gulliver with a new task – to travel to the Bermuda Triangle and write an article about the legends of ships mysteriously disappearing there.

Upon arriving in Bermuda, Gulliver rents a ship and travels into the triangle. After falling asleep at the helm, Gulliver is caught in a storm and the ship is overwhelmed by a waterspout. Gulliver washes up unconscious on the shore of Lilliput, where he is seen as a "beast" by the town's tiny people. After the citizens claim him to be dangerous because of his size, Gulliver is captured and imprisoned in a cave. There, he meets another prisoner named Horatio who was jailed by General Edward because he loves Princess Mary of Lilliput, despite Edward also pursuing her. After the island across from Lilliput, Blefuscia, orders some commandos to kidnap Princess Mary, Gulliver breaks free of the plough-machine he is forced to work and rescues the princess from being kidnapped. Gulliver also saves her father, King Theodore, from a fire by urinating on it.

Gulliver is declared a hero by Lilliput's citizens and lies that he is the President of Manhattan, says Yoda is his vice-president and a living legend in his homeland. Edward becomes enraged by the luxurious accommodations that have been built for Gulliver, and for being presented as an honorary general of the Lilliputian Army. The townspeople find Gulliver's boat and his things, when Gulliver receives angry voicemails from Darcy, who has to take his place and travel to Bermuda. The next day, the Blefuscian Navy lays siege to the city when Edward shuts down its defense system as an act of revenge for Gulliver's treatment. Gulliver defeats the armada, invulnerable to the cannonballs being fired at him. Embarrassed once more, and with Mary no longer wanting to have anything to do with him, Edward defects to the Blefuscians and brings with him blueprints of a robot he had made from a page from Gulliver's Guitar Hero III game manual. The Blefuscians secretly build the robot, with Edward as the pilot.

The Blefuscians invade Lilliput and the robot-wielding Edward makes Gulliver admit to the people that he is "just the guy from the mail-room". Edward banishes Gulliver to the shores of "the island where we dare not go" (Brobdingnag). There, he is captured by a "little" girl (Glumdalclitch) who towers over him. Gulliver wakes in a pink dress in a dollhouse. The girl treats him as a doll, playing with him roughly. Horatio, who has gone to find Gulliver after being spurned by Mary, reveals to Gulliver that Darcy was imprisoned by the Blefuscians after she was lost in the Bermuda Triangle in the same manner as Gulliver. Gulliver escapes with him, using a parachute that he took from the skeleton of a dead U.S. Air Force pilot sitting in the dollhouse.

Once again accepting a duel from Edward, Gulliver defeats him with the assistance of Horatio, who disables the machine's electrocuting weapon. Horatio is hailed a hero and gets King Theodore's permission to court the princess. Edward threatens to kill the princess, but she punches him in the face. When King Theodore sentences all Blefuscians to the gallows or to prepare for war, Gulliver helps to make peace between the rival island-nations by reciting Edwin Starr's "War" and he, along with Darcy, return to New York City on their repaired ship. Gulliver, now a legitimate travel writer, takes Darcy to lunch while holding hands, after returning from another travel assignment.


  • Jack Black as Lemuel Gulliver, a mail-room worker who becomes a journalist after plagiarizing a report and winds up in Lilliput after encountering a storm
  • Jason Segel as Horatio, a man from Lilliput who Gulliver befriends
  • Emily Blunt as Princess Mary, the princess of Lilliput and King Theodore's daughter
  • Amanda Peet as Darcy Silverman, a journalist and Gulliver's girlfriend
  • Billy Connolly as King Theodore, the king of Lilliput and Mary's father
  • Chris O'Dowd as General Edward Edwardian, the commander of the Lilliput Army who begins despising Gulliver
  • T.J. Miller as Dan Quint
  • James Corden as Jinks
  • Catherine Tate as Queen Isabelle, the queen of Lilliput and Mary's mother
  • Olly Alexander as Prince August, the prince of Lilliput and Mary's brother


Cote Zellers created and directed a series of segments for Nickelodeon's animated sketch comedy anthology series KaBlam! called Prometheus and Bob, and a film based on the segment was considered and announced in 1998, with Joe Stillman as a screenwriter.[5] While that film was ultimately cancelled, Zellers would say in 2019 that "a lot of those ideas from that Prometheus And Bob script showed up in that really horrible Jack Black Gulliver’s Travels movie".[6]

In a January 2010 interview on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Jason Segel explained his character spends most of the film in Black's shirt pocket. The film features 7.1 surround audio in select theaters. The name of Liliput's rival country, Blefuscu, was also changed to Blefuscia. Filming of the Lilliput royal palace was at Blenheim Palace. Miniature 1:12 scale dolls' house furniture and accessories from Derbyshire firm The Dolls House Emporium were used to bring the movie alive with less need for special effects.[7] Jonathan Swift, the original author of the novel on which the film was loosely based, is not mentioned during the credits, despite the titles mentioning that the film is not an original piece.

According to co-star Emily Blunt, Blunt was originally cast as Black Widow in Iron Man 2, but had to drop out due to her commitment to do this film. During her interview on The Howard Stern Show on May 11, 2021, Blunt revealed to Howard Stern that she was forced by contractual obligation to appear, because of a two-picture deal with Fox when she starred in The Devil Wears Prada.[8][9]


A soundtrack album of Henry Jackman's score was released by Varese Sarabande. Rock music and film themes that appear in the film include:



The official trailer for the film was released on June 3, 2010; and attached to Marmaduke a day after. The second trailer was released on November 5, 2010, and it is also attached with Megamind. As a prize on the television show Survivor: Nicaragua, four of its contestants were able to watch the film before its release.

Originally scheduled for release on June 4, 2010, it was pushed back to December 24, 2010 and later changed once again to December 22, 2010.[10] 20th Century Fox later announced on March 23, 2010, that the film would be converted to 3D.[11] On December 13, 20th Century Fox announced that it would again move the release date, this time to December 25, 2010.[12]

The film was accompanied by an Ice Age short titled Scrat's Continental Crack-up.

Home media[edit]

Gulliver's Travels was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on April 19, 2011, by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and it was released on Disney+ on May 21, 2021.[3][4]


Critical response[edit]

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 20% based on 120 reviews, with an average rating of 4.10/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Though Jack Black is back doing what he does best, Gulliver's Travels largely fails to do any justice to its source material, relying instead on juvenile humor and special effects."[10] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 33 out of 100 based on reviews from 32 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[13] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B−" on an A+ to F scale.[14]

The Hollywood Reporter commented that "any sense of fun slowly drains away as the movie insists on highlighting effects over character and story"[15] while Time Out gave it 2 out of 5 stars, commenting that the film "veers between the very mildly chucklesome and plain not funny."[16] The Christian Science Monitor called it "a movie of such stupendous uninspiration" that it was "monumentally dreadful"[17] and the San Francisco Chronicle called it "cute" but "sleep-inducing."[18] Slant Magazine rated the film 1.5 out of 4 stars[19] and Empire rated 2 out of 5 stars calling it "a low-grade comedy that'll have Jonathan Swift turning in his grave."[20]

Conversely, Roger Ebert commented that knowing whom the film is for, and whom it is not for, might help viewers appreciate it. He awarded the film three out of four stars.[21]

Emily Blunt has openly slighted the film, especially since she was forced to turn down the role of Natasha Romanoff in Iron Man 2 for it. While promoting The Fall Guy, Ryan Gosling brought up Gulliver's Travels, causing Blunt to respond, "We do not talk about that film."[22]

Box office[edit]

Gulliver's Travels opened to $6.3 million for its opening weekend, landing at #8 in the US; this ranks it as the 84th worst opening for a film with a wide release tracked by Box Office Mojo. The film grossed $42.8 million in the US and Canada and $194.6 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $237.4 million against a production budget of $112 million.[2]


Jack Black received a nomination for favorite movie actor at the 2011 Kids' Choice Awards, losing to Johnny Depp.[citation needed]

Black was also nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor, losing to Ashton Kutcher.[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gulliver's Travels tests Jack Black's appeal. Reuters. Retrieved January 8, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c "Gulliver's Travels". Box Office Mojo. December 25, 2010. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Gulliver’s Travels DVD and Blu-Ray Release Date – Latest Blu-Ray Release Dates" MovieCynics, March 14, 2011 Section: end of first paragraph. Retrieved May 27, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Gulliver's Travels Archived October 6, 2015, at the Wayback Machine VideoETA, "Section: On Video/DVD". Retrieved May 27, 2011.
  5. ^ Hindes, Andrew (September 18, 1998). "Nick sets 'Bob' toon feature". Variety. Archived from the original on September 30, 2008. Retrieved May 12, 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  6. ^ Neilan, Dan (April 11, 2019). "Nickelodeon's long-forgotten Prometheus And Bob deserves a second look". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 12, 2024.
  7. ^ "Miniature props". The Derby Telegraph newspaper.
  8. ^ Moore, Roger (February 25, 2009). "Emily Blunt on losing Black Widow..." The Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on June 11, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
  9. ^ Craig, Richard (May 2, 2024). "Emily Blunt's Lost MCU Casting Just Got Worse 14 Years After She Was Forced To Reject It". Screen Rant. Retrieved May 2, 2024.
  10. ^ a b "Gulliver's Travels (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  11. ^ CJ Stewart (March 23, 2010). "Fox Giving 'Narnia' and 'Gulliver's Travels' 3D Releases". TheCelebrityCafe.com. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved December 23, 2010.
  12. ^ Tom Ayers (December 11, 2010). "'Gulliver's Travels' moves to Christmas". Digital Spy. Retrieved December 23, 2010.
  13. ^ "Gulliver's Travels Reviews". Metacritic. November 25, 2016.
  14. ^ "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com. Archived from the original on September 16, 2017.
  15. ^ Gulliver's Travels – Film Review. The Hollywood Reporter (December 22, 2010). Retrieved January 8, 2011.
  16. ^ "Gulliver's Travels Review. Movie Reviews – Film – Time Out London". Archived from the original on October 18, 2012. Retrieved December 26, 2010.. Timeout.com. Retrieved January 8, 2011.
  17. ^ 'Gulliver's Travels' Review Revue – Speakeasy – WSJ. Blogs.wsj.com (December 24, 2010). Retrieved January 8, 2011.
  18. ^ Gulliver's Travels | Mobile movie news | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle. Chron.com. Retrieved January 8, 2011.
  19. ^ Gulliver's Travels | Film Review. Slant Magazine (December 22, 2010). Retrieved January 8, 2011.
  20. ^ Review of Gulliver's Travels. Empireonline.com (December 5, 2006). Retrieved January 8, 2011.
  21. ^ Roger Ebert (December 22, 2010). "Gulliver's Travels". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved January 1, 2011.
  22. ^ Craig, Richard (May 2, 2024). "Emily Blunt's Lost MCU Casting Just Got Worse 14 Years After She Was Forced To Reject It". Screen Rant. Retrieved May 2, 2024.
  23. ^ Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor: 2010

External links[edit]