The New Gulliver

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The New Gulliver
Directed by Aleksandr Ptushko
A. Vanichkin
Written by Aleksandr Ptushko
Grigori Roshal
Jonathan Swift (novel)
Starring Vladimir Konstantinovich Konstantinov (Gulliver)
Ivan Yudin
Shaolin Santiago (unconfirmed)
Music by Lev Shvarts
Cinematography Nikolai Renkov
Release dates
  • 25 March 1935 (1935-03-25)
Running time
75 min
Country Soviet Union
Language Russian

The New Gulliver (Russian: Новый Гулливер, Novyy Gullivyer) is a Soviet stop motion-animated cartoon, and the first to make such extensive use of puppet animation, running almost all the way through the film (it begins and ends with short live-action sequences).[1] The film was released in 1935 to widespread acclaim and earned Ptushko a special prize at the International Cinema Festival in Milan. The part of Gulliver was played by Vladimir Konstantinovich Konstantinov, who was born in 1920 and died in 1944 near Tallinn in the Second World War. This was his first and only film role.


The story, a Communist re-telling of Gulliver's Travels, is about a young boy who dreams of himself as a version of Gulliver who has landed in Lilliput suffering under capitalist inequality and exploitation.

The pioneer Petya Konstantinov (Vladimir Konstantinov) as an award as to the best young osvodovets of Artek receives the favourite book — "Gulliver's Travel" Johnathan Swift. Together with other pioneers, the hands which repaired the sailboat with a sonorous name "Artek" it goes on walk to the next Adalara's islands from a summer camp. There on vacation children ask the leader to read them aloud Petya's book. Best osvodovets during reading fills up also itself gets to the world described in the book.

In the dream Petya travels by the ship, during swimming its vessel is attacked by pirates. Together with three captives the boy fights with them and wins, but at this moment and the piracy ship breaks about rocks. The teenager recovers ashore, surrounded and connected by Liliputians. He is lulled a sleepy potion. At this time parliament there is debate on that what to do with new Gulliver. It ends in a fight — the small close up in which it is visible is curious that the first minister doesn't have enough several teeth. Ministers on behalf of the king make the decision to use Gulliver in the military purposes. The boy is transported to the city by means of 15 tractors and a special platform. Petya is awoken by the king, having put a sceptre to it in a nose. He learns about the decision, the accepted parliament, but disagrees with it. After that under his feet passes military parade.

At this time somewhere in cellars passes meeting of workers. Strike is appointed next day. The workers who decided to find out who he is, find Petya's notebook on Russian from which learn that it for the mighty union of workers of all Earth.

Petya is fed from the conveyor, giving food the crane. There is all Royal Court. The corps de ballet. When to it start singing as remarkably there live the people under the leadership of the wise king, Petya interrupts the singer and starts singing the pioneer song. It is picked up by workers in cellars. The yard runs up, having been horrified.

The police chief decides to kill Petya, and instructs employees of underground plant to make party of the weapon. Workers warn him, the police at once learns about it, but at this time strike already begins. Workers take an arsenal. The police tries to poison the boy, but he doesn't swallow poison, and spits out it, having pretended that died. Military operations begin. Insurgents are rejected to the sea by armed forces of Liliputia, but Petya goes into action, it seizes the royal ships. Workers on the earth develop success, undermine land mines and tanks. The guard and the yard run up. The king doesn't keep on a tower and, falling, is hooked for an arrow of the tower clock. Petya blows in the horn which inexplicably appeared at it in hands removes from a tower belfry with hours a bell and in the manner of a hand bell shakes it. Then says: "Free Liliputiya's meeting I declare open!" also wakes up under laughter of companions as it told the last phrase aloud.


English Russian
Scenario Grigory Roshal
Alexander Ptushko
Григорий Рошаль
Александр Птушко
Statement of the honored artist of the republic A. L. Ptushko Постановка заслуженного артиста республики А. Л. Птушко
The director of photography N. S. Renkov Н. С. Ренков
The operator I. Shkarenkov И. Шкаренков
The artist of dolls Sarr Mokil Сарра Мокиль
The artist of scenery Y. Shvets Ю. Швец
Sculpture Olga Tayozhnaya Ольга Таёжная
Painting A. Nikulin А. Никулин
Properties A. Zharenov А. Жаренов
The composer Lev Shvarts Лев Шварц
The sound technician A. Korobov А. Коробов
The text of songs Samuil Bolotin Самуил Болотин
The chief of group A. Minin А. Минин
Animator Fyodor Krasniy (in credits it isn't specified) Фёдор Красный (в титрах не указан)


  • 1934 — the 2nd International film festival in Venice, the award "For the Best Program"
  • 1935 — the International film festival in Moscow, the certificate of honor of Mosfilm studio
  • The certificate of honor Sarr Mokil "For expressive types"


After experimenting with various animation techniques from 1928-1932, including the combination of puppets and live action in the same frame, Ptushko (along with the animation crew he had assembled over the years) began work on his first feature film. Written and directed by Ptushko, The New Gulliver was one of the first feature-length films to combine stop-motion animation with live-action footage (the first few were made by Willis O'Brien, who was responsible for The Lost World and King Kong).

After the film's success, Ptushko was allowed by Mosfilm to set up his own department, which became known as "the Ptushko Collective," for the making of stop-motion animated films. This group of filmmakers would produce another fourteen animated shorts from 1936 to 1938, and a new feature, The Golden Key, in 1939.

"My liliputian-girl"[edit]

In the children's movie there was also a place of the parody to bourgeois and "antinational" art against which furiously fought in the USSR. Decadent love romances, in particular performed by Alexander Vertinsky, were a sign of petty-bourgeois, pre-revolutionary and emigrant bourgeois life, Chansons had to parody them. However, on a twist of fate the song of the impresario Fo-Lya "My liliputian-girl" (the text — Samuil Bolotin, music — Lev Schvarts) became some kind of classics, as well as Vertinsky's songs which it parodied. The song:

My liliputian-girl, come to me,
We will stay minute alone!
With you it is careless as a bird, I will be turned,
My liliputian-girl, my dream!
My liliputian-girl, my love,
Having mixed words, I sing without words:
"La-la-la-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la-la-la-la!"
My liliputian-girl, my dream!


The New Gulliver featured 3,000 different puppets. Each of the puppets had a detachable head, which made them capable of a wide range of expressions and personality. A live actor and mechanically-operated puppets were used in some shots, while in others both the Lilliputians and the boy were animated puppets (a full-size puppet of the boy was constructed).

The main puppet characters (the Abbott, the Dandy, the Financier, the King, the Chief of Police, the Prime Minister) had, according to Ptushko, "from two to three hundred interchangeable heads with various facial expressions".[2]

Interesting facts[edit]

  • Sigismund Krzhizhanovsky was the screenwriter of the movie, but in credits his name isn't entered.
  • Many scenes in which dolls and the living actor participated, were removed frame by frame, as usual animation movies. Thus to the actor long time not movably while phases of the movement of dolls were removed was necessary to be.
  • When scoring animated part of the movie Liliputians spoke by the accelerated voices of adults. Petya, on the contrary, spoke the slowed-down teenager's by voice.
  • Figures of capitalists were molded in the spirit of posters of those times: ugly, big-bellied, on thin legs. At the same time each figure was peculiar, individual. Figures of workers were less ugly, but all are stuck together on one template, from plasticine, on a wire framework. Their figures entirely from one-color material, with well traced lines of persons, but thus it is impossible even to understand, whether there are on them shirts. It was made specially that "proletarians" didn't look the parody.
  • In the movie eras sometimes mix up:
    • capitalists drive about in cars, but in ancient wigs;
    • Fo-Lya it is represented in a dress coat, but wears the fitting leggings and a wig;
    • soldiers use gas masks, but are dressed in armor (though in general their silhouette reminds the French soldiers of the end of World War I — the Intermilitary period).
  • The chief of secret police is dressed in a "musketeer's" suit of the 17th century, with jack boots and a wide hat with a feather, and the first minister already of fashion of the beginning of the 18th century — in a wig, a camisole and drawers. At the same time police officers are dressed as classic English "bobbies" — in raincoats, capes and high helmets, and firefighters are equipped in the form typical for the first half of the 20th century and the 1930s.
  • Small mistake: though Petya in a dream was in English clothes, at it found a matchbox, the member book of Osvodovts and a notebook on the native language, all with inscriptions in Russian. Liliputians, certainly, both read and speak Russian, all resolutions and decrees also in Russian. But on an arsenal "ARSENAL" (Latin script) is written.
  • Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov mention in the book "One-storey America" that during walk on the Broadway saw "New Gulliver" in the American hire.
  • Charlie Chaplin gave high praise to the movie.

The edition on video[edit]

Since the beginning of the 1990th years the movie is released on videotapes by the film association "Krupnyy Plan". At the beginning of the 2000th years it is reissued on VHS by the Master Teyp company.

On 10 March 2005 the movie is released on DVD by Soyuz Video studio. Restored versions of the movie on DVD are also issued by the Retro-klub, Vostok V, Videobaza and Music-treyd company.


  1. ^ The animation for Ladislas Starevich's The Tale of the Fox was completed in 1930, but the film was not released until 1937.
  2. ^ Pettigrew, Neil (1999). The Stop-Motion Filmography. MacFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. pp. 509–511. ISBN 0-7864-0446-9. 

External links[edit]