Poster: Gulliver's Space Travels

Here are two movie posters for the 1963 Toei Doga animated feature film Gulliver's Space Travels. Specifically, these belong to the US version, dubbed Gulliver's Travels Beyond the Moon. This is a terrific movie that's full of spark and adventure and color, a nice change from the usual Toei fare of Eastern myths and fairy tales. It has a very distinct Western flair in its visual design and story that helps set it apart from just about anything at the time.

Hayao Miyazaki fans know about this movie, of course. It was his second feature film as an in-between animator, and he famously drew attention by suggesting a vital change to the movie's ending, one that was embraced by the director and production team. The scene in question was later riffed in My Neighbor Totoro in one of those cool "blink and you'll miss it" moments.

The US version of Gulliver is very nice and benefits nicely from the source material. The voices are not too irritating and the songs are bearable. By anime dub standards, you could do a lot worse. These poster designs are also very nice, especially the second one which is washed in rich color tones and dynamic character poses.

It's very unfortunate that the Toei Doga classics are all but impossible to find today. A decade ago, a few dedicated fans created English fansubs for nearly all of their anime feature films, but the websites are gone and its creators vanished. Today, you might be able to track down the Japanese DVDs that were released around the turn of the century, but you'll have to live without subtitles. Hopefully, that situation will change one day.

P.S. Here's a great surprise: Gulliver's Space Travels is available on YouTube, in the original Japanese audio and English subtitles. Check this out before it gets pulled down.

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