Gulliver’s Travels Beyond the Moon: A Breakthrough Anime Film from 1965

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jul 23, 2009 in Animation |

The film poster for Garibā no Uchū RyokōOn this day in 1966 one of the first full length feature anime films made it to the United States: That was none other than Garibā no Uchū Ryokō (ガリバーの宇宙旅行) which was translated to Gulliver’s Travels Beyond the Moon. The film was produced by Toei in 1965 and directed by the team of Masao Kuroda and Sanae Yamamoto, but what might make it interesting to current anime fans is that Hayao Miyazaki also worked on the film providing some uncredited writing and quite a bit of inbetween animation work. In the scene above we see young Ricky meeting Gulliver, and below is a scene featuring the Princess of the Star of Hope (who was voiced by Our Gang’s Darla Hood):

It’s interesting to note that even before 1965 Toei released a 20 minute version of this film in Japanese theaters in 1964 — so you get the sense that they’re really building up to something bigger in that era of Japanese animation. Looking at the film you can see a great deal of Disney influence, which is ironic as the mid-60s were the start of a low point for American feature length film animation. And of course on another level the film’s theme is a tip of the hat to the 1939 animated film Gulliver’s Travels by the Fleischer Brothers, who would inspire future Hayao Miyazaki projects (most notable would be the Lupin III episodes he directed in the 80s).

While you can’t buy the American translation of the film on DVD you can still find the original Japanese film on Doing my research I was also impressed to come across this vintage poster — although it doesn’t quite capture some of the nicer design elements which are found in the film:

Gulliver's Travels Beyond the Moon film poster

Here’s another version of the same poster design I found on Wikipedia:

Gulliver's Travels Beyond the Moon film poster

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