Max Fleischer's Gulliver's Travels to DVD and Blu-ray March 10, 2009
Koch Entertainment and E1 Entertainment have officially announced their release of Max Fleischer’s Gulliver’s Travels on DVD and Blu-ray on March 10, 2009. The movie was the second feature-length animated film, and made groundbreaking use of rotoscoping techniques and exploited the considerable technical skill of the Fleischer studios to retell Jonathan Swift’s classic novel. The movie has been restored and remastered with the assistance of the Fleischer family, North Hampton Partners, and animation expert Dr. Thomas R. Reich, although the decision to re-format the film from its original 4×3 aspect ratio to a high-definition 16×9 format has drawn much criticism from the general animation community.
Both the DVD and the Blu-ray will also include a documentary “The Making of a Cartoon” and two Gabby shorts from the Fleischer studios as extras. The full press release follows.
E1 Entertainment breathes new life into ONE OF
THE MOST BELOVED ANIMATED CLASSICS OF ALL TIME
MAX FLEISCHER’S GULLIVER’S TRAVELS
Digitally Restored and Re-mastered, the 2-Time Academy Award Nominee Arrives on DVD and, for the First Time Ever, Blu-ray – Featuring Breathtaking, Newly Enhanced Picture and Sound – Plus Bonus Features!
Port Washington, NY– In 1939, animation pioneers Max and Dave Fleischer (Betty Boop, Popeye, Superman) made motion picture history when Paramount Pictures released their masterpiece, Gulliver’s Travels, the second feature-length animated film produced by a U.S. studio. This enchanting adaptation of Jonathan Swift’s classic 18th century novel went on to earn two Academy Award nominations for Best Original Song (“Faithful Forever”) and Best Score, and is considered one of the greatest achievements in animation history. Seventy years later, E1 Entertainment proudly presents a digitally restored, re-mastered and enhanced MAX FLEISCHER’S GULLIVER’S TRAVELS on DVD ($14.98 SRP) and – for the first time ever in any HD format – Blu-ray ($19.98 SRP). This painstakingly crafted edition includes the complete 77 minute feature plus two fully restored “Gabby” cartoons and the Fleischer Studios documentary short “The Making of a Cartoon” – all contributing to make this the most definitive version of the film ever released on any home entertainment format.
Truly a feast for the eyes and ears, Swift’s ageless fant as y comes to life in this cel-animated Technicolor musical. In the film, Gulliver washes ashore on the mysterious island of Lilliput, where all the inhabitants stand no more than a few inches tall. Gabby, the Lilliput town crier, discovers Gulliver unconscious on the beach, and alerts King Little who sends a mob of townspeople to capture the “giant.” Once awake, Gulliver’s size and strength frightens the Lilliputians, but they soon realize that befriending Gulliver gives them a powerful advantage over their rival neighbors, the equally tiny Blefuscudians. Caught in the feud between the two kingdoms, Gulliver resolves the conflict and reunites a prince with his princess before sailing away in one of the “hap-hap-happiest” endings of all time.
Backed by Paramount and utilizing the talents of 600 of the best artists, Max and Dave Fleischer created Gulliver’s Travels, one of the most complicated and detailed animated features ever produced. Their staff toiled for over two years, using twelve tons of paint and 39,000 pencils to create over 639,000 celluloids and 115,000 composite scenes. The “gigantic” titular character was animated using rotoscoping, a process which involves tracing live-action footage frame-by-frame – one of several innovative animation techniques developed by the Fleischers and Fleischer Studios. Popular songs composed for the film include “All’s Well,” “It’s a Hap-Hap-Happy Day” and “Faithful Forever,” all of which later became well-known standards.
By the late 1990s this animated gem had sadly fallen into disrepair, but thanks to a close relationship with the Fleischer family, North Hampton Partners and animation expert Dr. Thomas R. Reich were able to secure a long-lost 35mm source print. State-of-the-art technology enabled the film to be meticulously revived, removing years of dirt and restoring damaged portions of the frames. Gulliver’s Travels was then color corrected using 100% historically accurate palettes at Technicolor and was re-mastered for the first time ever in 16×9 (1080p High Definition). This entire process was done frame-by-frame without stretching characters or losing any image beyond standard vertical safe areas – and the use of proprietary techniques actually enables more picture to be visible on the left and right sides of the frame than ever before. Additionally, the original soundtrack was fully restored and supplemented by two newly enhanced sound options (Dolby Digital and 5.1) utilizing multi-track Foley techniques. The bonus Fleischer documentary “The Making of a Cartoon” as well as the two Gabby cartoons featured on the DVD and Blu-ray (“Swing Cleaning” and “King for a Day”) were also restored, making MAX FLEISCHER’S GULLIVER’S TRAVELS a must-own for fans of
cl assic animation and children of all ages.
About E1 Entertainment U.S.
E1 Entertainment U.S. (formerly KOCH Vision) is the U.S. home video label of E1 Entertainment (AIM: ETO), a leading independent entertainment content owner that acquires film, television and music rights and exploits these rights in all media in more than 190 countries. Boasting a diverse library of feature films, television series, award-winning children’s programs, live music concerts and more, E1 Entertainment U.S. is the home of such notable properties as Soundstage, McLeod’s Daughters, Wire in the Blood, Popular Mechanics for Kids, Faerie Tale Theatre, The Best Years, Ballet Shoes starring Emma Watson and Nickelback Live at Sturgis. For more information on these and other releases from E1 Entertainment U.S., please visit www.kochvision.com.