The New Gulliver

Considered to be the first full-length animated film made anywhere in the world, The New Gulliver tells the story of Petya (Vladimir Konstantinov), a young Soviet pioneer who falls asleep reading Swift's Gulliver's Travels and awakens in a surreal Lilliput, updated to include jazz bands, mechanized tractors, and (in the best revolutionary spirit) a miniaturized workers' proletariat who rise up with the help of the giant Petya! Ptushko's first feature as director is an astounding hybrid of stop-motion animation (over 3,000 separate figures were used) and live-action footage. The film was released to enormous international acclaim. "In addition to the technical finesse with which the puppets are managed, the film has...genuine wit in its sly assault on bourgeois institutions," wrote the New York Times in 1935. "The dignitaries (are) excruciating distortions of the human personality and function with an amiable idiocy that is immensely engaging."

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