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Film / Gulliver's Travels (2010)

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Gulliver's Travels is a 2010 fantasy adventure comedy film directed by Rob Letterman and loosely based on the first part of Jonathan Swift's book of the same name. It stars Jack Black, with Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Amanda Peet, Billy Connolly, T.J. Miller and James Corden among the supporting roles.

Lemuel Gulliver (Black) is a thirty-something loser who has been working as a mail-room clerk for ten years. After a long time of not having the drive or ambition to make anything of himself, he decides to try and make something of his life. In a botched attempt to ask out his attractive co-worker Darcy (Peet), who also happens to be the newspaper's travel editor, Gulliver instead asks if he can try writing a piece for her.

Gulliver has a knack for writing — or at least copying and pasting articles from more talented writers — and an impressed Darcy ends up sending him on an assignment to the Bermuda Triangle. Unfortunately, Gulliver ends up shipwrecked on the island of Lilliput, which is filled with tiny people. He's captured and put to work by the General, until he ends up saving the King and Princess from invaders, after which he's then celebrated by the people instead.

When Gulliver gets word that Darcy has found out about his plagiarism, he decides to stay in Lilliput out of fear, which doesn't bode well with Lilliput's commander, General Edward Edwardian (Chris O'Dowd), who sets out to show the people of Lilliput that Gulliver isn't the hero he claims to be.

The movie provides examples of:

  • Easy Evangelism: Gulliver persuades the Lilliputians and Blefuscians to end their war just by singing Edwin Starr's "War (What Is It Good For?)". The Power of Rock may also be a factor.
  • Eat the Camera: Darcy when she gets captured.
  • Everyone Owns a Mac: See Product Placement. MacBook Pros, iPhones, and a reference to iPads (gPads).
  • Evil Chancellor: General Edward.
  • Face–Heel Turn: General Edward, after being rejected by Mary and unable to put up anymore of Gulliver's shenanigans, joined the Blefuscians.
  • The Film of the Book: If you prefer books over films, read the book instead. Out now on iPad!
  • He Who Must Not Be Named: All of Brobdingnag, leading to No Name Given.
  • Humongous Mecha/ Transforming Mecha:
    • Edward pilots one to fight Gulliver.
    • Of course, this being Lilliput, it is only slightly bigger than Gulliver.
  • I Choose to Stay: after hearing how angry Darcy is at him, Gulliver decides to stay for a while longer in Lilliput.
  • In Name Only: While many elements are borrowed from the book, it is a very, very loose adaptation.
  • Inspector Javert: Deconstructed in General Edward, who defects to the Blefuscians because his own people aren't listening to him anymore and he won't let go of his delusion that Gulliver is a threat.
  • It's All About Me: Edward. When the Blefuscians try to kidnap Mary in the beginning he runs off to the rescue while shouting "NO ONE SAVE THE PRINCESS!"
  • Lilliputians: Naturally, given the source material.
  • Lost World: The story is set in the Bermuda Triangle. Darcy is initially skeptical of the claims of weird stuff going on there.
  • Neutral Female: One person helps out in the big fight. It isn't the giant girlfriend.
  • Once for Yes, Twice for No: The number of times the alarm bell is rung indicates the nature of the emergency. Five rings of the bell indicates that something is going on that has never happened before.
  • One-Eyed Shot: Both Gulliver and Darcy have close-ups of their eyes.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: Several layers of big going on; we have Gulliver who is a giant to the Lilliputians, then the girl who is giant to Gulliver.
  • Plagiarism in Fiction: Unable to come up with good travel writing examples, he steals them from online sources. The next morning, Darcy notes that they have a variety of styles, with one piece sounding like what you'd get from X, and another piece sounding like it came from Y. Later on, she realizes that it's because they did come from X and Y.
  • Playing Cyrano: Gulliver gives Horatio lines from several rock songs to use to woo the princess.
  • Product Placement: Parodied in an Orange Telephone ad where Jack Black complains about product placement in the scene where he's captured by the Lilliputians. Exaggerated when the Lilliputians actually read the instructions on how to unlock an iPhone. Played straight with Coca-Cola and Guitar Hero.
  • Snowball Lie: Gulliver claims that he was the titular character of hundreds of movies, and is the president of his country. When asked if his people need him, he explains that Vice-President Yoda will handle things well in his absence. At one point, General Edward points out that Gulliver's claims are unbelievable, but everyone else sides with Gulliver.
  • Spoiled Brat: The giant girl that turns Gulliver into a living baby doll.
  • Stealth Pun: Gulliver's boat Knotforsail, and one of the other boats is called Ship Happens.
  • This Loser Is You: With a healthy dollop of I Just Want to Be Special.
  • Toilet Humor / Bowdlerise - Gulliver urinating remains from the book, but he doesn't defecate.
  • The Voiceless: Presumably the Brobdingnagians, going by the girl.


Video Example(s):


Gulliver Pisses The Fire Out

Krimson Rogue is torn over hating the juvenile humor of the scene, or the fact that the creators were actually being loyal to Jonathan Swifts' original work.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (22 votes)

Example of:

Main / AllNaturalFireExtinguisher

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