The special effects that let Gulliver be a giant in Lilliput and tiny in Brobdingnag are by the reigning genius of the day, Ray Harryhausen, but writer/director Jack Sher's 1960 film wisely uses them only in the service of the story. There are several charming moments, including Gulliver singing, and the effects, though obvious now, must have delighted children back then, unused to computer games and CGI stunts. I liked it a lot, it is nicely plotted and the effects charm, as do the leading players. It remains an intelligent adaptation, if abridged and lighthearted, of a great classic, that stands on its own for entertainment.
The dvd has some great special features including an almost an hour long documentary on Ray Harryhausen (left) and how he developed his Dynamation and stop-motion animations, covering all his successes like the very popular JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS, MYSTERIOUS ISLAND and the follow-ups to SINBAD with John Philip Law and Patrick Wayne, and the 1981 all-star CLASH OF THE TITANS which we liked a lot.
Kerwin continued in films (THE DEVIL AT 4 O'CLOCK with Tracy and Sinatra in '61) until 1977, including playing that French secret agent OSS 117 (taken over by Jean Dujurdin), I would like to see his 1960 peplum SAPPHO VENUS OF LESBOS. In his later years he became an antiques dealer in San Francisco and died in his sleep in 2007, aged 81. He somehow kept his male partner of 46 years a secret, in an era when everyone knew or guessed about Rock and Monty and Tab and Tony Perkins and .... He never minded that most of his movies have long been forgotten and those that endure are considered campy cult classics and seems to have been a thoroughly charming fellow. I wonder what his JACK THE GIANT KILLER is like?