The Adventures of Young Gulliver

TV review by
KJ Dell Antonia, Common Sense Media
The Adventures of Young Gulliver TV Poster Image
'60s 'toon adventure doesn't achieve book's classic status.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

Observant kids may learn that there is a book called Gulliver's Travels.

Positive Messages

The series features supportive friends and encourages persistence, but there aren't many overt messages here.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Most characters -- both heroes and villains -- are portrayed very stereotypically. The one girl Lilliputian ("Flirtacia") is of the admiring-cheerleader type.

Violence & Scariness

Characters are chased and imprisoned, but physical violence is only threatened.

Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some episodes' plots can include drinking as a way to put a villain to sleep or as outdated "humor" to make a character silly.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this vintage adventure cartoon is classic '60s stuff, with stereotypical heroes and villains, dumb sidekicks, and a token cheerleader-type girl. Adventures consist mostly of running from larger creatures or other people, and while there's some peril, ther'es little real violence or injury. There's also little or no link to the real Gulliver's Travels -- and certainly no educational or literary message.

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What's the story?

THE ADVENTURES OF YOUNG GULLIVER, which originally aired in 1968, follows Gary Gulliver (voiced by Jerry Dexter) as he and four Lilliputian friends search Lilliput for his father. He has a map to guide him -- but the evil Captain Leech (John Stephenson) believes the map will lead not to Pop Gulliver but to treasure. Most episodes consequently center around Gary and the Lilliputians fleeing from Captain Leech.

Is it any good?

By today's standards, both the animation and the plotting of Young Gulliver are pretty lame. Characters are wooden and two-dimensional, and there's no real back story or sense of growth or relationships. It's classic three-commercial-break fare: The set up, the chase, the rescue/escape, the brief humorous moment followed by all of the characters laughing merrily together before the credits roll.

That said, young kids will accept the simplicity of it all, and for some it could be a welcome break from some of today's frenetic cartoons. Still, when all is said and done, Young Gulliver is devoid of any educational, social, or emotional value, making it nothing but a couch potato moment.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how they think producers came up with the idea for the show. Do you think it would be fun to take a favorite book and imagine what might happen to a character after the book ended?

  • Kids: What would it be like to be the size of a Lilliputian? What would be the coolest thing you could do -- or the scariest thing you'd see?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animation

Themes & Topics

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