Gulliver’s Travels was Jonathan Swift’s satire of 18th century society. It was probably a real crowd-pleaser back then but now it’s just something kids have to read in school. Now Jack Black is starring in a movie version. It’s probably not historically accurate, but a huge Jack Black in a world of tiny people sounds like a recipe for hilarity.
“It’s no longer a political allegory about 18th century society,” said screenwriter Nicholas Stoller. “I think we’ve probably lifted a lot of that out. I think that we’ve captured the wonder of what it would be like to be the only giant in a land of little people.”
So don’t treat the new movie like Cliff notes. It won’t help you in school, but it will capture the fun parts of the book. Stoller explained, “Visually it has a real whimsy and magic to it. When I read that book the first time as a kid, I didn’t understand all the metaphors he was making to England and England of the time. All I knew was I really enjoyed this adventure this guy was on. That’s certainly what we tried to capture.”
Set in modern day, Black plays a travel writer transported to the land of Lilliput. “At the end of the day, it’s a story about this character and this guy. I wouldn’t say it’s an allegory. It’s not an allegory to anything in our current society but from the character, what the character needs to go through this experience to become a better guy.”
Gulliver’s Travels is coming to theaters December 22.