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TRAVELLING WITH GULLIVER!
Gulliver’s Travels released on the last Friday of 2010. Jonathan Swift’s fascinating account of the travels of the man named Gulliver has captivated generations after generations of young readers. It is the kind of fantasy that one never gets tired of and has been told and retold over and over again over the decades without ever feeling redundant or repetitive. There is some charm about the man and his adventures which make us look forward to it even after knowing what might be in store for us. While this great literary work has inspired such narration and cinema over the years, it is also a bit disappointing that only one dimension of this great adventure has been explored. To most people, Gulliver’s Travels means just his
  Vikram-Vetal
adventures in Liliput, as the giant in a world of tiny men. It is this facet that has been overwhelmingly and almost exclusively focused upon. While, there are very little doubts over the fact that the Liliput part is the most memorable and visually exciting part of the book, there are other adventures too that would have made for great on screen experiences and still await realization.

But, complaints apart, the release of Gulliver’s Travels over the last weekend has once again stimulated thoughts about the evergreen classics that have been repeatedly made into cinema without ever giving the impression of being a rip-off from a former movie based on the same story. Some of the top names in this list would be Alice in Wonderland, The Chocolate factory envisaged by Roald Dahl, Kipling’s Jungle Book, Peter Pan and a few other such classics which always bring alive the child within us. Now, all the names given above may not have been very successful movies. But, the fact is that they have repeatedly lent themselves to visualizations by different creative minds over different points of time spread over a better part of the last century; be it through cartoons, other TV formats or cinema. Yet, they still seem fresh and good enough for newer and better adaptations without any major changes in their plots.

Some of the classics that one feels have missed out on such rich and vivid visual imagination consists of Kenneth Graham’s The Wind in the Willows, some of Enid Blyton’s visually most imaginative works like The Magic Faraway Tree, or the delightfully mischievous escapades of William as narrated by Richmal Crompton. Now, one does not know whether these books have ever been visually interpreted. If they indeed have been, then they have not been greatly popularized; at least in this part of the world.

On a more Indian note, the visualization of the Vikram-Vetal stories remains fresh in the mind, though it has not been attempted too many times and one feels that it has the quality to transcend eras and capture even a new generation of audiences if presented appropriately.

There are a host of other literary classics that have been visually presented through various mediums and still continue to captivate us in spite of having been first conceived decades back. Have you ever noticed that some of the things that never change (in spite of the rapid alterations that are being made to school syllabi all round) are the classics that are recommended for children or the nursery rhymes that are recited to them. ‘Twinkle Twinkle’, ‘Snow White and the seven Dwarves’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Cinderella’, ‘Aladin’ are still the works of choice when it comes to initiating a child into the world of books, imagination and fantasy. However, it is not just the kids who are drawn into it; it is also the kid within every adult who is attracted towards such creations where the imagination knows no boundaries. One thing is for sure; we have not seen the last of Gulliver; nor Alice or Mowgli. The classics will live on.

Tags : Gulliver’s Travels, Liliput, Roald Dahl, Vikram-Vetal
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