The oceans during the late 1860-92s are no longer safe; many ships have been lost. Sailors have returned to port with stories of a vicious narwhal (a giant whale with a long horn) which sinks their ships. A naturalist, Professor (Pierre) Aronnax, his assistant, Conseil, and a professional whaler, Ned Land, join an US expedition which attempts to unravel the mystery. Written by
Murray Chapman <email@example.com>
This was the one of the first Disney films shown in a two-hour time slot on television (although very slightly edited). Most previous telecasts of Disney films, all shown on the anthology series Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (1954) (aka "The Wonderful World of Color" and "The Wonderful World of Disney") had either featured the films edited down to fit a one-hour time slot or broken them up into two or more one-hour segments shown over a period of several weeks. See more »
The film opens on what purports to be a copy of Jules Verne's original novel. The book is turned to Chapter One, which is titled "Alarming Rumours!" The actual title to Chapter One in Verne's novel is "A Shifting Reef." See more »
The natives over there are cannibals. They eat liars with the same enthusiasm as they eat honest men.
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Disney`s version of 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA is rightly remembered for the classic scene featuring the giant squid , but it should be remembered for more than that . Captain Nemo is a wonderfully written anti-hero who`s what would be described nowadays as an environmentalist , but don`t dare confuse him with being some sort of yogurt knitting tree hugger because this is a man waging a violent crusade against warmongers and anyone else he sees fit to exterminate . It`s a really intriguing character study and Nemo is played superbly by James Mason . Compare Mason`s performance as Nemo to that of Steven Seagal`s role as ecowarrior Forrest Taft in ON DEADLY GROUND . Done so ? A laughable contrast isn`t it . Kirk Douglas may disappoint as Ned Land but his real function is to act as a physical square jawed hero alongside the academic and somewhat ambigious Professor Arronnax.
I also appreciated the fact that Disney resisted the temptation to invent a child character in order to make the film appeal to children more by way of audience identification , nor is there any sort of mawkish sentiment or frivolity that`s spoiled many a Disney film . In fact this is such an exciting thoughtful adventure if it wasn`t for the presence of a seal I wouldn`t have believed it was a Disney film .
Did I mention there`s a great battle with a giant squid ?
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