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An earthquake, a flash flood, an avalanche, a volcano, alligators, jaguars, mutineers, and a man-eating Maoris dog the steps of a shipping company owner, a scientist, and the two children of a lost sea captain as they circle the earth along the 37th parallel per instructions in a bottled note the scientist has recovered from a shark's stomach. Only certain facts are discern from the stained note, especially the words "37 parallel." Teen-age Mary Grant (Hayley Mills), her younger brother , Robert Keith Hamshere, and the scientist, French Professor Jacques Paganel (Maurice Chevalier), trick their way aboard the grand yacht, "Persevero," during a bon-voyage party to see the owner of the shipping company, Lord Edward Glenarvan (Wilfrid Hyde-White),the epitome of British aloofness. With the urging of his own son, John (Michael Anderson Jr.'), Glenarvan's luxurious side-wheeler sets sail for the coastal town of Concepcion, Chile in the search for the missing Captain Grant. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Part of Jules Verne's trilogy that includes "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" with Captain Nemo as the antagonist, "Mysterious Island" with Captain Grant as the castaway protagonist going up against Nemo, and "The Children of Captain Grant...aka 'In Search of the Castaways'" with (as the titles suggests) the children of Captain Grant as the protagonists in search of their castaway father. Even if Walt Disney had made "Mysterious Island" (in 1961 another studio made a pretty nifty though obviously 60's style sci-fi movie from it) there still wouldn't be much to tie this film to Walt Disney's classic starring Kirk Douglas and James Mason. Without knowledge of the characters from "Mysterious Island" there is no clue that the Grant children live in the same world as the first film, let alone that of Captain Nemo. With that said, the film does work as a wild and fun Disney adventure (Disney films are a genre all their own). Starring familiar Disney faces such as Hayley Mills and Maurice Chevalier (hey it could have been Annette Funicello and Burl Ives) this is Walt Disney's film not Jules Verne's and a good time can be had by the whole family. Some of the special effects are inferior to Disney's standard but Mills and company are very watchable as are the endless stream of natural disasters that befall them. Recently remakes have been made of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." Too bad a mini-series involving the entire trilogy wasn't tackled. Just a thought.
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