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The Making of '20000 Leagues Under the Sea' (2003)

A documentary about the making of Disney's 1954 classic, "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea."



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Complete credited cast:
Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Himself - Film Historian
Bob Broughton ...
Himself - Special Photographic Effects
Himself - Collector
Vincent Di Fate ...
Himself - Science Fiction Illustrator
Himself - Vice Chairman of the Board, Walt Disney Company (as Roy E. Disney)
Roy O. Disney ...
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Peter Ellenshaw ...
Himself - Matte Artist
Earl Felton ...
Himself (archive footage)
Himself - Director
Harper Goff ...
Himself - Designer / Illustrator (archive footage)
Ralph Hammeras ...
Himself (archive footage)
Alfred Hanson ...
Himself - Stunt Diver (archive footage)


This made-for-DVD documentary details the work that went into the production of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Disney's 1954 version of the classic science fiction novel by Jules Verne. Adventure fans are treated to a behind-the-scenes look at the filming of this tale of undersea travels and the dangers of the deep, with particular attention at the work of stars Kirk Douglas and James Mason in making the movie such a success. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

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Release Date:

20 May 2003 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Exceptional--I wish all 'making of' documentaries were this good!
18 February 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I have a strange confession. I really,really enjoyed this 'making of' film but I am not particularly a fan of the original film. Yet, oddly, I gave this making of documentary a 10! Why? Well, because among the many similar documentaries I've seen for many films over the years, it's among the very best. Here is a list of the reasons I loved "The Making of '20000 Leagues Under the Sea'": 1. Like a good documentary, it instilled excitement and was very convincing. You couldn't watch it without having more excitement about the original film.

2. It's long. All too often, I've seen similar films that are only 20-30 minutes long (such as one for "The Searchers")--and for most films that just isn't enough time. Now when I say long, I am NOT saying over-long--it was just comprehensive.

3. The production values were great. The music, in particular, was great--very inspiring.

4. The film had many different neat stories and interesting tidbits--LOTS.

5. Despite there being many, many years between the original film and this documentary, it had TONS of interviews with surviving cast members and staff. Kirk Douglas (post-stroke), the director, writers, special effects people, etc. all contributed--as well as some archival interviews.

6. There were TONS of interesting photos and clips--many of which had been assumed lost. Outtakes, pictures with and without the added matte paintings, moments where the actors were on breaks, etc. were nice touches.

7. John Rhys-Davies narration was fitting and his lovely resonant voice was just perfect.

8. I loved the ironic comment by the director, Richard Fleischer, when he said it was the toughest time he ever had directing a seal. This was funny because Fleischer AGAIN directed a seal when he helmed "Dr.Dolittle"! 9. The logistics (which were amazing) were discussed--the many different film sets at various studios, the shoot at Jamaica, etc. all were quite fascinating.

Overall, this is just a wonderful film--entertaining, fun and fascinating from start to finish. Well worth seeing.

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