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Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (Two-Disc Special Edition)

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

For the first time ever, you can enjoy this timeless classic in a Special Edition DVD. Fully restored to look and sound as it was originally intended, it also includes hours of exclusive bonus materials your family will enjoy again and again. Climb aboard the Nautilus...and into a strange undersea world of spellbinding adventure! Kirk Douglas, Paul Lukas, and Peter Lorre star as shipwrecked survivors taken captive by the mysterious Captain Nemo, brilliantly portrayed by James Mason. Wavering between genius and madness, Nemo has launched a deadly crusade across the seven seas. But can the captive crew expose his evil plan before he destroys the world? Featuring Norman Gimbel and Al Hoffman's memorable song "A Whale of a Tale," Disney's Academy Award(R)-winning (Special Effects and Color Art Direction, 1954) adaptation of Jules Verne's gripping tale makes 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA a truly mesmerizing masterpiece!

Additional Features

Besides making a lavish, state-of-the-art live action film in the early 1950s, Walt Disney was perceptive enough to chronicle his film with a great deal of care and clarity. The new 90-minute documentary is stuffed with vintage behind-the-scenes color footage. As director Richard Fleisher, Kurt Douglas, and a bevy of technicians reminisce about their adventures on set, there is often footage chronicling the exact moment. This DVD edition is one of the most complete packages of a classic movie to date. Interesting tidbits include an audio re-recording Peter Lorre's dialogue, unused animation (for undersea scenes), gobs of photos, and vintage marketing films. A short segment about the Nautilus ingeniously combines computer animation with movie sequences, production photos, and blueprints for a tour of the sub. The jewel, though, is the original squid attack that was reshot because it looked so fake. Even on the new commentary track (enjoyable, but low-key), Fleischer thinks--and hopes--the footage is lost, yet seeing the sequence illustrates how the movie was almost sunk by a less-than-breathtaking final act. --Doug Thomas

Special Features

All-New Audio Commentaries With Director Richard Fleischer And Classic Film Historian/Author Rudy Behlmer

Product Details

  • Actors: James Mason, Kirk Douglas, Peter Ellenshaw, Elmo Williams, Vincent Di Fate
  • Directors: Charles A. Nichols, Richard Fleischer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Live, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.55:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 20, 2003
  • Run Time: 127 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (384 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JKU0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,579 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (Two-Disc Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

I always loved this movie and now can watch it when ever I want.
Evelyn Valvo
The DVD contains an amazing video transfer and a clear Dolby Digital 5.1 sound.
R. J Rey
The movie was very good, but the special features made it excellent.
Nick T

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

103 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 25, 2004
Format: DVD
Loosely based on the celebrated novel by Jules Verne and set in the late 19th Century, LEAGUES offers the story of Professor Arronax (Paul Lukas), his assistant Conseil (Peter Lorre), and harpooner Ned Land (Kirk Douglas), who are coaxed by the United States government to aid in the search for a sea monster said to be terrorizing shipping lanes. But the monster is not of flesh and blood, and soon the three find themselves in the hands of the mysterious Captain Nemo (James Mason) as prisoners aboard the Nautilus--a fully functional submarine capable of ramming ships and sending them to the ocean floor.

Underwater photography was hardly new in 1954, but never had it been used so extensively nor to such visually beautiful effect, and the art designs--particularly those for the Nautilus--are justly celebrated. But for all its beauty, it is the performances which make the film work. James Mason does not merely play Nemo, he seems to be Nemo; after seeing his performance it is impossible to imagine any other actor in the role. Paul Lukas adds yet another brilliantly understated performance to his memorable career, and while Kirk Douglas and Peter Lorre are hardly the Ned Land and Conseil of the Verne novel they have surprising chemistry and lend the film considerable dash.

At the time of its release, LEAGUES was the single most expensive motion picture ever made (ironically it would loose that dubious distinction later that same year to yet another film featuring James Mason: A STAR IS BORN), and every penny of the money spent shows in the onscreen result. While many of Disney's live-action films are fondly recalled, few have had enduring fame, much less claim to status as art--but LEAGUES is the exception, and although the episodic nature of the story seems a shade languid from time to time it remains both a landmark and one of the most influential films of its decade. Truly enjoyable from start to finish.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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70 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Louis Barbarelli on May 27, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Like many of the other reviewers of this movie, I'm a pre-boomer who was dazzled by the film as a child. Somewhere in my aging mom's attic, I have a few bolts (painted wood) from the movie set of the Nautilus, which I "borrowed" from one of the Disney properties as a kid nearly a half century ago. I remember taking a bus from LA to Burbank to stare through the slats of the fence in the back lot of the Disney Studios and seeing a partial model of the Nautilus, perhaps 1/3 scale, tossed in a corner like so much debris. What I would have given to be able to drag that model home.
When I viewed the VHS version of this film a couple of years ago, I was bitterly disappointed by the poor quality which made the watching experience actually painful to a fan like me. But, let me tell you, this DVD is as thrilling as the VHS was painful. This fully-restored version of the film comes roaring back to life in all of its glory and then some. It's the best film restoration these old eyes have ever beheld. Watched on a state-of-the-art widescreen TV, this is every bit the experience it was in the '50's and I think it's wonderful that this great film is now preserved for the ages, just as it was when it was first released.
Is this a perfect movie? No. Even as a kid, I noticed that the background music was too cheesy, that Kirk Douglas's songs seemed gratuitous, that the fish swimming outside the large porthole were cartoonish, and that the electrically-illuminated eye of the Giant Squid made an otherwise perfect special effect look a bit fake. I'm just as puzzled by those weaknesses today as I was then, especially since all other aspects of the film, including the numerous, Oscar-winning special effects involving the Nautilus, are masterful. But no movie is perfect and this movie, minor warts and all, is nothing less than a memorial to the genius of Disney, the acting of James Mason, the passion of the Disney staff, and the vision of Jules Verne.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 17, 2003
Format: DVD
First off, I'll say that this is BY FAR the best live-action film Disney ever produced. None of the irritating condescension that characterizes so many Disney films. No -- this film delivers the goods.
And my story...?
I first saw the film on television as a child. But about ten years ago, I was lucky enough to see the film on the big screen, at a matinee showing in a small-town community theater. The theater was jam-packed with children, ages ranging from about 5 to 10. The kids were chattering like crazy -- the theater was filled with noise. Even when the film started, the kids kept talking.
But very slowly, as the minutes passed, the kids got quieter. And quieter.
Late in the film, when we're moving into the final explosive climax, the Nautilus rams a warship that has been hunting it. The protagonists -- Aronax, Conseil, and Ned Land -- rush to the sub's giant iris window. The iris opens onto an underwater vista -- to reveal, in the murky blue distance, the warship sinking awesomely, majestically, down to the bottom of the sea -- flames and smoke issuing from its still-burning interior. We can hear the muffled roar of its descent.
At that moment in the film, I realized that the audience had become completely silent. They were riveted and awestruck.
That, my friends, is great storytelling. Any film that can cause an entire theater-full of 5-10-year-olds to become completely silent, totally rapt with attention, is worthy of praise.
As far as I'm concerned, this film is the best thing Disney ever did.
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Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (Two-Disc Special Edition)
This item: Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (Two-Disc Special Edition)
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