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20,000 Leagues Under The Sea - Animated Classics Collection
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This animated verison of the Jules Verne classic stays true to the original story. In the late 19th century the oceans are unsafe. Ships are mysteriously disappearing, and sailors are telling tales of a huge beast prowling the oceans. Professor Aronnax ventures out to sea to investigate with an experienced whaler, Ned Land. Expecting the worst they cross paths with the sea monster, only to discover it is actually a submarine skippered by the eccentic Captain Nemo. They soon find more questions than answers and join Captain Nemo on a journey 20,000 leagues under the sea.
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In the 1950's those `thought-provoking' classics were few and far between ("Forbidden-Planet" "Day the Earth Stood Still" and George Pal's "War of the Worlds" come to mind, as stellar-exceptions!) But one worthy film, that I often forget about = "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" mainly because 1) it is sort of `retro' SciFi, taking place in the 1860's but with amazingly-futuristic technological Wonders nonetheless (especially the magnificent-aquatic-Super-submersible "Nautilus" and 2) being produced by Walt Disney (a name not usually synonymous with great-cutting-edge SciFi films.)
But to give credit where credit is due............ Disney's version of Jules Verne's imaginative under-water epic "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" has to be considered one of the finest, most impressive efforts at bringing the World of the truly `fantastic' directly to the Big-screen. Combining Top-Notch storytelling, conceptual-artistry, special-effects (ground-breakingly creative and technically proficient for the time) along with first-rate acting, and spectacular set-design!
With a multi-dimensional personification of `Captain Nemo' as `anti-hero' archetype whose core-principles might often be in the right/justified (i.e. often siding with the downtrodden) - but whose actions are just as often cold-blooded and merciless (i.e. living strictly by the `ends-justify-means' mantra - with no room for soft-heartedness or hesitation). James Mason treads this line between `dark and light' masterfully!
The rest of the cast is also fine = Kirk Douglas as heroic master-harpoonist `Ned Land' successfully battling that Giant-squid = multi-armed (or is that multi-legged?) aquatic-pointy-headed-Behemoth, that appears enormously `alive & kicking'! - and Peter Lorre being the epitome of eccentric-quirkiness!
A Timeless-classic indeed! And still a most impressive Cinematic achievement (after 60years)!