20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is a 1954 live-action film created by Walt Disney, based on the classic novel of the same name by science fiction author Jules Verne. The film stars James Mason, Kirk Douglas, Peter Lorre and Paul Lukas.
In the late 19th Century, a mysterious sea monster has been attacking and sinking ships. Pierre Aronnax (Paul Lukas) and his assistant Conseil (Peter Lorre) are hired for an expedition to find the monster. After an unexpected encounter with the monster, Arronax and Conseil, along with harpooner Ned Land (Kirk Douglas) fall overboard. They discover the monster is in fact the Nautilus, a submarine built by the mysterious Captain Nemo(James Mason), who is leading a dangerous crusade across the world.
LegacyThe film was hugely successful when it was released, winning Academy Awards for Best Special Effects and Best Art Direction as well as being nominated for Best Editing. It also opened many new options for the Disney Corporation. It has since been regarded as a classic.
References in Later Films
Due to its success, Disney has occasionally referenced this film in their later movies. In Pixar's film Finding Nemo when Marlin and Dory encounter the school of Moonfish, one of their "impressions" involves forming the shape a sailing ship and singing the chorus to A Whale of a Tale. The name Nemo could have also also been meant as a nod to Captain Nemo.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest has a scene near the beginning in which Jack Sparrow and his crew end up on a small island with cannibalistic natives. The scene in which Jack rushes to the Black Pearl while being chased by the natives may have been a reference to a similar scene in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, in which Ned Land and Conseil travel to an island with cannibals, with the former similarly rushing towards the boat while being chased by the natives.
Recently, Disney has expressed an interest in the possibility of creating a new version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. It is currently set to be directed by director David Fincher.