20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Did you know this 1954 film, the first full-length live-action movie ever produced by his studios, almost ruined Walt Disney? Did you know Richard Fleisher, the film’s director, is the son of one-time Disney animation competitor Max Fleisher (Betty Boop, Popeye, Koko the Clown)? These are just a few of the interesting facts one can learn from the special-feature sections on this double-disc, first-time-on-DVD release of the much-praised adaptation of Jules Verne’s classic 1868 novel. Both book and film are concerned with tortured genius Captain Nemo (played perfectly here by James Mason), his amazing submarine the Nautilus, and his captive “guests”—Professor Aronnax (Paul Lukas), Conseil (Peter Lorre) and harpooner Ned Land (Kirk Douglas). The digital transfer is beautiful—clear picture and full sound (the film score is seemingly now in stereo!). Worth owning.