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December 23

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Founded in 1952, Disney’s Imagineers began blending imagination with engineering, as proven in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. This creative division opened the door for Disney to experiment with storytelling.

Photo by Jason Adams

1954: Water, Water Everywhere
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea premieres in movie theaters
This movie, the first science-fiction film produced by Walt Disney Pictures, has it all: an underwater battle with a giant squid, great dialogue, and stars like Kirk Douglas as Ned Land and James Mason as Captain Nemo. The movie was adapted from a book by the French science fiction author Jules Verne.

It featured Nemo’s fantastic submarine, the Nautilus, which could stay under water for five days, and had onboard equipment to convert seawater into drinking water. To bring Verne’s deep-sea world to life, a staff of hundreds—led by director Richard Fleischer—was required. Lucky folks: They got to do much of the filming in beautiful places in the Bahamas and Jamaica.
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