Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Another One That Got Away: The "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea" Master-Folio

"Giant squid astern, sir!"
I've got a whale of a tale to tell you, lads.  Another title for our proposed Walt Disney Master-Folio series would have been 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, the epic 1954 Disney adaptation of Jules Verne's classic science fiction novel.  The film is a favorite of ours, and three years prior, we had designed the 50th anniversary collectibles assortment for Disney, (including the most faithful replica of the submarine Nautilus ever mass-produced.)

Here were some of the riches we aimed to include:

In the years since we put together this proposal, the soundtrack recording was eventually released, first on iTunes and later as a CD by Intrada (which you can purchase today! ) We had long been pushing for the recording's release, and the Master-Folio package seemed like one more good reason to pester Disney about it again.

Serious "Leagues" fans will have noted that the Image Album was to include stills from the lost "South Pole scene" not in the final motion picture:

And there was more.

And one of the most exciting elements of all: a flip book of the unused pencil animation done early in the film's production--for the Giant Squid!  In the finished movie, an enormous articulated puppet attacked Captain Nemo's submarine and fed our collective childhood nightmares, but did you know the monster was first planned to be flat cel animation combined with live action?

The "squid animation" was an exciting discovery for us in Disney's Animation Research Library, with 115 graphite drawings on long CinemaScope paper. It amounted to only a few seconds of animation on screen, but it was dramatic to see, with the tentacled monster abruptly rearing backward in a blast of black ink.  Sorry I'm unable to show it to you here, because the sequence remains in Disney's hands. Hopefully someday it will surface!  In the meantime, you can see some of the other animated sea life that would have been spied through Nemo's wondrous irising window—here: on youtube.

Will the Walt Disney Master-Folio Collection someday come to pass?  Maybe, as James Mason's Captain Nemo says, "In God's good time."


Kim said...

TAKE MY MONEY! You have no idea how much we want this. And it just proves how stupid the Disney marketing people have been in the past years--not doing enough good grownup stuff for nostalgia buffs like us but only character stuff and plush.

Your stuff is great and knowing that we could have had even more of it but someone didn't let it happen--you are breaking my heart.

I want this stuff!

William said...

must have paleeeeeeeeeeze!

KD Younger said...

I'll third that motion..... ;)

Jesse said...

*sigh* I want all of these folios. ALL of these have been so cool! I generally hold out on buying DVD's etc until there is some kind of definitive version that I love. I would have bought all of these.

Paul said...


Unknown said...

I would buy this! What is wrong with Disney for not green lighting this?

Cory Gross said...

So far you're two for two on folios I would have bought. I love Sleeping Beauty and 20,000 Leagues... I assume the next one would have to be Fantasia, since you're just doing all my favourite Disney films ^_^