Friday, June 8, 2012

Rare 1954 20000 Leagues Under the Sea View-Master Pictures

Thanks to Todd Popp, a fan of the vintage 3-D images from the famous View-Master you'll see today extremely rare pictures related to 20000 Leagues under the Sea. This set of images from the classic tale was created in 1954 by View-Master but as you will see these are not stills from the Disney movie. Instead View-Master artists specially created dioramas which were then photographed to be included in the View-Master 3D discs. Even if the Nautilus or Captain Nemo don't look exactly like in the movie the scenes are inspired by the Jules Verne novel and the Disney movie - including the giant squid scene! - and the characters were sculpted by artist Warren Chaney. Below, a photo of Martha Armstong-Hand who was the artist who created the tiny costumes for these table-top figures.

As you may know, View-Master did a lot of View-Master discs inspired by Disney classics animated movies and you can see pictures of them on Todd's Flickr page HERE. Todd succeeded to find all the View-Master reels which were released and figured out how to scan and digitally clean each picture from all of them! He's planning now to do a book with these rare View-Master pictures and of course i will let you know when the book will be released.

As for the great dioramas, sadly, the majority of these character models and sets were all thrown away many years ago. Todd interviewed one of the surviving sculptors who told him that the 'art' wasn't considered 'art' at the time - just a means to an end in the creation of the reels - so, these images are all that remain and for sure they need to be preserved!

Here we go with the 20000 Leagues under the Sea pictures, with captions for each scene, and right after them you'll find also the scan of the booklet which was include with the reels.

Professor Arronax, Conseil, and Ned Land approach the monster.

"It's man-made!",shouts Ned Land as a strange crew appears.

"You are my prisoners!", proclaims Captain Nemo

"Atomic power is the secret of the Nautilus!"

A shell kills one of the submarine's crew

With horror we watch Captain Nemo's revenge

A strange funeral under the sea

Through the salon window we see a giant octopus

The octopus holds the Nautilus in it's grip

A tentacle snatches up one of the crew

Ned Land closes in to harpoon the monster

Captain Nemo saves Ned Land

Ned dives underwater to save the crewman

"I owe you a debt," Captain Nemo tells the harpooner

The Nautilus enters an undersea tunnel

Crater Lake Base and Uranium Mine

"The lab chief has escaped," a scientist tells Captain Nemo

"This time control will detonate the atomic fuel!"

We board the Nautilus to escape the explosion

"Escape in the small boat, Ned. My debt is paid!"

Captain Nemo's secret is destroyed forever!

And now, here are the scans of each page of the booklet, and i want to thanks a lot again Todd who took the time to do these scans specially for Disney and more! If you're a 20000 Leagues fan, note that this article is also posted on my Tom Scherman site where you'll find dozens of great pictures related to the movie and the 20000 Leagues attractions.

See you next week with another great article about 20000 Leagues with plenty of pics as rare as these one!

Pictures: copyright View-Master - Scans: copyright Todd Popp whom i thanks a lot!


Anonymous said...

Here i thought my Disney View Master collection was almost complete, and now i see these. Dont think I have ever seen them before until now. PD

Todd and Doug said...

Hi Alain - I'm very happy to share these with you and your fellow fans of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea"!
As you can see from the photo of Captain Nemo in Martha's hands, these figures were quite small and the dioramas were called 'table-top' art. I continue to be amazed by all of the tiny sets and the props; additionally, the backgrounds were hand-painted. Skill such as this is for the most part lost today as technology has advanced but nothing can replace the handwork of master artists.
It's been a pleasure getting to know you and I thank you for allowing me to add these to your labor of love! I salute you, Captain Alain! ~ Todd

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting these Viewmaster images. I had this reel as a kid in the 60's and it brought back tons of memories! Alan