Box art for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

  • Rated G

action & adventure, children & family, sci-fi & fantasy

Based on the Jules Verne novel, experience the fantastic exploits of Captain Nemo, a genius turned bitter who wages war from his nuclear -powered submarine against a country he perceives as evil.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 9
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
1 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
3 out of 5

A classic action-adventure for older kids.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is Disney's version of the classic 19th century Jules Verne novel of the same name. Some old stereotypes come through in scenes where island natives are portrayed as primitive and brutal. There are no female characters with speaking roles in this film, either. Lots of punching among sailors, and some perilous scenes with a giant squid might frighten younger viewers.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how Captain Nemo could have better directed his genius. How does each family member channel his or her intellectual and creative energy?
  • Talk about some of the old-fashioned stereotypes in this movie. What kinds of stereotypes in today's movies will one day seem old-fashioned?
  • What more modern undersea adventure movies have you enjoyed?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: As fabulous and fantastic as anything he has ever done in cartoons is Walt Disney's 'live action' movie made from Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

- Bosley Crowther, New York Times, Saturday, March 25, 2006


- Chuck O'Leary, Fantastica Daily, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: Grandly entertaining.

- Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader, Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Audience Reviews

5 stars

The ultimate Jules Verne experience. Everything from the film-making to the acting is perfect. It brings the very demented and fantastical elements of Verne's novel into reality. Kirk Douglas and James Mason are a great team and deliver some great dynamics. The story is not a word for word translation, but it captures the tone perfectly and I almost think it is the best it can possibly be on screen.

- ythelastman89, Tuesday, June 1, 2010

4 stars

Disney`s version of 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA is rightly remembered for the classic scene featuring the giant squid (which was an inspiration for Michael Crichton Sphere novel) , but it should be remembered for more than that . Captain Nemo is a wonderfully written anti-hero who`s what would be described nowadays as an environmentalist , but don`t dare confuse him with being some sort of yogurt knitting tree hugger because this is a man waging a violent crusade against warmongers and anyone else he sees fit to exterminate . It`s a really intriguing character study and Nemo is played superbly by James Mason . Compare Mason`s performance as Nemo to that of Steven Seagal`s role as ecowarrior Forrest Taft in ON DEADLY GROUND . Done so ? A laughable contrast isn`t it . Kirk Douglas may disappoint as Ned Land but his real function is to act as a physical square jawed hero alongside the academic and somewhat ambigious Professor Arronnax. I also appreciated the fact that Disney resisted the temptation to invent a child character in order to make the film appeal to children more by way of audience identification , nor is there any sort of mawkish sentiment or frivolity that`s spoiled many a Disney film . In fact this is such an exciting thoughtful adventure if it wasn`t for the presence of a seal I wouldn`t have believed it was a Disney film . Did I mention there`s a great battle with a giant squid ?

- matertenebraum, Tuesday, December 29, 2009

4 stars

Great Classic

- ScoopOnline, Tuesday, December 8, 2009