DID JULES VERNE have prophetic foresight, or did he merely let his imagination run wild in the scientific romances which delighted the youth (and many adults) of earlier generations?
Some of his fantastic stories are commonplace today. Round the World in Eighty Days was exceeded in real life long before the days of trans-oceanic flights. And his other famous adventure classic, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea has come to life in CinemaScope and Technicolor. But few of those who see it currently on the screen can appreciate the problems involved in its production—particularly in photographing the weird scenes under water. Manufacturing thrills for movie audiences is a hazardous business but this latest Walt Disney production introduced some exceeding anything previously encountered in the industry. Making Jules Vernes dream of 1869 come true brought many new problems and risks to be solved by Disney and Director Richard Fleischer. The famous novelist had described the crew of Captain Nemos incredible submarine, the Nautilus, walking on the floor of the ocean in diving suits that had no air hoses. Many scientific advances had been made in the 85 years since the story was published, but no one had figured a way of achieving the result. Fleischer and his diving expert, Fred Zendar, had to face that problem at the start.