Monday, October 15, 2007

Viewmaster 20,000 Leagues Walk-through

Here are some scans of some amazing photos from a vintage Tomorrowland Viewmaster packet, showing the rarely-photographed "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" walk-through in color (and 3-D, if you have the reel!). The first Tomorrowland packet devotes an entire reel to this extinct attraction.

Check out this amazing model of the beautiful Nautilus, Captain Nemo's submarine. Harper Goff hatched a brilliant design that is believable and uber-cool. Steampunk! I believe that this model was quite large. Behind it is Peter Ellenshaw's lovely matte-painting of Vulcania, the flooded volcanic crater where Nemo had his hideout.


The designs for the diving suits were also cool, especially the helmets (not pictured here) that resembled seashells. You could almost imagine that in a few moments, some of the sub's crew will come down those steps and "suit up" for a dive.


Here is the bridge of the Nautilus. For some reason it looks like a toy miniature in this photo. Once again, there is plenty of believable detail, including brass gauges and dials, riveted pipes, levers, and other props that recall early ocean liners...and yet it all looks so much cooler here!


I hope you all enjoy these Viewmaster scans...sometimes I feel like these are "cheats", but you can't deny that they are great vintage images. And isn't it nice to see them so big?

10 comments:

Tannerman said...

Major, as a View-Master collector myself... this is not a cheat! :)

Thanks for sharing the scans!

CoxPilot said...

Major, the model is not the large 10 foot one used for the undersea motion shots, but the smaller (all brass) version seen in the last scenes of the film, sinking. It was about 3 to 4 feet long. I remember seeing it. That very model sold on e-bay awaile back, and is being restored. The bridge looks like a miniture because it is (in a way). It was made at 80% of movie set size using all the original set parts (most were wood). I still have a wood half-revet I "picked up" in the '60's.

Major Pepperidge said...

Thanks for the info, coxpilot. Wow, an original Nautilus model sold on ebay? Wish I had seen that one...any idea what the final bid was?

Peter VINCENT said...

Xcellent post as always! You've even sparked a memory.. sitting at my parents kitchen table trying to draw the underwater scene with the crew of the Nautilus wearing those darn sea shell diving suits .. I could never seem to get it right.
Thanks

Biblioadonis aka George said...

Great post!

My first memory of anything Disney theme park related is seeing the viewmaster slide of the Haunted Mansion when I was four years old.

I was hooked immediately.

Thanks for sharing these and they are anything but a cheat!

CoxPilot said...

Peter: I did the very same thing when I saw the movie. In fact I still have several of the pencil drawings of both Nemo in his diving suit (he was the only one with the light over to top), and the sub being attached by the squid. I did poor on a couple of school tests because of the time I spent on those drawings. Amaizing the fascination with Disneys' 20K movie

wonderboss said...

Actually Major, the seashell diving suits are from a different (non-Disney) film; Ray Harryhausen's 1961 MYSTERIOUS ISLAND. The book upon which it was based is Verne's sequel to 20,000 LEAGUES so that explains the presence of both Capt. Nemo and his Nautilus (an interesting variation on the Goff version). Capt. Nemo is played by Herbert Lom. There's a nice-looking DVD available, so check it out to scratch your seashell helmets itch!

Major Pepperidge said...

D'OH! As soon as I read wonderboss' comment, I knew he was right. I haven't seen Mysterious Island since I was a kid, but I remember being bored until Harryhausen's critters appeared. Isn't that the one with the giant bees, turtle, crab, etc?

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Just started to collect viewmaster. Any more posts coming?

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

Repost in wiggle vision please (now that you’ve master the technique) Especially the shot of the Nautilus model.WAY TOO COOL!