One of the best Disney live action films and a classic fantasy-adventure, 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA is a fairly respectful adaptation of Jules Verne's prophetic tale (published in 1870) of submarines and atomic power. It's 1868 and San Francisco is agog over reports of a sea-roving

"monster" that devours any ship that ventures near it. Many voyages are canceled and the government is forced to send a warship to investigate and clear the sea lanes. That ship is sunk by the heinous "creature" and only three people survive the ordeal: a professional harpoonist (Kirk Douglas), a

professor from the Nautical Museum in Paris (Paul Lukas), and his aide (Peter Lorre). They are plucked from the sea by the dreaded "monster" which is actually the Nautilus, a fabulous submarine. The sub is commanded by Capt. Nemo (James Mason), scientist, inventor, crazed visionary, and radical

peace activist. He's taken to sinking ships in a well-meaning effort to end warfare at sea. In an awesome adventure brimming over with fantastic elements, one sequence rises above the fray to become indelible: the fight with the giant squid. The marvelous sets--with their quaint blend of Victorian

and futuristic elements--are worth the price of admission alone. The direction is sharp as are the special effects. All the major performances are fun but James Mason is a standout. Dare we say it? It's fun for the entire family!