Kirk Douglas and Walt Disney

Walt Disney Productions Wins Oscars® for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea proved to be a whale of a tale not only for moviegoers but for the filmmakers who were tasked with creating Walt Disney’s greatest special-effects film to date. As the first Disney production filmed in Cinemascope, all the bells and whistles went into this landmark production. A special effects soundstage—Stage 3—was built on the Walt Disney Studios backlot specifically with 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in mind. It includes a removable floor and a water effects tank, divided into two parts, that made it possible to film the underwater scenes and create the wind, rain and waves in the film’s storm scenes. A separate camera pit, located on the south side of the tank was used to shield camera equipment. But all the fancy camerawork eventually paid off when the film, nominated for three Academy Awards®, brought home two Oscars® including one for Best Special Effects and another for Best Art Direction/Set Decoration.