UNIQUE COLLECTIBLES FROM WALT DISNEY’S 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE
I’m told what we see here are the actual
wooden plugs from which the cast brass parts of the original Disney 11-foot
NAUTILUS special effects model were made.
Here are the saw teeth, the ram bulb, hatches, the dorsal fin, dive
planes, the prop guard halves, bollards, hull scoops, and more: truly a gold
mine for anyone who wants to produce an accurate replica of the 11-footer. And also, at the top of the case, we see
plugs that are said to be those used to cast parts of Nemo’s
underwater rifles. Wow.
Speaking of Nemo’s
underwater rifles, here’s one. Some say
this is an actual prop used in the movie; others say it’s a replica. Either way, it’s a nice specimen and I sure
wish I had one! (Update: 19 May 2010:
actually, now I have three replicas, including one that can fire a spear.) J
This is one of the fiberglass Diver helmets
worn by stars like Paul Lucas, Kirk Douglas, and Peter Lorre in the dry and
dry-for-wet scenes where you could actually see their faces in the
helmets. (Couldn’t have them walking
around in real helmets! They weigh a
ton!) Notice that in this recent
picture, the helmet still has the original hoses: darkened over the years, but
still intact. That’s noteworthy because
many hoses of this type and vintage have long-since rotted away.
Here’s a front view of Bob’s Diver
helmet. There doesn’t appear to be any
glass in the front viewport, and one might think that was because Disney wanted
a clear view of the actor’s face, unobstructed by glare or reflection. But in fact, the stunt helmets did have glass
viewports as can be seen in the movie.
Apparently, the glass from in front of this helmet has gone missing over
Here’s a look at the backside of the Glass
Diver helmet: the emergency air fitting is missing from the center / back area
of the breastplate, but that’s consistent with what we see in the outfitting
room scenes where non-functional helmets like this one were used.
Here’s a front ¾ view of the helmet. Looking in through the faceplate you can see the small, black, rectangular tab that aligns the bonnet on the corselet. A real helmet would have the traditional “interrupted thread” mechanism in place of the tab.
Here’s a close-up look at the pony
bottle. Actually, I see some variation
between this prop and the real air tank assemblies that were used underwater in
LEAGUES. But it’s close enough
for filming, so why be a nit-picker? J
Bob Lindenmayer, “All Rights Reserved.”