Adaptations of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

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Jules Verne's novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea has been adapted and referenced in popular culture on numerous occasions.

Stage, film and audio adaptations[edit]

Comic book and graphic adaptations[edit]

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea has been adapted into comic book format numerous times.

  • In 1948, Gilberton Publishing published a comic adaptation in issue #47 of their Classics Illustrated series.[9] It was reprinted in 1955;[10] 1968;[11] 1978, this time by King Features Syndicate as issue #8 of their King Classics series; and again in 1997, this later time by Acclaim/Valiant. Art by was Henry C. Kiefer.
  • In 1954, the newspaper strip Walt Disney's Treasury Of Classic Tales published a comic based on the 1954 film, which ran from August 1-December 26, 1954. This was translated into many languages worldwide. Adaptation was by Frank Reilly, with art by Jesse Marsh.
  • In 1955, Dell Comics published a comic based on the 1954 film in issue #614 of their Four Color anthology series called Walt Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.[12] This was reprinted by Hjemmet in Norway in 1955 & 1976, by Gold Key in 1963, and in 1977 was serialized in several issues of Western's The New Micky Mouse Club Funbook, beginning with issue #11190. Art was by Frank Thorne.
  • In 1963, in conjunction with the first nationwide re-release of the film, Gold Key published a comic based on the 1954 film called Walt Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.[13] This reprinted the Frank Thorne version.
  • In 1963, Gold Key published Walt Disney's World Of Adventure, which featured The Adventures Of Captain Nemo, a prequel to the Disney film. Story & art were by Dan Spiegle, who eventually did 6 episodes of the series between 1963-1972.
  • In 1972, IPC in England published Donald And Mickey. The first 12 issues featured The Adventures Of Captain Nemo, with art by Sam Fair.
  • In 1973, Vince Fago's Pendulum Press published a hardcover illustrated book.[14] This collected a new version which had been previously serialized in Weekly Reader magazine. Adaptation was by Otto Binder, with art by Romy Gaboa & Ernie Patricio. This was reprinted in 1976 by Marvel Comics in issue #4 of their Marvel Classics Comics series; in 1984 by Academic Industries, Inc. as issue #C12 of their Classics Illustrated paperback book series; in 1990 again by Pendulum Press, with a new painted cover; and again, using the same cover, in 2010 by Saddleback Publishing, Inc., this time in color.
  • In 1974, Power Records published a comic and record set, PR-42.[15] Art was by Rich Buckler & Dick Giordano.
  • In 1975, Look And Learn Ltd. in England published an adaptation of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea as 11 chapters in issues 707-717 of their Look And Learn magazine. This version was reprinted in late 1980 by Fleetway in their Lion Annual 1981.
  • In 1976, Marvel Comics published a comic book adaptation via issue #4 of their Marvel Classics Comics line.[16] This was a reprint of the Pendulum Press version.
  • In 1990, Pendulum Press published another comic based on the novel via issue #4 of their Illustrated Stories line.[17] This was a reprint of the Pendulum Press version, with a new painted cover.
  • In 1992, Dark Horse Comics published a one shot comic called Dark Horse Classics.[18] This was originally announced as part of the Berkeley/First Comics Classics Illustrated series, as a full-color "prestige format" book, but was delayed when the company went bankrupt. The Dark Horse version was scaled back to a standard comic-book format with B&W interiors. It was reprinted in 2001 by Hieronymous Press as a limited-edition of 50 copies available only from the artist's website, and more recently, in 2008 from Flesk Publications as an expensive full-color book, as originally intended. Adaptation & art by Gary Gianni.
  • In 1997, Acclaim/Valiant published CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED #8.[19] This was a reprint of the 1948 Gilberton version with a new cover.
  • In 2001, Hieronymus Press published a reprint of the Dark Horse Comics version, with a new cover, as a limited-edition of 50 copies, available only from Gary Gianni's website.
  • In 2008, Sterling Graphics published a pop-up graphic book.[20]
  • In 2008, Capstone Publishers / Stone Arch Books published a graphic novel called Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under The Sea. The adaptation was by Carl Bowen, the cartoon-style art by Jose Alfonso Ocampo Ruiz, and the coloring by Benny Fuentes.
  • In 2009, Flesk Publications published a graphic novel called Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under The Sea.[21] This was a reprint, in color for the first time, of the Gary Gianni version.
  • In 2010, Saddleback Publishing, Inc. published a new reprint of the Pendulum Press version, this time in color, and reusing the 1990 cover painting.
  • In 2010, Campfire Classics, a company in India, published a new version. Adaptation was by Dan Rafter, with art by Bhupendra Ahluwalia.
  • In 2011, Campfire Classic published a trade paperback.[22]

References in popular culture[edit]

  • The novel The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, and its film adaptations, uses Nemo's battle with the giant squid as an example of the unforgettable and immersive nature of great stories.
  • An episode of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, entitled "20,000 Koopas Under the Sea", borrows many elements from the original story (including a submarine named the "Koopilus" and King Koopa referring to himself as "Koopa Nemo").
  • In a 1989 episode "20,000 Leaks Under the City" of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series is heavily based on Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, including a battle with a giant squid. This story takes place in New York City of the 1980s where a flood caused by Krang using a Super Pump has occurred.[23]
  • A SpongeBob SquarePants episode is called "20,000 Patties Under the Sea". It is a parody of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and of the traveling song "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall".
  • In the 2006 "The Evil Beneath" segment of "The Evil Beneath/Carl Wheezer, Boy Genius" season 3 double episode from the Nicktoons children's CG animated series The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius references are made to similar characters and environments: Dr. Sydney Orville Moist, a paranoid dance-crazy genius scientist (parodying Captain Nemo) who lives in a hidden underwater headquarters (stationary Nautilus) at the bottom of fictional Bahama Quadrangle, takes revenge against humanity by transforming unsuspecting tourists like Jimmy, Carl and Sheen into zombie-like algae men (the Nautilus crew).[24]
  • In the 1990 sci-fi comedy film, Back to the Future Part III, Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) states that Jules Verne is his favourite author and adores Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. At the end of the film, Dr. Brown introduces his two sons, named Jules and Verne respectively.
  • A 1994 Saturday Night Live sketch (featuring Kelsey Grammer as Captain Nemo) pokes fun at the misconception of leagues being a measure of depth instead of a measure of distance. Nemo tries repeatedly, though unsuccessfully, to convince his crew of this.
  • One of the inaugural rides at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom was called 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage and was based on the Disney movie.
  • In the novel and movie Sphere, Harry Adams (played by Samuel L. Jackson) reads (and is very interested in) 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
  • Captain Nemo is one of the main characters in Alan Moore's and Kevin O'Neill's graphic novel The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, as well as in the film.
  • In the 2001 Clive Cussler novel Valhalla Rising, reference to a submarine that "inspired" Verne's story is made as one of the central plot points; it differs in having been British, with Verne being accused of being anti-British.
  • Nemo and the Nautilus, along with several other plot points, are major elements of Kevin J. Anderson's Captain Nemo: The Fantastic History of a Dark Genius.
  • The early-2000s novel series called the Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica depicts Captain Nemo in a "world within a world". In this version, Nemo is the captain of the sentient ship Yellow Dragon (stated to be the in-universe origin of the Nautilus) and therefore a prominent figure in the series. Jules Verne's character is said to be fiction based on him.
  • Mentioned in Into the Wild as one of Chris McCandless' inspirations, before his trek into the Alaskan interior.
  • The Nautilus is said to be based on a civil war era ship in the novel, Leviathan by David Lynn Golemon.
  • An episode of the English dubbed TV series of Digimon is entitled "20,000 Digi-Leagues Under the Sea" (though the actual episode synopsis is completely unrelated).
  • One of Mortadelo y Filemón's long stories is called "20,000 leguas de viaje sibilino" (20,000 leagues of sibylline travel), in which they have to go from Madrid to Lugo via Kenya, India, China and the United States without using public transport.
  • 20,000 Lums Under the Sea is the name of the fourth world in Rayman Legends, in an obvious allusion to the novel.
  • On Xbox Kinect, there is a game called 20,000 Leaks where the player uses themselves to plug holes in a glass box under water.
  • An achievement in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is called "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" and is awarded after completing a quests in the Vashj'ir zone which include travelling in a submarine, being attacked by a giant squid and ultimately trying to stop the Naga from overthrowing Neptulon. There is also a submarine built by the goblins that is remarkably similar to Disney's 1954 portrayal of the Nautilus, piloted by Captain "Jewels" Verne. The submarine has appropriately been dubbed "The Verne" (after Jules Verne).
  • On February 8, 2011 the Google homepage featured an interactive logo adapted from "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" honoring Jules Verne's 183rd birthday.[25]
  • The novel, "I, Nemo" by J. Dharma & Deanna Windham is a re-imagining of Captain Nemo's origins told from his point of view. This book ends where "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea" begins and is the first in a three part series.
  • Lifelong Leaguer and submarine builder Pat Regan's 2013 novel, "Vulcanium (The Secret of Captain Nemo and the Nautilus)" is the definitive prequel to "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea": first to detail with technical credibility how and why Prince Dakkar built the Nautilus on a remote island, and the events leading up to that fateful encounter with the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, in accord with Verne, Disney, and the author's own imagination. ISBN 978-1478700005.
  • British author Adam Roberts reworks Verne's original with his novel Twenty Trillion Leagues Under the Sea[26]. Unlike Verne's original, where the distance specified is a horizontal voyage, Roberts's submarine travels vertically the stated mileage.
  • American author Lewis Crow uses the events of Verne's book as a significant part of the background of his 2018 novel "The Nautilus Legacy," which tells the life story of Captain Nemo's son. ISBN 978-1983822520.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "20000 Lieues sous les Mers - Mzone Studio". 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea". 
  6. ^ "A coherent album with the atmosphere of a grand sea-voyage". 
  7. ^ "Instagram post by Bryan Singer • Sep 17, 2015 at 5:14pm UTC". Instagram. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "GCD :: Cover :: Classics Illustrated #47 [O]". Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  10. ^ "GCD :: Cover :: Classics Illustrated #47 [HRN128]". Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  11. ^ "GCD :: Cover :: Classics Illustrated #47 [HRN166]". 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "GCD :: Cover :: Walt Disney 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea [Movie Comics] #[nn]". Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "GCD :: Cover :: Marvel Classics Comics #4". Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "GCD :: Cover :: Dark Horse Classics: 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea #1". Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  19. ^ Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. Retrieved May 13, 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. ^ Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. Retrieved May 13, 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  21. ^ Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. Retrieved May 13, 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. ^ Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. Retrieved May 13, 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  23. ^ Ninjaturtles - 20,000 Leaks Under the City Archived June 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^ Nickelodeon. "Jimmy Neutron: "The Evil Beneath/Carl Wheezer, Boy Genius"". Nicktoons. Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  25. ^ "Jules Verne's 183rd Birthday". Google. Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  26. ^ Illustrated by Mahendra Singh. Gollancz 2015 ISBN 0575134429