Like many of the other reviewers of this movie, I'm a pre-boomer who was dazzled by the film as a child. Somewhere in my aging mom's attic, I have a few bolts (painted wood) from the movie set of the Nautilus, which I "borrowed" from one of the Disney properties as a kid nearly a half century ago. I remember taking a bus from LA to Burbank to stare through the slats of the fence in the back lot of the Disney Studios and seeing a partial model of the Nautilus, perhaps 1/3 scale, tossed in a corner like so much debris. What I would have given to be able to drag that model home.
When I viewed the VHS version of this film a couple of years ago, I was bitterly disappointed by the poor quality which made the watching experience actually painful to a fan like me. But, let me tell you, this DVD is as thrilling as the VHS was painful. This fully-restored version of the film comes roaring back to life in all of its glory and then some. It's the best film restoration these old eyes have ever beheld. Watched on a state-of-the-art widescreen TV, this is every bit the experience it was in the '50's and I think it's wonderful that this great film is now preserved for the ages, just as it was when it was first released.
Is this a perfect movie? No. Even as a kid, I noticed that the background music was too cheesy, that Kirk Douglas's songs seemed gratuitous, that the fish swimming outside the large porthole were cartoonish, and that the electrically-illuminated eye of the Giant Squid made an otherwise perfect special effect look a bit fake. I'm just as puzzled by those weaknesses today as I was then, especially since all other aspects of the film, including the numerous, Oscar-winning special effects involving the Nautilus, are masterful. But no movie is perfect and this movie, minor warts and all, is nothing less than a memorial to the genius of Disney, the acting of James Mason, the passion of the Disney staff, and the vision of Jules Verne.