A Journey to the Center of the Earth (1977)

Genres - Adventure, Children's/Family, Fantasy, Science Fiction  |   Sub-Genres - Children's Fantasy, Family-Oriented Adventure, Fantasy Adventure  |   Run Time - 47 min.  |   Countries - Australia   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Synopsis by Nathan Southern

This 1977 animated collaboration -- the first of many -- between Australian cartoonist Richard Slapczynski and screenwriter John Palmer -- condenses Jules Verne's epic fantasy novel into a breezy 46 minutes. The short remains faithful to Verne's basic story: in late-19th century Hamburg, Professor Lindenbrock (voiced by Ron Haddrick) and his nephew, Alex, devise a theory that the center of the Earth might not actually be hot, as commonly suggested, but rather hollow. The two journey to Iceland and into the base of an expired volcano, encountering a world of prehistoric reptiles and a subterranean ocean. Along the way, Lindenbrock seizes a pterodactyl egg, taking it with him. The journey is short-lived, however, for the two are soon propelled into the air and up through the mouth of an Italian volcano by a surge of water. Back in Hamburg, everyone seems reluctant to believe the voyagers' claims, until the pterodactyl egg hatches, definitively proving Lindenbrock's theory to everyone. Aussie animation veterans Air Programs International, Ltd. (also responsible for the 1969 Australian animated adaptation of A Christmas Carol) produced this short, which utilizes basic yet stylish and warm visual design perfectly suited for young children and preteens.




earth, exploration, journey, monster, nephew, prehistoric, professor, scientist, volcano