Today is the first part of an article in tribute to Tom Scherman and a fantastic insight in the making of DLP’s unique Nautilus. As you will come to see, we have Tom to thank for the almost-real-size Nautilus of Disneyland Paris.
We all fell in love with one subject or another during our youth. But sometime, it can take incredible proportions and have effect during your entire life. In Tom scherman's case, he found in love with “20000 leagues under the sea” when the movie was released, and even more specifically with the Nautilus. So much that at the age of 19 , he built his first model of the submarine, and here is a rare picture Of Tom with the model shot by his brother Rowland Scherman.
Later, he even re-designed his own home in a Nautilus theme! But If somebody would have told him when he was 19 that more than 35 years later he would have help to built a real one in a Disney park , in France , the country of Jules Verne - and even better, that this Nautilus couldn’t have been built without him - i doubt that he would have believe it !
So, in the early 1990’s when the imagineers decided to build a real-size Nautilus at Disneyland Paris they had a big problem: Harper Goff, the original designer of the submarine passed away , and took most of his secrets with him in his grave!
Fortunately, a wonderful man who - literally - devoted his life to the Nautilus knew everything about it, and of course, it’s Tom Scherman. As the passion of Tom for the Nautilus last all his life, he became friend with Harper Goff and had all the “secrets” of his making. In fact he ended to knew so much the submarine that he could draw almost any part of it . So, with the help of Tom , the Imagineers were going to be able to built a real Nautilus, and the works begin.
Tom provided for Tim Delaney , show producer of DLP’s Discoveryland, hundreds of drawings and help with the models and construction advice.
He also built for the DLP two other models, one that visitors were able to see in the “Visionarium” attraction pre-show - now closed - and another smaller one which is still in the “Discoveryland” room on the first floor of the “Walt’s” restaurant in Main street.
So, let’s have a look first of how Tom’s work begin , with some of his drawings, incredibly detailed.
Here is Tom’s shetch for the “treasure room”
One for the passage way to Nemo’s cabin
He did many different sketches for the famous diving room
Read the full article with dozens of Tom's sketches and rare pictures of WDI Imagineers building DLP's Nautilus here:
Disney and more: A TRIBUTE TO TOM SCHERMAN - Part One - The making of Disneyland Paris Nautilus
Then return here and let us know what you think about this story, the Nautilus, and Jules Vern's role in the Magic Kingdoms.