A Whale of a Tale facts for kids
In the film
The song is first heard near the start of the film (the only time when it is heard in its entirety). It starts immediately after a conversation between Ned Land, Conseil, and Pierre Aronnax aboard the ship. Ned takes a guitar and steps onto the deck. The music attracts the attention of several of the crewmen, who listen excitedly with one even participating by singing the line "Held her tenderly" in an extremely low-pitched tone. It is immediately after Ned finishes the song that the Nautilus is finally encountered.
While the full song is only performed once, it is frequently referenced throughout the film. After improvising a guitar out of a turtle shell, Ned is seen twice performing portions of the song: the first he sings part of the chorus to Esmerala (a seal who resides on the Nautilus) in an effort to hide the fact that he had been stealing treasure, in the second, a drunken Land sings a part of the song he composes to parodize Captain Nemo and the Nautilus's cuisine, while Esmeralda "claps" her "hands" at the rhythm. There is also an instrumental version that is played as background music in several scenes.
A Whale of a Tale Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.