The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964)
Directed by Arthur Lubin
Starring: Don Knotts, Carole Cook, Jack Weston
In addition to animated films the Disney Studios took on live action movies. This 1964 film combines the two, using animation and live action to create this 1964 comedy. The Incredible Mr. Limpet stars Don Knotts (The Andy Griffith Show), Carole Cook, and Jack Weston. The movie was directed by Arthur Lubin who might be best known for his work on the popular television show Mr. Ed which aired from 1958 to 1966.
Henry Limpet would love to join the military to help the country during World War II. He’s a patriot that the army has classified as 4-F and now he’s stuck in his job as a bookkeeper wishing for a chance to serve. Besides his desire to serve, Henry has one true passion, the fish he keeps. His wife (Cook) doesn’t understand it, but for Henry it’s an obsession and an escape. When his wife and friend George (Weston) convince him to take a weekend trip to Coney Island, Henry falls into the sea and is transformed into a unique fish. Now he’s finally part of the world he’s longed to see. With his new friends Ladyfish and Crabby he soon finds a way to help the military by leading them after the German U-boats. Soon he becomes the governments greatest weapon against the Germans and a hero to his friends and his wife.
This is a ridiculous movie that feels a bit dated but still manages to entertain. Knotts is a great performer made his career playing the down and out guy without much confidence. This role allowed him to use that skill to create Mr. Limpet. Cook and Weston also do a good job throughout the movie.
The movie shows it’s age with the way the animation looks and the set design. I assume that for its time this movie would have been on the cutting edge of technology, but for today’s viewers it might seem a bit dated.
One interesting side note:
This character is immortalized in the The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure attraction at Disney California Adventure theme park in Anaheim, California.
This movie was one I remembered from my childhood. It’s still a fun movie to watch and has an interesting premise. I would suggest this film for anyone looking for a family movie night. It’s not an award-winning film, just a nice piece of Disney history. I give this one 2.6 out of 5 stars.