The Incredible Mr. Limpet Arthur Lubin

The Incredible Mr. Limpet Arthur Lubin
The Incredible Mr. Limpet is a peculiar little film that tries to be a children's movie that also offers something for adults by bringing together animation, live action, sing-along songs and a wartime setting. And considering the unlikely mixture, it shouldn't be a huge surprise that it doesn't work very well and would have been long forgotten if it wasn't for the presence of Don Knotts. He is definitely the best thing about the movie as Henry Limpet, a mild-mannered bookkeeper who likes fish more than people. He likes them so much that he fantasizes about being one via a not-very-good song just prior to falling into the ocean and actually turning into a fish that looks a great deal like him, right down to the glasses. If it had simply turned into an underwater fantasy at this point, that would have been fine. The other fishy characters Limpet comes across aren't very well developed (especially his new love interest, the blandly named Ladyfish), but the colourful animation isn't bad considering this was made in the '60s. But as he swims around underwater, Limpet hears about the bombing at Pearl Harbor and volunteers to help the Navy find Nazi submarines by contacting his best friend, who just happens to be on a ship in a nearby convoy. Then it shifts gears again as Limpet becomes the Navy's secret weapon and helps them win the war ― as a fish, he turns out to be everything he couldn't be on land. The entire film is a jarring mix of styles and characters that never gels and ultimately drifts along unconvincingly. While Knotts is perfectly charming, he isn't given much to work with ― this isn't The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, no matter how hard it tries. Plus, there's bleakness and sadness to the film that prevent this from being even a good children's movie and so it's stuck without an appropriate audience. The movie looks surprisingly good on Blu-Ray, and even the animated sea creatures don't look too awkward in the scenes where they're combined with live action. There are a handful of extras featuring Don Knotts, including a short introduction to the movie and some brief reminiscences about the cast and the characters they played. There's also a ten-minute feature about the premiere of the movie, which took place underwater at a resort in Florida, and an extended theatrical trailer where a news anchor tries to make it sound like the best movie ever. It really isn't though. (Warner)