Ever wonder what would happen if the imaginary worlds of Bedknobs and Broomsticks and SpongeBob SquarePants were to collide? If so, chances are good you've yet to discover The Incredible Mr. Limpet. Starring the irrepressi... more »ble Don Knotts, this 1964 family feature combines live (land) action and animated (undersea) sequences with delightful results. During World War II, Knotts is mild-mannered, spectacle-sporting bookkeeper Henry Limpet. More than anything--he's a fish fan and a patriot. When the navy rejects him due to poor eyesight, he falls into a funk from which not even his beloved aquarium or loving--if bossy--wife can rescue him. So he makes a wish... to become a fish. Next thing he knows--he is! With a little help from a hermit crab named Crusty and the lovely Ladyfish, it's as a talking, bespectacled fish that Limpet proves himself the war hero he always knew he was meant to be. --Kathleen C. Fennessy« less
"After I watched this movie last night, I found out that Don Knotts had passed away. Kind of a creepy feeling! Anyway, Knotts who won five Emmys for his role as Barney Fife on THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW was certainly one of our most endearing clowns. With his trademark voice and bug-eyed delivery, Knotts is one of the true legends of our time, and in LIMPET, he shows us why. Although he has more screen time as the voice of the fishy Limpet, Knotts manages to create a loveable character. The plot's been rehashed in many other reviews, so I'll stick to what makes this animated/live action film such a pleasure. With the cartoon stylings of the early sixties, the movie gives us a dreamy undersea world populated with such creatures as Crusty the Crab and the lovely Ladyfish. On the human front, we're blessed with character actors Jack Weston, Larry Keating, and Andrew Duggan. And the delightfully underrated Carole Cook, whose last scene with Henry the fish is unexpectedly poignant and touching. A delightful film for the whole family to enjoy and to remember the delightful Don Knotts!"
The INCREDIBALLY SUPERB Mr. Limpet!
Josh P. | 09/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Highly entertaining! Don Knotts gives his best performance in this picture. Kind of funny with the mix of animation and live action in a non-Disney film. With the animation, the singers, it's so lovely. I enjoy every second of this film. Too the people who highly dislike this movie, you're missing out on it. You don't have to be a child to enjoy it. "The Incredible Mr. Limpet" is the finest non-Disney animation/live action film.
Too bad this was one of the last films to be made before the Warner Animation Department in Burbank shut down."
J. H. Minde | Boca Raton, Florida and Brooklyn, New York | 01/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THE INCREDIBLE MR. LIMPET (1964) is one of the most underrated films of all time. Coming in at approximately #64 on my own personal Top 100, MR. LIMPET is a blend of live action and colorful animation, an impossible fantasy film which somehow manages to entice even the most sourpussed of viewers. Although it starts out a bit slowly, MR. LIMPET is irresistible, a pure entertainment experience.
The fishlike Don Knotts is perfectly cast as Henry Limpet, a nebbishy bookkeeper from Brooklyn, circa 1942. Walter Mitty-like, Henry dreams of being a war hero. His one other passion is his fish tank. When Henry is rejected from military service as a 4-F, he falls into a depression and escapes into unreality by wishing he was a fish.
Walking on the Coney Island pier one day with his wife, Bessie, Henry takes a misstep and falls into the briny Atlantic. Lo, and behold!---he is instantly transformed into a (cartoon) fish (complete with pince-nez glasses). Although Henry is initially lonely, he soon makes the acquaintance of Crusty the Crab and the seductive but loving Ladyfish, and sets off with them to explore his new, aquatic, world.
During one of his many misadventures, Henry discovers that he is the possessor of a powerful vocal "thrum" which can be used as an early warning system. Thinking quickly, he finds the ship his friend George Stickel is assigned to, and convinces Stickel (and the U.S. Navy) that he can act as a sort of secret escort for convoys and naval ships crossing the U-boat strewn Atlantic.
With Henry by their side, the Navy is able to turn the course of the Battle of the Atlantic, discovering and destroying enemy submarines and warships by the score. Although the Nazis try to stop Mr. Limpet, he is able to turn their weapons against them.
His wartime actions earn him high rank and many honors, and Henry Limpet, having become the fish he'd always dreamed of being becomes the hero he'd always dreamed of being, too.
A charming (and oddly gentle) war film, THE INCREDIBLE MR. LIMPET is a nearly forgotten gem, a true popcorn-and-soda family film classic that celebrates the hero in Everyman."
Funny and family-friendly
Kurt A. Johnson | North-Central Illinois, USA | 11/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Henry Limpet (played by Don Knotts) has always loved fish and the sea, but when he finally wishes that he could be a fish, he takes one step too far. Magically turned into a fish, Limpet has little time to learn about his new environment before he learns that Pearl Harbor was attacked, and that he is in a position to provide unique assistance to his county. But, the Nazis have a plan for dealing with the strange secret weapon Limpet. Hats off to Henry Limpet, the hero of the day!
This is a funny and family-friendly movie. OK, it's a little unbelievable...OK, a LOT unbelievable, but it is just so much fun to watch! I loved this movie as a kid, and am glad that I have been able to buy it, and share it with my children, who also enjoyed it. We all highly recommend this movie to you!"
SOMETHING FISHY IN FLATBUSH?
Jonathan Cohen | Brookline, MA United States | 06/30/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
""McHale's Navy" meets "SpongeBob" with "Action in the North Atlantic"? Well, that's one way to define "The Incredible Mr. Limpet", one of the oddest family fantasy movies ever. An early attempt at a live-action/animation mix, it launched Don Knotts' post-"Andy Griffith" career as the classic "Don Knotts" character: a geeky, milquetoast guy who stumbles into a heroic turn in spite of himself. Henry Limpet, of course, is two characters in one: a nerdy Brooklyn accountant who loves tropical fish, and- well- a nerdy, bespectacled cartoon fish! With a WWII setting, he's an obvious 4-F as a human, but becomes an underwater guide for a Navy fleet as a fish. Oh, yeah- did I mention it's also (kinda sorta) a musical? Though released in 1964, "Limpet" sounds and feels like 1954- or is it 1944? It's as quaint as a movie can get: old New York costumes and settings, hokey humor, bumbling Navy brass and a super-patriotic musical choir. The animation, the late-model Warner Bros. kind, is a little bland by "Looney Tunes" standards, even with a few legendary artists (but no Jones or Friz) involved. And the non-Knotts cast is a little bit stiff on the whole, save old-timers Andrew Duggan and Larry Keating as the stuffy admirals. Yet, somehow, "Limpet" works better than described, especially if, like me, you're still fond of old-school family comedy Americana. The story's a cut above most period Disney fare, both animated and live. As a fish, Limpet's engaged in a kind of proto-"SpongeBob" journey with his purple "Lady Fish" friend and a great little creation called- really!- "Crusty Crab"! A kind of crustacean Yosemite Sam (voiced by great radio/ cartoon veteran Paul Frees), he actually looks and sounds a bit like Mr. Krabs- nearly 40 years before "SpongeBob"! And how does our sea-creature hero, who still looks and sounds exactly like Knotts, interact with humans? Well, after his old Navy buddy George Stickel (the rotund veteran Jack Weston), who keeps getting called "Pickel" by the officers, almost drops dead after he discovers that his old friend Henry didn't drown at Coney Island after all, Henry-the-fish serves as an undersea swimming spy on German U-boats and, after a couple of underwater mishaps, helps the U.S. Navy invade Normandy, all to a booming, George M. Cohan-style patriotic chorus! Oh, yes- director Arthur Lubin was no stranger to talking creatures, since he helmed most of "Mister Ed" and "Francis the Talking Mule". They sure don't make 'em like this any more, and "The Incredible Mr. Limpet", tacky and corny as it is, just might be a surreal comedy in disguise. Certainly it's one of the few pre- "Roger Rabbit" part-animated movies that works, awkward transitions and all (no computer tricks here, folks). It also started a new genre, the Don Knotts nerd-com, as perfected in deathless fare like "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken" and "The Reluctant Astronaut". It's even a light-hearted salute to the kind of old-fashioned Hollywood patriotism that would get shot to Kingdom Come as the '60s moved on. Why, it probably stuck somewhere in Steve Hillenberg's mind when he grew up to draw the SpongeBob crew. The extras are modest (a "fishtank" game), but the little promo film, which shows the "Limpet" premiere at Weeki Wachee, an old-Florida tourist trap (it's near Clearwater) that involved mermaid shows and glass-bottom boats, is a priceless little slice of old-Hollywood ballyhoo, complete with a few words from Arthur Godfrey- who sincerely thought he'd have a hit with a rendition of "I Wish I Were a Fish", the ditty Knotts sings before he hits the drink. Beatlemania saved us from it. To enjoy "Mr. Limpet", it probably helps if you still love "My Three Sons", Lawrence Welk and other squeaky-clean '60s stuff. But when the Crusty Crab keeps calling Limpet "Flatbush" and the bumbling admirals give the fish an officers' commission, you're going to laugh. "The Incredible Mr. Limpet"- it may be quaint, but it's really an ocean of fun!"