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The Incredible Mr. Limpet
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie discusses death and shows Henry falling into the ocean as a fun, comic thing that doesn't hurt him. The movie also acknowledges "spawning" so kids may ask for an explanation.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In the 1964 live action/animation film THE INCREDIBLE MR. LIMPET, Don Knotts plays Henry Limpet, a fervently patriotic but laughably unhealthy accountant whose bad eyesight and poor balance keep him from enlisting in the Navy. Since the film is set in 1941, that's a big deal. So instead, Limpet loses himself in the world of his fish and in his fantasies of one day becoming one of them (he carries around a book called The Theory of Reverse Evolution). But when he's lured into the water off Coney Island, a remarkable thing happens. He gets his wish, and suddenly he can serve his country in a way he never dreamed possible, helping foil U-boat attacks by the Nazis.
Is it any good?
This has everything a good children's movie should: celebration of imagination, a lovable main character with which kids can identify, some silly and fun songs, and cartoons. Throw in some explosions and espionage, and you have a film kids will love and that adults may remember fondly from their own childhoods. And adults may get a kick out of the truly X-Files-ish moment when Stickel (Jack Weston) and Harlock (Andrew Duggan) pull out the file on Mr. Limpet 20 years later.
So what's not to love here? It's a small gripe, but worth mentioning: Ladyfish, Henry's underwater love interest, is a simpering idiot. Unlike Henry's caustic human wife (Carole Cook), who has her own likes and dislikes, Ladyfish (Elizabeth MacRae) purrs out her words, offers herself to him on their first meeting, and seems to have no desires of her own except to be with him -- something worth pointing out to girls watching with you.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: March 28, 1964
- On DVD or streaming: October 1, 2002
- Cast: Carole Cook, Don Knotts, Jack Weston
- Director: Arthur Lubin
- Studio: Warner Home Video
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Ocean Creatures
- Run time: 99 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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