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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Incredible Mr. Limpet [Blu-ray]

 

(Arthur Lubin, 1964)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Warner Bros.

Video: Warner Video

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:39:11.904

Disc Size: 22,336,186,972 bytes

Feature Size: 21,205,512,192 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.83 Mbps

Chapters: 31

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: August 7th, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 930 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 930 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), Spanish, none

 

Extras:

• Introduction by Don Knotts (2:47)

Weekend Weeki Watchee (10:25)

• Mr. Limpet's Fish Tank (Knotts on 5 characters/performers)

Theatrical Trailer (4:50)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Hailed as one of the greatest films of all time (Ed. ???), The Incredible Mr. Limpet is a story about the wonders of imagination and the triumph of the spirit. Live-action and 2-D animation combine to tell the story of a man who longs to be a fish after he is classified by the Navy as an F4 - "too small and too weak to be a soldier." When his dream of being a fish becomes a reality, Henry uses his underwater prowess to become the Navy's strongest secret weapon.

 

 

The Film:

Believe it or not, Don Knotts enjoys a vast cult following. Just check out the many internet shrines and personal pages dedicated to him on the worldwide web. While he is most famous for his hilarious portrayal of small town deputy sheriff Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show, his film career is distinguished by a handful of truly eclectic comedies like The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966), a haunted house farce, and The Love God? (1969), in which he inherits a girlie magazine and becomes a national sex symbol. The strangest one of all, however, is The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964), an odd combination of live-action and animation which works as both a fantasy musical-romance (the songs by Sammy Fain and Harold Adamson include "I Wish I Were a Fish") and an underwater espionage thriller. Set during the early days of World War II, Knotts plays Henry Limpet, a henpecked bookkeeper in Brooklyn whose only pleasure in life is his all-consuming interest in aquatic life. During an outing to Coney Island with his nagging wife Bessie (Carole Cook) and her admirer (Jack Weston), Limpet falls off the pier and is miraculously transformed into a dolphin. His new life underwater proves to be a lot more exciting than his former life as a man; he falls in love with a beautiful female dolphin called Ladyfish and he becomes the U.S. Navy's secret weapon, tracking down and sinking Nazi U-boats in the Atlantic. Yet, despite a happy ending, there is a core of sadness at the center of the film - that of a loner who never finds his place in human society and instead chooses to live in an alternate fantasy world.

Excerpt from TMN located HERE

In this amusing fantasy, a combination of live-action and animated effects, Don Knotts plays scrawny bookkeeper Henry Limpet, who longs to help the U.S. after the outbreak of World War II. He becomes depressed after being turned down by the Navy, particularly after his pal George (Jack Weston) is accepted. When Henry takes a walk on the Coney Island pier with his wife Bessie (Carole Cook), he falls into the water and is transformed into a fish, complete with his reading spectacles. Henry finally gets to help the war effort by helping to track down Nazi U boats for the Navy. Andrew Duggan and Larry Keating play the admirals who spearhead the secret mission involving the transformed Henry. Longtime Disney production associate John Rose was the producer of this film, and the influence of the animation is evident.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The Incredible Mr. Limpet appears decent on Blu-ray from Warner.  The live-action is crisp with some concentration in the black levels. The animation is thick and softer with hints of texture. Colors are impressive.  This is only single-layered but the middling bitrate supports the film well. The 1080P makes the effects a shade more transparent but I wouldn't say it was detrimental to the film experience. There isn't any pronounced depth but this Blu-ray does a strong job of replicating its original appearance. It is clean and probably looks as good as one would expect for Home Theater viewing.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

No boost going on here - its an authentic mono track pushing through the center channel. The original music by Frank Perkins lifts and dashes in typical breezy family obviousness. There are also some musical numbers with "The Mr. Limpet March (Super Doodle Dandy)", "I Wish I Were a Fish" and "Be Careful How You Wish" by Sammy Fain and Harold Adamson. There is some surprising depth to Henry's sonar blasts but the majority of the film's effects are as passive as the lead character. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

Not much - probably the same as the last SD with a 3-minute introduction by Don Knotts, a 10-minute featurette on the mermaids at Weeki Watchee, Mr. Limpet's Fish Tank (Knotts on 5 characters/performers with clips from the film) and a theatrical trailer.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The Incredible Mr. Limpet transcends generations and remains solid family entertainment. I got a big kick out of my two boys engrossed in the experience. Don Knotts is always perfectly cast as the lovable loser, daydream hero or reluctant protagonist. This and The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966) are always worthy of repeat viewing almost 50-years later.  The Blu-ray gives as good as we are likely to ever get and we certainly recommend! 

Gary Tooze

July 31st, 2012


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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