I don't know why I listened to Netflix when it suggested Don Knott's 1964 The Incredible Mr. Limpet. I vaguely remember some of my film bloggers praising this movie, and I don't think I'd seen it as a kid, so I figured, what the heck?
It stars mild-mannered accountant Don Knotts, who lives only to dream about fish. He lives in Flatbush with a glamorous redheaded wife (who has a slight resemblance to a goldfish), who plainly prefers their chubby sailor friend Stickle (as in stickleback?). It is 1941, just before the war, and the navy won't accept Knottts, because he has poor vision and is generally Don Knotts.
But what he really wants to be is a fish. And on a trip to Coney Island, his wish is granted. He falls into the water and becomes an animated fish - with a musical number and everything.
After some adventures with a crusty crustacean (really, he gets called Crusty) voiced by Paul Frees and a sexy lady fish (yes, he names her Ladyfish), Knotts realizes that he could be helping with the war effort. So he gets in contact with his old friend Stickle (chubby Jack Weston) and becomes a secret reconnaissance weapon.
It was Jack Weston who got me thinking of recasting this movie for a modern remake - he wold be perfect played by Jack Black, or even better, Seth Rogen. But who would do Don Knotts part? That's when it hit me: Johnny Depp! It's just the kind of wacky thing he would do!
And then it came back to me - the vague memories of film blog discussions. A little googling did not turn up the exact blogs, but I had remembered correctly. Johnny Depp was planning to star in a remake. I don't know if it is still on, but I'm looking forward to it, more than to his upcoming Dark Shadows.
I can't say I'm in love with this, although there are a lot of "pretty good" things about it. I do think it would be a nice opener on a double bill with Mr. Peabody's Mermaid. Ann Blythe's uninhibitedly amorous mermaid seems to represent the same kind of male fantasy as Ladyfish. A fishy kind of a kink, I must say.