The Absent-Minded Professor
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that younger kids will go for all of the crazy, bouncy action (there's a good dog in it, too), while aspiring athletes will love the Flubber-enhanced basketball game. This is family entertainment at its best -- the movie is sweet, clever, and laugh-out-loud funny.
What's the story?
In this Disney classic, absent-minded college professor Ned Brainard (Fred MacMurray) keeps forgetting to show up to his own wedding but manages to create an amazing substance called Flubber. Like rubber with wings, Flubber can make an object bounce high up into the sky. Brainard's invention results in many comical situations, including a UFO sighting and a basketball game that's out of this world.
Is it any good?
Unlike the dreary 1997 remake, Flubber, which sacrificed the human element for more showy and ultimately less pleasing special effects, THE ABSENT-MINDED PROFESSOR is a masterpiece--yes, a masterpiece!--of Disney storytelling magic. Director Robert Stevenson keeps the pace lively and the laughs abundant. Parents might furrow their brows when the professor rigs a basketball game by ironing Flubber to the soles of the home team's shoes. But the payoff is huge once those players take to the court, bounding high over their taller opponents' heads, sending the crowd into a frenzy.
As the title character, Fred MacMurray is irresistible. He's not a nutty professor (that was Jerry Lewis). He's just a simple man of science dedicated to bettering the American way of life. His unflagging sincerity and kindheartedness warm you to him immediately. You want him to succeed. You want him to outwit greedy Alonzo Hawk and save the college from bankruptcy. And for crying out loud, you want to see him finally get to that altar with Betsy and get hitched. On all counts, you won't be disappointed.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about real inventions that are almost as amazing as Flubber. Also, do you think something like Flubber will really ever be invented? What are some recent inventions that would astound Professor Ned Brainard?