Reviewed by: Dave Rettig
Welcome to the world of Flubber, where Dr. Brainard’s mighty flighty mind creates intelligent robots and flying rubber. Brainard’s awesome scientific faculties come at a price, for Brainard (Robin Williams) is so incredibly absent-minded that while working on his latest invention he inadvertently misses his wedding… again. Sara Jean Reynolds (Marcia Gay Harden), the bride-to-be, left standing at the altar for the third time, leave Brainard and his newly discovered flying rubber, flubber. Can the absent minded professor regain his lost love? Will flubber be a hit? Can our hero save his college from financial collapse? Disney’s answers each of these unrelenting questions in Flubber.
Robin William’s incredible comic talent combined with the superb flubber effects could not save this rehashed remake of “The Absent Minded Professor” (1961). The script is piecemeal, possibly more of an afterthought. It seems as though Disney wanted to incorporate nifty new special effects into the 1961 script so rather than rewrite to add originality, some semblance of continuity, and the mere speck of believability, they just added flying, dancing, cooing green goo to the original film. However, “Flubber” does contain a plethora of cutsey characters, silly antics, and breaking things to delight a very young audience.
“Flubber” contains nudity and some off-color humor that could be considered offensive. However, what offended me most was the extent Disney would twist a plot line to add some offensive content to an otherwise clean film! The aforementioned nudity is a scene in which the bumbling Brainard walks into a life art class and begins teaching physics. The life art subjects? A nude man, a nude woman and a large bowl of fruit. Although the subjects quickly cover themselves (the movie does not contain live nudity), the sketches done by students are in clear camera view. This scene was completely unnecessary to the story and the movie would have been just as amusing if Brainard had walked into a music class or an empty class; however, Disney’s was not going for lively laughs but sexual snickers. Offensive content hidden amidst humor does more damage than just being offended.
If it weren’t for the brief nude sketches, I would have no problem recommending this to very young children. The lack of original or believable story line would pass them by as they delighted in the variety of adorable inventions of Brainard. However, I hesitate to recommend this for the sole reason that mixing sexual content with humor desensitizes people (both children and adults) to the offensive nature of the scene. The poor script and lack of original humor makes this a poor choice for a discerning adults. Pass on “Flubber” and instead rent “The Absent Minded Professor”!