Flubber brought The Absent-Minded Professor into the modern age. The extreme 90’s was a decade where Disney embraced CGI and began remaking their older classics. I would’ve been 2 years old if I saw Flubber in theaters like I assume I did. Otherwise, most of my memories are of seeing it on TV or possibly VHS. It was never a favorite, but I fondly remember Flubber. After seeing the original, I can definitely tell what the problems are.
Flubber was written by John Hughes and stars Robin Williams as the very forgetful Professor Brainard. Names are changed to fit the 1997 setting and Brainard’s very patient fiancée Sara is now promoted to teacher. Marcia Gay Harden gives her a bit more depth, but Weebo is the true MVP of the remake. Instead of a dog, Brainard’s closest companion is a female hovering robot with an unrequited love for her inventor. She’s strangely similar to Tinker Bell in Hook. Weebo is especially memorable for her monitor that mostly displays Disney clips.
In order to really draw kids to the movie, Flubber is given sentience and a mischievous personality. The little green mass of flying rubber has multiple scenes of it bouncing around or performing a dance number for no apparent reason. Everything else is similar to the original. Christopher McDonald is the smug romantic rival, there’s a much more downplayed flying car, and a businessman trying to close down Medfield College with his son. His henchmen are just given more comedic scenes. They recreate the Flubber basketball scene well enough, but it’s actually Flubber that the villain steals in the bouncy conclusion. Flubber is a silly remake with a lot of heart.
Remake of: The Absent-Minded Professor