Friday, February 26, 2016

Movie Review: Flubber

Walt Disney Pictures, Great Oaks Entertainment, USA, 1997.
Flubber title
Professor Philip Brainard (Robin Williams) is trying to save his college's funding with new energy source. He is absent-minded and forgets his own wedding with Dr. Sara Jean Reynolds (Marcia Gay Harden). The Professor has two robot helpers flying robot Weebo (Jodi Benson) that looks like something from "*batteries not included"  and Weber, a more generic worker robot. His former partner Wilson Croft (Christopher McDonald) stole some of Phil's inventions and profited with them. Wilson tries also take Sara from him.
Robin Williams
Professor Philip Brainard
Marcia Gay Harden
Just before the wedding Phil invents a living rubber thing Flubber. Hoenicker (Raymond J. Barry) is unhappy that the Professor flunked his son Bennett (Wil Wheaton) in chemistry and decides to get revenge. Hoenicker sends goons Smith (Clancy Brown) & Wesson (Ted Levine) to spy on the Professor.
Christopher McDonald
Wilson Croft
Raymond J. Barry
Ted Levine and Clancy Brown
Wesson and Smith
Phil tries to win Sara back by demonstrating the usefulness of Flubber. Possible uses for Flubber are energy source, basketball sneaker additive, and a component of flying car. Soon everyone tries to steal Flubber.

This is a remake of "The Absent-Minded Professor" (1961) and produced by John Hughes. Robin Williams tries to be funny but the humour relies too much on "Home Alone" style slapstick and it gets repetitive and dumb. Flubber has fun cartoon-style dance scene but feels otherwise underused as mostly it just bounces around. The film loans some ideas from Hughes' other films such as "Weird Science" when Weebo creates human avatar.  It was also nice idea to have Weebo show video clips to demonstrate her thoughts. The remake does not rise even close to the level of the original but remains as an average kids' film of the era.
Dancing Flubber
Weebo's reaction screen
The good cast feels underused in the generic roles, surprisingly the best role is made by the Weebo robot. Mythbusters Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage worked in the special effects crew. Nancy Olson from the original 1961 film makes a cameo role as Ford Company's secretary.
Nancy Olson
Ford Company's secretary
Part of The 2016 Movie Watching Challenge (#16. Movie whose main character is working in your dream job: Scientist)

Rating: Bad

Starring: Robin Williams, Marcia Gay Harden, Christopher McDonald, Ted Levine, Clancy Brown, Raymond J. Barry, Wil Wheaton, Edie McClurg, Jodi Benson, Leslie Stefanson, Malcolm Brownson, Benjamin Brock, Dakin Matthews, Zack Zeigler, Sam Lloyd, Scott Michael Campbell, Bob Sarlatte, Bob Greene, Tom Barlow, Scott Martin Gershin, Julie Morrison, Antonina Henderson, Elmer J. Howard, J.D. Walker
Director: Les Mayfield


  1. I remember this film specifically from my childhood. I didn't like the film, but I LOOOOVEED Flubber!

    1. I liked Flubber too, it would have deserved a better film.

    2. I too remember this movie. I wish I wouldn't.

  2. Desperately trying to forget this disaster...

  3. I see now that this movie created traumatic memories to many.

  4. I like it when Wilson ate Flubber


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