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Son of Flubber

Entry updated 3 January 2022. Tagged: Film.

Film (1963). Walt Disney Productions (see The Walt Disney Company). Directed by Robert Stevenson. Produced by Walt Disney (uncredited). Associate producer Ron Miller. Screenplay by Don DaGradi and Bill Walsh from a story by Samuel A Taylor, based loosely on Danny Dunn and the Weather Machine (1959) by Raymond Abrashkin and Jay Williams. Cast includes Fred MacMurray, Nancy Olson, Elliott Reid and Keenan Wynn. 100 minutes. Black and white.

In this sequel to The Absent-Minded Professor (1961), Professor Ned Brainard (MacMurray) is married to his romantic interest Betsy Carlisle (Olson) from that film but has new problems. The Pentagon has classified his Antigravity Invention "flubber" as a top-secret US defence resource while he has a huge IRS tax demand based on assumed though nonexistent profits. Brainard now invents "flubbergas", which can change the weather (see Weather Control) and predictably leads to further disaster when the resulting rainfall proves uncontrollable, even inside houses and cars. Flubbergas also has the unfortunate effect of shattering all the glass in town. Under stress, Betsy leaves Ned and is pursued by his former rival professor Shelby Ashton (Reid). Despite helping the local college team win a football game, Ned has to flee the authorities. He is soon captured, and the outlook seems bleak until a local farmer appears in court to report extra-large crops resulting from the artificial rainfall. Brainard is acquitted on all charges and he and Betsy are of course reunited.

The science in this sf comedy is just as poor as that of its parent, but it entertains and was a box-office success. Peter Ellenshaw contributed uncredited matte work. The invented location, Medfield College, reappeared in further Disney fantasy-comedies such as The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1969) and The Strongest Man in the World (1975). Son of Flubber was colourized for its 1997 video release. [GSt/DRL]


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