Even computer enhanced with unnecessary color, the original, 1961 version of this film is bound to be a hundred times funnier than the bland remake, Flubber. Fred MacMurray is charming as the eccentric college professor wh... more »o discovers a gooey substance with sustainable energy. Everything about this movie clicks in a way Flubber didn't, particularly the effort by director Robert Stevenson (a Disney favorite who made Mary Poppins, That Darn Cat, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and many other hits for the studio) to create comic tension between MacMurray's gentlemanly performance and the slapstick set pieces. The famous basketball scene (in which some of the players don't realize they have flubber on the soles of their shoes) is perfectly choreographed and exceptionally funny for kids. --Tom Keogh« less
"When this film was made in 1961, a material almost identical to Flubber was being developed by NASA for the Gemini Space Program. To avoid a threat to our national security, the release of "The Absent-Minded Professor" was delayed for six months until Walt Disney agreed to delete two scenes showing Fred MacMurray discussing its applications and uses. The missing scenes have been restored in magnificent color, and the movie seems to have a better flow than the theatrical version."
Flubber professor in its B&W glory
arturo_gtz | 11/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Somehow, the people in amazon mixed reviews from the B&W version and the colorized version of this film... this is causing some confusion between some consumers, so, this is a review from the B&W version.Some time ago, Disney Company releases this movie in Full Screen and colorized... a lot of people complained because nobody (except, perhaps my mom)wants colorized version of movies in B&W; recently, they re-released it in its original form (B&W and Widescreen)Video: Amazing!! I can't believe that this movie is almost 50th years old!, you can't notice any age related issues (stripes, grain, etc), just look perfect.Sound: Very good, and with Dolby Surround.Extras: D'uh!, nothing, nada, zip, zippola! :(Foreign language support: Not very good... in the audio section, it contains English and Spanish Track... subtitles just in english.Conclusion: If you like this movie, you'll love the transfer (and at least, there is a Spanish track for those that speak in this language)... if you are looking for this movie because the extras, better wait, because you'll get frustrated by this disc."
William Sommerwerck | 12/10/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD, along with the other Disney releases this month, (Moon Spinners, Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again, Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, etc.) is only being released in fullscreen, *not* anamorphic widescreen..."
A Disney Classic of High-Flying Fun!
William Sommerwerck | 01/15/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Walt Disney's 1961 live-action comedy "The Absent-Minded Professor" gets the DVD treatment and although the film itself is a gem, the DVD producers were a little "absent-minded" in their execution. To be true to its original theatrical presentation the film needs to be presented in widescreen format and in its original hues of glorious black and white. Disney Home Video needs to discover a happy balance between targeting the general "kid" audience and the mature film fans. The recent "Back to the Future" DVD accomplishes this task beautifully - - without insulting either audience. It seems to me that Disney doesn't have a great deal of respect for many of its classic live-action films when it comes to DVD. Although "Pollyanna," Swiss Family Robinson" and "The Parent Trap" received very nice treatments, "Babes in Toyland" and "Blackbeard's Ghost" were just downright slapped-together and thrown on the shelf (why wasn't "Babes in Toyland" presented in widescreen and stereo?) So, par for the course, there are no extras whatsoever on the DVD version of "The Absent-Minded Professor," which is a shame. Disney has plenty of material in the vaults to give this film at least a moderate special treatment. Granted, it's not a masterpiece like "Mary Poppins," but it's at least deserving of equal DVD treatment to modern films like "The Santa Clause" and "The Rookie." Aside from that, stick any fun-loving child or nostalgic baby-boomer in front of this film and they will be thoroughly entertained. The casting is perfect, the effects still hold-up and the script is charming. For any faults this film might have, it is still far superior to ill-fated and very un-funny "Flubber," starring Robin Williams."
The "flying-rubber-professor" film in its original form.
William Sommerwerck | Renton, WA USA | 05/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If ever there were a film that took a silly idea and milked every possible gag out of it, this is it. Four stars as a film, but five stars for being a classic.The "science-fiction comedy" is a movie genre with few entries. (I'm thinking of films in which an SF premise and its development is the film's focal point. "Back to the Future," for example, doesn't count.) I can think of only two significant others -- "It Happens Every Spring," in which Ray Milland synthesizes a chemical that repels wood (don't ask), and "The Man in the White Suit," the classic-but-not-really-very-good Alec Guinness vehicle in which his invention of an indestructible, never-needs-cleaning fabric threatens to ruin the clothing industry.Disney continued the genre with "The Misadventures of Merlin Jones" and "The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes," but none of them is remotely as good as "The Absent Minded Professor." It's a classic of visual humor. Not only is there the famous flying Model T, but the professor's attempts to woo his ex-fiance by dancing in flubber-heeled shoes, and a flubber-enhanced basketball game that's an encylopaedia of "What can you do with flying basketball players?" gags. Style-wise, this classic sequence looks as if it were lifted directly from MAD.Bill Walsh's smart script has some good satirical jabs ("I hear Medfield's athletes make as much as their teachers") and they hold up. One of the best anticipates Congress's destruction in "Mars Attacks!" And the professor's attempt to prove he's a loyal, patriotic American cuts even more sharply today than it did 40+ years ago.One of the few good things about Disney comedies is that almost all the secondary roles are populated with talented character actors -- Keenan Wynn (who'd repeat his Alonzo Hawk villain in other Disney flicks), Ed Wynn (his father), Elliott Reid (at his greasy, pompous best). Special kudos go to Belle Montrose (Steve Allen's mother! -- note the resemblance) as the professor's housekeeper.Nancy Olson -- an Oscar-winner for "Sunset Blvd." -- delivers a smart, heads-up performance that falls apart only when she stops being mad at Fred MacMurry and becomes a bit of a bubble-head.Robert Stevenson (grandson of Robert Louis Stevenson) had a directorial career ("Jane Eyre") before he became a Disney house director, but I've never thought much of his talent ("Mary Poppins" is slack and sluggish). "The Absent Minded Professor" shows him at his best -- brisk and light, almost as weightless as flubber renders the Model T. "The Absent Minded Professor" was shot in B&W, because the special effects were too difficult (and too expensive) to do well in color. Had Disney known what a major hit TAMP would be (it played first-run for months), he might have sprung for color. The previous attempt to colorize it was a disaster.We finally have this little gem in its original form -- an exquisite B&W enhanced-widescreen transfer. (Amazon editor -- please have the negative reviews for the awful colorized version moved or removed. These are fundamentally different releases.) The rich blacks and sharp detail are outstanding -- far superior to even the old LV release. This is close-to-demo-quality B&W."