Flubber

on November 26, 1997 by Lisa Osborne
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Professor Phillip Brainard (Robin Williams) is a delightfully befuddled, very personable chemistry teacher whose inspired experiments produce the charismatic green goo named Flubber. Phillip is a remarkable man: Not only does he create Flubber--a new energy form with rhythm and comic timing--he also persuades his fiancee Sara (Marcia Gay Harden) to marry him after stranding her at the altar three times.
   "Flubber" is a charming remake of Walt Disney's 1961 classic "The Absent-Minded Professor." This new movie differs from the original in several respects: Sara is now president of Medfield College where both she and Phillip work; Flubber has personality; and Phillip's confidante is not his dog but a female computer called Weebo, who's madly in love with him. The love triangle between Sara, Weebo and the professor adds a new dimension to the script; Weebo has so much more charisma than Sara that she is effectively the female lead and would definitely have won Phillip's heart had she been human. Allowing Weebo to express herself not only verbally but visually through movie clips playing on a flip-up screen in her `head' is a nice touch.
   The bad guys don't wear black hats but are nonetheless easy to spot. Although Flubber's humor may be a little too slapstick for some adults to appreciate, children will love it.
   The interactions between Williams and Flubber are well timed and convincing. Williams' miming and ad-libbing skills serve him well. The animation itself is impressive, considering the inherent complexity of animating an object that doesn't have a fixed structure. Starring Robin Williams, Marcia Gay Harden, Christopher McDonald, Raymond Barry, Clancy Brown, Ted Levine and Wil Wheaton. Directed by Les Mayfield. Written by John Hughes and Bill Walsh. Produced by John Hughes and Ricardo Mestres. A Buena Vista release. Comedy. Rated PG for slapstick action and mild language. Running time: 94 min.
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