Thursday, August 4, 2011

"Son of Flubber - A Disney movie review by Robert Steven Mack

People are usually skeptical about seeing sequels. A sequel is a continuation or an add-on to a product of media. A sequel furthermore can and often does determine the fate of the lives and well-being of the characters and settings. If the sequel is bad then the future of the entire series maybe no more. Moreover, fans of the first film or book have their own ideas of what the sequel should be like and therefore tend to be overly critical, myself included. In 1963, two years after the hit comedy film "The Absent-Minded Professor" was released, Disney came out with its first sequel. It is one to be seen!

It is not just because the film came out on January 16 (my birthday!) that I like this film, but it adds and it subtracts, and it explores and it continues! The first film ended well, yet was open-ended with respect to the following: What happens as the professor and his new wife Betsy as they adjust to married life; can she take it? What happens to our jealous conniving friend Shelby; will he return? And: What happens to Alonzo Hawk and his son? In fact, much of the first 3/4 of the film deals with Professor Ned Brainard's personal life that is wounded up with jealous wives, ex-girlfriends, and dear old Shelby, the conniving lunatic that's still out to get Betsy. The rest of the film focuses on Ned once again trying to save the financially insecure Medfield College from the greedy clutches of Alonzo Hawk by using a substance he calls "Flubber Gas." While the latter named quarter is a real sequel and the first three quarters I talked about are a continuation, it fits in quite nicely and is definitely a worthy sequel!

The film has a good star-studded cast which I believe owes itself to the success and attention given to its predecessor. And I also might note that one of my all-time favorites, Tommy Kirk, who plays Alonzo Hawk's son Biff, is a good guy in this film and turns out to be a big help to Professor Brainard and his cause. The cast itself includes those returning to the nutty world of Professor Brainard's "Flubber." Those who were invited in to this fun-filled bounce party includes Fred MacMurray, Nancy Olsoen, Keenen Wynn,, Bob Sweeny, Paul Lynde, Ed Wynn, Tommy Kirk, Charlie Ruggles, Elliot Reid, and Edward Andrews. It is interesting to note that Medfiled College is also the setting of the Disney film "The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes" (1969), "Now You See Him Now You Don't" (1972), and "The Strongest Man in the World" (1975) - all starring Kurt Russell in a series of college films. And that Keenen Wynn's character Alonzo Hawk that also appears in the films "The Absent-Minded Professor" and "Herbie Rides Again."

A stormy worthwhile sequel with plenty of bounce to celebrate for generations to come - and it's not just because the 50th anniversary of this comedy film will also be my 14th birthday...

Cheers, "R"

Copyright 2011 by Robert Steven Mack (all rights reserved!)

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