The Absent-minded Professor parents guide

The Absent-minded Professor Parent Guide

Overall B

An absentminded professor forgets his own wedding while working on a scientific breakthrough. Although his invention doesn't seem to be enough to gain forgiveness from his fiancee, it has the US military, the hometown basketball team, and a local wheeler-dealer bouncing with excitement in this 1961 comedic tale.

Violence B
Sexual Content A-
Profanity A
Substance Use A

Why is The Absent-minded Professor rated G? The MPAA rated The Absent-minded Professor G

Run Time: 96 minutes

Parent Movie Review

What film features a lab accident gone right, and basketball stars that owe everything to their super-powered shoes? If you’re thinking it must be a cross between The Powerpuff Girls, and Like Mike, then you are not looking back far enough.

In a 1961 movie, an Absent-minded Professor (Fred McMurray) is so intent on his physical science experiment that he misses his own wedding—three times! While his disappointed fiancee Betsy Carlisle (Nancy Olsen) declares he has struck out, the befuddled Brainard believes “third time is the charm.” Thanks to an explosive development in his garage-turned-laboratory, the academic discovers Flubber: a flying rubber like substance.

Unfortunately, the lovely Miss Carlisle neither appreciates the brilliance of his invention, nor the idea of being the second love of his life. To make her point perfectly clear, the woman scored rebounds into the arms of a former suitor. Suddenly sensing the green-eyed monster, the jealous Brainard decides Flubber is the best way to win back her affection.

A little of the gravity-defying substance applied to the basketball teams’ sneakers soon has the game bouncing off the walls. Some clever alterations to an old Model-T adds a new spin to the phrase, “Can I give you a lift?” But instead of causing the woman of his dreams to swoon, the stunts attract the interest of an unscrupulous businessman and the US military.

Typical of the Disney fare of this era, The Absent-minded Professor sports a familiar cast playing the usual characters, including bumbling police officers, a scholastically under-achieving basketball jock, and a wealthy citizen who is really a sleazy hustler. Although they are played innocently enough, the portrayal of a dishonest father (with a taste for gambling) encouraging his son to follow his example, the hero resorting to revengeful tactics, over-reactive security personnel, and a group of thugs with a gun, may be of concern to some parents.

Yet the slapstick antics and the predictable plot provide the catchy chemistry that became a mouse house trademark. And if something works once, it’s worth trying again… which may be why movie history repeats itself.

Starring Fred McMurray, Nancey Olsen. Running time: 96 minutes. Updated

The Absent-minded Professor
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Absent-minded Professor rated G? The Absent-minded Professor is rated G by the MPAA

Overall: B

An absentminded professor forgets his own wedding while working on a scientific breakthrough. Although his invention doesn’t seem to be enough to gain forgiveness from his fiancé, it has the US military, the hometown basketball team, and a local wheeler-dealer bouncing with excitement in this comedic tale.

Violence: B

Sound waves shatter spectacles and glass beakers. Several explosions occur; only mild injury and property damage result. Characters are firmly escorted out of rooms in a couple of scenes. Reckless driving is depicted, including chasing livestock, colliding into objects and other vehicles. Hot coffee is spilled on a character a couple of times. Slapstick antics depicted during a basketball game and a dance. Gun used to signal end of a basketball game. Illegal behavior is depicted including breaking-and-entering and car theft. Offhanded comment is made about punching someone. A character bounces out of control. Football team piles up. Characters run into a door several times before being rendered unconscious. Character shoots gun at another. Air force is mobilized; planes nearly collide with another flying object. Characters threatened with missiles.

Sexual Content: A-

When a dog licks a man’s face, he thinks it is his girlfriend. On two occasions, a couple kisses.

Language: A

Name-calling only.

Alcohol / Drug Use: A

Man is accused of being inebriated.

Miscellaneous Concerns:

Characters engage in gambling. A father who is disrespectful of authority, unethical in business practices, and breaks the law, encourages his son to do the same. A jealous character behaves revengefully. Government officials are portrayed in a negative way.

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More parents' guide for The Absent-minded Professor after the break...

The Absent-minded Professor Parents' Guide

What uses could you think of for a substance like Flubber? Who would you try to sell it to? What common place inventions do we live with today that would have seemed incredible in 1961, when this movie was made? Do you think we will ever have a car that flies?

The Absent-minded Professor was originally shot in black and white, but the film was later colorized. What do you think of the amazing modern technology that makes this process possible? If nothing else, this fad promoted by broadcast mogul Ted Turner in the late 1980’s led to a high amount of controversy. To read more check this link:

Home Video

Related home video titles:

Another film made during this era that features many of the same actors is The Shaggy Dog, In 1997 Disney remade this story into a movie titled Flubber.

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