The Absent-Minded Professor

Last Updated on: June 26th, 2024

The Absent-Minded Professor movie 1961

“The Absent-Minded Professor” is a classic American science fiction comedy film produced by Walt Disney Productions. It was released in 1961 and directed by Robert Stevenson.

The film stars Fred MacMurray as Professor Ned Brainard, a brilliant but absent-minded scientist who invents a revolutionary substance called “flubber” (short for “flying rubber”). Flubber is a bouncy, green, and highly energetic material that can cause objects to levitate and bounce uncontrollably. With the help of flubber, the professor’s old car gains the ability to fly, leading to a series of comedic and fantastical adventures.

While the professor’s discovery could be revolutionary and change the world, he becomes too preoccupied with his inventions and tends to forget important things in his personal life, including his engagement to his fiancée, Betsy (played by Nancy Olson).

“The Absent-Minded Professor” is known for its charming and family-friendly humor, imaginative special effects, and Fred MacMurray’s endearing performance as the eccentric scientist. The film’s combination of science fiction, comedy, and romance makes it a beloved classic that has stood the test of time.

Due to its success, the film inspired a sequel titled “Son of Flubber” in 1963, which continued the adventures of Professor Brainard and his wacky inventions.

Over the years, “The Absent-Minded Professor” has become a favorite among Disney fans, and the character of Professor Brainard and his flubber invention have become iconic in Disney’s history. The film’s success also led to a 1997 remake called “Flubber,” starring Robin Williams as the absent-minded professor.

In addition to its entertainment value, “The Absent-Minded Professor” showcases the imaginative storytelling and creative spirit of Walt Disney Studios during the 1960s, a period known for producing several classic family films.

Overall, “The Absent-Minded Professor” remains a timeless and charming Disney film that continues to be enjoyed by audiences of all ages, capturing the magic of Disney’s golden era of filmmaking.

Fun Facts

  • This was the 5th biggest movie of 1961.
  • The movie is based on the short story A Situation of Gravity, by Samuel Taylor.
  • This was the first Disney movie to have a sequel (Son of Flubber in 1963)
  • The song “Medfield Fight Song” was the first Disney feature song written by the legendary Sherman Brothers.
  • It was re-released to theaters twice after its initial run.
  • The Absent-Minded Professor was remade and retitled in 1997 (Flubber)

Additional Details

  • Movie Studio:
  • Year Released:
  • Type of Movie: Live-Action
  • Box Office: $25.38 million
  • Awards: Nominated for 3 Academy Awards
  • IMDB Link


  • Fred MacMurray: Professor Ned Brainard
  • Nancy Olson: Betsy Carlisle
  • Keenan Wynn: Alonzo P. Hawk
  • Tommy Kirk: Biff Hawk
  • Leon Ames: President Jeffrey Daggett
  • Elliott Reid: Professor Shelby Ashton
  • Edward Andrews: Defense Secretary
  • David Lewis: General Singer
  • Jack Mullaney: Air Force Captain
  • Belle Montrose: Mrs. Chatsworth
  • Wally Brown: Coach Elkins
  • Wally Boag: TV Newsman
  • Don Ross: Lenny
  • Forrest Lewis: Officer Kelley
  • James Westerfield: Officer Hanson
  • Gage Clarke: Reverend Bosworth
  • Alan Hewitt: General Hotchkiss
  • Raymond Bailey: Admiral Olmstead
  • Ed Wynn: Fire Chief


  • Director: Robert Stevenson
  • Producer: Walt Disney and Bill Walsh
  • Music: George Bruns

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other site isDMR.