Where was Flubber filmed?
Stockton, San Jose, Burlingame, Vallejo, San Francisco, California
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Flubber is a science-fiction comedy film about a mad scientist named Professor Philip Brainard, played by Robin Williams. Flubber was released in 1997 to great fanfare and made a whopping $178 million globally. The movie is directed by Les Mayfield, who also directed Miracle on 34th Street. Flubber is a loosely based remake of the 1961 film 'The Absent-Minded Professor' where Fred MacMurray portrays Professor Brainard. The storyline follows the life of Professor Philip Brainard (Robin Williams) and his fiancé Dr. Sara Jean Reynolds (Marcia Gay Harden).
Philip is scatterbrained and keeps forgetting his wedding date, leading to several funny scenes in Flubber. The movie starts with Sara lamenting how Philip has already missed two wedding dates but apologizes each time. Philip is desperately trying to discover a new energy source to help raise funds for the college and save it from financial ruin and foreclosure. He is aided by his trusty hovering robot assistant, Weebo (voiced by Jodi Benson). Unbeknownst to the Professor, Weebo has evolved into an advanced AI robot and has developed human-like feelings of love for him, which is why she keeps sabotaging his relationship and wedding date reminders to Sara Jean.
On the day of his wedding, the Professor finally stabilizes the compound, misses his wedding in the excitement, and discovers a sentient green rubbery goo that flies. Weebo names it flying rubber, which evolves into Flubber.
Since he has missed his wedding again, Sara is upset and breaks up with him. However, Philip tries to explain everything to her, but she doesn't want to hear any more excuses. Meanwhile, Medfield College sponsor Hoenicker tries to foreclose the college and get his son off the hook with Professor Philip (who failed his son). While Hoenickers goons try to threaten and manhandle the Professor, Hoenicker discovers the existence of Flubber and steals him from the Professor.
What follows is an action-packed race against time to save Flubber and the college, Weebo discovering that she is guilty of making the Professor sad, and Sara and Philip reuniting and eventually saving the day and the college.
All the Flubber film shoot locations were in California. The cast and crew moved around quite a bit from one shooting location to the other. California's major cities and places used for the filming are Stockton, San Jose, Burlingame, Vallejo, and San Francisco, California. Most scenes were shot on-site at locations, but all the scenes featuring the Professor's basement were part of a set built at Treasure Island in San Francisco. The basketball scene and the scene where the Professor's house blows up when he's in the basement are also sets built at Treasure Island in Hangar 3 and Building 180.
Professor Brainard's house at 1962 University Avenue, San Jose, CA, was a private residence that was slightly modified to fit the storyline and the characters. The Flubber team also added a temporary observatory on the house's roof to make it more realistic.
Scenes with the Hoenicker library and the office of President Sara Jean were filmed at Mercy High School and were adapted to fit the movie.
Teaser: Since all the scenes are shot in California, fans can easily make a fabulous itinerary that takes them to each location within a few hours. While the sets have been removed after filming, the same areas remain.
The cast and crew had great fun during the Flubber bouncing scene in the basement lab since all the science equipment kept bursting randomly. The image of Flubber flying around was added later!
Professor Philip talks about loan with Weebo scene in Flubber
1962 University Avenue, San Jose, CA
Professor Philip Brainard (Robin Williams) wakes up at home and greets the voice speaking to him. As he gets ready, the entire house is automated, and machines make him a breakfast of eggs, bacon, and pancakes. The computerized voice – a flying robot called Weebo (voiced by Jodi Benson) asks him, "Have you seen the paper this morning?" and shows him the morning newspaper, which reads, 'Hoenicker Threatens To Close College.'
Professor Philip replies, "Oh yes, I did. You know if I could solve this whole metastable compound business, I could save the college. You know, a new energy source would be worth a fortune." Weebo tells him, "You better hurry up. The loan's due at the end of the school year."
The Professor tells Weebo, "Not to worry, Weebo. I'm very close. May I see my schedule, please? After school, there's something. I know there is. What is it?" Weebo replies, "This is your complete schedule."
All the best scenes in Flubber are filmed in the Flubber House at 1962 University Avenue, San Jose. This is a private residence, and visitors will need permission to click photographs. To get here, catch bus number 61 and hop off at Bascom and Naglee. The walk to the residence is approximately 5 – 6 minutes from the stop.
Professor Brainard teaches physics to the art class scene in Flubber
University of the Pacific, Stockton, California
Professor Philip is quite scatterbrained and doesn't realize that he has entered the wrong class at college. Art class students are drawing life-like sketches of a plate of fruit, a dead pheasant, and a partially covered man and woman. Professor Philip doesn't understand any of this and launches into teaching the art students about gravity.
He starts his lecture, "Last time we were talking about Newton's Law of Gravitation. To review, we see this G is like the C in E equals MC squared. It's a constant. It's constant in the universe. It's saying that the force of attraction between two bodies is in direct proportion to the product of their masses. And in inverse proportion to the square of the distance between them." He keeps talking without realizing he's teaching the wrong class!
For all the Medfield College scenes, the filming location of Flubber was the University of the Pacific in California. The university is open for visitors, and you may also get a chance to sign up for a tour. Getting here is relatively straightforward if you catch the 378 from the Downtown Transit Center, get off at Pershing Ave & Larry Heller FS NB, and walk for a minute to reach the college campus.
The Professor meets Sara and Martha scene in Flubber
Kohl Mansion, 2750 Adeline Drive, Burlingame, CA
As Professor Brainard exits the school after entering the wrong class, he hears his name called out. He looks up and notices it's Sara. While Philip raises his hand to say hi, he accidentally whacks a female student on the head with his lunch bag. The Professor apologizes and sheepishly says, "Its own momentum. May I sit here?" He greets Sara by kissing her hand and saying, "Hello Sara, what a pleasant surprise." He greets Martha by the wrong name, and she instantly corrects him.
Professor Brainard looks tired and sighs, saying, "I was just gonna, you know, grade my lunch, eat a few tests, and hope for the best." Martha asks him, "How do you hold it in?" The Professor doesn't understand what she's asking and responds, "Well, like everybody else, Ruthie, I just cross my legs real tight." Martha says, "No, no. I was talking about your excitement."
The huge Kohl Mansion property at 2750 Adeline Drive was chosen as the Flubber filming location for the exterior of Medfield College. It is the private home of the Kohl family, and the mansion is more than a century old. Getting here is quick if you catch the NB shuttle, get off at Adeline and Bernal, and walk for a few minutes.
Sara Jean is trying out her wedding dress scene in Flubber
Mercy High School, 2750 Adeline Drive
Dr. Sara Jean Reynolds (Marcia Gay Hayden) is the President of the Medfield College. She is getting married to Professor Philip Brainard. Sara Jean is standing on her desk in her wedding gown. She's twirling in her pristine white wedding gown while speaking on the phone, "They can't just close down the school. Outside of the Ivy League, name me one private college or university that isn't in financial trouble. Oh, alright. Name another."
She keeps the receiver down and asks her assistant, Martha George (Edie McClurg), "You don't think it's too much?" Martha replies, "No, it's elegant. And it's a wonderful idea to go with the big wedding this time. It does put the pressure on the Professor to show up." Sara Jean frowns and says, "If he forgets this time, that's it. Well, in his case, once is justifiable, and twice is understandable, but three times…."
This Flubber film scene was a set constructed just behind Kohl Mansion at Mercy High School. Mercy High is a girls' school on the grounds of the mansion. Fans of Flubber can visit Kohl Mansion and Mercy High School in the same visit. Catch the NB shuttle to Adeline and Bernal and walk to the school.
The Professor rushes to the basement to stabilize his compound scene in Flubber
Building 180, Treasure Island, 200 California Ave, San Francisco, CA
The Professor stabilizes the equation he's working on and rushes to the basement of his house. He goes around adjusting pipettes, burettes, flasks, and other apparatus with different colored liquids flowing through them while muttering to himself, "Yes, very good. Ah. Good, good. It's flowing in the condenser. In a pressure reactor. Yes, very good." While he's moving around, Weebo is also observing everything. The steel containers are making weird sounds like something is popping within them.
Suddenly the Professor jumps up, saying, "Yes! Well, it's ready!" as he plucks his hair and adds it to the bubbling concoction muttering, "Organic catalyst. A positive. A negative. A little touch of electricity." He moves away, holds a switch in his hand, and presses the button down. As he looks at the bubbling concoction, a blast from the basement is felt all the way outside the house.
The Flubber production team chose to make individual sets for many of the scenes in the movie. One of these was the basement set of the Flubber House constructed at Building 180, 200 California Ave, Treasure Island, San Francisco. Getting to Treasure Island is quick via bus number 25 to Shoreline Access Rd. From this stop, the walk to the sets is a few minutes.
Professor and Sara Jean float in clouds in Ford Thunderbird scene in Flubber
Mare Island Naval facility, Vallejo, California
Weebo realizes how miserable the Professor is without Sara and patches things up between them. In excitement, the Professor takes Sara out for a spin in the clouds, where they sit floating in the Ford Thunderbird. Sara turns to Professor Philip and says, "This is it! This is how we save the school." Philip tells her, "This is what I've been saying. Flubber. You saw what it did at the game. Imagine the line of shoes we could develop."
Sara says, “No, no, no, no, Philip. Not shoes. Look around. This. Flight. Air travel. Yes." Philip looks at her, "Oh! Air travel! Flight! Yes! We gotta sell this to a car company."
Considering that they are both trying to raise funds to pay off the college loan and save it from being shut down, this new technology, its application, and its usages have significant financial implications in repaying the debt. The Professor and Sara are both excited by the possibility of saving the college.
Out of all the Flubber action scenes, this one is the nicest, since there are clouds and plenty of floating! This pretty scene was shot at the former Mare Island Naval Facility, California. The buildings are now used for the manufacturing of pre-built houses. Visitors should catch the CA-29 N to Mare Island Causeway and turn onto Nimitz Ave
Flubber was the perfect merge of a mad scientist with a love story, a fabulous invention, bad guys, a heroine, and a trusty robotic sidekick. Audiences loved the new dynamic of the film, with science shining through in each scene. Robin Williams delivered a masterful performance, and the emotional elements of love, jealousy, and greed interwoven led to audiences relating easily to the film.
While Flubber is a fantasy comedy, it brought to the fore many real-world issues like loans on educational institutions, trusts that want to cash in on the foreclosure, academic espionage and stealing others' ideas, and more. While the movie has a comedy line, it has stayed true to the issues that follow the scientific community with the help of a great case, excellent filming locations, and a stellar storyline.
Flubber helped people understand that mad scientists are not mad people; they're just misunderstood and distracted (just a teeny tiny bit!)