In 1959, The Shaggy Dog moved Walt Disney Productions in a brand new direction for their films. Prior to this date, Disney made primarily adventure movies. A year earlier, Walt Disney proposed a new series to ABC about a boy with a cryptic ring that turned him into a dog. Of course, this untried idea got the response Disney heard much of his career: it would never work. Well, Disney ignored ABC and decided to release The Shaggy Dog as a feature. As you probably know, The Shaggy Dog was a big hit. Thus, the Disney comedy was born.
Walt Disney discovered a formula that audiences loved and he decided to use it again on The Absent-Minded Professor. If The Shaggy Dog put Disney films on a new course, then The Absent-Minded Professor kept it there, ensuring this type of small town family comedy would be used for many years to come.
The film was nominated for three Academy Awards:
* Best Art Direction (Carroll Clark, Emile Kuri, Hal Gausman).
* Best Cinematography (Edward Colman)
* Best Effects, Special Effects
This film was followed by a sequel Son of Flubber, released in 1963 also featuring MacMurray, Olson, Reid, the three Wynns (Ed Wynn as a Hank Kimball-like county agent and Ned as the student manager of Rutland's football team), Hewitt (as District Attorney) and Kirk.