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Medfield College

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Medfield College is a fictional college used as the setting for several films by The Walt Disney Company. Among them are the two "Professor Brainard" movies, The Absent-Minded Professor (1961) and Son of Flubber (1963); and the "Dexter Riley" trilogy: The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1969), Now You See Him, Now You Don't (1972), and The Strongest Man in the World (1975); as well as the remake of The Absent-Minded Professor, Flubber (1997) and the 1995 remake of The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes.

The town of Medfield, the location of Medfield College, is the setting for another Disney film, The Shaggy D.A. (1976), implying that Medfield is also the setting of that film's predecessor, The Shaggy Dog (1959).

A total of eight films were set either in the town of Medfield or at Medfield College.

Inspiration[edit]

Medfield College is named after the town of Medfield, Massachusetts. According to town historians, friends of Walt Disney lived there, and Disney would visit them on occasion, landing his plane on a private airstrip on their property. Portions of the airstrip are still present today. The cornerstone of Blake Middle School, formerly Medfield High School, has a quote from Disney inscribed on it: "Our greatest natural resource is in the minds of our children."

Fight song[edit]

The fight song of Medfield College, composed by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, is heard during the opening credits sequence of The Absent-Minded Professor.

Filming locations[edit]

The Medfield College scenes in both The Absent-Minded Professor and Son of Flubber were filmed on the campus of Pomona College in Claremont, California.[1] Some of the football field scenes in Son of Flubber were filmed at Burbank High School, as evidenced by a banner bearing the school's name that is seen in the background.

The Medfield College scenes in the three Dexter Riley films were filmed on the Disney Studios backlot in Burbank, California.

Some Medfield College scenes in the 1997 Flubber remake were shot at San Jose State University.

Similar institutions[edit]

The 2002 revamp of the Journey into Imagination attraction at Walt Disney World Resort's Epcot includes several visual elements suggesting that the attraction's "Imagination Institute" is linked to Medfield College. The queue line for the attraction passes the "offices" of Professor Brainard (Fred MacMurray's role in The Absent-Minded Professor) and Dean Higgins (Joe Flynn's role in the Dexter Riley films). The ride includes a view of a glass-fronted computer room, with a sign on the door indicating "no tennis shoes allowed," a reference to The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, the first Dexter Riley film. A Medfield College letterman's jacket can be seen inside the room. The Disney Kingdoms comic book title Figment 2 features a reference to Professor Brainard visiting the comics's "Academy Scientifica-Lucida" from Medfield.

Similar to Medfield is Midvale College, a fictional university used as the setting for the two Merlin Jones films by Disney, The Misadventures of Merlin Jones (1964) and its sequel, The Monkey's Uncle (1965).[2]

Merrivale College is a fictional university in the 1973 Disney film The World's Greatest Athlete.[3]

The fictional Godolphin College of Godolphin, North Carolina fills a like role in the 1968 film Blackbeard's Ghost; the setting is the same as in the original novel by Ben Stahl.

References[edit]

  1. Balchunas, Michael (Spring 2005). "The Duke on the Quad and other Hollywood tales on the Pomona College campus". Pomona College Magazine. Archived from the original on 2006-09-01.
  2. "The Monkey's Uncle (1965) - Overview". Turner Classic Movies.
  3. A. H. Weiler (February 5, 1973). "Screen: 'Greatest Athlete': Disney College Farce Is at the Music Hall". The New York Times. The athletes of Merrivale College depicted here can't avoid tripping over their own feet, which, for no convincing reason, drives our coach to go on an African safari.

External links[edit]


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