Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a British musical adaption of the Ian Fleming’s children’s book of the same title. It was directed by Ken Hughes, written by Roald Dahl and Ken Hughes, produced by Albert R. Broccoli, with songs by the Sherman brothers. It stars Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes, Adrian Hall, Heather Ripley, Lionel Jeffries, and Benny Hill. (Rated G)(Running Time: 144 minutes)
Ah, we finally get to move onto a childhood classic of mine…
Although based on Fleming’s story, it is a very loose adaptation of the book. The story is set in the 1910s and focuses on an unsuccessful inventor who comes across a beat-down race car his children take to nicknaming Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. And soon enough, they go off on great adventures with the motor car.
To those unfamiliar with the film, this is a very family-friendly, childlike-fantasied delicacy to it. Entertaining and pleasantly loyal. Like Toot Sweets! But nevertheless, has a fun engagement from the very beginning that you have to watch all the way through! I mean…who doesn’t like to watch Van Dyke at work on the big screen? Disney expected this to be a huge success like Mary Poppins, but unfortunately, the movie did not meet the expectations the company had in mind.
Random, personal fact here: I have been apart of a handful of stage dramas and considering myself a…pretty good actor. But if I had a chance to choose a role of all roles, I would pick the Child Catcher from this particular picture. I’m not sure what is so attractive and alluring about the role, but if any of you ever hear about a stage version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and they are auditioning for that part, oh please oh please let me know!
The movie was filmed on a large budget of $1o million, and unfortunately, the records of its box office success vary, but the US/Canada rentals (until the official VHS and DVD releases) estimate just over $7 million. Reviews at first were very critical and negative, but over time has garnered praise and huge notice on the Disney video market.
This is one of my childhood favorite movies. Still I have trouble discovering why. But I loved it. I still love it. Hm…4 out of 7 stars?
Highly recommended for family movie night!