" 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' was a movie that I repeatedly turned down. The movie's producer, Albert 'Cubby' Broccoli, known for his tight-fisted control of the James Bond movie franchise, desperately wanted to re-team Julie Andrews and me after the success we'd enjoyed with Mary Poppins." -Dick Van Dyke

Finding entertainment that is clean, engaging, and fit for young children in today's world is nearly impossible. Therefore, to help their young ones preserve a childhood where kids can be kids, parents need to do their research to find movies and television programmes that entertain. 

At Superprof, we highly recommend turning towards the classics to enjoy wholesome family entertainment. Films such as The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang are just so brilliant and fun that your child will appreciate your efforts of showing them the cream of the crop.

Therefore, without further delay, we will focus our attention in today's article towards the brilliance of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. 

Who Developed the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Story?

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a great film for children.
The car, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, was based off two cars that Ian Fleming greatly adored. (Source: Visual Hunt)

Since we have always been wrapped up in the blissful storytelling of classic tales it is rare that a person stops and thinks about the origins of an iconic story. Nonetheless, by knowing how a story began, the background details, and how long it took to develop, the reader or the viewer begins to strike up considerable admiration. 

Therefore, how did Chitty Chitty Bang Bang come about? 

The brilliance of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang stems from the impressive mind of James Bond creator Ian Fleming. Beginning in 1961 Fleming began to write the children's book Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang which is based on two distinct types of cars: a Standard Tourer and a customised Mercedes with a Maybach aero-engine.

As Fleming kept the ideas going and wrote the novel, he used ideas from his personal life to help keep things original and fresh. 

Although Fleming concluded the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang volumes in late 1963, he suffered a heart attack on August 11, 1964, and never saw the publishing of his works. Nevertheless, two months after his death the three Chitty Chitty Bang Bang volumes were released.

Since the books were so well received by British and American children, specific plans began to adapt the books into a feature film. 

Screenwriters Roald Dahl and Ken Hughes were hired to write the screenplay adapted from Fleming's books and Ken Hughes was also hired as director of the project. Filming rapidly began with Dick Van Dyke and Sally Ann Howes in the main roles. The feature film produced by Albert R. Broccoli was released in 1968 to audiences in Europe and North America.

After more than 30 years, the idea of adapting Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and its wonderful songs from the 1968 film to the stage became a reality in 2002 on London's West End.

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What is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang All About?

Although it's a classic that has attracted all types of people from different walks of life, there may be some who are not familiar with the overall premise of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang; not everyone has children!

Therefore, without further delay, the following are essential plot details of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 1968 feature film:

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang becomes the name of a car that the Jeremy and Jemima Potts, the protagonist's children, grow fond of when they find it in an old garage in rural England. The car was once a European Grand Prix racing car. The children love the car and implore their inventor father, Caractacus Potts, and their grandfather to purchase the car.

Caractacus tells the children that he cannot afford the car and that they are unable to purchase it. Nevertheless, after meeting Truly Scrumptious, a wealthy woman with her own motor car, Mr Potts agrees to buy the car no matter how much it costs. Mr Potts looks for ways in which to raise money to purchase the car. 

Caractacus Potts brings one of his inventions, an automatic hair-cutting machine, to a local carnival to raise money. After performing a song and dance number to avenge an angry client, he becomes the star of the show and earns enough money in tips to purchase the vehicle. 

The Potts family names the car Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for the unusual sound of the engine. Caractacus tells the children of a tale about Baron Bomburst who wants to steal Chitty Chitty Bang Bang from them.

After the intermission of the first part of the film, the Potts enter the fictional world of Vulgaria where they have to fight off the Child Catcher, Baron and Baronness Bomburst, and other characters to save themselves and their beloved Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. 

For further information about the synopsis of the 1968 film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, consider reading the books produced in 1964 and 1965 of which they are based on or read the Wikipedia description.

Principal Characters From Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

The greatest actor of his generation?
The dashing and charming Dick Van Dyke played the role of Mr Potts in the 1968 feature film. (Source: Visual Hunt)

Ian Fleming's characters in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang have become iconic and have gained worldwide recognition due to their charm and ability to light the page or silver screen. The characters and actors portraying them further demonstrate how important it is for writers to spend time creating personages that will be remembered for years and years to come.

The following are the most brilliant and iconic characters from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang:

  • Caractacus Potts: although different from the original character created by Fleming, in the 1968 feature film, Pott becomes Potts and is a widower who falls in love with Truly Scrumptious, the daughter of candy and sweets magnate Lord Scrumptious. Potts is kind, loving, eccentric and encouraging of his children. He is an absent-minded inventor.
  • Truly Scrumptious: in the book written by Fleming, Truly Scrumptious does not exist. Potts is married and does not start a budding romance with Scrumptious. She is the daughter of Lord Scrumptious and has been born into a wealthy family. She is strong, independent, intelligent, and educated. She views situations differently than others and is not afraid to get involved in things that might seem scary. She is very fashionable and elegant.
  • Jeremy Potts: the son of Caractacus Potts, sister of Jemima, and grandson of Grandpa Potts, he is fun-loving, adventurous, and imaginative.
  • Jemima Potts: the daughter of Caractacus Potts and the sister of Jeremy, Jemima is young and near the age of Jeremy. She is kind, loving, and imaginative just like all children.
  • Child Catcher: not featured in the book but plays a major role in the 1968 film, the Child Catcher is employed by Baron and Baroness Bomburst to snatch and imprison children on the streets of Vulgaria. He is mean, cruel, determined, and downright scary. He has been voted by many media outlets as one of the scariest movie villains of all time.

Other essential characters in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang include Grandpa Potts, the Baron and Baroness Bomburst, and the Toymaker.

Some other classic characters may be found in musicals such as Frozen, Matilda, Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and The Wizard of Oz.

Praise, Awards, and Recognition for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

The beautiful city of London
London's West End is where the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang musical premiered for the first time in 2002. (Source: Visual Hunt)

Finding some words of praise for one of the most acclaimed children's stories of all time is no difficult task. Stories such as Alice in WonderlandPeter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, Mary Poppins, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang have enchanted children for decades and have stood the test of time; I have a hard time imagining a world without these wonderful tales!

What about praise for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? 

The first appearance of The Chitty Chitty Bang Bang stories appeared in a series of three volumes written by Ian Fleming and released on Thursday, 22 October 1964, 26 November 1964 and 14 January 1965 respectively. Children and parents all over the world praised the fun stories, characters, and most importantly the car.

Upon the novels releases, words of praise from distinct experts included comments about "thrilling cliff-hanger adventures", and "wonderful storytelling." 

The novels became such a success that developments for a feature film became in the late 1960s. Producers working on the details of the motion picture desperately wanted Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke to play the lead roles and mimic the success experienced with Mary Poppins. 

Nevertheless, although Julie Andrews refused, Dick Van Dyke was available for the lead role and studio producers found talent in Sally Ann Howes to play opposite him. Filming, choreography, and design began to reach the deadline of a December 16, 1968, London premiere.

How was it received? 

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang failed to recuperate its $1o million production budget; however, it received great reviews from critics who thought it was a perfect motion picture for families with children. The songs, performances, and the idea of a magical automobile were praised by reviewers. The film was nominated at the 1969 Academy Awards for Best Original Song, "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang." 

Standing the test of time to remain a favourite among children and earning the reputation as a cult classic, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was adapted to become a stage musical on London's West End in 2002. The musical became an instant hit and was nominated for many glamourous accolades at the Olivier Awards. 

Also, it is worthy to mention that after observing the West End success of the classic story on stage, Broadway producers premiered the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang musical on Broadway to rave reviews in 2005.

The Chitty Chitty Bang Bang musical written by the Sherman brothers has been featured in many countries all over the world and has been on tour a few times in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States. 

Without any doubts, we highly recommend watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on the big screen or reading the stories as wholesome family entertainment that everyone will enjoy!

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