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‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’: Celebrating the Classic Family Musical as It Turns 50


Flying cars have certainly captured our collective imagination since…oh, we don’t know… like, forever. From The Jetsons to Back to the Future, it’s hard to sit there and watch people take off and land in their cars and not feel just a little bit jealous. That was especially true with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the 1968 musical adventure starring Dick Van Dyke and Sally Ann Howes that is currently celebrating its 50th Anniversary.

Dick plays widower inventor Caractacus Potts, raising his two children and desperately working to change their lives by having one of his inventions work to the point of being sold. It seems like he gets that chance with a car that he has scraped up the money to restore and enhance. Those enhancements are exactly what Lord Scrumptious (James Robertson Justice) is looking for, and when Carctacus’ father is kidnapped, he finds himself working with the lord’s daughter, Truly Scrumptious, to get him back. Along the way, we learn what the bad guy already knows: that Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is far from an ordinary car. This one has been modified so that is can transform into a power boat and, at the perfect moment, take to the skies and, ultimately, save the day. Adding more fun to the adventure are a number of tunes composed by siblings Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman, who only a few years earlier had done the same for Disney’s Mary Poppins.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is just one of those family classics that has aged wonderfully, like The Wizard of Oz or Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Join us as we take a look back the car that could fly and all the places it’s gone over the past 50 years.

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