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YMMV / Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

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  • Accidental Innuendo: When Truly crashes her car into the river (again), Caractacus tells her, "You'll find a slight squeeze on the hooter an excellent safety precaution."
  • Adaptation Displacement: In general, odds are that if you ask most people familiar with the movie if they've read the book, they'll be surprised that there is a book in the first place. Said book also has the family go to France on an impromptu holiday, where they end up breaking up a crime ring.
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  • All Animation Is Disney: A non-animated example, due to its similarities to Mary Poppins. Both have Dick Van Dyke in a starring role, two young children as main characters, an English setting, songs written by The Sherman Brothers, and a mostly normal world with fantastical elements thrown in.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Pray that Jeremy and Jemima's childish naiveté charms you, otherwise they may come off as cloying.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: For some, the entire second half of the film comes off as this, thanks in no small part to its highly ambiguous All Just a Dream nature.
  • Ear Worm: With Robert and Richard Sherman at the helm, this is unavoidable.
    • "Oh, you, pretty Chitty Bang Bang, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, we love you..."
    • "You're my little chu-chi face!"
    • "Oh, the POSH, POSH traveling life, the traveling life for me!"
    • "Me ol' bamboo, me ol' bamboo, you better never bother with me ol' bamboo!"
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    • "Toot sweets, toot sweets..."
    • The rhythmic sound effect which earns Chitty her name.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Idiot Ball: Yes, Jeremy and Jemima, go with the creepy man offering you candy and ice cream though the window in the cellar where you're hiding, the same one who just tried to kidnap you who just put on a different coat and hat, even after your father has specifically told you not to leave. He seems trustworthy. Granted, this is a story-within-a-movie being told by their father and children aren't known for making good decisions, especially where bright colors and promises of sweets are involved.
  • Memetic Molester: The Child Catcher is often viewed as one of these by fans of the movie. The lesser-known stage version actually makes him worse, with a Villain Song ("Kiddy-Widdy-Winkies") that many stagings cut for being too suggestive. It probably didn't help that in the original London production in 2002, Richard O'Brien played this role!
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  • Narm Charm: The film is very much a product of it's time, made in an era in the late 60s when movie studios were making a last ditch effort to keep campy movie musicals alive and popular. Not everyone is on board with it (see "Tastes Like Diabetes"), but those who are love it specifically because it's so campy and cheerful.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The Child Catcher. An androgynous Snape-like creature dressed in black who dances about singing the joys of candy and ice cream all as a ploy to lure children into his cart and then lock them in giant circus cages.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Subverted with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang's Adventures In Tinker Town, an edutainment Point-and-Click Game from the mid 90s. While the game itself is fun, it has absolutely nothing to do with the movie outside of the general theme of tinkering and mechanics and features none of it's characters outside of a Suddenly Voiced sentient Chitty.
  • Special Effect Failure: Chitty just can't fly without being surrounded by blue matte lines — a dead giveaway that the shots were filmed in front of a blue screen. And then there's the fact that Chitty's normally shiny chrome suddenly stop being reflective when the car is flying. That is, except for those shots of just the hood when it's clearly being airlifted over Neuschwanstein Castle.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: Being based off an Ian Fleming story, and made by Albert "Cubby" Broccoli and many of the same people involved in the James Bond films, some people consider it a Bond movie of sorts.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Part of why the film was not a success in it's time and to this day still has a fair amount of detractors. While it's fans love it's innocent camp, non-fans don't care for the perceived sentimentality of its main characters — the children especially — and "pip pip, cheerio" British attitude. Intentionally subverted with "Chu-Chi Face". The lyrics are sugary sweet, but they're undermined by the Baron repeated trying to kill his wife throughout the number.
  • Tear Jerker: "Hushaby Mountain", in more ways than one. It's a beautiful lullaby, but it's haunting tune and minor key really help the already somber moment. The stage version makes it even more poignant by mentioning that Jemima and Jeremy's Missing Mom always used to sing it to them. Then there's the Dark Reprise: when Caractacus is singing this to the children of Vulgaria, shortly after his own children have been taken from him, he stops in the middle, too hopeless to continue.
  • Values Dissonance: You just would not have all of those cracks about female drivers in a modern film.
  • Vindicated by History: Was one of several big-budget Hollywood musicals which flopped upon it's release, with diminishing returns and scathing reviews, and helped kill the musical movie genre. In the decades following, it found it's audience and became a childhood staple.
  • "Weird Al" Effect: In a certain way. Younger viewers may better know two of the tunes from this film by their use on Family Guy: "You Two" became "I've Got James Woods", and "Me Ol' Bamboo" became "A Bag of Weed".
  • Woolseyism: The German dub contains one during "Roses of Success," substituting Alexander Graham Bell with Wilhelm Röntgen.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Benny Hill as a toymaker? Especially bad since he is basically playing a dramatic role (most of his scenes are somber or tense).


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