As children there usually was one adult figure who provided us a sense of wonder and magic. For me it was an uncle who had a garage full of samples to new, soon to be released toys and gadgets. Anytime my family and I visited my aunt and uncle, he would let me go exploring in his garage. Sometimes he would even let me keep one of the items. For every new school year my uncle always had the best school supplies ready to give to me and my cousins. The magic adult in this warm fuzzy fantasy was certainly Caractacus Potts, played by Dick Van Dyke (Mary Poppins, The Dick Van Dyke Show-TV). Caractacus was a struggling inventor of little means. But what he had in abundance was a good heart and love for his two children. When there was an opportunity for Caractacus to buy the old automobile the kids loved playing on, he found a way to get the money and purchased the car for them. Of course being an inventor, he had something in mind to make the jalopy extra special. Working diligently, Caractacus turned the comatose vehicle into a magical car. It was christened Chitty Chitty Bang Bang due to the sounds that came out of the engine. But when news of a flying car made its way to the kingdom of Vulgaria (great name!), the dictator Baron Bomburst was determined to use whatever means to get his hands on the special vehicle. This was a wonderful movie from a different era. So what if some of the songs were a little goofy or mushy; I have to say it was refreshing to witness that sense of wonder and excitement again. There was a simple innocence throughout the movie. It goes without saying, Dick Van Dyke was incredible in this role; getting an additional boost from Sally Ann Howes (Dead of Night, Brigadoon) as the character Truly Scrumptious and Lionel Jeffries (Camelot, Cream in My Coffee) as Grandpa Potts. A great film where you get to unplug from the present world, sit back and let a smile spread across your face.
3 stars — DVD