Ari Karpel
May 16, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
G
performer
Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes, Gert Frobe, Benny Hill, Lionel Jeffries
director
Ken Hughes
distributor
United Artists (MGM)
author
Roald Dahl, Ken Hughes
genre
musical, Kids and Family, Comedy, Sci-fi and Fantasy

We gave it an B-

Dude, where’s my flying car? Fret not, for the onomatopoeic auto driving this frothy children’s musical (lifted from the 1968 film) takes flight right on cue: In the grand tradition of Phantom‘s chandelier and Miss Saigon‘s helicopter, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ascends at the tail end of Act 1 to oohs and aahs. This T-shirt sales vehicle careens from Willy Wonka wackiness to Lemony Snicket malice, with Raúl Esparza’s unwitting inventor at its charming, gooey center, and Jan Maxwell’s child-hating Baroness Bomburst providing comic relief. Did we mention there’s a flying car? B-

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