Hello there readers!
Recently, I read the book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and I thought it would be fun to give a brief run down of the book versus the movie. Now, if you didn't know, the book was written by Ian Fleming. If that name sounds familiar, that's because he also created another classic character. None of than James Bond. Yeah, I know. Weird. The man responsible for one of the most violent, action packed, spy thriller series of all time also created a children's book about a sentient car.
Let's dive into the book vs the movie. There may be spoilers ahead. Although, we're talking about a book published in 1964 and a movie made in 1968. If you haven't checked out either by now, you probably weren't going to. Am I right? Either way, let's jump in.
So, for those of you who have seen the movie, you know it's a musical. Well, guess what? So is the book! Nah, just kidding. That makes no sense. Of course, the book wasn't a musical. But other than the name of the car being Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the family name is Potts, there's really not much the same about these two pieces of media.
In the book, Professor Potts has just invented a new type of candy that whistles while you suck on it. They make a good portion of money and decide to buy a family car. He decides to buy a wrecked junker and fix it up to save money. When they get it home, professor Potts works to restore the car. Only, he doesn't recognize a lot of the gears in gadgets under the hood. Wait, Fleming was British. Maybe I should say bonnet? Whatever. He fixes up the car and she's as good as new. The family decides to take a picnic in the new car but get bogged down by traffic. No worries! Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to the rescue! She flashes an indicator that calls the professor stupid and tells him to pull a lever, which he does. The car then starts to fly. They land on an island out in the ocean away from everyone else and enjoy their picnic. But when everyone falls asleep and the tide comes in, they fear they will drown. But again, Chitty to the rescue! Another lever and she becomes a boat. So, Professor Potts, being the responsible father and husband that he is, decides they should drive to France!
Once there, they drive up into a cave and realize it might belong to some smugglers as there are booby traps of sorts. But they drive through them and get to the exit, only to realize this cave belongs to a dangerous mob boss. Once again, Potts shows us what a good father he is and asks his children to gather up dynamite from the mob boss' stash and the proceed to blow the whole place up. As you can imagine, the mob boss gets kind of angry over this and ambushes the family. Of course, Chitty helps them escape and they decide to spent the night in a hotel. Note, still hasn't called the police. But hey, who's judging?
In the middle of the night, the children are kidnapped but Chitty once again saves the day. She tracks the children on a sort of radar and wakes up Potts and his wife. They fly over the city until the find the children, who are being forced to help rob a candy store, and confront the bad guys. Eventually, Potts and his wife rescue the children and the bad guys are arrested and everyone is happy. The End.
If you've seen the movie and never read the book, you're probably a little confused. Where's the island where children go missing? Where's the evil child catcher? What about how in the movie, it's all just a story and not even real? Yeah, book isn't like that at all. If you haven't seen the movie, which you should, it's almost nothing like the book. Potts is a widower and meets a woman named Truly Scrumptious, which is a nod to the ridiculous names Fleming would give to female characters in Bond books, and he takes them out for a picnic in his car. When the tide comes in and strands them all on the beach, Potts tells everyone a story about a car that can turn into a boat, fly through the sky, etc. They fly to a kingdom where happiness is illegal and children are imprisoned.
It's an incredibly different story from the book. If you haven't read the book or watched the movie, I recommend you do both. They are both great stories on their own. It was fun reading the book and seeing just how different everything was. I really can't tell which one I liked more. The movie will always hold sentimental value to me. It's one of the first movies I watched with my grandmother and was my favorite movie as a kid. The book is a cute tale and I'm glad I read it.
But what do you think? Have you seen the movie but never read the book? Let me know in the comments below!
To cover up his search history, Evan Bond is a thriller/suspense author. As an outdoor enthusiast and horror lover, Evan Bond enjoys writing stories where the two come together. He lives in Florida with his wife and two sons.