When you watch a particular movie an average of
seventy three times a day over the course of several weeks months you develop a jaded cynicism quite the eye to the more mind-numbing aspects what some might call the shortcomings of the particular film.
In light of this I have several questions about certain parts of
that insanity inducing movie I adored as a child the classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Oh sure, you’re all expecting the blatantly obvious:
– how did all the workers in the sweet shops get a toot sweet when Caractacus, Jeremy and Jemima had only turned up with two (smallish) paper bags let alone know the words and choreography to the song?
– how did Caractacus know all the words and choreography to the Old Bamboo song when he stumbles into the act while escaping the angry guy whose hair he destroyed?
– what the hell is that Old Bamboo song about anyway?
– how did Truly know the words to the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang song when she joined the Potts’ for a picnic?
– have you noticed that when Jeremy and Jemima are singing Truly Scrumptious at the beach at one stage Truly does not have shoes on and then she does?
Oh no, my dear friends, this goes way deeper than that.
1. Why is Truly able to drive out of the pond she careers off into three times during the film when she almost hits the children in the opening scenes, but the following two times must be carried out by Caractacus?
2. When Caractacus is making their dinner of sausages and eggs on his crazy cooking invention how does an egg and a sausage cook in exactly the same length of time without the sausage being turned?
3. The whole fanciful story of Baron Bomburst, Vulgaria and the kidnapping of Grandpa is made up by Caractacus when they’re on the beach. What I don’t get is the part when after they escape his evil clutches by Chitty Chitty becoming a boat they drop Truly at home where she sings the delightful tune about how her life now has a plan due to meeting the lovely lonely man (aka Caractacus). Then, Baron Bomburst’s spies kidnap Grandpa (thinking he is Caractacus) and suddenly Truly is back in the car, this time in a lovely candy-pink number, and they’re being driven off the road by Lord Scrumptious being in one of his moods.
There’s not even an attempt to somehow explain how they picked her up again – so are we to believe that Caractacus built the interlude into the story he was telling Truly and the children? I can’t tell you how many times I stop what I’m doing to come and watch this part of the film just to confirm they don’t even bother to try and make it all match, that they just put Truly back in the car in a new dress and hope no one
4. Why is the VulgAir zepplin capable of pulling
the outside dunny Granpa’s Hut with Grandpa in it off the ground and clearly quite some distance before it starts to lose altitude? Why is there a safe in the zepplin? WHY?
5. The Toy Maker*’s shop. Unless it is some homage to M C Escher it just doesn’t make sense. Follow me. To enter the shop you go down three steps. Once through the front door you go down a couple more steps. Then there is a whole turning stairway down into the basement. In the basement you can go down even more steps. And yet the basement has a window that sees out to the street. And not only does it look out to the street, it looks out at such a level you see the whole town square, not just people’s feet. Hell, you even see the sky. When the
stupid disobedient children run out to the Child Catcher**’s promise of treacle tarts you can clearly see the window they’ve been looking out is at street level, next to the door of the shop nextdoor. It’s MADDENING.
6. Don’t even get me started on Caractacus singing Hushabye Mountain to those poor starving children living in the sewers under the castle.
* You all know that’s Benny Hill don’t you?
** You all know that’s Sir Robert Helpmann don’t you?