Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again
by Frank Cottrell Boyce
212 pages of car adventuring fun
In 1967 one of my favorite Christmas presents was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Flemming. I loved the Potts. I loved the whistling sweets. I thought Joe the Monster and his gang were terribly wonderful crooks. And of course, I loved Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with “her first two CHITTY sneezes and the two soft BANGS, the bangs ran on and into each other so as to make a delicious purring rumble.” I thought her amazing dashboard with knobs that glow and flash urgently as the need arose had just the perfect balance of efficiency and irreverence. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – a magical car with a mind of it’s own. I loved everything about that book – right down to the secret recipe at the end!
Next came the movie. What a major disappointment! The car wasn’t even the right color. To me, it was silly, dull and boring. Frank Cottrell Boyce had a totally different experience. He saw the movie first and loved it. Then he read the book. He writes that this was the first time he knew that “films and books – even when they’re telling the same story – each had a different kind of enchantment.”
Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again does indeed have its own kind of enchantment. It takes the best pieces from the original, mixes them together with new ideas and creates a wholly unique story that has the Tooting family traveling the world, escaping the clutches of greedy crooks (Man Mountain Fink’s son from the original gang) and learning all about their amazingly wonderful Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is part of the family now and is teaching the Tootings to pay attention to each other, listen carefully and have trust in the power of family.
What a terrifically satisfying sequel!