Herbie Goes Bananas

Movie review by
Sarah Wenk, Common Sense Media
Herbie Goes Bananas Movie Poster Image
More adventures of the lovable Volkswagen Bug.
  • G
  • 1980
  • 93 minutes

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Some stereotyped portrayals of Hispanic characters

Violence & Scariness

Herbie gets thrown overboard of a cruise ship, which some kids might find upsetting.

Sexy Stuff

Well, Herbie is a Volkswagen...

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this film contains one upsetting scene when Herbie is thrown overboard from a cruise ship, and some stereotyped portrayals of Hispanic characters.

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What's the story?

HERBIE GOES BANANAS begins in Puerto Vallarta, where two young Americans, D.J. and Pete, are picking up a gift car, which turns out, of course, to be Herbie, the Volkswagen Bug who can think -- and drive -- for himself. Before they know it, they're dealing with Paco, a young pickpocket, and he's dealing with three creepy guys planning to steal the treasures from an Inca ruin. Soon everyone ends up on a cruise ship, captained by Harvey Korman, who is quite funny regaling the passengers with his tales (and dreams) of pirates and the glorious past of the sea. Cloris Leachman is also on board as Aunt Louise, along with her pretty niece Melissa. D.J. and Pete want to enter Herbie in a race, Aunt Louise agrees to help them, and from that point it's pretty much pure mayhem. There's one emotional scene when the captain has Herbie thrown overboard for making trouble on the ship, but of course all ends well.

Is it any good?

This installment isn't great cinema, but it's the kind of thing young children will love, and it's great family viewing. The Love Bug franchise got a shot in the arm with the Lindsay Lohan remake, so it's time to revisit the early adventures of Herbie.

Some of the native characters are portrayed in rather stereotypical ways, but there's nothing terribly offensive here. The final chase scene is very funny -- you know if Herbie goes bananas, there are going to be banana peels and, well, you get the idea. This is a silly, harmless, fun little movie, and it will be interesting to compare its relative simplicity to the newest version, which is bound to be more sophisticated, but not necessarily more charming.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about safe driving, the friendship between Herbie and Paco, and the motivations of the villains who are trying to ransack the Inca ruins.

Movie details

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