Herbie Goes Bananas



More adventures of the lovable Volkswagen Bug.
  • Review Date: June 30, 2005
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1980
  • Running Time: 93 minutes

What parents need to know

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
Not applicable
Not applicable

Well, Herbie is a Volkswagen...

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

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?


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. This installment isn't great cinema, but it's the kind of thing young children will love, and it's great family viewing.

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:June 17, 1980
DVD release date:June 17, 2003
Cast:Charles Martin Smith, Cloris Leachman, John Vernon
Director:Vincent McEveety
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Topics:Cars and trucks
Run time:93 minutes
MPAA rating:G
MPAA explanation:all audiences

This review of Herbie Goes Bananas was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Star Wars Guide