Animation Adventures

Herbie Goes Bananas: An Iconic Film and Its Cultural Legacy

In 1980, Disney released “Herbie Goes Bananas”, the fourth in a series of films about a Volkswagen Beetle named Herbie who possesses a mind of its own. This film chronicles the adventures of a group of travelers who inadvertently become involved in a plot to steal a priceless artifact, with Herbie as their unlikely ally.

Here is a closer look at the plot, characters, and legacy of this beloved classic.


The film begins with a young man named Pete Stancheck inheriting Herbie from his uncle. After a series of mishaps, Pete meets up with his friend D.J. and they decide to take Herbie to Mexico to compete in a race.

Along the way, they run into an old friend of Pete’s uncle who reveals that a valuable artifact, the Incan Princess, is being transported on the same ship they are traveling on. The thieves responsible for stealing the Incan Princess also target Herbie, mistaking the car for another vehicle.

As the story unfolds, Herbie is instrumental in foiling the thieves’ plans and saving the day. In the end, Herbie races to victory and is left in Mexico with his new human friends.


Herbie, the lovable Beetle with a mind of its own, is the star of the film. The human characters include Pete and D.J., two college students who serve as Herbie’s drivers, and Aunt Louise, who helps the boys get to Mexico.

Also featured are members of a traveling circus who become involved in the theft of the Incan Princess. Through their experiences, the characters learn valuable lessons about the importance of friendship and standing up for what is right.


“Herbie Goes Bananas” is the fourth in a series of films by Disney featuring the beloved car. The Herbie franchise has captivated audiences for over 50 years, with Herbie becoming an iconic part of popular culture.

The films inspired countless merchandise items, including toys, clothing, and even a TV show. Additionally, “Herbie Goes Bananas” was the first film in the series to be shot outside of the United States.

The movie was filmed in Mexico, giving the production team opportunities to showcase stunning landscapes and cultural traditions. This helped to make the movie feel more immersive and exciting for viewers.


“Herbie Goes Bananas” is a fun and exciting movie that has stood the test of time. Its iconic characters and engaging storyline have made it a classic film that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

Whether you’re a fan of the Herbie franchise or simply enjoy a good adventure movie, “Herbie Goes Bananas” is sure to be a hit. The plot of “Herbie Goes Bananas” is a classic adventure tale with a touch of comedy and romance.

The film captivates its audience with thrilling chases, hijinks, and a magical car that seems to have a life of its own. One of the most interesting aspects of the movie is the way it plays with the idea of anthropomorphism, or human characteristics being assigned to non-human entities.

Herbie, the Beetle, is given a personality and behaves like a sentient being, making it a relatable and captivating character. At the beginning of the movie, the audience meets Pete Stancheck, who inherits Herbie from his uncle, and soon comes to realize that the car is more than just a vehicle.

Herbie behaves and reacts in ways that seem decidedly un-car-like, which sets the stage for a wild ride. Throughout the film, we see Herbie getting involved in situations that are beyond what a typical car would be capable of, such as driving by itself, expressing emotions, and even carrying on a conversation through its honking horn.

As the narrative unfolds, we learn about the stakes of the story. The Incan Princess, a valuable artifact, is being smuggled from one location to another on the same ship that Pete, Herbie, and their newfound friends are traveling on.

The movie quickly takes a suspenseful turn as the protagonists must team up to protect the artifact, evade the bad guys, and avoid getting caught up in the mess. The thieves, however, mistake Herbie for another vehicle and unknowingly target the car.

True to its reputation, Herbie seems to have a mind of its own and actively helps Pete, D.J., Aunt Louise, and their newfound traveling circus friends out of difficult situations. The car’s incredible capabilities are vital in their adventures, often giving them the upper hand when they are outmatched.

Herbie’s heroism is surely one of the most entertaining aspects of the movie, as the audience cheers on the car, rooting for it to take down the villains in a series of well-choreographed action sequences. One of the most interesting things about “Herbie Goes Bananas” is the way the movie chooses to showcase Mexico’s vibrant culture and traditions.

The filmmakers took special care to include spectacular shots of the country’s beautiful landscapes, food, music, and other cultural hallmarks. The result is a movie that is as educational as it is entertaining, offering a glimpse into different ways of life.

In the end, “Herbie Goes Bananas” is an exciting movie that is perfect for all ages and will leave viewers cheering on the quirky anthropomorphic car. It explores thought-provoking themes, such as the connection between humans and non-human entities, and is a fascinating tale of adventure and heroism.

This classic movie has captivated audiences for over four decades and remains a beloved fixture of popular culture. The production of “Herbie Goes Bananas” was a groundbreaking undertaking in many ways, primarily because the movie marked the first time in the series that the filmmakers had taken the story outside the United States.

The decision to shoot the movie in Mexico presented a unique challenge for the production crew. Still, it also allowed them to showcase the country’s rich and vibrant culture, making the film feel more diverse and immersive for audiences around the world.

One of the most demanding elements of producing the movie was working with a Volkswagen Beetle that was modified to look like its predecessor models. The Herbie car became famous for its unique personality, and the production team had to align the car’s subtle facial expressions with the scene’s emotional impact.

The film required four identical Volkswagen Beetles, each with their engine, to accommodate the needs and movements of the car during the shoot. The maintenance and repair of the vehicle brought a lot of challenges to the production team.

It was a unique car, and its needs could never be anticipated in advance. One of the most spectacular scenes in the movie is the car chase on the cobblestone streets of Puerto Vallarta.

The team had to find and alter streets and locations around the city so they could be used for the shoot. Filming in various locations also presented challenges, as the production team had to transport the props and equipment from place to place, as well as housing the cast and crew.

On top of potential weather delays, the production team also had to contend with the local wildlife. During the shoot, a group of monkeys came to the set and started helping themselves to food and drinks from the catering table.

This unexpected and humorous incident became a memorable part of the movie’s production, adding to the film’s whimsical and spontaneous nature. One of the unique aspects of the production was the prominent use of practical effects in the action sequences.

The team had to use a lot of stuntmen and practical effects to pull off the car scenes. The filmmakers used real cars and stunt maneuvers, which created some fantastic action sequences, including car chases, crashes, and stunts.

The team even choreographed a scene in which Herbie drives itself into a van in a move that could only be performed using stunt drivers. Another advantage of filming in Mexico was the opportunity to shine a light on the country’s beautiful landscapes and scenery.

The production team leveraged various locations, including the stunning beaches of Puerto Vallarta and the streets of Chimay, New Mexico, to create an atmosphere that is exciting, adventurous, and visually captivating. The film’s epic journey is punctuated by picturesque countryside and rural vistas.

Ultimately, the production of “Herbie Goes Bananas” was a chaotic but incredibly successful venture. The movie’s phenomenal soundtrack, engaging fairy tale-like plot, and spectacular visuals captivated audiences and guaranteed that the movie would go down as a fan favorite in the “Herbie” film series, proving that the dynamics of storytelling can continue to evolve with each iteration.

The movie has become an iconic classic and continues to generate new fans. The release of “Herbie Goes Bananas” marked the continuation of the “Herbie” film series, and it quickly became a well-loved addition to the franchise.

The film’s release in the summer of 1980 created a buzz among audiences who were eager to see what fun and excitement Herbie would provide this time around. As with any movie release, the studio’s marketing department was tasked with creating buzz and anticipation for the film leading up to its release.

In addition to trailers and promotional materials, the team used product placements and tie-ins to promote the film further. Merchandising was also a critical aspect of the marketing campaign, with a slew of toys, clothing, and other items bearing the Herbie logo and likeness.

On July 2, 1980, “Herbie Goes Bananas” was released in theaters across the United States, Canada, and select European countries. Despite mixed reviews from critics, the film was a commercial success, grossing over $18 million at the box office.

Audiences, particularly children, were drawn to the film’s humor and light-hearted excitement, and the movie soon became a favorite for families looking for a fun night out. One of the factors that contributed to the success of the movie was the continuity of the story and iconic characters.

The return of Herbie, with his antics, inanimate dialogue, and unique personality, served as a nostalgic appeal to viewers who had grown up watching the film series. Still, the new cast and places give the story a refreshing twist and helped to attract new fans to the series.

Additionally, “Herbie Goes Bananas” was part of the summer movie season, a time when studios traditionally released some of their biggest hits. The film went up against heavyweights such as “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Airplane!,” and “The Blues Brothers.” Despite this, “Herbie Goes Bananas” managed to hold its ground and perform well at the box office, proving that it was a worthy contender that provided audiences with a welcome dose of action, humor, and fun.

In the years that followed its release, “Herbie Goes Bananas” continued to-be synthesized by audiences worldwide on DVD, streaming services, and satellite channels. The movie’s rejuvenation comes from its timeless appeal and the fact that it remains an enjoyable watch, which never fails to put a smile on its viewers’ faces.

Additionally, the “Herbie” franchise continues to inspire spin-offs, including a new streaming series in the works, proving that Herbie is still an iconic character and a universal symbol of adventure, heroism, and fun. In conclusion, the release of “Herbie Goes Bananas” was a critical moment in the history of the “Herbie” franchise.

The movie’s success at the box office and its enduring popularity is a testament to the enduring appeal of the lovable anthropomorphic car, and it is a must-watch for fans of the series and audiences looking for some good-hearted entertainment. The movie is widely available across different platforms and is sure to delight a new generation of fans across the globe.

The “Herbie Goes Bananas” soundtrack is an essential part of the movie that contributes to its fun atmosphere and sense of adventure. The soundtrack was composed by Charles Fox, who was also responsible for the music in the previous three “Herbie” films.

The album features a mix of original instrumental pieces, popular songs, and even an original track sung by a famous American singer. One of the most recognizable pieces in the “Herbie Goes Bananas” soundtrack is “Bananas,” the original song composed by Charles Fox and sung by Ray Stevens.

The song plays as part of the opening credits, and the cheerful tune and catchy lyrics set the tone for the rest of the movie. The song’s upbeat style and humor reflect the lighthearted nature of the film, with lyrics such as “Herbie goes bananas in the south of Spain / They’re gonna go bananas, boarding that train.”

The soundtrack also features several popular songs from the era, including “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by The Tokens, and “La Bamba” by Ritchie Valens.

These classic hits add a sense of nostalgia to the film and give adult audiences a welcome sense of familiarity. One of the most iconic and memorable tracks in the soundtrack is the music that plays during the climactic chase scene through the streets of Puerto Vallarta.

The haunting and suspenseful orchestration underscores the intensity of the action as Herbie careens through the city, providing the viewers with a thrilling and dramatic climax. In addition to the original music and popular songs, the soundtrack features several instrumental pieces that help to create the film’s atmosphere.

The score features a blend of Caribbean rhythms, traditional Mexican music, and classical orchestration. The music expertly incorporates traditional Mexican instrumentation, such as the mariachi trumpet and the Spanish guitar, adding authenticity and vibrancy to the film’s setting.

The “Herbie Goes Bananas” soundtrack received favorable reviews upon its release, with many critics noting the album’s fun and upbeat nature. The soundtrack’s popularity was a testament to its iconic melodies, catchy rhythms, and timeless appeal.

The music continues to be synonymous with the “Herbie” franchise, with many fans holding it in high regard and listening to the album to rekindle nostalgic memories. In conclusion, the “Herbie Goes Bananas” soundtrack is a critical component of the movie, adding an extra level of fun and excitement to the film’s adventure.

The soundtrack’s use of popular songs, original score, and signature track “Bananas” creates an infectious atmosphere that is hard to resist. Even after over four decades since its release, the “Herbie Goes Bananas” soundtrack remains relevant and enjoyable, a testament to its enduring popularity and the timelessness of its themes.

For those who loved the music of the ’80s, a re-listening experience is ideal. In conclusion, “Herbie Goes Bananas” remains an iconic film that has captured the hearts of generations of viewers through its humor, adventure, and memorable soundtrack.

The production, release, and cultural legacy of the movie continue to inspire audiences across the world. It is a testament to the enduring popularity of the “Herbie” franchise, emphasizing that the movie has firmly established its place in film history and continues to entertain audiences worldwide.


Q: How many Volkswagen Beetles were used in the film? A: The filmmakers used four Volkswagen Beetles, each with their engine and performance capabilities.

Q: Who composed the soundtrack for “Herbie Goes Bananas”? A: Charles Fox composed the soundtrack for the film and even came up with an original song called “Bananas.”

Q: Where was the movie filmed?

A: The movie was filmed in Mexico across various locations, including Puerto Vallarta and Chimay, New Mexico. Q: Did “Herbie Goes Bananas” receive good reviews?

A: Although the movie received mixed reviews from critics, it was a commercial success, grossing over $18 million at the box office. Q: Has the franchise inspired any spin-offs?

A: Yes, the “Herbie” franchise continues to inspire spin-offs, including a new streaming series in the works, proving that the series continues to touch the lives of audiences worldwide.

Popular Posts