Monday, November 28, 2011

Record #53 - The Story of The Love Bug

Today we've got another entry in the everlasting plethora of my Disney collection. Now, submitted for your approval, here is The Story of The Love Bug!

In the film The Love Bug, a washed-up race car driver, Jim Douglas and his pal Tennessee stumble upon a Volkswagen bug named Herbie in a fancy European car showroom, run by the horrible, evil, murdering, villainous monster El Guap… I mean, Mr. Thorndyke! Apparently this car has a mind of its own and follows Jim home! They discover that he is incredibly fast for a tiny car, purchase him from Mr. Thorndyke, and decide to enter him into a race! When Mr. Thorndyke hears of this, he decides that he wants Herbie back, and will do anything to make that happen! And, just as usual, hilarity ensues. God, I love that phrase.

The movie spawned four sequels (including the Lindsay Lohan one, yuck), as well as a 5-episode TV spin-off and a made-for-TV remake starring Bruce Campbell.

Oh, and it was the second highest grossing US film of 1969. Kablammo! Take that, Paint Your Wagon!

Now... onto the record!

Like the The Story of Blackbeard's Ghost before it, the album The Story of The Love Bug is narrated by a character from the movie. This time, it's narrated by Buddy Hackett as his character Tennessee! Although they are similar, it is very different from the Blackbeard's Ghost record, as this has newly recorded dialogue not performed by any of the other original actors from the film. Oh well. They can't all be winners.

Now, unlike the movie which is fun and hilarious, this record is kind of awkward and just plain weird. The guy who plays Dean Jones' character in the original film sounds nothing like him, and obviously doesn't get that the character is supposed to be a little neurotic. You know, kind of like every Dean Jones character.

In another odd choice, the guy who was cast as the villainous British guy Mr. Thorndyke was the super All-American Dallas McKennon. He is probably best known as the voice of the safety spiel on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Disney attraction, as well as Gumby and Pokey! In this record, he plays Mr. Thorndyke completely unlike David Tomlinson, and almost as a version of Dick Dastardly from Wacky Races. Although strange, it's kind of entertaining, considering this story has a lot of Wacky Races-esque situations.

Confusingly, the narration by the usually hyper and humorous Buddy Hackett is really really really really strange and kind of lethargic. It even borders along creepy at times. Especially the last line of the record. Sends shivers down my spine… blechhhh.

And last but not least, what would something from the 1960s be without some politically incorrect humor?! The portrayal of the Chinese character Mr. Woo, who ends up owning Herbie halfway through the story, is incredibly revolting, and probably pretty racist too. Eeeeek.

Now, onto the good, non-racisty stuff!!

One of the coolest things about these story records is that a handful of them include story books attached to them! The Story of The Love Bug is one of those, and has 11 pages full of super groovy art! It's bright and colorful, and does a great job capturing the scenes from the movie.

Now, please enjoy the laughter, love, and lexcitement (I couldn't think of another "L" word) of The Story of The Love Bug! And remember my friends, when buying a used car, always look under the hood for whipped cream.

*Sigh* I want a Herbie...

Download the album, along with all the storybook art HERE.

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