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The Love Bug [Special Edition] [DVD] [1968]

Release Date:05/20/2003
Walt Disney Pictures' production of The Love Bug, directed by Robert Stevenson, was one of the studio's most popular and enduring feature films of the 1960s, yielding three sequels and a made-for-TV remake a generation later, though it never got much respect on home video. There was one early laserdisc edition that was never upgraded, and that was it until May 2003, when Buena Vista issued this double-disc DVD Special Edition. The film-to-video transfer (done in a non-anamorphic widescreen 1.85:1 aspect ratio to recapture the theatrical proportions of the image) is just beautiful. Every flesh tone and some of the smallest details (down to the petals of the roses that Dean Jones' character buys for Michele Lee) are presented about as well as they were the day the movie opened. So it's a pleasure to watch, especially compared with any presentation that the movie has had since 1969 -- and that alone is a selling point. The first disc also contains the 1951 cartoon Susie the Little Blue Coupe, featuring Sterling Holloway as narrator, but the real treat is the audio commentary track featuring Jones, Buddy Hackett, and Lee. Hackett is priceless in his recollections, funny and insightful within the limitations of his memory. Jones has the better memory, but is somewhat less entertaining, while Lee still displays a girlish charm in observing herself as an actress more than 30 years later. Surprisingly, none of them offers much in the way of recollections about director Robert Stevenson, though Jones has a wealth of memories concerning various members of the crew. Supporting the movie on the second disc are various featurettes, both contemporary and from the period of the movie's release, principally focusing on Herbie the Volkswagen, plus two deleted scenes, production stills, storyboards, and other artifacts from the planning stages of the picture. Nobody involved seemed prepared for the immense success of the movie, one of the last major successes of the "old" Disney. No one seems to have reckoned that, in addition to being extremely entertaining in its zany way and filled with characters who were fun to watch (with Lee sexy enough to draw the attention of older boys and men bringing their kids to see it), the movie had the good fortune to appear in the midst of the Vietnam War, and during a very tough, strife-filled year domestically. A fantasy about a clever car -- and a VW "Bug" at that (the most looked-down-upon vehicle on the road in America at the time) -- was just what the doctor ordered. The two discs on this set are both easy to maneuver , with straightforward menus and selections, that are entertainingly designed.

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    Special Features

    • Audio commentary with Dean Jones, Michelle Lee, and Buddy Hackett
    • "Susie the Little Blue Coupe" cartoon
    • "That Lovable Bug" featurette
    • "The Many Lives of Herbie" featurette
    • Herbie Mania
    • "Lost Treasures: Searching for Herbie" featurette
    • 1969 Disney studio album
    • Production gallery
    • Behind-the-scenes promo
    • Love Bug Day at Disneyland
    • The man who gave Herbie his voice
    • Deleted scenes
    • Theatrical trailer
    • DVD credits
    • Radio spots
    • Sound Studio 1: "Herbie on the Rocks"
    • Sound Studio 2: "Thorndyke and the Bear"
    • Production stills
    • Comic book
    • Biographies of Dean Jones, Michelle Lee, Buddy Hackett, David Tomlinson, and Robert Stevenson
    • Advertising material
    • Screenplay excerpt from "Herbie Goes Over the Edge"


    The Love Bug
    Those who worried that the Disney studio would collapse without the presence of the late Uncle Walt were put at ease when the profits starting rolling in for The Love Bug. The "star" is Herbie, a lovable little Volkswagen with a personality all its own. Abused by a bad guy race-car driver (David Tomlinson), Herbie is rescued by a good guy racer (Dean Jones). Out of gratitude, Herbie enables the luckless good guy to win one race after another. The real fun begins when the ruthless hot-rodder connives to get Herbie back through fair means or foul. Based on a story by Gordon Buford, The Love Bug inspired two equally lucrative sequels, Herbie Rides Again and Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Dean Jones
      Dean Jones - Jim
    • Image coming soon
      Michele Lee - Carole
    • David Tomlinson
      David Tomlinson - Thorndyke
    • Buddy Hackett
      Buddy Hackett - Tennessee
    • Joe Flynn
      Joe Flynn - Havershaw

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.