Herbie Goes Bananas (1980)

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Released 21-Jul-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Family None
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1980
Running Time 89:40
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Vincent McEveety
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Cloris Leachman
Charles Martin Smith
Stephan W. Burns
Elyssa Davalos
Joaquin Garay
Harvey Korman
Richard Jaeckel
Alex Rocco
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI Box Music Frank De Vol


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    So we come to the last of the four films in the Herbie series. Released in 1980, Herbie Goes Bananas is really a sad way for the series to bow out. The magical little car has somehow been left in a garage in South America and the story opens with new owner Pete Stanchek (Stephan W. Burns) heading to Brazil to collect him. He is joined by his mate DJ (Charles Martin Smith). Unfortunately, the lads have their pockets picked by a small street kid called Paco (Joaquin Garay) and lose the money they were going to use to pay for Herbie's storage. The lads manage to catch the little kid, but not before he also manages to pickpocket another man's wallet. Unfortunately for them all, this guy just happens to be involved in some smuggling of rare Inca treasures and in the wallet was a set of film negatives showing the location of the hidden treasure.

    The boys manage to get their money back, but they also mistakenly acquire the negatives, thereby starting a chase across the country. With Herbie safely tucked away on a cruise ship headed for some major Brazilian car race, the boys think their troubles are over. But when it is discovered that Paco has stowed away inside Herbie, the captain of the ship is none-too-pleased and orders the offending Bug immediately off the ship. It looks like curtains for Herbie, unless Paco can possibly save the day and rescue him from a watery grave.

    This film lapses into the same problems that afflicted Herbie Rides Again. Little of the charm is evident and the main characters just don't connect with the car in the way they did in the original film. One strange thing I did notice in this film was that I'm pretty sure that nobody actually uses the name Herbie at all during the whole film. Strange, and I wonder if there is a logical reason for this.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This is another quite disappointing video transfer, not so much for the condition of the print this time, but for the aspect ratio we are graced with.

    The transfer is presented in a modified aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and is not 16x9 enhanced. From the information on imdb.com, the original aspect ratio is listed as being 1.85:1. From the look of this transfer it does not appear to be a pan & scan effort, but rather an open-matte transfer. As a result nothing is lost, but it does have a real Saturday afternoon television look to the whole thing.

    This is only an average transfer in terms of sharpness and clarity. Shadow detail is fine, with most of the action occurring during the day. Grain is again consistently present across the whole picture, but is certainly not the biggest problem. Thankfully there is no low level noise.

    Colours are fairly drab, even when the bright outdoor scenes allowed for plenty of full colour saturation.

    There are no MPEG artefacts, and very little in the way of aliasing is evident. The source print is in much better condition than either of the middle two films in the series with film artefacts being present, but in nowhere near similar numbers or size.

    I checked out the English subtitles, and while not perfect were accurate enough to understand what was happening.

    This is a single layered disc so there is no layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Just like the transfers for The Love Bug, Herbie Rides Again, and Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo, this disc has been graced with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. But just like the others (especially the middle two films), I'm still wondering why.

    Unlike the three previous films, there is only one soundtrack on this disc. It is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track encoded at  448 Kb/s. As with all the other soundtracks in the series, the 5.1 label is a bit misleading. Probably 98 per cent of the soundtrack emanates from the centre channel, in exactly the same manner as the soundtracks for the other three films.

    The dialogue is similar to the second film with some mild background hiss and comes across as being a little harsh and flat. There are a few ordinary ADR looping instances where audio sync is far from perfect, but this is no fault of the transfer.

    The score is quite different to that of The Love Bug and Herbie Rides Again and is closer to the Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo soundtrack. This is most likely because it is by the same composer as that latter film. Frank De Vol is again responsible for this effort and again it is nowhere near as whimsical or catchy as the original theme. There are also a couple of corny, kids jingle-style songs about friendship and the like featured, also written by Frank De Vol.

    There is basically no discernable surround or subwoofer use.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are no extras on this disc.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Herbie Goes Bananas is not due to be released in Region 1 until 4 May 2004, so for now this is the version of choice.

Summary

    Herbie Goes Bananas runs a poor fourth (and therefore last) place in the series of Herbie films. It share the same problems as Herbie Rides Again by missing much of the charm and heart that is so evident in the original The Love Bug and even in Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo.

    The video is open-matte 1.33:1 and really quite dull and uninspiring.

    The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is on a par with the others in the series and is really a centre channel dominated track.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Sunday, December 14, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5106DO, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

Other Reviews NONE
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