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Herbie: Fully Loaded - The Movie & Games

Herbie: Fully Loaded - Movie Review

The 1963 VW Bug with a heart is back, and as the title of the movie implies, he's spunkier than ever. Although evidently attempting to target a wide audience, Herbie: Fully Loaded captures the tweener audience the best. Younger children will find the car himself cute, but can easily tire of the dialogue. It's a movie that adults will enjoy seeing as well, but some diehard fans will disapprove of the newly recreated Herbie. Tweeners had the best time with the movie--it starred tween favorite, Lindsay Lohan, and had a (tame) romantic sub-plot involving Lohan and Justin Long.

Herbie Fully LoadedThe movie opens with a timeline that offers flashbacks to Herbie's glory days, followed by his descent into obscurity. Despite his efforts to get away, Herbie ends up in a scrap yard and faces destruction. Luckily for Herbie (and for the Peyton family), the main character Maggie Peyton buys him as her temporary car after she graduates from college and her dad gives her money to buy any car she wants from the scrap yard. Maggie's going to work for ESPN in a month, despite her deep-down desire to race. She has racing in her blood, and with good reason. She comes from a long line of stock car drivers, and her dad now heads the Peyton dynasty. But her father doesn't approve of Maggie behind the wheel of a stock car. Dad places Maggie's brother behind the wheel, even though Ray Jr.'s not as good as her. He says it's because Maggie was once injured in a street race, but we later find out that it's really because he is afraid to lose her, as Maggie is a "spitting image" of her late mother.

In the scrap yard, Maggie finds a letter in Herbie's glove compartment that effectively tells her that she will be taken care of by Herbie, and that's exactly what happens. Because of Herbie, Maggie is re-united with a boyfriend, comes face-to-face with her true calling, and learns a few lessons about trust, honesty, and respect. She quickly discovers that Herbie has a mind of his own. Herbie helps her win a street race against NASCAR champion Trip Murphy (Matt Dillon), who vows revenge and promptly turns into the movie's arrogant villain. Herbie's superpowers are largely unquestioned and how he came to be totally unexplored. However, children really didn't seem to care how Herbie "came to be"--they were too busy enjoying his antics.

Themes & Language: The movie includes some sexual innuendos. With the NASCAR racing scenes, various companies are plugged, including a very brief but surprising flash of advertising for "Viagra".

Character Development: Herbie generally comes across as loving and caring, although he is certainly not above fighting back and exacting some forms of revenge. Lindsay Lohan is likable as a young woman at crossroads in her life.

Messages: There's a feminist angle to the movie, as Maggie races in the guise of a guy called Max in order to hide from her father who disapproves of her racing. Later, she races as herself and surprises everyone as the first female NASCAR racer. Themes of fear (Maggie's father is afraid to lose her, and forbids her from racing), trust, honesty, and respect are here as well. Maggie learns a lesson about being honest after she lies to her father and disrespects Herbie.


Bottom Line: Herbie Fully Loaded

Young kids loved the movie for Herbie himself (he winks, smiles, and performs assorted pranks), and tweeners enjoyed the focus on the spunky and likable main character, Maggie. It's very silly and not very believable for especially logical children and adults, but it entertains the target audience nevertheless.

Best For: The movie appeals most to kids who are approximately 9-12 years old.

Movie Rating: B+

Reviewed: June 21, 2005


Herbie Games

Herbie Fully Loaded for GameBoy Advance is a 3D interactive racing experience that includes power-ups and a story mode option. The circuit-based 3D racing game offers a single-player adventure in the high-octane world of stock car racing as players control Herbie in a series of races against AI-controlled opponents.  It features racing moves to match Herbie’s personality and a real-time mood meter reflective of player results.

about our reviews:
All reviews at Edutaining Kids are independent and impartial. Our children's movie reviews are designed to help parents and caregivers find the right films for their kids. Evaluations and ratings are based on educational and entertainment value, age appropriate content, and innovativeness.
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Fun & Learning with Digital Cameras


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