Letters: On Belarus And 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang'

Mar 7, 2012
Originally published on March 7, 2012 6:08 pm
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This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.


I'm Robert Siegel, and it's time now for your email about two mistakes we made in yesterday's program.

BLOCK: First, points are deducted for geography. Our report yesterday about the ongoing closure of the Washington Monument included the voice of a tourist, Alex O'Brien, age 27. We said he was originally from Belarus, Russia.

SIEGEL: Well, listener Lawrence Hewitt(ph) of New York City sent us a note to point out that Belarus is not part of the Russian Federation and, indeed, it is not sorry about that. And now, the other mistake.

BLOCK: Oh, dear. Is it geographical?

SIEGEL: No. It's not geographical.

BLOCK: Historical?

SIEGEL: It's sort of historical. Our mistake was about a 1968 film featuring a flying vintage racing car.


SIEGEL: Yes. We got something wrong about "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang."


SIEGEL: Indeed. This came up because we featured the film's catchy music in a remembrance of the recently departed Robert Sherman. Adam Rife(ph) of Noblesville, Indiana was one of several of you who noted a mischaracterization of "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" as a Disney film. We had lumped it in with the likes of Disney's "Mary Poppins," but "Chitty" was really produced by Warfield Productions.

BLOCK: Adam Rife writes this: "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" was based on a novel by Ian Fleming, of James Bond 007 fame, produced by Albert Broccoli, producer of the James Bond movies. And the script was written by Roald Dahl, author of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," and by Ken Hughes. He continues: as a fan of both Disney and Broccoli films, I always found the Sherman brothers added a nice touch to the movies in which they wrote the music.


SIEGEL: And, Melissa, it gets worse.

BLOCK: Oh, dear.

SIEGEL: Our characterization of the Sherman brothers as Disney songwriters was further disputed. Kim Metzger(ph) of Wichita, Kansas gave us a list of several non-Disney films associated with the Shermans.

BLOCK: Metzger writes: Besides "Chitty," they also did songs for Hanna-Barbera's animated "Charlotte's Web," the musical version of "Tom Sawyer," "Snoopy, Come Home," and "The Slipper and the Rose."

SIEGEL: Well, if you think we slipped up on something, send us an email. Go to npr.org and just click on Contact Us at the bottom of the page.


BLOCK: Any more corrections today, Robert?

SIEGEL: Not so far. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.