The Love Bug (1968)

Last Updated on: June 26th, 2024

The Love Bug (1968 Movie)

“The Love Bug” is a 1968 comedy film produced by Walt Disney Productions. It is the first in a series of films featuring the lovable Volkswagen Beetle named Herbie, who possesses a mind of its own.

The story follows Jim Douglas, a struggling race car driver who comes across a dilapidated Volkswagen Beetle at a car dealership. Unbeknownst to him, the Beetle is no ordinary car but a sentient being with a mind of its own. After purchasing the car, Jim discovers Herbie’s unique abilities, such as driving on its own, defying physics, and having an emotional connection with its driver.

With Herbie as his secret weapon, Jim finds newfound success in racing, leading him to compete in prestigious competitions. However, he faces challenges from a rival driver and a conniving car dealer who wants to acquire Herbie for himself.

Throughout the film, Herbie proves to be a valuable friend and a lucky charm to Jim, creating heartwarming and humorous moments as they navigate the world of racing together.

“The Love Bug” was a commercial success and became a beloved classic, leading to several sequels and spin-offs in the following years. The film’s success also helped popularize the Volkswagen Beetle and turned it into an iconic car in pop culture.

Herbie, the lovable little car with a mind of its own, has become one of Disney’s most cherished characters, appealing to audiences of all ages with its charm and mischievous antics. “The Love Bug” remains a delightful family-friendly film that has entertained generations of viewers with its endearing story and memorable characters.

Fun Facts

  • The film was inspired by a 1961 book called “Car, Boy, Girl” by Gordon Buford, which featured a similar premise of a mischievous car.
  • Herbie, the lovable anthropomorphic car, quickly became the film’s standout character and achieved iconic status. The car was portrayed by several different Volkswagen Beetles throughout the franchise.
  • Dean Jones stars as Jim Douglas, the driver who forms a bond with Herbie. Jones became closely associated with the “Love Bug” series and appeared in several sequels.
  • The film features several memorable and humorous racing sequences, showcasing Herbie’s impressive driving skills and playful personality.
  • “The Love Bug” was a commercial success, grossing over $51 million worldwide against a budget of $5 million.
  • The success of the film led to a series of sequels, including “Herbie Rides Again” (1974), “Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo” (1977), and “Herbie Goes Bananas” (1980).
  • Herbie became an iconic character within popular culture, appearing in various Disney theme park attractions and even inspiring a racing team named “Herbie’s Speed Shop.”
  • “The Love Bug” was directed by Robert Stevenson, known for his work on several Disney films, including “Mary Poppins” and “Bedknobs and Broomsticks.”
  • The film received a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Sound Mixing at the 41st Academy Awards.
The Love Bug (1968)

Additional Details

  • Movie Studio:
  • Year Released:
  • Type of Movie: Live-Action
  • Box Office: $51.2 million
  • IMDB Link


  • Dean Jones: Jim Douglas
  • Michele Lee: Carole Bennet
  • David Tomlinson: Peter Thorndyke
  • Buddy Hackett: Tennessee Steinmetz
  • Joe Flynn: Havershaw
  • Benson Fong: Tang Wu
  • Joe E. Ross: Detective
  • Barry Kelley: Police sergeant
  • Iris Adrian: Carhop
  • Gary Owens: Announcer
  • Chick Hearn: Announcer
  • Andy Granatelli: Association President
  • Ned Glass: Toll Booth Attendant
  • Robert Foulk: Bice
  • Gil Lamb: Policeman at Park
  • Nicole Jaffe: Girl in Dune-Buggy
  • Wally Boag: Flabbergasted Driver
  • Russ Caldwell: Boy Driving Dune-Buggy
  • Peter Renaday: Policeman on Bridge
  • Brian Fong: Chinese carrying Herbie
  • Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez: Mexican Driver
  • Dale Van Sickel: Driver


  • Director: Robert Stevenson
  • Producer: Bill Walsh
  • Music: George Bruns

Movie Trailer:

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About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other site isDMR.