American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
If there was one thing we wouldn't stand for, when we were nine years old, it was any of that love stuff between the cowboy and his girl. Let Roy Rogers so much as lay a hand on Dale Evans -- let him even look interested -- and we'd whistle, boo and stomp our feet. What did they think they were doing, anyway, mushing around like that when there were adventures to be had, and posses to form, and miles to ride before sunset?
Likewise, we had very strict standards about the sorts of songs we'd tolerate around campfires. We didn't mind Pat Buttram, or even a reprise of "Cool Water" from the Sons of the Pioneers, but Rex Allen was always singing love songs to the rancher's daughter and we learned plenty fast to steer clear of old Rex.
What I'm getting at is this. It would be useless for me to review "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" from an adult point of view, because most adults are not going to see it voluntarily. The audience for "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," pretty obviously, is going to be kids -- and the parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents and older brothers and sisters they drag along.
Now what do the kids want to see? A kid's movie! And what about the others in the audience, the grown-ups? They want to see a kid's movie too, I suspect. Or at least they aren't in the market for a children's movie that throws in a so-called "grownup scene" every once in a while.