The Love Bug was the first in a series of movies made by Walt Disney Productions that starred a white Volkswagen racing Beetle named Herbie. It was based on the 1961 book Car, Boy, Girl by Gordon Buford. The movie follows the adventures of Herbie, his driver Jim Douglas (Dean Jones), and Jim's love interest, Carole Bennett (Michele Lee). It also features Buddy Hackett as Jim's enlightened, kind-hearted friend, Tennessee Steinmetz, a character who creates "art" from used car parts. English actor David Tomlinson portrays the devilishly evil Peter Thorndyke, the owner of the auto showroom and a SCCA national champion who sells Herbie to Jim and eventually becomes becomes his racing rival.
Four theatrical sequels followed: Herbie Rides Again, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, Herbie Goes Bananas, and Herbie: Fully Loaded. A five-episode TV series, Herbie the Matchmaker, aired on CBS in the United States in the spring 1982. In 1997, there was a made-for-television sequel which included a Dean Jones cameo, tying it to the previous films. The last entry Herbie: Fully Loaded, was released on June 22, 2005, by Walt Disney Pictures.
At Walt Disney World's All-Star Movies Resort in Orlando, Florida, Herbie has been immortalized in the "Love Bug" buildings 6 and 7. The Love Bug was the highest-grossing film of 1969.