Today's review was suggested by the lovely house panther Diamond Emerald-Eyes. She wanted a compare/contrast review of the original "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" and the latest Tim Burton version "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." There is so much to say about both that I have decided to split them up into two weeks. This week I am reviewing the original, starring Gene Wilder.
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Directed By: Mel Stuart
Written By: Roald Dahl (screenplay & book)
"Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" begins by introducing you to Charlie Bucket, a very sweet, very earnest, very poor little boy. Charlie is so sweet that he is almost too good to be true! He lives with his mommy and grandparents in a tumble-down shack, and has even taken a paper route to help his mommy support them all. For Charlie, the biggest treat he gets is a Wonka candy bar once a year, on his birthday. His Grandpa Joe tells him fantastic stories about the mysterious Willy Wonka and his Chocolate Factory.
One day an announcement is made that is super exciting for Charlie and Grandpa Joe! Willy Wonka has placed 5 golden tickets in his shipment of candy bars, and the 5 people who find the golden tickets will get the chance to tour the factory! Charlie knows he doesn't really stand a chance to win, but he is excited nonetheless. And then, fate takes a hand - Charlie finds a golden ticket!
Charlie and Grandpa Joe are thrilled! They get to meet the infamous Willy Wonka and tour his incredible factory! Charlie and Grandpa Joe show up outside the gates, accompanied by 4 other children and their parents. Right away everyone notices that there is something strange about Willy Wonka - he seems to be very eccentric and talks in riddles. Also, all of the other children seem to be incredibly spoiled.
Willy Wonka guides everyone through his incredible factory - complete with a whole lake of chocolate, edible grass, geese that lay golden chocolate eggs, and other incredible wonders. One of the most amazing wonders are the factory workers: little orange men called Oompa-Loompas! One by one the spoiled children fall to strange mishaps, which are then recapped in song and dance by the Oompa-Loompas. Finally, only Charlie and Grandpa Joe are left. Will Charlie claim the mysterious prize that Wonka promised?
"Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" is a very fun movie to watch. Not only is it colorful and musical, it is also typically Roald Dahl, with strange twists and turns and often macabre events. At times it can be hard to tell if Willy Wonka is a villain or a hero. Is he cruel or kind? Sometimes a kitty has to ask himself or herself that question. Gene Wilder is amazing as Willy Wonka, and Peter Ostrum is a wonderfully convincing Charlie Bucket.
While there are no kitties involved in this film, it is still a good one to watch. It can serve not only as entertainment, but it also shows what happens to bad and selfish little kittens! I would suggest that everyfurry watch it with their children or younger siblings. I give "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" two paws up and a happy chirp!