OverviewWhen wacky and reclusive Willy Wonka decides to open the doors to his enchanted chocolate factory to a select few, the young, poverty-stricken Charlie Bucket hopes against hope that he will find one of five lucky golden tickets. Yes, I’m fully aware that there’s a book from Roald Dahl that I could have been reading my kids, and I do know that the ‘real’ movie choice for this book would be the Tim Burton one, but he and I are on the outs.
That’s neither here nor there, instead I’m talking about the only version of the story that I love more than the original, and that’s the rebranded Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, not the original Charlie and the Something Something you all would say I should share. When we sat down to watch the movie, my expectations were high that she would enjoy the experience, but I was also ready with the fast-forward button in case her three year old brain got bored with the scenes of extremely thick dialogue that might as well be slapping you across the face with a yardstick sized ass-paddle with the words “EXPOSITION” etched into it. I knew from the smiles on her face that if she was already hooked on hearing “The Candyman Can” and “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket”, that she was in for a real treat when Gene Wilder (who will always be MY Willy Wonka) and the Oompa Loompas would show up in the factory.
Once the kids were being admitted entry into the factory, I could tell that I had done the right thing by sharing THIS version of the film with her first if for no other reason than the simple little bit of trickery that Gene Wilder threw into the character as he was doing his limped walk toward the factory gates. From there, things took their normal course, I get misty eyed when Willy sings “Pure Imagination”, laugh when the tubby Agustus goes up the chocolate pipe, and sing along to the Oompa Loompa tracks…the whole time noticing that my daughter hasn’t turned away from the screen one bit. The only part that required fast forwarding in that segment of the movie was the truly disturbing boat ride scene because I didn’t particularly relish having to deal with a little girl having nightmares that night.


Of course, the biggest measure of how good a movie is with her is the time between the ending and when she asks if we can watch it again.
It is then that I became tired of being a small cog in a big machine, and of writing about nothing but game news after game news article and the periphery that comes from such schlock, like knowing who Michael Pachter and Bobby Kotick are. It wasn't until earlier this year that I realized that having the word "whore" in your URL might be a bit limiting to my potential audience. After stumbling upon a coin in the street, Charlie buys and opens a chocolate bar containing the fifth and final ticket, winning he and his grandfather a chance to tour the incredible land of candy.
The very fact that they set the movie in some nondescript Bavarian burg (I realize Munich isn’t nondescript, jokes people, jokes) makes the story that much more timeless because of the classic architecture and sheer history of that part of the world. Besides the somewhat boring segments where each of the nasty little children are introduced to the audience her attention never veered much from the movie.
That one littler somersault had to be rewound twice in our viewing because she liked it so much. I’m just thankful that I’ve seemed to kindle a love for classic movies like this even though there are those who argue that the new version is better.


As Charlie and the other winners journey through the magical factory, the children are sent packing one-by-one as their unseemly character traits get them into trouble.
The music and score by Newley and Bricusse proves to have lasted the test of 40+ years and is where my daughter got hooked on this cult classic. Wonka yelling at Charlie and Grandpa about the fizzy lifting drinks but thought better of it because it’s less of a spooky scene but one where I was able to teach her something. If I had my way, she’d never have watched the current version until much further down the road, but I love that she loves this movie as much as I did. Not a bit, because by the time I was old enough to know better, Wonka had already become an established brand.




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