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Review: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

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I knew this movie was a 5 out of 5 (classic) before I ever saw it. I am a big fan of the original Willie Wonka (who isn’t), and I couldn’t wait to see Johnny Depp’s take on the crazed choclateer. This movie did so many things right. It created an unreal, twisted tale of a candymaker gone mad (quite literally). It should not, however, be compared with the original film classic. The two are very different movies and should be both enjoyed for very different reasons.

Dark and Twisted
This movie was very dark and twisted, almost scary. Sure, the original movie had a dark undertone, but it was hidden beneath. In Tim Burton’s film, Willie Wonka becomes quite a different character. The audience is given insight into his often disturbing and sad past. Wonka seems not only unconcerned for the welfare of the kids but also almost eager for them to encounter their fate. At times, there are hints that he set them up. The tale is very different from the happy one I watched as a kid, although it does end with the obligatory happy ending.

How Does It Compare?
I recall saying that the two movies shouldn’t be compared, but it is inevitable that they will. This movie has a much larger scope. Unlike the first movie, this one is not limited to the Chocolate Factory. It has flashbacks from the past both from Wonka and Charlie’s grandpa, and it also continues the movie to show some of the events following the factory tour.

The most obvious comparison would be the scenes that were missing. There is no floating soda pop (fizzy lifting drinks) scene. My wife missed that one more than I did. The one that struck out the most to me was the removal of the contract signing scene. For every scene that is removed, there are many wonderful scenes that are added such as when Willie discovers the Oompa Loompas.

Of course, one obvious comparison would be the Oompa Loompas, which I enjoyed much more so in the newer movie. Their songs have been given a face-lift, and they really have a lot more character (especially when they turn into TV rock stars).

Everyone should go see this movie. Unlike so many movies out there, this is one that everyone can enjoy.

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  • The ‘original’ is a book, not a film.

  • The Theory

    exactly. The “new” movie is based off of the original book, not the old movie. I could never enjoy the old movie due to it’s adding of the floating soda pop scene. 😉