Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971) Movie Review

By: Alex Phuong (Two Beers) –

Roald Dahl is the author of some of the most beloved children’s books of all time.  His books have been adapted for both the silver screen and the Broadway stage, and Dahl’s timeless stories still resonate with both kids and adults.  The fantastical elements within these stories help comment upon reality while reminding readers and audiences that the real world really is just what it is.  One of the most famous film adaptations of a Roald Dahl classic is Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, and it has definitely stood the test of time as one of the most famous and beloved family films ever made.

A Toast

Just like the tagline used to promote this film during its original release, “It’s scrumdiddlyumptious”!  The factory itself is filled with sweet treats and surprises around every corner.  A lot of the sugary confections in this film were actually edible, which must have been a delight for the children lucky enough to star in this classic family film.  The film also respects the original text by promoting good behavior and punishing naughtiness.  Indeed, the original novel features Charlie as a boy with a heart of gold, *spoiler* which is why he won the grand prize of owning the chocolate factory thanks to Willy Wonka’s generosity.  There are a lot of powerful life lessons that could be learned from children’s books and films, which means that books aimed at children are not necessarily just for kids!

Beer Two

In spite of the enduring legacy of this film, it also received criticism for being one of the scariest and creepiest films ever made.  The Oompa Loompas have been notorious for scaring moviegoers even though these characters sing songs that offer wisdom whenever the naughty children get their “just desserts” (pun intended).  There is also a very infamous scene in which the main cast rides through a tunnel that feels like a psychedelic nightmare.  Veruca Salt even says to her father, “Daddy, I DO NOT want a boat like this!” even though she is a spoiled brat.  Family friends might not be so family-friendly after all.

Verdict

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory had a remake released in 2005, which Tim Burton directed.  Because of that, comparisons between the two films and the original novel were inevitable.  Nevertheless, Roald Dahl crafted a masterpiece by writing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and this film adaptation remains one of the most iconic family films ever made.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) Drinking Game

Take a Drink: every time the characters talk about the golden tickets

Take a Drink: for every song

Take a Drink: every time the bad children misbehave

Drink a Shot: every time the oompah loompas sing their morality songs

And Maybe Add Some Sweetener to Your Drink: for all of the candy and sugary treats in this film

And Give a Toast to Charlie: when he wins the ultimate prize for having a heart of gold!

About Alex Phuong

Alex Andy Phuong earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University-Los Angeles in 2015. His love affair with cinema began after discovering Turner Classic Movies in the summer of 2004. His favorite film director is Woody Allen, and his favorite movie star is Kate Winslet.

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