Disclaimer: this review may contain spoilers. So if you donít want the movie ruined please read ahead with caution.
ďThere is no life I know to compare with pure imaginationÖĒ Gene Wilder (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, 1971)
You cannot say anything about this movie without first giving a nod to those who have come before. The original movie adaptation of the book ďCharlie and the Chocolate FactoryĒ has been one of the most beloved movies of all time. Gene Wilder portrayed Wonka as a childlike and benevolent man who runs a candy factory out of pure love and the cast of characters brought the view into a world of pure imagination.
This makes me stop and think for a second. The first movie is WILLY WONKA and the Chocolate Factory, BUT the movie focuses more on Charlie Bucket. Now we turn to CHARLIE and the Chocolate Factory and this one focuses MUCH more on Willy Wonka as opposed to Charlie, even going so far as to have flashbacks into his life as a child. If it were up to me I would have switched titles between these two movies due to the focus of each being so obvious.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory starts off much like the original only that in this one, Charlie has a father (Itís been a while since I have seen the '71 version so I donít exactly recall the reasoning for there being no Mr. Bucket in the family). The feeling you get is the same and if it werenít for the oddness of a Mr. Bucket being around I could have thought I was just watching the same movie, only with Tim Burtonís little touches here and there.
The movie continues to parallel the original in a sort of creepy surrealistic way thanks to Burtonís directing as well as the costuming and sets. Once we get to the chocolate factory, then the fun starts. Burton pulls no stops at making Wonka look completely insaneÖ a far cry from Gene Wilderís kinder, friendlier, more childlike Wonka. Johnny Depp does an incredible job at taking Wonka in a completely different direction yet still retaining mystery and randomness in the character.
The gangis all here from darling little Veruca Salt to the bouncing, baby, blueberry, Violet Beauregarde. The movie stays along the same story and you see things you will remember from the original movie (and the book if you have ever read it) but with Burton at the helm of this one you know you are in for a much bumpier and stylistic ride.
This movie was enjoyable from beginning to end and the only major disappointment for me was the Oompa Loompas. Gone are the days of the simplistic little rhymes sung to a basic beat. Welcome to the age of complex dance routines, crossover hits and huge production numbers. I think they lost a lot with the modernization of the Oompa Loompas and to tell the truth I think I would much rather listen to hours of Kidz Bop than the newly remade Oompa Loompa soundtrack.
I thought this movie was well done. Even though it is based off of the same book as the 1971 version, it still gives us a fresh view of Charlie, Wonka and the world they live in.
I give it 3 out of 4 Gnomes.
Lets All Gnome to the Movies © 2005 by Dillgaar
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