The Chocolate Factory: Willy Wonka Or Charlie?

The Chocolate Factory: Willy Wonka Or Charlie?
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory

Credit: Charlie And The Chocolate Factory

The famous story about the adventures of a boy in an eccentric chocolatier’s chocolate factory goes back to the 1960s. The media franchise Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is based on British author Roald Dahl’s 1964 novel of the same name. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is one of the two live-action theatrical films created under this franchise. Besides the two movies, it entails two books, a ride at England’s theme park, and two video games.  

The two films were created to tickle the childhood fantasy of every kid. The mystery about a chocolate factory, several little people making candies, exceptional and individual rooms for developing unique chocolates, and many other things was included in the film to give it a magical feel. However, the film adaptation failed as a magical tale for the kids as it was more practical and moral-based.  

Even though the magic did not work, the movies were cleverly picturized to revolve around the chocolatier, while the main protagonist was the little boy. Moreover, the inclusion of other kids invited for the tour around the factory gave it an interesting angle for the viewers.   

The Original Storyline

The movie is based on the chocolate factory tour offered to five kids. The factory gates were closed by owner Willy Wonka when he found that his competitors sent spies to steal his recipes. However, after a few years, he announced that five Golden Tickets were hidden in Wonka (his chocolate brand) bars. Whoever finds the tickets gets a lifetime supply of Wonka chocolates and a factory tour.   

Charlie Bucket is a poor boy with four bedridden grandparents, one of whom was a worker at the factory back when everything was normal. When he mysteriously finds the last golden ticket, he takes his grandfather along. The characters of the other four kids are created with unique traits, sending out a lesson from each one’s behavior throughout the movie. The entire story is about these kids’ adventures at the chocolate factory. Each kid suffers their fate because of greed, arrogance, and such bad traits.  

The movie’s mesmerizing images and conceits include the chocolate river, an indoor park made of chocolate edibles, an invention room, and many other things. It also reveals the factory’s workforce, named Oompa-Loompas, who are little people running errands around the place. In the end, Willy Wonka declares that after his retirement, he will give his factory to one of these five kids by the end of the tour.  

1971 Movie 

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Credit: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was the first film adaptation of the novel, released in 1971. It depicted Dahl’s story through a musical to create that magical effect. However, those aspirations could not be fulfilled. Although it failed to bring that whimsical magic on screen, the movie was still a beautiful journey and adventure for young minds.  

The movie stars Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka and Peter Ostrum as Charlie. Receiving positive reviews from critics, the film was nominated for Best Original Score at the 1972 Academy Award. In addition, Wilder was nominated for Golden Globe Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical. Overall, the movie captures the book well and delivers the message effectively.   

2005 Movie 

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory

Credit: Charlie And The Chocolate Factory

There were two film adaptations of Dahl’s book; the second came out in 2005. This was also a musical film starring Johnny Depp and Freddie Highmore as Willy Wonka and Charlie Bucket, respectively. Among the two films, this one was accepted as more faithful to the original book. Director Tim Buton was praised for creating a more authentic version, with characters’ appearance and flaws, songs, the factory, etc., appearing the same as described in the book.  

Johnny Depp is allergic to chocolate but was still highly appreciated for his performance as Willy Wonka. With his quirk and style, he perfectly portrayed the role. He even added a psychotic appeal to the character, initially eccentric and evil at times. He played a childlike Wonka that was fun but in his evil ways. Additionally, Willy Wonka was given a more tragic backstory in this version to support his character traits.   

To Conclude 

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a complete family movie that will always be a classic. The first release brings along a more nostalgic feel for the audience. However, Burton’s film was accepted as a better and more accurate version of Roald Dahl’s book. He gave the original story a modernized look to connect easily with the new generation.   

So, Willy Wonka or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory have different fan bases and effects on people. However, an age-old classic story will permanently reinstate childhood nostalgia. In addition, a prequel version is in the line, titled Wonka, to be released in December 2023. It will focus on the story and experiences of young Willy Wonka, played by Timothee Chalamet. 

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