Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

MPAA Rated – PG
It’s 1:55 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, Anna Sophia Robb, Christopher Lee, Missi Pyle
MPAA Rated: PG
Released By: Warner Bros.
Release Date: 2005
Kiddie Movie: It’s pretty good for everyone.
Date Movie: They might like it, too.
Gratuitous Sex: Really, what do you think?
Gratuitous Violence: No.
Action: Some fun action scenes.
Laughs: There are good chuckles for adults and kids.
Memorable Scene: Technology has made the factory even that more enjoyable.
Memorable Quote: Nothing really stands out.
Directed By: Tim Burton

I was worried that with “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” I would be totally disappointed in the movie because of my love for “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” My worry was unfounded, although I do have one major gripe, which I’ll get to later. Let’s get to it…

The story is pretty much the same as “Willy Wonka,” with a little more of a backstory. This time we learn why Willy Wonka got into the chocolate business, his family issues as a little boy, and why the Oompa Loompa’s are working in the factory instead of people. Once again Willy offers up a tour of his factory to some lucky children who find the magic tickets, and our kids are the same. You of course get poor kid Charlie, the fat slob Augustus, the TV addicted genius Mike, the gum-chewing Violet, and the spoiled brat Veruca. Along with them come their parents, who are just as wacky as their kids.

So, you get the kids touring the factory, and yes, Augustus falls in the chocolate river, Violet turns into a blueberry, and Mike gets put inside a TV. Different, though I actually liked it better, was Veruca’s fate, mostly because the animals were so cute. Different, also, was the way they worked the ending, but I’m sticking that the “Willy Wonka” ending was a little better and more poignant.

The main difference between the “Willy Wonka” version and the “Charlie” version is mostly the technological advances that give the “Charlie” version a slight advantage. The factory is fantastic, the Bucket’s homestead is oddly angular, and the elevator is pretty cool. I will also add that the folks playing the other kids and their parents were fantastic. However, this movie would have easily been 4 ½ stars except for one thing – the Oompa Loompa songs were horrible. When I asked Stu about this movie, he said the same thing, that the Oompa Loompa songs were unintelligible. And that is way too bad.

What they did, rather than the campy “Oompa Loompa Doom-pa-de-do” songs, was rework them into extravagant musical numbers with the instruments overpowering the lyrics, so much so that you really couldn’t understand the lesson the Oompa Loompa’s were trying to convey about the actions of kids, how eating too much is bad, chewing too much candy is gross, being spoiled is the parent’s fault, and watching too much TV rots your brain.

The way they did the Oompa Loompa’s was interesting, and overall I enjoyed the movie, the characters, and even though Johnny Depp was pretty creepy, he even won me over. I just don’t understand how you can make this movie and screw up the Oompa Loompa songs, and that’s enough for me to drop my rating to 3 ½ stars out of 5. I understand they couldn’t just copy the way the songs were done in the “Willy Wonka” version, but they should have been able to come up with something better than they did.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!