Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Book/Movie Review

Hi everyone!

Oompa Loompas?

or Oompa Loompas?

Sorry this post is late.  With cold season and some other things real life has thrown at me, I have been behind in my blogging duries.  Instead of a designated time for a discussion, I will leave this one open.

I loved this book in elementary school!  It was my first chapter book.  Now having read it again as an adult, it was great picking out the hidden meanings of Dahl's classic story.  Each child* represents one of the deadly sins:

Click on the sin to hear the Oompa Loompa song.  All lyrics here.

Violet's song doesn't do Roald's lyrics justice.  
A lot got butchered and they are really terrific lyrics!

Lust is the last sin and well, each of these characters defines lust in their own way: food, power, fame, etc...Then you have the final child, who in my opinion represents humility

Then you have Willy Wonka, who represents a Godlike figure. I know I said I would try something new with writing my review within the post, but this review has so many different aspects to cover, it would be better covered in the comments.  

As for the films: I love both versions for very different reasons, as I will explain in the comments.

Suggested Essay Topics (From Sparknotes.com)

1. What do the Oompa-Loompas’ songs tell us about how children should be raised?
2. What qualities does Charlie have that make him the hero of this story? What do those qualities say about Roald Dahl’s opinions of children?
3. Why could Augustus, Violet, Veruca, and Mike never win the chocolate factory?
4. How might modern readers criticize Mr. Wonka’s treatment of the Oompa-Loompas and the naughty children?
5. How does Charlie and Chocolate Factory speak to the phrase “Good things come to those who wait”? What about “Good things come in small packages”?
6. Describe Mr. Wonka’s character. Is he a good and caring person, or a selfish and aloof one?

* I chose the actors I preferred from each of the films. 


  1. Ok, again late to my own party. hahaha!!!

    I'm going to start my review with the Oompa Loompas. I liked that Tim Burton stayed true to the book. OL came up to an adults knee. They weren't "little people." (Is that the correct term?) They also were pygmies and I'm sorry pygmies aren't orange with green hair. Although, I do see how the 1971 film version may look more animated to kids.

    I thought Burton's idea to carbon copy one man was spectacular! However, I often wondered how they procreated until I saw Doris (when WW is in the elevator showing Mike and Charlie the rest of the factory). hahaha!!!

    I like both versions of Oompa Loompa songs, however, the ones used in Burton's version actually use lyrics from Dahl's book. They are shortened, but still manage to get the point across. Dahl really was clever in how he described each of the children's horrible personality traits (what we typically see in society). With Dahl's lyrics and Denny Elfman's music, you have a masterpiece.

  2. Gene Wilder vs Johnny Depp?

    I love Depp. Man is talented and amazing when it comes to crazy characters and charicatures of people. However, I lean more towards Wilder's version of Willy Wonka. In the book Wonka doesn't come across to me as a little boy trapped in a man's body. He's very much a grown up who loves to have fun and is very intelligent. I thought Wilder played WW as a grown man who still loves to be creative, use his imagination, and have fun. I also love his sarcasm, particularly when each child has succumed to their certain demise. Actually both Depp and Wilder do a great job of knowing exactly what is going to happen but choose to not step in. They let the kids get what they deserve...something that a lot of today's parents are afraid to let happen.

    Anyway, I love Wilder. I still was thoroughly entertained by Depp's portrayal. To run a factory like that with so many amazing and wonderful things to see and create, you must be somewhat childlike. Ok, I need to go feed my kids. Will be back!

  3. My answer to question #3:

    There isn't any way Augustus, Violet, Veruca, or Mike could ever win the chocolate factory. They are so selfish in their own ways. They don't think about others, let alone listen to instruction. They run over their parents and don't have anyone giving them "tough love". Their running the factory would end up in chaos and disaster. Augustus would eat everything, Veruka would be bossing all the OLs around until they got sick and tired of her and quit, Violet would solely be in it for the fame instead of doing things for the children, and Mike wouldn't give two sh#ts because he'd be in his bedroom watching TV or whatever technology that would be the "it" thing at the time. The factory would fall apart and WW's legacy would completely die.

    Charlie is perfect because he is humble, obedient, respects authority, is creative, and kind. He would run the factory to produce joy for children around the world and to carry on WW vision of the WW factory.

  4. Answer to question #1:

    Depending on which version of the OL songs you listen to, this is what I got from their messages: Parents, act like parents. Quit spoiling your children and letting them walk all over you and talk to you disrespectfully. Help them develop good habits and create environments that get them to use their imagination. Unless you want to have spoiled, cruel, bossy, ungrateful adults, put on your big mommy and daddy panties and teach them how to behave civilly. You can be their friend when they are older and on their own. Until then, administer consequences for bad behavior and praise them when they do something wonderful. DON'T BE AFRAID OF YOUR CHILDREN!!!

    Today's generations feel they are entitled to everything and anything regardless if they put in the effort or not. Adults who allow this behavior should be held responsible for the brats growing up today. There needs to be more responsibility and accountability for actions, less time on the computer, ipad, iphone, twitter, texting, and TV and more time reading, coloring, talking to people face to faceand playing outside. Work ethic should be taught starting at a young age, with age appropriate chores and household duties.

    As a former teacher and mother or two young children, I see all kinds of behaviors that are atrocious and yet their are no consequences. A turd is a turd no matter how much you sugar coat it and dress it up.

    Most importantly, give your children your undivided attention, tell them you love them as often as possible, and let them know how much you appreciate them.

    Ok, rant over. :)

  5. Side note: My son and daughter LOVE these movies. When my daughter starts to act bossy, I remind her what happened to Veruca Salt and she immediately switches gears. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

  6. Positives about 1971 version:

    Very kid friendly: bubbly, fun, lighthearted. I think this version did a better version giving us more character development with Veruca Salt. But then again, I just love Julie Dawn Cole as Veruca. I love her moment before she gets shot down the bad egg hatch. HAHAHAHAHAA!


    Why did they cut Mr. Bucket out of the picture? Why is their no closure at the end of the film? They just fly off. Dahl wrote the book specifically to take place anywhere in the world. However in the film you have American accents mixed with British accents mixed with European billboards and license plates. Ummm...yeah, that bothered me.

    Positives of the 2005 version:

    Burtonesque style. Not as kid friendly but still great. It has a darker feel, but it still plays well to a younger audience. I loved that Burton stayed true to the book and gave us more back history. I thought the use of Wilbur wonka was a great addition. I liked that the story was narrated just like the book. The narration was able to give us history that would otherwise have been lost, meaaaaaaning, most of us have not read the book since elementary school and I forgot minute details. I thought Mike Teavee was a great update of what children are overexposed to these days. Now, if you made the film, he would be walking around the factory with is iphone.

    Cons: the adult aspect of Willy Wonka. A little too childish for me. Book WW is actually a much older man with a beard and great sarcasm. Also, I couldn't understand the lyrics of the Oompa Loompas most of the time.