A wonder pic as imaginative as the candy landscapes it creates amongst sweeping synchronies, corrective (albeit uncomfortable) parental horrors, & a bizarre Gene Wilder performance, WWATCF is a bonkers sweet-tooth children’s film. 7.9/10.
Plot Synopsis: A sweet boy from a poor family dreams of finding one of five golden tickets hidden inside chocolate bar wrappers which will admit him to the eccentric and reclusive Willy Wonka’s magical factory. One after another, tickets are discovered by ghastly children – but will the lad find the last remaining one and have all his dreams come true?
*Possible spoilers ahead*
Official CLC Review
A wonder pic as imaginative as the candy landscapes it creates, Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory is one of the most endearing, and encompassing, childhood stories out there. Amongst sweeping musical synchronies feeling just off broadway to a sense of wonder and adventure rarely realized in a kids-aimed movie since The Wizard Of Oz in my opinion, director Mel Stuart and the show-stealing, career-defining Gene Wilder in this iconic and bizarre/captivating Willy Wonka (whose even near-imperceptible eye nuances merit tons of analysis) weave a film of rarified proportions. What’s more, it succeeds as an indulgent film as well as sweet in ultimate sentiment as any chocolate river or gumdrop mushroom. Now, a flaw often cited by opposers of it is its somewhat brash and bordering-horrorful treatment of who likely all thought were going to be the center of adoration in the film: children. It can get downright disturbing and difficult to watch children, no matter if they’re rotten to the core like Veruca, get trapped in a tube yelling for help (up there with getting buried alive in claustrophobic nightmares) or sent, as Wonka quaintly brushes off, “to the FURNACE” for, some of them, minor and unserious bad habits like chewing gum and watching TV/films – I mean, if the film’s goal is likely to scare kids into submission and socialized good behavior through horror (as well as correcting parents to parent), it didn’t have to do so so abrasively and uncomfortably while never even showing them being okay in the end (maybe why the conspiracy theories about Wonka bars being made from remains or some of these dark postulances about him have gone rampant when watching again as an adult). Overall though, Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory is an extremely unique classic fantasy/children’s film that, with a couple of uncomfortable forgiveness-needed moments, will satisfy most sweet-tooth’s and is surprisingly layered for a film of this target audience.
Official CLC Score: 7.9/10