Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory


What do I love about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl? Everything. This is one of my childhood favorites. (I don't know how many times--more than two less than six--I probably read this one growing up.) But I recently, last week, read it for the Book to Movie Challenge. I loved the story. I loved the characters. (Especially Charlie and Grandpa Joe.) I loved the humor. Those oompa-loompa songs are just too much fun! I loved the illustrations. (For the record, the illustrations were by Joseph Schindelman). So when I said everything, I meant everything.

For the few that may not be familiar with the story, Charlie Bucket is a young boy, a poor boy, who wins a Golden Ticket--one of five--and is allowed into the ever-so-mysterious chocolate factory owned by Willy Wonka. Why is it so mysterious? The factory closed down years ago--spies in the company selling secrets--and it reopened years later. But no one ever goes in or out of the factory. The gates remain closed. Who are these "mystery" workers? Is Wonka as 'out there' as he seems?

I love the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie as well. The new one. Not that dreadful, dreadful one. Why? It follows the book better. It capture the *essence* of the book. It has the heart and soul of the original even if they change a few details now and then. What do I love most about the movie? A lot of the dialogue comes straight from the book. Not all of it. But enough that when you reread the book you see examples on practically every page. The songs especially are authentic to the book. When you read the book, you hear the songs from this movie. They have brought it to life. What they added to the movie that wasn't in the book was the fact that Willy Wonka's father was a dentist and that they had a strained relationship was an odd twist. In the movie, he had a reluctance to embrace families. He was a loner. In the book, he didn't have this 'odd' quirk and was more than willing to embrace the whole Bucket family from the start. Even though the movie didn't get it quite right at the end, they redeemed it enough where I could accept it.

Do I love Charlie and the Glass Elevator? No. Not really. Not at all. But the first one is classic. It's an unforgettable rags-to-riches story of a deserving boy who finally gets a break.

Of interest:

http://www.hbook.com/history/magazine/camerondahl.asp

7 comments:

Erin said...

I love Roald Dahl! I love this book, and I really love the new movie too! Hooray for Willy Wonka and Charlie.

Dewey said...

Hey, you have a picture now! I love your smile. :)

This is a favorite of mine, too. At first, I was refusing to see the movie, because I would have hated to see it ruin the story. But everyone raved about it, so I went, and loved it.

Unknown said...

Haha that's so funny! I looooove the old movie, but really didn't like the new one. I think Johnny Depp creeped me out. But you are right...it does follow the book better!

Kathleen said...

I love this book too, although I haven't read the same version as you. I don't remember mine having illustrations. I loved the movie too, you are right about the songs being done perfectly.

I've added the link to your review from the Book to Movie Challenge listing. Thanks!

BookGal said...

I remember as a kid being very disappointed in Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. Dahl is high on my list of recommended reads for parents. I'll have to break down and see the Johnny Depp version.

Anonymous said...

Sure now I have to read the story. Of course I have seen the movie many times but I haven't read the book!

Anonymous said...

(n)
this is a realy good book a hve read it 3 times