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.