I love to share with my children stories I have known forever, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory feels like a story I have always known. I have to say I am a little bit unnerved by the story really as pretty gruesome things happen but then that’s Roald Dahl for you! We were so delighted to be sent this film from Warner Bros. to reviews on behalf of the Tots 100 film club I had been keen for kids to see it. My son has read the book and loved it and I hought they would find it delightful.
I thought the start was quite slow and didn’t expect to take quite so long to get to chocolate factory bit but the kids were completely engrossed…perhaps I know the story too well? The little boy who plays XCharkie was excellent and Grandpa Joe was very funny. I started telling the kids aboout how many granny lived in her bed in their living room but they didnt believe me! I got quite nostalgic for how family life used to be!
Well the story is I am sure familiar to everyone but we proper cheered as a family when Charlie won his golden ticket to visit the Chocolate factory with the other 4 (rather bratty) kids
Once inside it was wild and fun and the kids eyes got huge with all the sweets and shocking things going on. I got rather disturbed by Gene Wilder alternationg between an exccentic, wise, kind and bizarre and somewhat sinister Willy Wonka. This seemed to pass right over my kids heads though but I am sure more senistive kids may be a bit worried, Just before she went to sleep my four year iold asked if everyone was okay in the end as the film doesnt show this which is unusual these days. i didn’t like that she was still worried and to be honest much as I love this story the film left me a little jangled.
Right at the end when Charlie wins the chocolate factory because he’s been honest i felt a bit like i’d just read a macabre fairy tale form The brothers Grimm or something where everyone dies a gruesome death apart from the GOOD people. I much prefer it when Cinderella forgives the ugly sisters and invites them to the wedding.
It stands up brilliantly from 1971 (except perhaps for the annoying singing in parts) the acting is awesome and it’s an iconic film. So all in all good entertainment but I wouldn’t watch it again with the kids. Could give someone bad dreams.