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Film: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the second film version of Roald Dahl's most popular book. (The first, released in 1971, was given the title Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.) While Truer To The Text than the 1971 film in many aspects, it is also subject to Adaptation Expansion, namely in giving Willy Wonka a backstory that figures heavily into the final act.

This version, directed by Tim Burton and released in 2005, features Johnny Depp as Wonka, and a supporting cast that includes James Fox, Deep Roy, Missi Pyle, Deep Roy, Helena Bonham-Carter, Deep Roy, Christopher Lee, Deep Roy, Deep Roy, Deep Roy, Deep Roy, and Deep Roy.

See also the character sheet.


This film provides examples of (in addition to many of the source novel's tropes):

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Willy Wonka is played by Johnny Depp. Enough said.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: Mike Teevee is turned from the excitable, television obsessed kid he is in the book to a jaded Insufferable Genius who couldn't care less about chocolate.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Depp's portrayal of Wonka. While the original book character could be a bit of a Jerk Ass at times, here he's more of an apathetic and self-absorbed braggart. Luckily, he gets better by the end of the film.
    • Also, Augustus Gloop, to a mild degree. As the tour group heads towards the Chocolate Room, he asks Charlie if he wants some of his chocolate, only to immediately tell him that he should have brought his own. In the novel and 1971 film he doesn't really do anything until he starts drinking from the chocolate river.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The subplot about Willy Wonka's childhood and his relationship with his dentist father.
  • Adapted Out: Mr. Beauregarde and Mrs. Teavee.
  • Anachronism Stew: Burton likes making his settings more symbolic than realistic. Therefore, to see Charlie Bucket's family living in near Charles Dickens-style poverty in one scene and Mike Teevee's videogames in the next is a tad jarring for some, despite the Buckets having their own TV. And Charlie's grandpa gives him a Peace dollar — an American, silver, 1920s/30s dollar.
  • Artistic License - Geography: Düsseldorf is portrayed as an Alpine wooden-house village, instead of the modern industrial capital of the Ruhr, which is far from any mountains.
  • Art Shift: Music shift to be more precise, as each of the Oompa-Loompas' songs has a different theme. Augustus's is based on Bollywood spectacle, as suggested by Deep Roy. Violet's song is derived from '70s funk. Veruca's has a very Beatles-esque feel to it. Mike's is a Hard Rock song.
  • Big Door: The Chocolate Room has an Inverted case of this — the door is incredibly tiny, likely so Oompa-Loompas can easily get in. (Mr. Wonka also claims it's "to keep the great big chocolate freshness inside!") The space is so small that the normal-sized protagonists are slouching.
  • Big Fancy House: The Salt family lives in one.
  • Break Up Make Up Scenario: Between Willy Wonka and his father.
  • Busby Berkeley Number: The Oompa Loompas do one during the "Augustus Gloop" song.
  • Cloning Blues: Not the Oompa-Loompas, but rather the actor playing them.
  • Credits Medley: All five of the musical numbers are strung together into a mostly-instrumental medley for the end credits.
  • Cultural Translation: Both Mike Teevee and Violet Beauregarde are American in this version (and Augustus Gloop is German) — although since the characters' nationalities were left deliberately ambiguous in the book and the tickets were explicitly said to be available all over the world, this is a relatively realistic touch. (It's also a bit of Lost in Imitation — it follows on from the 1971 film, which, unlike the novel, assigned nationalities to the brats.) On a less thought-out level, though, several of the English characters use Americanisms (like "candy" when referring to sweets), and their currency is, for some reason, dollars. For that matter, the opening scene implies that the factory may be in France, as the bicycles are motorized in a way that was only mass produced in France and not exported as a mass-market item.
  • Demoted to Extra: Mr. Gloop and Mrs. Salt.
  • Disqualification-Induced Victory: In a similar situation to that of the 1971 version, Charlie buys a Wonka Bar with some dropped money after hearing word that the final Golden Ticket has been found. Just as he's about to open it, he overhears a conversation that reveals that ticket was forged...when he does, the real final ticket is in his hands.
  • Expy: Willy Wonka's personality, traits and backstory mirrors that of Krusty the Clown.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: The melting of the singing puppets by pyrotechnics.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Willy Wonka is given one of these as part of the Adaptation Expansion. Mr. Wonka, Sr., is a dentist who doesn't allow his son to eat candy, driving Willy to rebel against him to achieve his dream of being a chocolatier.
  • The Film of the Book
  • Flashback: There are several as the tour progresses, each one inspired by Charlie's innocent questions/comments, that reveal Willy Wonka's backstory. Flashbacks are also used to illustrate Grandpa Joe's stories of how the factory came to be and was later closed, the tale of Prince Pondicherry, the explanations of how Augustus and Veruca got their tickets, and Mr. Wonka's stories of 1) how he discovered the Oompa-Loompas and 2) realized he needed an heir (all of these also count as Separate Scene Storytelling).
  • Flashback Stares: Mr. Wonka is prone to these and actually apologizes for spacing out at one point.
  • Food End: The final scene has Willy Wonka joining the Buckets for dinner at their house...which has been moved into the Chocolate Room.
  • For Want of a Nail: Because of the increase of demand for chocolate due to the contest, the toothpaste factory Mr. Bucket works at makes extra money and decides to modernize — which results in Mr. Bucket losing his job. Later, he gets a better-paying job at the same factory repairing the machine that replaced him!
  • Foreshadowing: When everyone is entering the factory, Wonka seems to have trouble saying the word "Parents", which at first one might just assume is part of his eccentricity. It turns out to be a big plot point — what with his father issues and all.
  • Freudian Couch: Willy Wonka ends up on one of these near the end.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar
  • Greater Need Than Mine: When Charlie finds his Golden Ticket, he seriously considers selling it because his family needs the money that people are willing to offer for it, even though he's been hoping against hope to find one and visit the factory. It's Grandpa George who convinces him that a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is far more valuable than "something as common as money."
  • I Am Great Song: "Willy Wonka! Willy Wonka! The amazing chocolatier!" Also a serious Ear Worm. It's sung by the puppets, before their accidental immolation.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Several of Mr. Wonka's lines strongly imply he's tried eating people!
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: It does not occur to Mr. Salt to vault the safety railing in order to keep his daughter from being dragged to her doom.
  • I Taste Delicious: In the end, Augustus is rather reluctant to stop licking the fudge coating off of his body, despite his mother's insistence.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • Mr. Salt remarks on how choreographed the Augustus number looks, and Charlie asks how the Oompa-Loompas knew the boy's name and personality, a Plot Hole that the book doesn't address with regards to any of the kids. Mr. Wonka claims it's skilled improvisation, but the whole exchange implies that Mr. Wonka researched his guests/potential victims, planned traps for them, and trained the Oompa-Loompas to celebrate their downfalls in a masterpiece of pre-planning.
    • When Mr. Wonka sizes up the kids for the first time, he remarks that Charlie's "just lucky to be here, aren't you?"
  • Lost in Imitation: While this film mostly avoids this trope with regards to the 1971 version, it does keep the same nationalities that film established for the children, while also giving most of them hometowns — Augustus is from Düsseldorf (which suffers from a bad case of Hollywood Geography), Veruca is from Buckinghamshire, Violet is from Atlanta, Mike is from Denver, and Charlie is still ambiguously British/American. Keep in mind that in the book all the characters' nationalities are ambiguous — most subsequent adaptations have picked up on the 1971 precedent.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: (to a Beatles-y tune)
    Oompas: Veruca Salt, the little brute, has just gone down the garbage chute!
    And she will meet, as she descends, a rather different set of friends!
    Oompa: A fish head, for example, cut this morning from a halibut...
  • The Mel Brooks Number: Danny Elfman turns the Oompa-Loompa songs into a gorgeously orchestrated game of Genre Roulette, but the lyrics are still about naughty kids getting their comeuppance, and the visuals spoof everything from Busby Berkeley numbers to heavy metal videos.
  • The Monolith: Featured in a demonstration of Wonka's matter transmutation device...as part of a clip straight out of 2001: A Space Odyssey, no less.
  • Musical World Hypothesis: Diegetic. The Oompas' "improvisation" is lampshaded.
  • Narrator All Along: It turns out it's one of the Oompa-Loompas.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Pretty straightforward. The overhead railings in the Inventing Room are particularly egregious. Amusingly, the one time the trope is subverted is in the Nut Room, with its so-inconvenient locked safety gate.
  • Not His Sled: There's some pretty crazy Adaptation Expansion here: Charlie is the last kid standing, but initially has to refuse the offer to become Mr. Wonka's heir because he won't let him bring his family with him. Only when he helps Mr. Wonka reconcile with his father is the happy ending free to commence.
  • Object Tracking Shot: The making of a Wonka Bar is the basis for the opening credits sequence.
  • Scenery Porn: The 1971 film had its moments with regards to this trope, given its modest budget, but with Tim Burton, CGI, and a mega-budget brought to bear upon this story...
  • Setting Update: To the Turn of the Millennium, most obviously with regards to Mike Teavee (see Technology Marches On below), though Charlie's town doesn't seem quite so tied down to that time period as the rest of the world is.
  • She-Fu: Violet's movement after the events, as her de-juicing by squeezing leaves her quite flexible!
  • Shout-Out:
  • Signature Style: Tim Burton likes to create a contrast between places of wonder, which are bright and colorful, and mundane places, which are dark and dreary. In the context of a Roald Dahl adaptation, it works.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: The toothpaste factory where Charlie's dad used to work. In the book, it was said he lost his job because the factory went bankrupt. In the film, the factory fired him and bought a machine to replace him.
  • Spoiled Brat: Pretty much all of the other kids, but Veruca — DEAR GOD — she takes this up to the prime maximum.
  • Summer Blockbuster: A triple-digit budget and the huge production values that implies, a big-name star, a big-name director...and it was released in the U.S. and U.K. in July 2005.
  • Technology Porn: The opening sequence showing the creation of the chocolate bars.
  • Totally Radical: Played for Laughs. As a side effect of having isolated himself from the rest of the world for so long, Willy Wonka tends to speak this way to children, using slang and references that wander from The Fifties to The Seventies.
  • Ultra Super Death Gore Fest Chainsawer 3000: It's hard not to wonder whether Tim Burton read this. Having Mike be from suburban Denver, Colorado was most likely just the icing on the cake.
  • Up to Eleven: In Willy Wonka's flashback, Willy decides to run away from home after an argument with his dad. Wilbur responds, "I won't be here when you get back." Neither is the house.
  • Where The Hell Is Springfield?: Due to the book never being clear on whether Charlie Bucket and the Factory are located in England or America, Burton purposely made it ambiguous in the film; English and American accents are thrown around indiscriminately, people drive on the right in some scenes and the left in others, and paper money consists of bluish-pink "guinea" notes. And despite the entire population of the town (apparently) speaking English, the motorized bicycles used in the opening are uniquely French.

The Amityville HorrorCreator/Asylum Visual EffectsCSI: Miami
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate FactoryCreator/ABC FamilyRace to Witch Mountain
The CavernFilms of 2005 - 2009 Chicken Little

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