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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, Noah Taylor, 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):

  • Achievements in Ignorance: Mike Teavee sees Willy Wonka's Television Chocolate setup as this on Mr. Wonka's part — Mr. Wonka was merely looking for a new way to get his chocolate to market and wound up creating a teleporter without realizing the true significance/potential of such an invention.
  • 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.
  • Also Sprach Zarathustra: Turns up in the 2001 parody scene (see The Monolith below).
  • Alternate Continuity: As Roald Dahl arranged that the novel's sequel Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator — which was published after the first film adaptation of Chocolate Factory was released — could not be adapted into a film, this adaptation ends on a note of complete closure rather than setting up its events. (It also disregards the more specific personalities Dahl gave the Ascended Extra grandparents in that book.)
  • Amazing Technicolor World: The factory interior from the Chocolate Room onwards.
  • The Amazon: Loompaland is portrayed as this. (Cacao trees are widely distributed from South America up to Mexico — in fact, chocolate was invented by the Aztecs — although the trope definition may encompass other rainforests.)
  • 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.
  • And Starring: "With Deep Roy and Christopher Lee", to be specific.
  • 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.
  • Bedsheet Ghost: In the first flashback to Mr. Wonka's childhood, he dresses as this for Halloween — the better to hide his Braces of Orthodontic Overkill.
  • 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 all the great big chocolatey flavor 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.
  • Brick Joke: During the initial trip through the factory via the Great Glass Elevator, one room it passes through is a "relatively new" Puppet Hospital and Burn Center, which is tending to the puppets that were immolated at the top of the tour.
  • Busby Berkeley Number: The Oompa Loompas do one during the "Augustus Gloop" song.
  • Camera Abuse: Subverted — Willy Wonka seems to collide with the camera twice over the course of the film, but both times it's actually the Great Glass Elevator, which is virtually see-through for both the characters and the audience.
  • Cloning Blues: Not the Oompa-Loompas, but rather the actor playing them.
  • Cluster Bleep Bomb / Cover Innocent Eyes And Ears / Curse Cut Short: When Grandpa George learns that Mike Teavee doesn't actually like chocolate — he only sought out his Golden Ticket to show off his own intelligence — he shouts at the television "Well, it's a good thing you're going to a chocolate factory then, you ungrateful little bu-" Mr. Bucket promptly covers Charlie's ears and neither he nor the audience can clearly hear what appears to be a very profane rant that goes on for several seconds.
  • Covered in Gunge: Augustus, Veruca, and her father all leave the factory in this state. In the boy's case it's just chocolate, while Veruca and her father are covered in garbage.
  • Credits Medley: All five of the musical numbers are strung together into a mostly-instrumental medley for the end credits.
  • Demoted to Extra: Mr. Gloop and Mrs. Salt.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The "real" world (especially Charlie's hometown) looks desaturated compared to the factory's interior — or is the interior oversaturated?
  • 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.
  • Double Vision: One actor plays hundreds upon hundreds of Oompa-Loompas. (See Acting for Two on the Trivia page for how it worked.)
  • DVD Commentary: Tim Burton provided one that appears only on high-definition format releases (HD-DVD and Blu-Ray).
  • Every Proper Lady Should Curtsy: Veruca does this when she formally introduces herself to Willy Wonka.
  • 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.
  • Forced Perspective: Oversized furniture and props are used for some scenes to reduce Deep Roy, already only four feet high, down to Oompa-Loompa size. Other scenes use animatronics or CGI.
  • 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
  • Great Balls Of Fire: The puppet show has pyrotechnics at the end...which end up setting said puppets on fire.
  • 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."
  • Growling Gut: Violet's stomach during her transformation into a blueberry — or maybe that's the sound of the juice forming in her?
  • Humble Pie: In the late going, Willy Wonka has to cope with this after Charlie refuses to become his heir. His creative drive and business suffer, ultimately driving him to ask the boy — whose fortunes have actually been turning around without him — for advice.
  • 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.
  • Job-Stealing Robot: The toothpaste cap-screwing machine that makes Mr. Bucket redundant.
  • The Kids Are American: Inverted with regards to Charlie's hometown, which is subject to Where The Hell Is Springfield? He and his family are among the few who speak with British accents as opposed to American ones.
  • 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?"
  • Loads and Loads of Roles: Deep Roy as the Oompa-Loompas!
  • Logo Joke: The Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow logos emerge in an overcast, snowy sky, setting up the long tracking shot around and into the factory that most of the opening credits are run over, and Danny Elfman's score substitutes for the "As Time Goes By" music.
  • 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 — and since the tickets were explicitly said to be available all over the world, this is a relatively realistic touch in any version.
  • 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...
  • Makes Just as Much Sense in Context: See Up to Eleven below.
  • The Mel Brooks Number: Danny Elfman turns the Oompa-Loompa songs into a gorgeously orchestrated game of Genre Roulette, but Roald Dahl's original lyrics about naughty kids getting their comeuppance are (mostly) kept intact, and the visuals spoof everything from Busby Berkeley numbers to heavy metal videos.
  • Misapplied Phlebotinum: Mike Teavee regards Mr. Wonka's Television Chocolate setup as this.
  • Monochrome Casting: All five Golden Ticket finders — indeed, all the major characters aside from the Oompa-Loompas — are white. This is also the case in the novel and the 1971 film, but there's more emphasis in this 2005 version on the Wonka Bars (and thus the tickets) being available worldwide, so it's more noticable. Tim Burton admitted that they had considered doing a Race Lift for some of the characters, but since four of the finders are brats, that might have opened another can of Unfortunate Implications.
  • 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.
  • Mood Motif: Danny Elfman again uses The Celestia of Warped Childhood Innocence in a movie score!
  • Mouth Cam: Used in the climax, no less, as Dr. Wilbur Wonka examines his son's teeth.
  • Musical World Hypothesis: Diegetic. The Oompas' "improvisation" is lampshaded.
  • Narrator All Along: It turns out it's one of the Oompa-Loompas.
  • Noodle People: Mike's appearance (crossing over with Paper People) after he's been stretched upon the taffy puller, and Charlie's appearance in the Game Boy Advance video game tie-in.
  • 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 Even Bothering with the Accent: As a boy, Willy Wonka had an English accent. He inexplicably loses it as a grown-up.
  • 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.
  • Placebo Eureka Moment: Willy Wonka has one while on the Freudian Couch.
  • "Psycho" Shower Murder Parody: See Getting Crap Past the Radar above.
  • Recycled Trailer Music: The final stretch of the trailer uses "Flying" from the 2003 Peter Pan. Five years later, an excerpt from this score ("Up and Out") was used in the trailer for Alice in Wonderland.
  • Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony: Mr. Wonka performed one when he opened his factory (providing a Shout-Out in the process — see below).
  • Robotic Assembly Lines: Wonka Bars are created on these, as shown in the opening credits sequence.
  • Roll Out The Red Carpet: The Chocolate Room is reached by walking down one.
  • 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!
  • Shoe Shine, Mister?: In the late going, Charlie encounters Willy Wonka once more when the former (earning a little more money for his family) is giving the latter a shoe shine.
  • Shout-Out:
  • The Show Must Go Wrong: The animatronic puppet show starts off well, but it's supposed to reveal Mr. Wonka at the end and he's not there. Then the pyrotechnics go awry, the puppets are destroyed, and the soundtrack grinds to a halt. As it turns out, Mr. Wonka wanted to watch the show rather than be in it, and he seems to think it's better for ending the way it does.
  • 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.
  • Sniff Sniff Nom: Young adult Willy Wonka (in the Loompaland flashback) seems willing to taste anything as a potential candy ingredient, including mashed caterpillars and the green goo left on his machete after cutting a giant mosquito in half. (The former also counts as Tastes Like Friendship.)
  • Souvenir Land: A small-scale parody, as the factory's introductory puppet show is a spoof of the Disney Theme Parks favorite "It's a Small World".
  • 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.
  • Stage Money: The setting was designed to look like America to Britons and like Britain to Americans, so it makes use of "guinea" notes that don't look quite like either a $10 bill or a £10 note.
  • Stalker Shrine: A non-creepy example in the late going is the wall of Dr. Wilbur Wonka's office, which contains photos and newspaper clippings chronicling his son's success as a candymaker.
  • The Stinger: Audio only — as the end credits wrap and the Warner Bros. logo appears, the sound of the Oompa-Loompas giggling can be heard.
  • 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.
  • Thicker Than Water: Charlie is devoted to his family — hence his Greater Need Than Mine dilemma regarding the Golden Ticket — and this is why he initially turns down the chance to be Mr. Wonka's heir, as he'd have to leave them behind.
  • 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.
  • Travel Montage: Subverted/spoofed — in the last flashback to his childhood, it appears young Wonka is travelling the world, passing the flags of many different countries, upon running away from home, but he's actually walking through a "flags of the world" exhibit at a museum not far from his house. (Hey, he's just getting started with being on his own...)
  • Two Scenes, One Dialogue: Once all five tickets have been found, the scene switches between the five winners each reading the instructions on their Golden Tickets out loud as the fateful tour draws near.
  • 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.
  • Understatement: Willy Wonka notes that cannibalism "is frowned upon in most societies."
  • 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, paper money consists of bluish-pink "guinea" notes yet they're referred to as dollars. And despite the entire population of the town (apparently) speaking English, the motorized bicycles used in the opening are uniquely French.
  • Yodel Land: By placing the city of Düsseldorf there, Burton and company practically declare all of Germany this!

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