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The Chocolate Room was laced with LSD.This explains the following boat ride, etc. Perhaps Mr. Wonka wanted to see which kids had the most tolerance for stress, etc. so he induced the most stress he could by making everybody stoned in the beginning.
The tickets were not random.Wonka specifically targeted the children who were to get tickets. How else could the fake-Slugworth get to them so quickly? He had to already know who would get them. For whatever reason, Wonka thought they might make good candidates for being his "heirs"; but he wanted to be sure, and so he invented a contest to get them to come to the factory where he could observe them. He rigged it so that only the children he wanted to get tickets would receive them. The contest story was a way to cover up his targeting and to make sure that they would come. Note that, at the end, Wonka says he "knew" Charlie would win, but he had to test him to be sure.
The scary tunnel was a failed attempt to lessen the numbers of the group.Wonka wanted a way to scare off some of the weaker-stomached children to help weed out his successor, who would need to have a taste for the bizarre, of which the factory obviously has no shortage (note that Charlie and Grandpa Joe seemed to enjoy the ride.) He almost had his way, as they were clearly disturbed, but they all proceeded to simply shrug it it off instead of demanding to leave.
Wonka wanted all of the children to succeed, and the tickets weren't randomThink about it. Every kid would fit somewhere into a big scheme. Augustus was passionate about food, especially chocolate. He would be either the new concept person for new candies, if you will. Veruca would use her obviously rich connections from her father and sell the candy. Violet, what with her impulsiveness and competitiveness, would be part of sales too. Mike would take care of marketing on the ever-growing popularity of the television, and soon, the Internet. And Charlie? Well, who doesn't love a poor blonde kid winning the prize and becoming the new face of Wonka Enterprises? See, it was a Batman Gambit by Wonka that sadly failed and left him only with Charlie.
The other children didn't all survive.Unlike the book or Tim Burton's adaptation, this film made no attempt to show us that they did. That means it's quite possible that they didn't.
The Tunnel is a morality detector.Only Charlie and Grandpa Joe react to the tunnel with fun. The only thing that scared Charlie was Slugworth being one of the scary images. The rotten children and their parents reacted repulsively to the more scarier images. The line from Veruca Salt was an excellent Even Evil Has Standards moment:
Wonka's reaction to the gobstopper wasn't because Charlie showed honesty, it was because......Charlie realized that Slugworth was a test. Look at Wilder's portrayal of the character throughout the movie and ask yourself something. Would that character look past a major rules violation that disqualified Charlie from the prize because he did another thing right? For all we know, Wonka didn't disqualify the other kids for their moral failings, he was disgusted by their stupidity. No, this Wonka would reward a child who saw through his game. And maybe Charlie did know. His suspicions were confirmed by Wonka, but who's to say he hadn't suspected all along? Maybe in Dahl's original book Charlie was too good to take revenge on Wonka, but this sometimes terrifying, slyly cynical adaptation wouldn't be above rewarding Charlie for having read that MagnificentBastard's book and Wilder's Wonka would agree.
Mr. Wilkinson is Slugworth's son after a Heel-Face Turn.
Grandpa Joe was faking disability so Charlie would work instead of him.Joe was the healthiest old person of the house, but supposedly wasn't able to walk. Charlie had to work and care for his family because his family was sickly and old. When his grandpa saw Charlie had the golden ticket, he was miraculously cured, not just walking but singing and dancing. He went with Charlie to the factory with no repercussions on his health related to any preexisting conditions.
Grandpa Joe was feeding his grandson feces
The Oompa Loompas are enslaved.Mr. Wonka "rescued" them from Oompa Land where they were becoming endangered by the conditions there. He has them run his factory all their lives. Nobody ever comes out. Happiness in Slavery.
The Oompa Loompas are fine working for Wonka, but not for the reasons Wonka says.The Oompa Loompas disdain the modern world because they know exactly how scummy it is, and being orange-skinned, green-haired midgets, they know they have no chance of making a gainful life in it anyway because they tried. Maybe not in England, but at some point the Oompa Loompas tried to live among humans and found out how badly that didn't work out. Returning to work for Wonka gave them a safe place to live, gainful work, and acceptance; they seem unhappy during the movie because they don't like children of the real world invading their otherwise paradise-like workspace.
The Pots-and-Pans Man is the real Slugsworth, or at least an old factory worker (or spy).You all know about the freaky old man from early in the movie who speaks eerily to Charlie while he lurks about the factory's gates.
"Up the airy mountain, down the rushy glen, we daren't go a-hunting, for fear of little men. You see, nobody ever goes in... and nobody ever comes out."This hints that he knows about the Oompa Loompas, which means that at least some of the old factory workers knew about them. Perhaps the Pots man was Slugworth, who went "down in his luck" after Wonka's factory closed. This is related to the fake Slugworth going all around the world to the Ticket Finders and offering them a deal for some of Wonka's secrets. The Pots-and-Pans was an old worker, or a spy for Slugworth, who tried to follow Wonka after all the workers were locked out. He was freaked out by the monsters of Loompaland; when he returned, he was reduced to a maddened old coot. Or Slugworth himself followed Wonka and was terrified, with similar results.
The tinker was a Mystic Romany.
The tinker was a Fairy Tinker.This allows for weird fairies in unlikely places. Why this one would use Washington Irving's poetry (or is it older than that?) to refer to Oompa Loompas is anyone's guess.
Wonka is Charlie's father.Charlie's father is supposedly dead. But the way Wonka tells Charlie he's won is suspicious ("Oh, Charlie? ...My boy. You've won"). Grandpa Joe says he used to work for Wonka (wasn't it only in the second movie?, but what if he is truly his estranged father? Lacking faith in Wonka's ambitions, he and Wonka's wife betrayed Willy to a rival chocolate factory for money and were thrown out. Years later, Wonka realized he needed an heir and concocted a scheme involving five Golden tickets to test if his son was of good character.
Charlie's dad is in the military in Vietnam.Possibly as a temporary assignment too brief for the Defense Department to move his family back from his prior overseas posting. It would explain both the Disappeared Dad and the fact that Charlie is both obviously American and obviously in Germany.
The Oompa-Loompas are robots.Synthetic-looking hair and skin. Blank facial expressions. Stiff movements. And as any geography teacher can tell you, there's no such country as Loompaland. Wonka didn't get new workers; he simply automated in a Wonka-esque fashion. The Oompa-Loompas even work off a central computer, making them a hive mind, so they can improvise elaborate song-and-dance numbers in perfect unison.
The Candy Man isn't Wonka.This could go two ways. Either the Candy Man is the candy shop curator, or the Candy Man is the general idea of candy and imagination (as expressed through the enjoyment of such things as a sunrise, the sparkling of morning dew, or, yes, candy) rather than any specific person.
The Oompa-Loompas are communists."If you're not greedy, you will go far"?
Alberto Minoleta is descended from Martin Bormann.Because Argentina Is Naziland.
Wonka was married once, and divorced.
The scary tunnel is Hell.Making Wonka god (Who can make the sun shine?), Slugsworth satan (Note that Satan will pretend to be Jesus in the second coming or whatever), Charlie Jesus, the rest of the factory purgatory, and the final scene heaven.
The scary tunnel is a hyperspace jump
The fizzy lifting drinks room is underneath the W-O-N-K-A smokestack.That room is WAY tall, Charlie and Grandpa Joe are going up the inside of the smokestack.
"Snozzberries" are S(ch)nozz Berries.Getting your saliva everywhere is a nasty habit, but Wonka considers picking one's nose (probably) to be a worse one. Ergo, the snozzberries on the wallpaper are his idea of a nicotine patch for nosepickers.
Wonka's business is about to go under.The Oompa-Loompas are on a contract that is about to be filled but Wonka has decided not to pay up. Instead he will hand over the company to Charlie, who will therefore take on the debt. Before that he creates a massive demand for his products (which he sells at exorbitant prices), so he can pocket all the cash, before disappearing again from public sight; leaving Charlie and his legal guardians responsible for paying the Oompa-Loompas and countering the lawsuits from the children's families concerning the industrial accidents that befell them. It was all there in the small print.
The SNL sketch where Al Gore Plays Willy Wonka's Brother is Canon.In addition to making more sense as the ending than the whole glass elevator part, having Willy Wonka's square brother Glenn who is in charge of the paper work behind the factory pointing out the stupidity of giving a factory over to a child and that Willy Wonka is insane makes it brilliant. Also explains that the Oompa Loompas need their green cards, a kid drowned in the chocolate river, and that all of the toilets in the factory are made of graham crackers.
Wonka is SweetOr becomes Sweet. Think about it. Anyone in the city he's in spontaneously bursts into well-written songs. The Oompa Loompas are his puppets before they got cursed.
Wilder's Willy Wonka is actually Heath Ledger's JokerLet's look at the facts:
The Candy Shop Owner is secretly the 22nd Century Controller, and the candy store is a Dalek outpost.Goodbye, free sweets; hello, Dalek servitude. He absolutely despises this aspect of this job, but knows he has no choice. In the 22nd Century, he probably sends them all back home immediately after taking them there. In fact, the involvement of children is what drives him to rebel against his masters...the Third Doctor provided a way to finally do it. "Who knows? ''I'' may have helped to exterminate ''you''!"
Augustus Gloop was so traumatized he changed his name and decided to live away from chocolateIn The Simpsons episode "The Scorpion's Tale", the owner of the featured pharmaceutical company claimed to be Augustus Gloop and that the tube changed him. That gives a new perspective about that episode with a scene where Lisa tells Artie Ziff about Homer's failed attempt to locate the factory.