Adaptation Displacement: Especially in the United States, this film is more familiar to many people than the source book — to the point that there were complaints about the 2005 film making stuff up when what it was actually doing was restoring things that were in the book but left out or changed for the 1971 film.
Some people think Grandpa Joe is a selfish jerk. He says that he'd help Charlie support the family if he could get out of bed, but the only time we actually see him trying is so he can go to the chocolate factory. Him taking the fizzy lifting drinks and willingness to sell out to Slugworth after Wonka's rant are also sometimes held against him.
Also, Grandpa Joe accuses Mr. Wonka of being an inhuman monster for crushing Charlie's dream. Justified with them not knowing that it was a test. (Gene Wilder overselling his false anger and coming off as a Jerkass) when he berates Charlie with everyone's favorite meme doesn't help matters.)
Is Charlie really any better than the other kids?
Would any of the other kids had returned the gobstopper, instead of selling it for profit out of spite?
The interpretation is that Charlie can give into temptation, but he's not defined by it. He can recover and maintain his humanity. That's why he is better than the other children.
The mysterious Tinker in the beginning of the movie - who utters an ominous warning to Charlie that nobody comes in or out of the factory - is a down-and-out Slugworth.
Did Wonka know that each segment of his factory would eliminate a troublesome child and deliberately put them in danger? Each time a new vehicle appeared, it was smaller than the last. Renegade Cut goes so far as to suggest Wonka is actually a child murderer.
Award Snub: Not only did the film lose the Oscar for Best Original Song Score or Adaptation Score, but it wasn't nominated for art direction or original song for "Pure Imagination."
Crossed over with The Muppets twice. It was the basis for a production number in the Ben Vereen episode of The Muppet Show in Season One. The Muppets later turned up in the 2015 video for Josh Groban's cover version.
Given a second verse and chorus in The '90s. Leslie Bricusse wrote it for Michael Feinstein when he decided to record the song as the title track of a compilation of children's songs. Most subsequent covers just stick with the original set of lyrics, with the aforementioned Josh Groban cover one of the exceptions.
Repurposed for advertisements for the Encore movie networks and AT&T. Those used the original soundtrack recording — while Fiona Apple did a cover version of the song for an animated ad for Chipotle.
Smoking Popes did, of all things, an alternative rock cover, which managed to be just as dreamy as the original.
The basis for a cheeky opening number for Sarah Jessica Parker at the 2000 MTV Movie Awards — she sang it to underscore a montage of Toilet Humor and Stuff Blowing Up from the past year's films.
Incorporated into the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics; Russell Brand sang the song's opening lines as the lead-in to a rendition of "I Am the Walrus"!
Used to bookend the main action of the dance troupe JABBAWOCKEEZ's Las Vegas production Prism.
The tunnel scene, which comes and then is never mentioned again, even though realistically such an event would likely cause the characters to demand to be let out of this factory. It's also a Disney Acid Sequence, total Nightmare Fuel, and, ironically, probably the movie's most famous scene.
The Wonkamobile scene doesn't advance the plot. The guests get messy, and then they get clean, and then they do to the next scene.
A little nonsense, now and then, is relished by the wisest men.
Broken Base: Fans of the book cannot decide which version is the superior adaption, this or the 2005 film. This production invokes more nostalgia, devitates from the book, and takes more risks with mixed results. Whereas the 2005 film follows much more closely to Roald Dahl's work.
First Installment Wins: As evidenced by the thirty-four year head start, the Nostalgia Filter, Vindicated by Cable, a soundtrack full of Ear Worms, a higher score on the Tomatometer (especially among general audiences), a career highlight performance from Gene Wilder (even the most ardent Johnny Depp fans will usually concede that he was miscast as Wonka), the 1971 film is more popular, though the 2005 film is in some ways arguably closer to the source material and has better special effects.
After Wonka plays the musical lock, Mrs. Teevee says "Rachmaninoff" knowledgeably. The joke is that the music is actually from the overture to Mozart's opera Le nozze di Figaro, a rather obscure reference to non-musicians/opera fans.
The man from Paraguay who gets caught counterfeiting a Golden Ticket is represented by a picture of Martin Bormann, the former chairman of the Nazi Party, who at the time was widely believed to be living under an assumed name in South America.
Harsher in Hindsight: In one scene where Charlie and Grandpa Joe open a chocolate bar in the hopes of finding a ticket only to turn up empty, Charlie laments that they probably "make the chocolate taste terrible". As fate would have it, the real Wonka bars being sold at the time of the movie's release were eventually recalled and discontinued due to to apparently tasting bad and melting on the store shelves.
Wonka gently telling Charlie that "I can't go on forever...and I don't really want to try" rings a little harsher in the wake of Gene Wilder's death.
Also, the scene where Mike eats exploding candy and is blown back by the blast but is otherwise ok aside from implied minor teeth damage, and Wonka saying that "it's still too weak." It wouldn't be so funny anymore considering what happened with the Exploding Jawbreaker incident where a girl tried to eat a jawbreaker under heated pressure and it exploded, inflicting serious burns on her face. Mythbusters would later test this to prove just how lethal exploding candy can be.
Despite being known as "the amazing chocolatier", the most popular defictionalized Wonka-brand candy is fruit flavored, like Runts and Nerds (especially the banana Runts- fans apparently lobby Wonka all the time for a banana-only box). You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who's eaten a Wonka bar, and the other candy mentioned in the book, the Everlasting Gobstopper, seems to have seriously dipped in popularity since the 1990s.
There were a few candy bars, all from 1999-2010. They were: the original Wonka Bar, which had graham crackers; the Xploder Bar, with Pop Rocks; Wonka Donutz (exactly what it sounds like); and the Wonka Exceptionals line of upscale treats.
The latest ones seem truer to the books though. They are actually chocolate, for one thing.
Before Gene Wilder played a candy factory owner who seldom went out in public, he appeared in this Tootsie Roll commercial as a candy factory employee who feared going out in public.
Later in her acting career, Julie Dawn Cole appeared in the ensemble of the 1983 British stage musical Bashville (an adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's The Admirable Bashville). The title character was played by Douglas Hodge...who, 30 years later, originated the role of Willy Wonka in the 2013 stage musical adaptation of this story, which includes several internal homages to, and one song from, this film.
There actually is a voice clip of Ned saying just that in the Simpsons Cartoon Studio PC game! Ned also says the word during a Treehouse of Horror episode, describing the doughnut that Homer sold his soul for.
Adter the boat ride, Mike asks, "Why don't they show stuff like that on TV?", a line that sounds even truer now that some TV prints cut out the boat ride.
Wonka is portrayed as cold and heartless for denying Charlie the factory and Grandpa Joe begins shouting at him. Except... Wonka has every right to deny Charlie his prize because Charlie did drink the soda. The worst thing is that trying the drinks was Grandpa Joe's idea!
Given Wonka's sadistic-seeming disregard to the safety of his guests, it comes off as incredibly hypocritical to act morally outraged at their actions. Also, denying Charlie the prize for a clause which wasn't mentioned at their signing is Loophole Abuse in spirit if not actual law. Likewise, Charlie and Grandpa Joe almost died because of sampling the fizzy lifting drinks so denying a child forty or so cases of chocolate seems a tad ridiculous.
Slugworth's prompt appearance wherever the tickets are found seems to imply that Wonka knew where said tickets were going to go. True, three of the first four tickets are filmed, so time could have passed between a finding and the news report, but Slugworth appearing inside the Salt factory and in Charlie's path stretches coincidence a bit far...unless Wonka planned for the tickets to be placed in certain locations.
The commentary even points out that there was already a news crew waiting for one of Mr. Salt's workers to find a ticket. Although buying over a million chocolate bars in order to find said ticket does raise the stakes to an interesting degree.
This seems most likely. Salt is a prominent business man and buying up hundreds of thousands of cases of chocolate bars to make your peanut shellers open would likely draw attention, especially in the context of the film where everyone wants Wonka bars.
Charlie, in what feels like a Contrived Coincidence, finds the fifth ticket on the day before the factory tour is to take place. Wonka definitely had that planned.
Memetic Molester: The Candy Man...the Candy Man can? Seriously, kids, haven't you learned not to take candy from strangers? Why can't he just sell them and be done with it? No, he has to practically seduce these kids with sugar and dance around them very suspiciously. Michael Boltonparodied this during his appearance in Screen Junkies' Honest Trailer for this movie:
Who seems like a nice guy, giving treats to you, Never asks for money, just a creepy hug or two? The creepy man can, 'cause he's got a white van with even more candy!
There's also Wonka's half-hearted "Stop. Don't. Come back"◊, which is semi-frequently posted on message boards in response to posters angrily threatening to leave discussions after arguments.
Misaimed Marketing: It is a testament to viewers' love for this kid-oriented movie extending well past their childhoods that WMS Gaming brought out a video slot machine themed to it in 2013. It's proven popular enough to have follow-ups.
Several examples during the worldwide scramble for the Golden Tickets, but the standout is probably the English comedy-actor Tim Brooke-Taylor as a... peeved... computer operator.
David Battley as the teacher Mr. Turkentine...who can't seem to do a lick of math (or chemistry). The director mentioned that Battley's part was originally going to be very small, but was expanded slightly because he did such a wonderful job.
The Half Room, Wonka's office, is a visual treat. Wonka's balancing on half a chair, retrieves papers from half a safe, even the wallpaper is in half strips. (It even comes into play during the emotional climax; when Wonka is angrily reading back the fine print of the contract Charlie signed, he interjects et cetera, et cetera! every couple of words because the copy of the document is also in half!)
Pandering to the Fanbase: The 30th Anniversary DVD originally did not include an option to watch the movie in widescreen. Fans petitioned and implored Warner Bros. to rectify this, and they released a widescreen version just in time for the holidays. Tropes Are Not Bad!
Protagonist Title Fallacy: As noted on the main page, the title was changed for several reasons, but Charlie is still the protagonist. Willy Wonka isn't seen until the halfway point.
The reason for the Adaptation Species Change from nut-sorting squirrels to golden chocolate egg-laying geese was to avoid this trope, as the filmmakers knew there was no hope of pulling off the squirrels with turn-of-the-Seventies tech.
Even when the film was released, kids could tell the "candy" the children try to eat during "Pure Imagination" are inflated balloons.
When Mike eats the exploding candy and it...explodes, you can see the smoke is coming from a stand right in front of him.
Sweet Dreams Fuel: The Chocolate Room with Willy Wonka's "Pure Imagination" setting the tone.
Toy Ship: Charlie often gets paired with Violet, as she's arguably the most sympathetic of the other children in this version.
Tough Act to Follow: One of the biggest reasons adaptations of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory after this one flop is because the lead is compared to Gene Wilder. Supposedly, Nicolas Cage was considered for a never-made adaptation in 1999, but lost interest. Not quite a bad thing, because many believe he'd have made the character even darker than Tim Burton's interpretation did.
Charlie and his mother being upset by Grandpa Joe's vow to quit tobacco. Not helped that the Oompa-Loompas actually say gum chewing was GOOD for stopping you from smoking (they also say it's okay when it's once in a while, but it's still more than what the other kids got).
Mike playing with a realistic toy gun would certainly not fly with mass shootings all too real in today's world. He brings it with him to the factory and even pretends to shoot Willy Wonka with it, yelling "WHAM! You're dead!". If that happened these days, he'd be tried as a juvenile delinquent.
Visual Effects of Awesome: The production design team went all out for the factory sets, particularly the Chocolate Room and the Inventing Room. It definitely helps that none of the actors saw the sets before filming, making their reactions genuine. Julie Dawn Cole described the Chocolate Room as being "the kind of place that only existed at Disneyland."
A minor example in Mr. Salt. Did he and his wife spoil Veruca? You bet. Are they responsible for her monstrous personality? No doubt. Even knowing this, does the look on his face when she calls him a "rotten mean father" (as though he were about to burst into tears) make you feel legitimately bad for the guy? Absolutely. What's even worse is that he knows all too well that spoiling Veruca is a bad idea, but he can't do anything about it because he can't get through to his daughter and his wife insists on giving Veruca whatever she wants.
Charlie himself is another example. Poor, comes from a broken family, can barely afford the chocolate that gets him in the factory, well-meaning but (seemingly) admonished by Wonka for the Fizzy Lifting Drinks incident. He does win out in the end, though.
Violet after she's been turned into a blueberry. She can barely move and, after having a Motor Mouth for much of the film, can't muster the words to speak. In addition, she's the only kid who's around for her Oompa-Loompa song, looking utterly humiliated. It doesn't help that she's been rolled around for a minute by the Oompa-Loompas like a beach ball, when Wonka just said she might explode. Given that she comes across as the most pleasant of the naughty kids, you hope she'll leave the factory in one piece.
Woolseyism: In the German dub, the ticket-finding computer's snarky reply "What would a computer do with a lifetime supply of chocolate?" becomes "Thank you, very kind of you, but I prefer sausage to chocolate." Likewise, the scientist's frustrated response is "First, I'm going to teach this sassy computer some manners!"