YMMV / Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

  • Accidental Innuendo: This article has a few from the film.
  • 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.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Was Wonka's infamous rant (under Memetic Mutation) an Out-of-Character Moment, or a subconscious Berserk Button? Alternately was it merely a Batman Gambit to finalise Charlie as a responsible owner (and that, unlike the others, he could accept and learn from his flaws)? Wonka's fondness for Chewing the Scenery and faux concern and emotion doesn't help the least.
    • 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.
  • Awesome Music: "Pure Imagination". It warrants its own article at The Other Wiki which lists many of the cover versions, variations, and repurposings it's had over the years; among other things, it's been:
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Used with new lyrics in a Family Guy spoof episode in which Peter and company visit the Pawtucket Brewery and are serenaded with "Pure Inebriation".
    • The Eleven O'Clock Number in the 2013 West End stage adaptation of the source novel, which otherwise has a completely new lineup of songs by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. This was the result of Executive Meddling (Warner Bros. is a co-producer of the show), and pretty much confirms that the song's the Bootstrapped Theme not only for this particular movie adaptation, but the story as a whole.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • 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.
    • Then again, it makes perfect sense when you consider that Wonka is rather bonkers and wouldn't object to unnecessary screwiness.
    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.
  • Covered Up:
  • Cue Irony: Julie Dawn Cole, who played the rich Spoiled Brat Veruca Salt, actually comes from a very poor family, she and her sister being raised by a single mother.
  • Ear Worm: "Oompa-Loompa-Doopa-de-do, I've got another puzzle for you..."
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Veruca is probably the most remembered character aside from Mr. Wonka and the Oompa Loompas, thanks to her hamminess.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Charlie here, unlike in the book, is totally desperate for that ticket. He would still be miserable and unhappy unless he had his golden ticket. The real-life equivalent is to say, you'll always be unhappy unless you win the lottery. That's not a good moral for the children, or indeed, adults.
    Wonka: "Oh, And Charlie? Do not forget about the guy who suddenly got everything he wanted. He lived happily ever after."
  • Fetish Fuel: For some, Violet Beauregarde turning into a giant blueberry, which inflation fetishists took to to the point that "blueberry" is its own subcategory on a lot of adult sites. You can even purchase an inflatable blueberry suit from many of these sites (but please ask your parent's permission first).
  • 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.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • 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.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • 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.
    • The Crunchtastic term "scrumdidilyumptious" now sounds like something Ned Flanders might come up with!
      • 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.
  • Informed Wrongness:
    • 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.
    • Of course, this was the whole point.
  • Ink-Stain Adaptation: While it's become a widely-loved film over the years, as noted above under Adaptation Displacement, beyond the U.K. most people know the story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory via this film, which is also the source of almost all the parody versions. Many fans tend to bristle at subsequent Truer to the Text adaptations (even ones that acknowledge the film via Internal Homage, such as the 2013 stage musical) out of hand for not duplicating this version's events and look. Given that Roald Dahl disowned this film, he likely wouldn't be happy to know that it's become the public face of his story for much of the world.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Wonka takes sadistic delight in punishing children in his whimsical death-traps and then mocking parents afraid for their offspring's lives!
    Mrs. Gloop: (as her son drowns in a river of chocolate) He can't swim!
    • 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.
  • 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!
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • 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.
  • Older Than They Think / "Weird Al" Effect: Many people attribute Wonka's many literary quotes to this film.
  • One-Scene Wonder
    • 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 contact 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.
  • Sacred Cow: It was already Vindicated by History by the time the 2005 film came out but the huge backlash against the latter firmly pushed the original into this territory.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • 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.
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel: The Chocolate Room with Willy Wonka's "Pure Imagination" setting the tone.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • 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.
  • Vindicated by History / Vindicated by Cable: A box-office disappointment when initially released, it found its audience through TV and home video, becoming the 1970s equivalent of The Wizard of Oz. (Curiously enough, Roger Ebert's original review outright praised it as being the best kids' film since Oz!)
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Augustus Gloop's fate, the boat ride...
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: The reason why it has earned a reputation as a Stoner Flick.
  • The Woobie:
    • 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.

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