My wife loves Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Until I met her, I had never seen it.
Eventually, we rented it (VHS, baby) and I watched it with her. I was immediately confused and creeped out. This was a beloved children’s classic? It made no sense to me.
Since that time, I’ve found a few folks who agree with me on this craziness, but overall, I find that we are the minority. For most, the film reserves some weird nostalgia that I just do not understand. And here’s why…
WE DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BAD KIDS
I can only assume that at least one (if not more) was killed at this factory. And the parents don’t seem nearly as upset as I would hope. Am I really supposed to get behind a a weird man who lives alone who seems perfectly fine with children being maimed or killed?
WILLY IS CRAZY
I understand that heroes need to be flawed in some way, but Willy’s rage is just a little too believable for me. I don’t think he’s pretending to be mad at Grandpa Joe…I think that rant at the end is REAL.
If I had heard Willy Wonka sing “there’s no earthly way of knowing” as a child, I would have run screaming from the room. Seriously, gang…that’s a scary sequence to put into a movie for kids.
HE’S A CONTROL FREAK Why did he pick Charlie? Because Charlie was the purest of them all?
Because Charlie would do it just like Willy wanted. Grown-ups would do it their own way, not the way Willy wanted.
Whatever, dude…you live in a candy factory. This isn’t national security.
OOMPAS Would we enjoy spending time with ANY other business owner who employed a vast number of un-human looking creatures that obeyed him like robots? (I’m looking at you Steve Jobs.)