In 1971, Hollywood made a film adaptation of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ by Roald Dahl as “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”. Needless to say that the film has become somewhat of a classic amongst families everywhere. Unfortunately, if one does look at the movie now, it clearly shows signs of age. So in 2005, Warner Bros. decided to remake this movie as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” under the direction of Tim Burton. Now the criticism for this version has been mixed at best, but if one takes a closer look at this film, he or she will find that “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is surprisingly better than “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”. With a few exceptions. The 2005 remake is a faithful adaptation of the book that entertains viewers up to the last minute.
The story centers on a candy maker named Willy Wonka (Johnny Depp). One day, Mr. Wonka agrees to let five children into his factory. Five children find the tickets, including a young boy named Charlie Bucket (Freddie Highmore), and are given a tour they will never forget.
“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is not a bad upgrade. The supporting cast is much more modernized by giving the audience a look at what kids are like in today’s society. The adult supporting cast does a fine job as well. Tim Burton seems like the natural choice to direct the film as there are a lot of zany moments happening on the screen. Danny Elfman’s music sets the tone for a kids movie, as well as taking lyrics for the songs from the actual book. Speaking of the book, the story actually follows the book closely. There are scenes that are in the book, like the nut room scene, that are not in the original version. This is because the original film was made on a somewhat constricted budget.
Speaking of the budget, with the advancement of digital technology, the visual and special effects look fantastic. Sometimes you can’t tell what’s real and what’s fake. It keeps you interested in what’s going to happen next, and when it does, you’re still amazed at how they did it. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” stays true to the source material as well as giving audiences some newer images to look at.
With that being said, there are two things that do not work for the movie. One is a major complaint, and the other is a minor complaint. The minor complaint is the Johnny Depp is not Willy Wonka. Yes we get it that he’s trying something new and original, but it just doesn’t work. The major complaint is that there is a subplot in the story that focuses on Wonka’s past. This feels forced and unnecessary, and should not have been included in the final print.
In conclusion, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” will satisfy those who life visual movies, and fans of the original book. There are some flaws with the film that could have easily been improved. The original 1971 version may be a classic some people’s mind, but for those looking for a true adaptation of the Roald Dahl book, then you might want to check this one out.