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HeyHomie
01-22-2001, 12:21 PM
Great movie. It was on ABC last night.

Anyway, that hideous scene where they all step onto the boat to get from one part of the factory to the next. The Oompa-Loompas row faster and faster while around the boat are flashing lights, scenes of worms & bugs & such, and an image of Slugworth. The children (and parents) are at first confused and then terrified; all the while Wonka just keeps singing/chanting/yelling to sort-of egg them on.

I never understood the reason for having such a hideous and disturbing scene in an otherwise uplifting and fun movie. So my question is.... WTF????

I've come up with some ideas:

1) The movie was released in 1971, and in the early 70's you had to include a scene that didn't make any sense (to the hoi polloi, anyway) into every movie, for art's sake.

2) The movie was released in 1971, as construction was wrapping up on Walt Disney World. It was the director's way of taking a swipe at the It's A Small World attraction; that is, Wonka's Boat Ride of Horror is the anti It's A Small World.

3) Wonka deliberately wanted to antagonize and frighten the kids, because he's a bit of an asshole.

4) Wonka just wanted to equate Slugworth with confusion, fear and grossness.

And on the chance that the scene is also in the book (Charlie And the Chocolate Factory, in case you didn't know)....

5) It's a scene that makes more sense in the book (I haven't read it).

6) It's a scene that doesn't make any sense in the book, either.

So what's the scoop? Has the director/writer or someone revealed what it was all about?

Thanks.

casdave
01-22-2001, 12:57 PM
I always wondered what I was missing in that scene too.

Was it trying to show that in every genious there is a touch of madness ?

Kilgore Trout
01-22-2001, 01:04 PM
Was it trying to show that in every genious there is a touch of madness ?

I never understood the reason for having such a hideous and disturbing scene in an otherwise uplifting and fun movie.

are you sure you guys watched the rest of the movie? this scene fits perfectly, especially with wonka's character. he is a sadistic madman. that is all.

puddleglum
01-22-2001, 01:05 PM
My theory is that Wonka is trying to confuse and disorient them. He is trying to make his factory seem like a dream world that is cut off from reality. In order to do this he wants to create confusion in the minds of his guests over how long they are on the boat, how fast it went and how far they travelled. Thus when they leave the factory and are interviewed about it they tell stories that are wild and fanciful. This enhances the Wonka mystique that he uses to sell candy bars.

Johanna
01-22-2001, 01:05 PM
Great movie. Caught it last night with my kids. (My oldest is a Roald Dahl freak.) They sure don't make 'em like that any more. It was edgy, irreverent, and kept you guessing. Such a far cry from the over-refined pabulum that is the excuse for kids' movies these days. In the early 70s, they were more willing to push boundaries, test new things.

Rastahomie, remember when this was made the 1960s were still raging. I was just stunned to revisit how druggy and trippy this movie actually was. The acid freakout scene in Easy Rider was pretty lame compared to Willy Wonka's psychedelic trip! I liked the way the director wasn't afraid to take chances and play with your head. Wonka is a timeless archetypal character, the Trickster. The greatest children's fantasy literature always included nightmarish content, something we forget in this day and age when everything has to be so censored and people walk on eggshells for fear of offending someone. I liked it that, despite the stern moral lessons set to music by the nightmarish Oompa Loompas, not everything was so pat and complacent, it left some weirdnesses unanswered.

Oom-pa, loom-pa, doom-pi-dee doo....

Sn-man
01-22-2001, 01:39 PM
I think Jomo Mojo has it right. Our family watched the 30th anniversary special too. We both (wife & I) thought it very much a “psychedelic” movie. There is a very wide range of emotion presented through the whole movie. I don’t think that in a “normal” state you are much in touch with the emotion. But add a good dose of “Vitamin A”, and I think that the whole thing would be one big roller coaster, emotionally and visually. It would be interesting to try it again and see the movie, but I don’t really have the desire to do anymore psychedelics.

BobT
01-22-2001, 02:14 PM
If you had the read book, you would have realized that the film held fairly closely to the book. The one big scene that isn't in the book is when Charlie and Grandpa swallow the Fizzy Lifting Gas and almost get sucked into the fan.

Roald Dahl's children's works were all a bit unconventional. The sequel to "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator" is even more bizzare at points, including parts where all the grandparents regress in age and Charlie has to go fetch them out of "Minus Land".

The only I could never understand about the film is why the Grandpa character is played by Jack Albertson, who doesn't have an English accent, although Charlie has a bit of one.

Johanna
01-22-2001, 02:29 PM
The one big scene that isn't in the book is when Charlie and Grandpa swallow the Fizzy Lifting Gas and almost get sucked into the fan. Is there any doubt that this movie was made with potheads and acidheads in mind? That's the point where Grandpa says, "Wow, we're getting really high now."
LOL!!!

socialxray
01-22-2001, 06:00 PM
The only I could never understand about the film is why the Grandpa character is played by Jack Albertson, who doesn't have an English accent, although Charlie has a bit of one.

That's a very interesting and confusing part of the movie. Several of the characters within Charlie's town have British accents (his school teacher) or American ones (his family) and then they seem to be driving German automobiles. WTF?!?!

BobT
01-22-2001, 07:17 PM
Originally posted by socialxray
The only I could never understand about the film is why the Grandpa character is played by Jack Albertson, who doesn't have an English accent, although Charlie has a bit of one.

That's a very interesting and confusing part of the movie. Several of the characters within Charlie's town have British accents (his school teacher) or American ones (his family) and then they seem to be driving German automobiles. WTF?!?!

I checked the IMDB and the film was shot in Germany. Most of it was shot in Munich, but the city the glass elevator flies over is Nordlingen.

So, it's an English book, produced and directed by Americans, and shot in Germany.

The cast has several German actors in it.

One of the Oompa-Loompas was played by Angelo Muscat, who also played the mysterious midget butler on "The Prisoner."

peepthis
01-22-2001, 07:24 PM
Originally posted by BobT
Roald Dahl's children's works were all a bit unconventional. The sequel to "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator" is even more bizzare at points, including parts where all the grandparents regress in age and Charlie has to go fetch them out of "Minus Land".

I'd say Dahl was pretty unconventional all around. Check out Switch Bitch if you get the chance; not psychadelic, but a great read.

dr hermes
01-22-2001, 09:02 PM
I always thought the children met hideous deaths at Wonka's hands. He reassures the group that the kids will be restored and returned as good as new, but do we we ever see them come back? No. WILLY WONKA is in fact a horror movie and that one scary scene was the title character giving himself away.

Slithy Tove
01-22-2001, 09:26 PM
Did they show the chicken decapitation?

socialxray
01-22-2001, 09:31 PM
I always thought the children met hideous deaths at Wonka's hands. He reassures the group that the kids will be restored and returned as good as new, but do we we ever see them come back? No. WILLY WONKA is in fact a horror movie and that one scary scene was the title character giving himself away.

In the book the children come out fine, if not a little bit wiser for the wear. In the movie they don't show that part. When the elevator flies out of the building, Charlie, Grandpa and Willy see the other children leaving the factory. My favourite part is how Mike Teevee after going through the taffy stretching machine is now seven feet tall. Hehe.

Skwerl
01-22-2001, 10:07 PM
Originally posted by BobT
If you had the read book, you would have realized that the film held fairly closely to the book. The one big scene that isn't in the book is when Charlie and Grandpa swallow the Fizzy Lifting Gas and almost get sucked into the fan.


So does Charlie not lose the contest at first, like he does in the movie? Or do he and Grandpa do something even more dastardly, like gangbang an Oompah Loompah?

BobT
01-23-2001, 12:26 AM
I don't believe Charlie and Grandpa Joe incur the wrath of Willie Wonka in the book like they do in the movie.

However, I haven't read the book since 1972.

Quasimodem
01-23-2001, 01:42 AM
[/B][/QUOTE]

but the city the glass elevator flies over is Nordlingen.
[/B][/QUOTE]

Are you sure? Rothenburg ob der Tauber just happens to be a village next to Nordlingen, and that wall and tower sure look like Rothenburg. I couldn't find any corroboration of my theory on any of the WW sites, so you may be right, but I was just in Rothenburg in November, bought a panoramic view screen-saver of the town and it sure looks like that's what I saw in the movie.

Q

Measure for Measure
01-23-2001, 02:12 AM
I saw the movie (and read the book) a _long_ time ago, but...

Mr. Wonka's agenda and the extent of his benevolence is one of the unfolding questions in the story. The scary scene establishes WW as a possibly threatening character and the kids/parents adventure as possibly dangerous.

What's an adventure without a little danger?

Lizard
01-23-2001, 03:06 AM
Originally posted by BobT
I don't believe Charlie and Grandpa Joe incur the wrath of Willie Wonka in the book like they do in the movie.


No, they don't. He doesn't even really notice them until they are the last ones left. (I last read the book in 1988, but I've never watched the entire movie.)

To answer the OP, in the book the parents and children are terrified by the boatride. It's portrayed as being hair-raising and scary. My guess is the "trippy" scene in the movie is an attempt at a "scary" scene that won't hit the 'ol special effects budget very hard. When you think about how much more expensive it would've been to make a high-speed boat ride underground than it was to make the scene in the movie (where they basically just sit in the boat while colored lights flash and Wonka talks in a spooky voice), my point becomes clear.

C K Dexter Haven
01-23-2001, 07:09 AM
A major book-to-movie change, just to clarify: In the movie, Charlie and his Granda try the fizzy drink and float up to the ceiling, but manage to escape. In the book, the fizzy floating drink is mentioned but no one drinks it; Charlie wins the contest because he is the only one left, the only one who didn't disobey. The movie, by having Charlie disobey (just like all the others), makes hash of the whole idea behind the contest, IMHO.

BTW, has anyone heard the rumour that a remake is being considered with Nicholas Cage as Willie Wonka? On the grounds that the movie wasn't "faithful" to the book (which seems sort of bogus, since Dahl was heavily involved in the movie screenplay.)

HeyHomie
01-23-2001, 07:46 AM
Originally posted by C K Dexter Haven
BTW, has anyone heard the rumour that a remake is being considered with Nicholas Cage as Willie Wonka?

Yes, as a matter of fact, I did hear or read that somewhere. At first I was slightly appalled, as I don't believe Nicholas Cage can sing :eek: ("Come with me, and you'll see, a whole world of pure imagination......."). But then I got to thinking about what modern CGI and other special effects can do to that scene when they first enter the main room of the Factory....

Now I'm hoping it happens. :D

Bottle of Smoke
01-23-2001, 09:16 AM
Originally posted by Slithy Tove
Did they show the chicken decapitation? Yup, they sure did. In all its glory. I thought my kids (ages 5 and 4) might be freaked out by it, but I'm not sure they really realized what they were seeing.

Rosebud
01-23-2001, 09:38 AM
I'm gonna agree with the posters who are saying he was just messing with the kids & parents' heads. I absolutely don't see WW as an asshole-- I love that character, and I always saw him as someone who didn't suffer fools gladly, be they children or grown-ups. There's very much a sense that he had most of them figured out more or less on sight, and I like to interpret the boat ride scene as WW giving a well deserved tweak to the little brats and to their equally bratty parents.

I think we're supposed to conclude that he knew all along that Charlie would be The One, though that does make you wonder why he risked frightening Charlie along with the others.

Flymaster
01-23-2001, 10:52 AM
Originally posted by QUASIMODEM



but the city the glass elevator flies over is Nordlingen.
[/B][/QUOTE]

Are you sure? Rothenburg ob der Tauber just happens to be a village next to Nordlingen, and that wall and tower sure look like Rothenburg. I couldn't find any corroboration of my theory on any of the WW sites, so you may be right, but I was just in Rothenburg in November, bought a panoramic view screen-saver of the town and it sure looks like that's what I saw in the movie.

Q [/B][/QUOTE]
I KNEW it looked familliar! I'm on your side...that definetly is Rothenburg. Beautiful town, isn't it?

BobT
01-23-2001, 10:56 AM
I was just quoting info from IMDB, so another city could be the right answer.

Keeve
01-23-2001, 11:54 AM
Originally posted by Rosebud
I absolutely don't see WW as an asshole-- I love that character, and I always saw him as someone who didn't suffer fools gladly, be they children or grown-ups. Ditto

sqweels
01-23-2001, 02:49 PM
During my own acid phase, I became obsessed with drawing parallels between the psychedelic experience and various initation rituals. I saw similarities in the "Greek" fraternity initiation, various tribal initations, the plot of the Star Wars trilogy, and even the experience of Christ. WWATCF fit perfectly, and it was the boat ride scene which clinched it for me.

The basic scenario is that you're lured into a wonderous new world only to later find yourself confronted with demons of fear and temptation. By resisting and remaining true to yourself and being willing to sacrifice all, you pass the test and achieve true enlightenment.

During the boat ride we see scary monsters as well as a glimpse of the sinister Gobb Slugworth, who represents not a physical threat but a spiritual one. This is highly reminicent of the demonic imagery you see in the depths of an acid trip. Slugworth has offered Charlie a considerable sum if he would betray Wonka and deliver a sample of the "everlasting gobbstopper", but in the end Charlie resists the temptation and returns the gobbstopper to Wonka out of pure selflessness and passes the test.

A scene in The Empire Strikes Back where Luke contronts a phantom Darth Vader only to have it turn into himself also touches a psychedelic nerve. The demons are a refection of your dark side and you must resist their offers of power or become wrapped up in evil.

RailroadShorty
01-23-2001, 04:01 PM
Did they show the chicken decapitation?

There's a chicken decapitated with an ax, a man with some kind of worm or snake crawling on his face, a giant eye, a lizard eating some other living creature, and Slugworth. That's all I remember, having finished watching it literally minutes ago on DVD before stumbling upon this thread. BTW, the DVD is out of print now and selling for $50+ on Ebay. I wonder if a 30th Anniversary edition is in the works?

My guess is the "trippy" scene in the movie is an attempt at a "scary" scene that won't hit the 'ol special effects budget very hard. When you think about how much more expensive it would've been to make a high-speed boat ride underground than it was to make the scene in the movie (where they basically just sit in the boat while colored lights flash and Wonka talks in a spooky voice), my point becomes clear.

I disagree here. There used to be a ride at Disney World that consisted of a conveyance that moved at a snail's pace while scenery (on film) whipped past, giving the passengers a disorienting sense of high-speed movement. This kind of mind-trip is arguably more freaky than the straightforward thrill of a rollercoaster, for example. I think Wonka was screwing with his guests' perceptions, making them uncertain of what they saw with their own eyes.

Inky-
01-23-2001, 04:36 PM
It's a "Gateway" scene. A point at which, if the characters choose to pass through, nothing will ever be the same.

You see this in movies like Star Wars when Luke enters the Cantina full of weird creatures or the tree on Degobah (sp?) where he confronts the Luke/Vader vision. Or in The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy steps from her black and white Kansas home into the Technocolor Oz. Anythings possible from that point on.

sqweels
01-23-2001, 05:20 PM
Well, Inky], I would think that the gateway scene in WW was when they passed through the gateway into the "Chocolate Room" (where everything was edible).

You are correct in that the Cantina scene in SW:ANH was the gateway, but there wouldn't be 2 in the same story. My assertion is that the tree/cave scene in SW:TESB along with the boat scene in WW is where the hero glimpses his deepest fears.

(Shades of Joseph Campbell here, but in fact I developed my theories before I ever heard of him)

Freudian Slit
01-23-2001, 05:56 PM
Oh! I love that movie, it's one of my faves.

Yeah the boat ride always got to me. Though I watched it when I was young and never really thought about it that much. When I got older, I started realizing...WTF?

I always thought Wonka was pretty cool back then. When I re-viewed it on TBS a few months ago, I started to dislike him a bit. Considering that what the kids do isn't all that bad. Eating a lot is disgusting but hardly makes one morally depraved...chewing gum- an obnoxious habit sometimes, but still. And he hardly makes any efforts to stop them- its as if he wants them to get screwed up. Sort of a mean spirited movie/book. Not that that's bad; at least its a change from the oh so saccharine sweet Disney books. Still, that scene with Mike Teevee running to get himself shrunk the size of the candy bar...Willy Wonka: <bored> "Oh, stop, come back..." You can tell he really doens't give a damn. :)

I was wondering, too, what nationality they were supposed to be? Violet Buregarde seems a parody of what Brits think of Americans (loud, obnoxious, pushy- her father's a car salesman...) and Augustus Gloop a parody of Germans. (Some xenophobia, here, no? :p) I always assumed Charlie would be English too, since Roald Dahl was.

Lizard
01-23-2001, 06:58 PM
Originally posted by RailroadShorty
My guess is the "trippy" scene in the movie is an attempt at a "scary" scene that won't hit the 'ol special effects budget very hard.

I disagree here. There used to be a ride at Disney World that consisted of a conveyance that moved at a snail's pace while scenery (on film) whipped past, giving the passengers a disorienting sense of high-speed movement. This kind of mind-trip is arguably more freaky than the straightforward thrill of a rollercoaster, for example. I think Wonka was screwing with his guests' perceptions, making them uncertain of what they saw with their own eyes.

I wasn't talking about the potential motivation of the Wonka character in the movie, but why the scene in the movie is fundamentally different from the same incident in the book. It would've been a lot cheaper to make it the way they did in the movie than to film it exactly as portrayed in the book.

Danielinthewolvesden
01-23-2001, 08:03 PM
However- each kid/parent team gets disqualified because they disobey the rules. But so do Charly & gramps- what makes their "sin" forgivable?

Swampwolf
01-23-2001, 08:14 PM
Originally posted by Danielinthewolvesden
However- each kid/parent team gets disqualified because they disobey the rules. But so do Charly & gramps- what makes their "sin" forgivable?

repentance.

Kamino Neko
01-23-2001, 08:34 PM
Originally posted by Kilgore Trout
this scene fits perfectly, especially with wonka's character. he is a sadistic madman. that is all.

Yay! Someone else who gets that!

He's a sadistic, manipulative EVIL little psychopath.

HeyHomie
01-23-2001, 08:59 PM
Originally posted by Danielinthewolvesden
However- each kid/parent team gets disqualified because they disobey the rules. But so do Charly & gramps- what makes their "sin" forgivable?

First of all, the other kids do their "sin" after Wonka specifically tells them not to do it. For example, after he tells Augustus Gloop not to jump into the river of chocolate, etc. Granted, by the time Mike shrinks himself, Wonka is treating the kids' disobedience with hostile indifference. As in, "No. Stop. Don't."

Also, each of the other kids' "sins" is related to a character flaw. Veruca=greed, Augustus=gluttony, Mike=obsession with TV, and Violet=uh, too much gum-chewing :confused:. Charlie's only character flaw seems to be curiossity; a trait that Wonka can obviously embrace.

Cabbage
01-23-2001, 09:37 PM
However- each kid/parent team gets disqualified because they disobey the rules. But so do Charly & gramps- what makes their "sin" forgivable?

It was redemption. Charly & gramps sin was just as damnable as the others, but it wasn't really those sins that Wonka was concerned with. Wonka was really concerned with honesty and loyalty to the chocolate factory--Charly redeemed himself by returning the Everlasting Gobstopper. "So shines a good deed in a weary world."

Tamerlane
01-24-2001, 06:27 AM
Gene Wilder's finest and most complete performance, eclipsing even Young Frankenstein :) . A wonderful film, right down to the glossed over griminess of the Chocolate Factory. You can see real factory walls behind the pretty crepe paper and wondrous sights - an perhaps unintentional, but wonderful comment on many of the characters ans situations. It also helps add to the undertone of menace.

Didn't see any mention of it yet, so I thought I would add that the little poem Wilder recites during the ride is lifted straight from the book ( unlike, I believe, some of the Oompa-Loompa rhymes ). I think this is actually one of the most important scenes in the film, trippy as it is. Because I do think it is that hint of menace that adds such tension to what otherwise would be a straight comedy ( albeit a smirking one ;) ). It's the edginess that elevates this film head and shoulders over more saccharine "family" pictures.

- Tamerlane

dewt
01-24-2001, 09:33 AM
Originally posted by rastahomie
Great movie. It was on ABC last night.
I never understood the reason for having such a hideous and disturbing scene in an otherwise uplifting and fun movie. So my question is.... WTF????

If I had to choose adjectives to describe this movie, fun and uplifting would not immediately spring to mind. 'Disturbing'? Most definitely. In fact, on many levels I'd say this is one of the most disturbing movies I've ever seen.

As for hideous, I find the movie packed with different aspects of the hideousness theme. The archetypes of the kids behaviours, for example. I'm a parent, and watching those kids made me want to pull out my hair and light my legs on fire.

oh... Willy Wonka rules. Anyone who feels differently can feel free to step outside (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=56998).

Freudian Slit
01-24-2001, 11:14 AM
Fun and uplifting, and disturbing? Can't it be both? :) It sort of freaks me out, but at the same time i recall it with fond memories. :)

Does anyone know the name of the poem he recites? It sounds familiar, like a famous poem or something. I'll have to check out the book if I still own it.

Hello Again
01-24-2001, 02:54 PM
I also watched the 30th Anniv edition. I loved the book (and re-read it in my junior year of college, which was only about 5 years go) and found Willy Wonka an eccentric yet lovable character. In the movie he is terrifyingly psychotic. I agree that the fact that movie makes no effort to show that the kids really ARE okay make it look like he has murdered them in cold blood. Just a flat-out disturbing movie. There is also something in the general atmosphere of the movie that creates an ominous feeling. I can't put my finger on it. All I know is, if I were Charlie, I wouldn't be geting into an enclosed space with Wonka at the end of the movie; I'd be running like hell.

Infovore
01-24-2001, 03:32 PM
Zoggie, not sure which poem you're talking about, but one famous poem that's quoted in WW is "The Music Makers" by Arthur O'Shaunessy:

The Music Makers

We are the music-makers,
and we are the dreamers of dreams,
wandering by lone sea-breakers,
and sitting by desolate streams;

World-losers and world-forsakers,
on whom the pale moon gleams;
Yet we are the movers and shakers
of the world forever, it seems.

We, in the ages lying
in the buried past of the earth,
built Nineveh with our sighing,
and Babel itself with our mirth;
And o'erthrew them with prophesying
to the old of the new world's worth;
for each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.


I don't know if the boat ride quote is original or taken from some other source...I do know, though, that Marilyn Manson borrows it on his album "Portrait of an American Family."

Willy Wonka's been one of my favorite movies since I first saw it in the theater at age 6.

tsarina
01-24-2001, 04:21 PM
Does Willy Wonka remind anyone else here of Lewis Carroll? The magical fairy-land, the plays on logic, the strange relationships with small people, even a slight physical resemblance between Carroll and Gene Wilder in the movie (I think so).
... I wouldn't trust him with kids - the way he gazes at Mike Teevee creeps me out.

doom-pi-ty doo....

jab1
05-29-2001, 02:42 PM
Originally posted by rastahomie
Also, each of the other kids' "sins" is related to a character flaw. Veruca=greed, Augustus=gluttony, Mike=obsession with TV, and Violet=uh, too much gum-chewing.Wasn't Violet the annoying girl who rarely stopped talking? Didn't Wonka tell her she'd learn more if she kept her mouth shut and her ears open? She didn't and that was her sin. She's self-centered and doesn't know how annoying she is. How was she punished?

Ukulele Ike
05-29-2001, 04:28 PM
She was turned into a giant blueberry.

Let THAT be a leson to all the talkative, self-centered, annoying people out there!

Protesilaus
05-29-2001, 04:30 PM
Originally posted by jab1
Wasn't Violet the annoying girl who rarely stopped talking?
They were both sort of like that.

Didn't Wonka tell her she'd learn more if she kept her mouth shut and her ears open? She didn't and that was her sin.
Except the song afterwards is all about gum. Your idea makes more sense.

How was she punished?
She chewed gum that turned her into a giant blueberry.

rivulus
05-29-2001, 07:48 PM
Originally posted by sqweels
My assertion is that the tree/cave scene in SW:TESB along with the boat scene in WW is where the hero glimpses his deepest fears.


Mythologically speaking, the boat ride would represent a journey to the underworld (or the subconscious, depending on how you want to look at it) followed by a kind of re-birth. I don't remember the movie very well, or what they see during the ride, but the boat ride itself suggests that some kind of transformation is going on, or that the characters are gaining some kind of insight that is important for the resolution of the story (quest). Then again, I could be talking out of my hat.

Alice's entry into Wonderland is also a descent into the underworld, BTW. Literally.

rivulus

demanton
05-30-2001, 12:31 AM
Veruca's line during the boat ride sequence was classic, very telling of the mood of the scene: "What is this? A freak-out?"

[i]there's no earthly way of knowing, which way the rowers they are rowing.....

Little Nemo
05-30-2001, 03:11 AM
People, didn't you watch the ending? (Okay, Cabbage did.) Charlie was redeemed and the other kids weren't because he was the only one who returned his Everlasting Gobstopper back to Willy Wonka rather than sell it to Slugworth. By not betraying a trust, even when he had himself been betrayed, he proved he was worthy to be Wonka's successor.

Did they show the chicken decapitation?
Yup, they sure did. In all its glory. I thought my kids (ages 5 and 4) might be freaked out by it, but I'm not sure they really realized what they were seeing.

You'd be surprised. I took my four year old nieces to see Chicken Run last year. When they showed the scene where Mrs Tully picks out a hen who wasn't laying eggs and a few scenes later show her finishing up her Sunday dinner, I was hoping the girls wouldn't make the connection. But Leah looked over and solemnly informed me, "She ate the chicken."

hazel-rah
05-30-2001, 03:44 AM
Does Willy Wonka remind anyone else here of Lewis Carroll?

Well, strange relationships with small people is a good analogy. Although Carroll didn't give young boys the time of day... he was only interested in little girls. But I can't seem him terrorizing kids the way Wonka does.

Willy Wonka reminds me of Dr. Who or Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes. They're very condescending, prone to random outbursts and shouting, and not a little unsettling in general but they've got a force of personality such that people seem more than willing to put up with them just to see what they will do. And their hearts are in the right place. Both of them, in the Doctor's case, he he he.

-fh

furryman
05-30-2001, 07:43 AM
Secret Social Agendas Part ??
I think this film's portayal of Willy Wonka can be looked at from two different points of view.
1. It's good to be different, because you can do anything you want. Yes it's a little scary, but that's the price you pay for being different.
2. It's bad to be different. To be different is to be scary/frightening/nuts. If you think about it, this whole movie plays off the old mad scientist stereotype. I.E.: A man so obsessed with his experiments he doesn't care who they hurt.
3.Hi, Opal!

BTW: I think this book is slanted towards children. "If you bad and you don't do what your parents tell you, you'll get in trouble."

Gazoo
05-30-2001, 08:00 AM
Originally posted by Zoggie
Does anyone know the name of the poem he recites? It sounds familiar, like a famous poem or something. I'll have to check out the book if I still own it. I don't know the name of it (or if it even has a name), but here's the poem from the tunnel scene: There's no earthly way of knowing
Which direction we are going
There's no knowing where we're going
Or which way the wind is blowing
Is it raining? Is it snowing
Is a hurricane a-blowing
Not a speck of light is showing
So the danger must be growing
Oh, the fires of hell are glowing
Is the grisly reaper mowing
Yes! The danger must be growing
For the rowers keep on rowing
And they're certainly not showing
Any signs that they are slowing!
Stop the boat!

Clothahump
05-30-2001, 08:21 AM
I'd say Dahl was pretty unconventional all around. Check out Switch Bitch if you get the chance; not psychadelic, but a great read. [/B][/QUOTE]
===========================
Dahl's definitely 3 degrees out of phase with the rest of us! I absolutely love his short story where the wife beats her husband's head in with a frozen leg of lamb, then winds up serving the lamb as dinner to the investigating cops.

Telemark
05-30-2001, 09:54 AM
While spending a few days alone in a rural Thai hospital being treated for pneumonia, I read the Collected Short Stories. It added greatly to my otherworldly feelings. I still reread that book from time to time.

SCSimmons
05-30-2001, 10:09 AM
Originally posted by Little Nemo

Did they show the chicken decapitation?
Yup, they sure did. In all its glory. I thought my kids (ages 5 and 4) might be freaked out by it, but I'm not sure they really realized what they were seeing.

You'd be surprised. I took my four year old nieces to see Chicken Run last year. When they showed the scene where Mrs Tully picks out a hen who wasn't laying eggs and a few scenes later show her finishing up her Sunday dinner, I was hoping the girls wouldn't make the connection. But Leah looked over and solemnly informed me, "She ate the chicken."[/B]

Heh. Not long after my kids saw Chicken Run, we were eating at Boston Market and my five-year-old started asking me what they did with the chickens' heads. Fortunately, I was able to find out for him despite the fact that I wasn't then hooked into this wonderfully weird board. :)

Chronos
05-30-2001, 12:36 PM
That's easy... They sell the heads to McDonalds (http://www.snopes.com/horrors/food/friedrat.htm)!

jab1
05-30-2001, 04:26 PM
Originally posted by Protesilaus
How was she punished?
She chewed gum that turned her into a giant blueberry. I remember now. I also remember that Wonka specifically warned her NOT to chew that gum, it was not yet perfected and something dire would happen to her. I also remember Wonka shaking his head sadly and muttering something about how this always happened when they reached the blueberry stage. (Recall that the gum was supposed to change flavors as it was chewed.)

Violet was not punished for chewing gum because Wonka made his own chewing gum. She was punished for not listening to Wonka's warning, for not resisting temptation. (Insert allusion to Eve and the Forbidden Fruit HERE.)

Cervaise
05-30-2001, 04:54 PM
(C K Dexter Haven) BTW, has anyone heard the rumour that a remake is being considered with Nicholas Cage as Willie Wonka?I don't know how I missed this thread before, but as long as it's back, here's some relevant information for you about the movie adaptation:

http://www.corona.bc.ca/films/details/willywonka.html

The suggestion of Nicolas Cage's involvement goes back a while, but it's basically just unsubstantiated rumor, exactly like the talk that Marilyn Manson was supposed to be involved. :eek:

Anyway, for more information, check out the above. Basically, the movie's in development, but as of now has not been actually slated for production.

(And remember, kids, when you have questions about upcoming movies, Corona (http://corona.bc.ca/films/mainFramed.html) is your friend. :))

Lucki Chaarms
05-30-2001, 11:13 PM
Originally posted by winterhawk11

I don't know if the boat ride quote is original or taken from some other source...I do know, though, that Marilyn Manson borrows it on his album "Portrait of an American Family."


Manson has an obsession with Wonka. Ever seen the video to "Dope Hat"? It's a direct lift of the boat scene, and even a part with flavored wallpaper. "The boys taste like boys, the girls taste like girls." Creepy.

When talk about the new movie was circulating, Manson desperately wanted to be Wonka, and even released information stating that he had been cast in order to try and secure the spot, but he was still sent away. Poor Marilyn :(.

The video to dope hat is at the bottom of this page. (http://www.marilynmanson.com/download/videos/index.html) It's really quite cool in a disturbing way.

Lucky Charms (Formerly MarxBoy)

delphica
05-30-2001, 11:43 PM
Originally posted by Cabbage
However- each kid/parent team gets disqualified because they disobey the rules. But so do Charly & gramps- what makes their "sin" forgivable?

It was redemption. Charly & gramps sin was just as damnable as the others, but it wasn't really those sins that Wonka was concerned with. Wonka was really concerned with honesty and loyalty to the chocolate factory--Charly redeemed himself by returning the Everlasting Gobstopper. "So shines a good deed in a weary world."

I'm still not clear on this, because it's not as if any of the other kids had a chance to give back their gobstoppers, seeing as they were being sucked up pipes and dropped into bad egg chutes and getting rolled away by singing Oompa Loompas. Why does Wonka give Charlie that moment of contemplation?

Lemur866
05-31-2001, 12:51 AM
The biggest flaw in the movie was the fizzy lifting drink scene. In the book's strict morality, all the children got punished because they wouldn't listen to Wonka's warnings. All except Charlie. He never disobeyed, so he was rewarded.

But the movie adds this lame "redemption" angle...Charlie sinned with the lifting drink, yet redeems himself by giving back the gobstopper. No, sorry, nope. "Redemption"? No. If you disobey, you go down the garbage chute. There is none of this wussy redemption crap. One mistake and you're finished. That is why the movie sucked, because it didn't teach kids this important lesson.

Oh, and because the oompa-loompa costumes were *awful*. And what was wrong with the oompa-loompa songs from the book? Why did they have to go and try to make up their own songs, when the songs in the book were much better.

velvetjones
05-31-2001, 10:18 AM
Thanks Lemur, you're the first one to mention two of the things that bugged me the most.

The Oompa Loompas in the book that I read when I was 10 and in the 5th grade (ok, that was 30 years ago and maybe my memory isn't perfect) were extremely small, dark skinned people wearing animal skins. They looked african to me. I purchased a later edition of the book and they looked different than I remembered and I thought maybe they had to make them look more politically correct. But maybe it was just my bad memory.

Also, the songs in the book were 100% better than the songs in the movie. I was very disappointed.

I loved the book, I like the movie. It'll be interesting to see the remake if they ever do it.

velvetjones
05-31-2001, 10:30 AM
Thanks Lemur, you're the first one to mention two of the things that bugged me the most.

The Oompa Loompas in the book that I read when I was 10 and in the 5th grade (ok, that was 30 years ago and maybe my memory isn't perfect) were extremely small, dark skinned people wearing animal skins. They looked african to me. I purchased a later edition of the book and they looked different than I remembered and I thought maybe they had to make them look more politically correct. But maybe it was just my bad memory.

Also, the songs in the book were 100% better than the songs in the movie. I was very disappointed.

I loved the book, I like the movie. It'll be interesting to see the remake if they ever do it.

kaylasdad99
05-31-2001, 02:56 PM
Also, the songs in the book were 100% better than the songs in the movie.

Alas, Anthony Newly songs can sometimes be a chancy proposition. Don't blame him for "The Candy Man," though. He hated Aubrey Woods's rendering, and asked to be allowed to sing it himself. I have to say that Woods did not get the movie off to an auspicious start.

But why does no one bring up the fact that all of these Golden Ticket finders were set up by Wonka and Mr. Wilkinson (the ersatz Oskar Slugworth)? It stretches the bounds of credulity that the same man just happens to be on the scene in Dusselheim, Germany, the Salt Nuts factory, Marble Falls, AZ, dammit-I-can't-remember-the-town, MT, and wherever-the-hell-the-Bucket-family-lived, Vaguesylvania on the very day each ticket turned up. They couldn't possibly have tracked the destination of each ticket. Wilkinson must have planted them. But did he plant them so as to be found at random, by a lucky(?) candy bar buyer, or did he actually select each recipient? My instinct is to believe that he personally selected the contestants, as he must have known that any ticket found in Henry Salt's factory was going to go to Veruca (I do wish the script had included Wonka telling Veruca what her name meant (when spelled "verruca")). But how much autonomy did Wilkinson have in selecting the winners? Was he acting on Wonka's explicit instructions, or did he actually choose Mike, Augustus, Veruca, Violet and Charlie?

jab1
05-31-2001, 03:33 PM
It's pretty obvious from the rest of the movie that Wonka has magic powers. It probably was relatively simple for him to keep track of the tickets and teleport Wilkinson to the proper locations. Wonka's powers are not unlimited, though; if they were, he'd be immortal and there would be no need for him to find a successor.

Gundy
06-05-2001, 03:44 PM
In the book, not only did Charlie completely obey Mr. Wonka, he also listened intently. Didn't ask questions, just accepted what Mr. Wonka told him. Throughout the book (and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator) he expressed frustration and irritation with the other children and their parents, who didn't just blithely accept everything Mr. Wonka said. He also made snide remarks about the bad kids' parents. I'm still on the fence about whether he wanted someone with imagination and wonder to run his factory (he said as much in the book) or just a loyal "apprentice".

I've been reading a couple of chapters of both books each night to my son and we've enjoyed them immensely. I had never read them before but I loved the movie, as, well, dark as it is. Next up: James and the Giant Peach.

Lemur866
06-05-2001, 04:32 PM
In fact, in the book Wonka explicitly states that he wanted a child to take over the factory because a child would do things exactly the way Wonka wanted them done, and not try to pollute Wonka's vision with his own ideas! That was the whole point of the Golden Tickets...to get a kid who would shut up and follow orders.

inkubus
10-27-2001, 08:06 AM
An interesting side note: The drug/"candy" parallels are pretty obvious in WWATCF, and it's always seemed really psychedelic to me. After seeing The Wizard of Oz with Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon as the soundtrack, I began speculating on the possibilities of other movie/Floyd album "synergies" (for lack of a better term or explaination). Anyway, after a short search on the web I found some stuff that linked MGM and also Stanley Kubrick to Pink Floyd; namely notable synergies when starting "Wish You Were Here" about 2 seconds into the blue lion at the beginning of the film (after the oveture).
The revalation occured in a certain Blockbuster video. I had just gotten my hands on a copy of Pink Floyd's "Animals" and then I saw the WWATCF movie sitting there and it just clicked.. The cover art of the album features a factory with a giant inflatable pig floating above it. The album criticizes about 3 or 4 or 5 types of people (dogs, sheep, pigs, etc.) Now, obviously the movie (and book) is all about criticizing different types of annoying people, like the rich, spoiled kid, the loud kid, the fat kid, and the couch potato kid (television became the primary object of songwriter Roger Waters cynicism during his later solo career in his album "Amused to Death"). Anyway, if you like Pink Floyd or you just like this sort of thing, check it out. I haven't found a "best" way of doing it, but start the album on repeat right when the you first see candy. Or maybe a little before. :) Injoy. Especially the end when they take off in the elevator..

2nd guest
10-27-2001, 06:34 PM
I guess you haven't read any of Roal Dahl's books. Charlie, the Giant Peach, etc. are all verry dark. Charlie starts off will a full depressing piture of how squalid people can get. Everyone is bedridden and has to eat cabbage soup. They aren't for eveyone.

RichLather
10-27-2001, 07:08 PM
Originally posted by Slithy Tove
Did they show the chicken decapitation?

Ha-ha!!

I didn't imagine it! I knew that I had seen the decapitation the very first time I saw this movie on video (back when VCRs had wood grain and dials) and I have not seen that particular bit since.

Thank you for proving my memory true!

DSeid
10-27-2001, 07:24 PM
velvetjones named my biggest discomfort: the oompa loompa slaves. Make no mistake: a captive people - held by the addiction that WW encumbered upon them!

Adults are always with a touch of evil and/or idiocy in Dahl's books. It resonates with our feelings as kids: we at the mercy of these morons and their selfishness.

snac
10-27-2001, 07:30 PM
Velvet is right. In early editions of the book the Oompa Loompas were African or the fantasy equivalent. Now they are described as white people. I don't know how Dahl reacted to the request to make a change. Probably better than P. L. Travers did when it was suggested to her that one chapter of Mary Poppins might be interpreted as racist and needed to be changed (she threw a hissy fit and only gave in when they said, well, they were sorry but they would have to out-of-print the book in that case).

And BTW, the movie does pale in comparison to the book. (Spoken as a former Willy Wonka in a community theater production closely following the movie.)

Eliahna
10-27-2001, 07:34 PM
This is a fascinating thread!

I always thought that the Wonka you see throughout the movie is a persona, an act put on by the real Wonka. When Charlie gives back the everlasting gobbstopper, Wonka becomes a kinder, gentler, more caring man, very unlike the guy we saw throughout the rest of the movie. Just as the rooms in the factory are fantasy, glorious rooms filled with wonderous things with stark brick walls in the background and rooms hidden from view where, one suspects, the real work is done, I thought of the Wonka showing the children around as a character invented by the real Wonka, a mad scientist-esque character, slightly muddled, who lives in a world totally unlike the real world. He may bluster and yell throughout the whole movie, but in the end we see the real Wonka, a mortal man looking for an heir.

I remember watching WWATCF at school when I was a little girl, and the tunnel scene scared the life out of me! Yet it's still one of my most loved movies, and I've been thinking of buying the DVD lately as I find myself humming "Cheer up Charlie" most of the day! :)

Kat
10-30-2001, 10:00 PM
Originally posted by snac
Velvet is right. In early editions of the book the Oompa Loompas were African or the fantasy equivalent. Now they are described as white people. I don't know how Dahl reacted to the request to make a change. Probably better than P. L. Travers did when it was suggested to her that one chapter of Mary Poppins might be interpreted as racist and needed to be changed (she threw a hissy fit and only gave in when they said, well, they were sorry but they would have to out-of-print the book in that case).

Which chapter was that and what were the changes?

Lockfist
10-30-2001, 11:40 PM
I simply must add that this movie kept me up at night for years when I was in Elementary School ! I would actually throw up at night from the nightmares this film gave me. I still get upset when I think about the horror this film projected into my childhood. I am very surprised to hear so many people praise this thing. Sorry for heading into Cafe Society talk but I had to add my experience to this discussion.

bibliophage
10-31-2001, 06:07 AM
It just won't die, will it? Off to Cafe Society.

bibliophage
moderator GQ

Skywatcher
10-31-2001, 07:06 AM
For those who don't know, there is indeed a special edition DVD out and a wide-screen version due on 13 November. Features include:

interviews with and commentary by Peter Ostrum (Charlie), Julie Dawn Cole (Veruca), Denise Nickerson (Violet), Paris Themmen (Mike), and Michael Bollner (wearing an outfit similar to his Augustus costume).
"Pure Imagination," a documentary.
Sing-along songs.
Theatrical trailer

JustPlainBryan
10-31-2001, 12:29 PM
Originally posted by DSeid
velvetjones named my biggest discomfort: the oompa loompa slaves. Make no mistake: a captive people - held by the addiction that WW encumbered upon them!


Ever since I first saw this movie, I have held this opinion as well. When I heard Willy Wonka's explanation of why he brought them here, in my head I was thinking "Willy Wonka captured the Oompa Loompas, ripped them from their natural habitats, and forced them to work as menial servants for his diabolical candy making schemes".

The Oompa Loompas are cheap labor who are not allowed to leave the grounds and are forced to work long hours in abominable conditions.

Willy Wonka is awesome, though. I don't know about anyone else, but I thought that the scene when they first see the factory floor, and Wonka singing that song about pure imagination, was eerie. I don't know why it was, but I always got the sense that the room was outwardly cheerful and full of candy, but it hid dark and terrible secrets.

All in all a brilliant piece of movie-making. I want to read the book, but my local Barnes and Noble doesn't carry it, so I've had to special order.

snac
10-31-2001, 09:16 PM
Kat--

I don't have a copy of the book with me, so I'm not sure of the chapter number. There is a compass which Mary Poppins owns which will transport you in the direction indicated. North lands you among a very stereotypical Eskimo family, West a group of "How!"-type Indians; East gets you a group of squealing heathen Chinese; South a really offensive and geographically challenged slave mammy [in Africa??]. Each, IIRC, is worse than the last, and it's embarrassing to read today, though surely very few people batted an eyelash when the book first came out.

The changes--they deleted the people altogether and replaced them with animals--polar bears, etc. Safer. Less offensive, too. Thanks for asking...

Fern Forest
10-31-2001, 09:31 PM
Originally posted by delphica
Originally posted by Cabbage
However- each kid/parent team gets disqualified because they disobey the rules. But so do Charly & gramps- what makes their "sin" forgivable?

It was redemption. Charly & gramps sin was just as damnable as the others, but it wasn't really those sins that Wonka was concerned with. Wonka was really concerned with honesty and loyalty to the chocolate factory--Charly redeemed himself by returning the Everlasting Gobstopper. "So shines a good deed in a weary world."

I'm still not clear on this, because it's not as if any of the other kids had a chance to give back their gobstoppers, seeing as they were being sucked up pipes and dropped into bad egg chutes and getting rolled away by singing Oompa Loompas. Why does Wonka give Charlie that moment of contemplation?

I was thinking about this. And perhaps it's because it's not Charlie's idea to drink the Fizzy-Lifting Drink but Grandpa's idea. In fact Charlie at first says no, but Grandpa pushes him into it, and so he does. Thus he wasn't punished like the other kids, was allowed to continue on the tour and given the chance at redemption in the end.