This day and age, about half of every movie being released is a remake of a movie, or a movie based off a novel. And in many cases, these movies are, quite frankly, shit. Back in my childhood, I was raised on the movie Wily Wonka And The Chocolate Factory. Being the little weirdo I was, I enjoyed the movie for several reasons, the most notable one is seeing the kids go away in “funny ways” as I said way back when.
While I have never read the novel that both Willy and Charlie were based off on, I have seen both movies. Willy will always be a cherished classic, bringing forth am ambitious movie for it’s time back in the 70’s. And the remake Charlie, was a good modernization, heralding better technology to make the colorful factory come to life in many way.
While Charlie was a good attempt, it suffered in several ways where Willy nailed. Both films revolve around Charlie Bucket. The original strongly revolved around Charlie. it showcased him before winning the final golden ticket, his delivery job, his interaction with his family, him at school, and his desperation to win the ticket. The remake revolved more around Willy. Going through unnecessary flashbacks to Willy’s past, an annoying acting from Mr Depp with Willy’s hatred for parents and families.
Between the two story perspectives, Willy gets my vote as best storytelling. It was an interesting attempt to try too delve into Willy Wonka’s past, but ultimately, it failed
I was pleased with what both of them did in “disposing” of the other children. Both of them doing the exact same thing, side from Veruca Salt. Both versions got rid of her in the same way, a garbage chute leading to a furnace.But there were two different methods of getting her down the chute. I liked how Willy’s version disposed of her, having her go into a singing rage about not getting her golden egg laying goose, stepping onto the garbage chute door, and going through, with the “bad egg” sign going off behind her. However, Charlie’s version gave her disposal the right kind of Ironic humor to it. Her family deals with the nut business. And Willy’s trained nut shelling Squirrels toss her down the chute as she tries to steal one. While Willy’s was better in my eye, both of them get credit for being truthful to how the kids should go.
What I’m about to say about the overall atmosphere of both movies may sound similar and quite frankly, stupid. But I will say it nonetheless. Willy’s atmosphere was a dark film, but it had the lightheartedness to make it an enjoyable kids film. Charlie’s feel was purposefully aiming to kids with it’s fun atmosphere, but with a dark tone to it. Charlie failed with this attempt,as the mixture did not blend well. It was colorful, fun in few ways, but overall cringe worthy of watching between dialogue. Willy, however, mastered the feel of the film perfectly, making it known the film would be dark, but pleasurable in it’s delivery between each candy room and it’s characters.
Willy, again, wins over Charlie
Both films were musicals, in ways. Willy had several scenes where the characters sang and/or danced. Most notably, the Oompa Loompas singing to the kids as they met their unfortunate exits. Charlie, however, only had four times where characters sang (Not including the weird puppet show as the kids entered the factory) each time being the Oompa Loompas singing about the kids, and how they got what they deserved.
In this case, Charlie gets the win over on Willy. Willy was iconic with the Oompa Loompas singing to the kids, but overall, Charlie did a better execution of the kids exit songs.
For both versions, they had two very different actors portraying two very different Willy Wonka characters. Gene Wilder’s portrayal of the chocolate musketeer, very well may be his most notable role in his career. He played the mad candy man perfectly, making him seem just like an ordinary person, but with an insane side that made sense. The same can not be said for Johnny Depp’s version. Depp played a Wonka where he was a troubled soul with family issues. This Wonka was clearly n uncontrollable madman, that showed. Wilder was a madman, but was containable and fun. Depp, was awkward, and horrible to watch. While I do consider Johnny Depp a good actor, he carried too much of his role of Jack Sparrow into this role of Willy Wonka.
Gene Wilder in Willy wins several hundred times over Mr Depp
The final aspect between these two movies is what I consider their deal breakers. In Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory, you learn where the kids go after they make their exits. (Augustus to the fudge room, Violet to the juicing room, Veruca to the furnace, and Mike to the taffy stretching room) You however, do not learn what comes of them. The movie ends with Charlie earning the factory, but that is all. There is no clarity on if the children made it out or not. And that was what was so enjoyable about the darkness of the film. You didn’t know if they lived through their greed or not.The remake, was not as brave enough to do such a thing. At the end when Charlie rides up in the glass elevator, they see the ids exiting the building, in their “new forms”. For Violet and Mike, in any case.
While both films did the same thing, with each vehicle losing the exact number of seats for the number of kids and parents who left the group, showcasing Willy’s knowledge that each room would be where one of the kids met their end. The original never said this. It was clear that Willy knew this, and planned this accordingly. In Charlie, it was pointed out by Charlie that the seats decreased, as if Wonka knew what would happen. That killed the movie, because having that element of wonder and mystery was good for the original. It kept with it’s dark overtones perfectly.
As before, Willy wins as the better film. While Charlie was a decent modernization, it failed in so many ways that made the original a timeless classic.