• Joshua Buck

Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory (1971) Vs. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

A poor but hopeful boy seeks one of five coveted golden tickets that will send him on a tour of Willy Wonka’s mysterious chocolate factory.

A young boy wins a tour through the most magnificent chocolate factory in the world, led by the most unusual candy maker.

Today I bring you the Vs. series. In this series, I bring to movies that I believe are similar, or in this case 2 parts of one story and compare the two to find out which one I believe is the better of the two movies. I will break the movies down into categories and then I will give a point to the film that I believe is better of the two in said category. For example, if I think the soundtrack is better in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory over Charlie and the Chocolate factory. The winner gets 1 point towards the tally at the end.

So first up I’ll compare the difference in style Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory seemed very run down shown even more by Charlie Bucket's house and when his mum is doing the laundry but the colours of the chocolate factory and the candy shop was amazing and beautiful and really contrasted with the world that we had seen indoors and it is easy to see why everyone wanted a golden ticket. Charlie and the chocolate factory was directed by Tim Burton and I always feel like his movies have a comic style to them with gothic looking tones and he didn’t disappoint bringing that style into the new reimagined version of this story. The film world was made weirder to suit the style of Willy Wonka and was definitely more modern however the film kind of kept its bleakness even within the factory and to me that didn’t scream that his factory was a truly magical world like we saw in the original. So, for this reason, the winner and my personal favourite choice of style have to go to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory – 1 Charlie and the chocolate factory – 0.

Now is the big question who did I believe was the best Willy Wonka; Gene Wilder or Johnny Depp. Johnny Depp's performance was very animated and it felt like he really embodied this role. His quirks were brought in well and he really did portray Willy Wonka as this crazy guy that he is but also shows his childish nature. This, in turn, showed that his character was very vulnerable. I really liked this aspect and showed that he was really a flawed individual. Now onto Gene Wilder. This man lived in my childhood as I loved Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory as a child. I always remembered Gene Wilder being absolutely nutty and bonkers. So, when I watched it again to write this review, I was surprised to see that Johnny Depp was probably more eccentric. Gene Wilder's interpretation of Willy Wonka was definitely bonkers but I also thought it was slightly psychopathic. His character also felt like something didn’t add up and then the fact that his character changed so much, in the end, it is all kind of justified. I appreciate Johnny Depp’s performance and it was good but personally, because Gene Wilder's interpretation is one that I grew up with and one that is dear to my heart I just naturally prefer his performance so the point goes to him.

Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory – 2 Charlie and the chocolate 0.

Now it wouldn’t be an adaptation of the Roald Dahl's chocolate factory without Willy Wonka and the Oompa Loompas. So, let's compare them. The original adaptation had an array of actors as Oompa Loompas but they were kept quiet unless they were singing a song. There wasn’t much focus on them because I wasn’t left thinking I wanted to see more of them and that isn’t a bad thing that they were kept enigmatic. Charlie and the chocolate factory gave the Oompa Loompas a bit more of a voice though. The fact that they were all the same all played by actor, Deep Roy I feel like he gave a great varied performance and was helped with the CGI replicating him really well in dance numbers. The Oompa Loompas delivered a happier tone in this version however and I actually think I preferred that. It is Charlie and the chocolate factory that I actually prefer the Oompa Loompas.

Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory – 2 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – 1.

I was doing some background research and discovered and was amazed to find out that Roald Dahl actually wrote the screenplay. Trivia aside I am now going to compare the screenplays. The 1971 movie was well structured, magnificent, emotional on multiple levels and every character really did live on the screen. The story had a B-Story as well with the introduction of Slugworth and gave Willy Wonka's character a great degree of depth. However, the script did leave a couple of loose ends and just used exposition to resolve it. That’s not a bad thing but that is where 2005 does a better job and closing these loose ends by giving the characters more of a backstory and kind of scrapping the idea of the Slugworth arc. It is hinted at but more as a callback and is a nice touch. For this reason, I prefer the story of the newer interpretation.

Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory – 2 Charlie and the chocolate factory – 2.

Now for the songs. Gene Wilder pretty much sang through the whole movie and it is honestly amazing it lived in my childhood and still amazed me with the song ‘pure imagination’ that is a classic. That is the one thing that I missed in the newer edition: the fact that there weren't as many songs, just the Oompa Loompa songs. I’m sorry that this bit isn’t the most thought out segment of the review but there is so much more of a musical effort in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory that it is hands down the winner in this comparison.

Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory – 3 Charlie and the chocolate factory – 2.

To conclude, whilst the modern Charlie and the Chocolate Factory provides positive aspects and dare, I say improvements on the previous rendition but the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory still to this day holds up so much and creates a magnificent world. It's not perfect but I just prefer the first imagination.

Winner: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

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