Charlie And The Chocolate Factory

Like most fairy tales and nursery rhymes, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, is meant to scare the living shit out of children. Entertainment is a fortunate by-product.

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Just The Facts

  1. "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" was written by Roald Dahl, a native of Llandaff, Wales, in 1964.
  2. Two movies have been made based upon the text. Tne first, in 1971 starring Gene Wilder, is titled "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory". The second was made by Tim Burton using the title of the book, in 2005, and features Johnny Depp.

The Plot:

It is agreed upon, by all of the people, that this story is some seriously trippy shit. For better or worse, it is ingrained in our psyche. Ironically, Tim Burton made his movie less disturbing, as it's peculiarities are trumped by the earlier version's origins in 1970's British film-making, and Dahl's dark imagination. Like "Ring Around the Rosie" (plague/Black Death), and "Hansel and Gretal" (murder/cannibalism), "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" introduces children to mayhem and terror at a young age. This is evidenced by the chapter "The Family Begins to Starve", the description of each child's demise, and the tunnel scene in the '71 flick. After all, you're never too young to learn the greatest moral of them all:

The Setting:


The Bucket Household:

1964:

"The house wasn't nearly large enough for so many people, and life was extremely uncomfortable for them all. There were only two rooms in the place altogether, and there was only one bed. The bed was given to the four old grandparents because they were so old and tired. They were so tired, they never got out of it."

"Mr. and Mrs. Bucket and little Charlie Bucket slept in the other room upon mattresses on the floor. In the summertime this wasn't too bad, but in the winter, freezing cold drafts blew across the floor all night long, and it was awful. There wasn't any question of them being able to buy a better house-or even one more bed to sleep in. They were too poor for that."

1971:

2005:

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The Factory:

1964:

1971:

2005:

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The Glass Elevator:

1964:

In fact, Dahl later penned a book , appropriately titled "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator", in 1972.

1971:

2005:

Willy Wonka, AKA "Manchildo insanus"

1964:

1971:

2005:

Real Life:

Willy freaks the fuck out at 1min40:

An Alternative Explanation for Mr. Wonka's "Eccentricity":

Charlie Bucket, AKA "The Poor Bastard"

1964:

"The hero"

1970:

2005:

Real Life:

Ahnold's Golden Ticket was Significantly Heavier

There's no two ways about it. Charlie's life sucks.

Let's Break it down:

  • He lives in a shack with his parents, where his four grandparents sit in one bed all day.
  • They live on a diet of cabbage soup.
  • Bread is a luxury.
  • Charlie is constantly reminded of the grinding poverty in which he dwells every day as he walks home through the nicer parts of town and shops he can't afford to walk into.

  • His teacher laughs at him about how he can't afford Wonka Bars
  • He is intimidated by a grown man in a dark alley, offering him a bribe.
  • He overcomes the odds, and wins the contest, only to be head-fucked by the infamous Mr. Wonka, before he finally gets the grand prize.
  • Along the same lines of "rags to riches" and overcoming balls-astronomical odds, we have Arnold Schwarzenegger who came to the United States as an Austrian immigrant, began lifting weights, started a bricklaying business,lifted more weights, became a huge film star, married a Kennedy and went on to become the governor one of the most populated(No.1), and largest (No.3), states in the country.

Grandpa Joe, AKA "The Instigator":

1964:

1971:

2005:

Real Life:

Willie Nelson: Smoke It if You Got It!

Behind the Myth of every Grandfather, there is a Reality.

He is the gritty supporting Character on Charlie's Quest for redemption. His senility lends him a certain je ne sequa. He is the only adult that Charlie can really confide in, manly because of his rapidly decreasing brain-age. But the onset of crazy isn't the only skeleton that lurks in Grandpa Joe's closet.

Grampa Joe has a gambling problem. We already know this family is dirt-poor. Charlie's mother has referred to a loaf of bread as (and I quote) "A Real Banquet!"

Referring to the contest for the Golden tickets, he tells Charlie there is no way he can lose. Charlie spends Grandpa J's last coin on a bar of chocolate. He loses.

Later, he finds some money in a gutter, and proceeds to buy, and mow down on, a shit-load of chocolate with most of the money. He finds a ticket. But this forces us to ponder whether Charlie has been influenced by Joe's sound financial advice. Charlie does think that there are no more tickets afterall. So he spends the money on chocolate.

Once in the factory, Joe pressures Charlie to start pounding "Fizzy-Lifting-Drink". Charlie is hesitant because of the rules stipulated by Wonka (not to touch anything). They get high. Real high. Tomfoolery ensues. But these are just the obvious flaws...

In fact, there is an entire website site dedicated to the nefarious antics of Grandpa Joe. Say No to Grandpa-Joe, has taken upon itself the cause to bring "...attention to the truth before another generation of movie-goers can be lulled into believing that Charlie's grandfather is anything other than a ratbag industrial spy bastard."

Ho

ly

Shit

Augustus Gloop, AKA "The Fat Kid":

1964:

"A greedy boy"

"...a nine-year-old boy who was so enormously fat he looked as though he had been blown up with a powerful pump. Great flabby folds of fat bulged out from every part of his body, and his face was like a monstrous ball of dough with two small greedy curranty eyes peering out upon the world."

1971:

2005:

Real Life:

Poor Ginger-Kid

Violet Beauregarde, AKA "The Twit":

1964:

"A girl who chews gum all day long"

"I just adore gum. I can't do without it. I munch it all day long except for a few minutes at mealtimes when I take it out and stick it behind my ear for safekeeping. To tell you the honest truth, I simply wouldn't feel comfortable if I didn't have that little wedge of gum to chew on every moment of the day. My mother says it's not ladylike and it looks ugly to see a girl's jaws going up and down like mine do all the time, but I don't agree. And who's she to criticize anyway, because if you ask me, I'd say that her jaws are going up and down almost as much as mine from yelling at me every minute of the day."

1971:

2005:

Real Life:

Jessica Simpson

Veruca Salt, AKA "The Bitch":

1964:

"A girl who is spoiled by her parents"

"My little Veruca got more and more upset each day, and every time I went home she would scream at me, 'Where's my Golden Ticket? I want my Golden Ticket!' And she would lie for hours on the floor, kicking and yelling in the most disturbing way."

1971:

2005:

Real Life:

Paris Hilton

Mike Teavee, AKA "The Douche":


1964:

" A boy who does nothing but watch television"

"the nine-year-old boy was seated in front of an enormous television set, with his eyes glued to the screen, and he was watching a film in which one bunch of gangsters was shooting up another bunch of gangsters with machine guns. Mike Teavee himself had no less than eighteen toy pistols of various sizes hanging from belts around his body, and every now and again he would leap up into the air and fire off half a dozen rounds from one or another of these weapons. "Quiet!" he shouted when someone tried to ask him a question. "Didn't I tell you not to interrupt! This show's an absolute whiz-banger! It's terrific! I watch it every day. I watch all of them everyday, even the crummy ones, where there's no shooting."

1971:

2005:

Real Life:

Ryan Seacrest

The Oompa-Loompas, AKA "What the hell was that?":

1964:

1971:

2005

Real Life:

OK...not really real...but he's got some moves!

Bibliography

All 1964 descriptions taken from:

Dahl, R. 2007. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Puffin Books: New York.