Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Parent Guide
Fortunately for others, the stellar performances by the film's secondary characters and the positive lessons of family life in the little shack may be enough to spark some good discussions.
Parent Movie Review
In the early 70s, Gene Wilder’s quirky and eccentric portrayal of Willy Wonka introduced moviegoers to the fantastical and oddly eerie world of the famous chocolate maker. Now Johnny Depp, wearing purple rubber gloves and a chin-length bob, revisits the candy plant with a performance that may leave some viewers thinking of another gloved entertainer.
Dealing with issues from his past, Willy Wonka has built a fortress-like factory where he churns out pounds and pounds of delicious sweets. After 15 years of reclusion, Willy announces that a few lucky children will win an exclusive tour of his workshop and get a chance to compete for an ultimate prize.
One of the fortunate five is Charlie Bucket (Freddie Highmore). He lives in a dilapidated house on the edge of town with his parents (Noah Taylor, Helena Bonham Carter) and both sets of grandparents. Leaning in an open field, the crooked walls and leaky roof of the little dwelling are overshadowed by the enormous smoke stacks of the Wonka Chocolate Factory. But while money might be scarce inside the humble abode, there is plenty of love.
The other four contestants (Annasophia Robb, Julia Winter, Jordan Fry, Philip Wiegratz) are less amicable. Over-indulged, ill mannered, extremely competitive and violently aggressive, they represent everything bad about poorly parented children. Showing up at the front gates on tour day with their moms or dads in tow, they shrewdly size each other up, hoping to prevail for the unspecified reward. However, like the first film, their individual comeuppance is swift, complete and uniquely personalized.
Wandering through the factory, the children and their escorts meet the workforce of miniature, imported Oompa Loompas (Deep Roy). They also get a preview of the invention room, testing facilities and magical candy garden. This script, however, deviates from the original, peeking into Willy’s childhood and introducing his estranged father (Christopher Lee). But the attempt to explain the chocolatier’s idiosyncrasies, only adds to the film’s peculiar feel.
For younger children, the storyline’s abrupt turns and shaded humor (including some double entendres) may be difficult to follow. As well, the film includes moments of peril when some cute, cuddly squirrels turn vicious and a puppet show catches fire.
While older children may enjoy the highly imaginative and bizarre confectionary complex, some parents will be wary of Willy and his seeming inability to function outside the factory. Fortunately for others, the stellar performances by the film’s secondary characters and the positive lessons of family life in the little shack may be enough to spark some good discussion about manners, kindness and enthusiasm for new experiences.
If nothing else, the computer generated images of rich, yummy chocolate will likely leave audiences craving a tasty sampling of something sweet from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.Starring Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, Helena Bonham Carter. Running time: 115 minutes. Theatrical release July 14, 2005. Updated July 12, 2016
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Parents' Guide
Charlie lives with his parents and grandparents. How is their family portrayed? What positive things come out of Charlie’s interaction with his grandparents? What can a person learn from the older generation?
How did Charlie’s grandpa feel about money? What things can be more important than money? What does Charlie’s family have that can’t be bought?
Like the original movie, this film includes lessons on moral behavior. What does it teach about manners, gluttony, selfishness, kindness etc? Are these examples pertinent today?
The most recent home video release of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie is March 3, 2015. Here are some details…
Blu-ray Notes: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: 10th Anniversary Release Date: 3 March 2015 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory releases in a Tenth Anniversary Edition with the following special features: - In-Movie Experience viewing option with Tim Burton - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Chocolate Dreams - Different Faces, Different Flavors - Designer Chocolate - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Sweet Sounds - Becoming Oompa-Loompa - Attack of the Squirrels - Fantastic Mr. Dahl - Two previsualizations - Augustus Gloop dance and Mike Teavee dance - Dolby TrueHD music-only track - European club reel - Theatrical trailer
Blu-ray Notes: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Release Date: 4 October 2011 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory releases on Blu-ray with the following bonus extras: - In-Movie Experience viewing option with Tim Burton - Under the Wrapper - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Sweet Sounds - Attack of the Squirrels - Becoming Oompa-Loompa - Fantastic Mr. Dahl - Commentary with Burton - Two previsualizations - Augustus Gloop dance and Mike Teavee dance - Dolby TrueHD music-only track - European club reel - Theatrical trailer - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Chocolate Dreams - Designer Chocolate - Different Faces, Different Flavors
DVD Notes: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Release Date: 8 November 2005 Warner Home Video presents Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in two flavors: the Wide Screen Edition and the 2 Disc Deluxe Edition. If you choose the lean version, the only bonus sprinkles you’ll enjoy are a featurette called Becoming Oompa-Loompa (that will explain the mysterious process filmmakers used to turn one man into thousands of Oompa-Loompas) and the Oomp-Loompa Dance Machine Challenge.
Should you decide to indulge in the decadent 2-disc version, you’ll receive the aforementioned confections plus the documentaries: The Fantastic Mr. Dahl (where you’ll learn about the author’s life story and extraordinary body of work), Attack of the Squirrels (an insight on how live squirrels were trained to perform in the film) and five other making-of featurettes. Challenge activities are topped with The Inventing Machine, The Bad Nut, and Search for the Golden Ticket, and garnished with a package of 5 limited-edition trading cards.
Both editions come with Dolby Digital 5.1 EX audio tracks in English, Spanish and French, with subtitles in English, Spanish and French.