Where does Willy Wonka come from

Hanisauland: Lexicon @todo: from Preprocess

Tim Burton, based on the classic children's book by Roald Dahl
Country and year of publication:
USA 2005
Age rating of the FSK:
from 0 years
Age recommendation:
worth seeing from 6 years
Theatrical release:
August 11, 2005

About eleven-year-old Charlie Bucket lives with his parents and all four grandparents in a crooked old house in the immediate vicinity of the factory of the eccentric chocolate manufacturer Willy Wonka. Charlie can only afford a bar of his chocolate once a year for his birthday, because the buckets are poor, the father has just become unemployed and the daily meal consists almost entirely of thin cabbage soup. Still, Charlie doesn't feel unhappy. There is unity and harmony in his family and Charlie's grandfather Joe even sacrifices his last nest egg to please his grandson.
One day Willy Wonka announces that he wants to enable five children with an adult companion to visit his factory for a day, which no one has seen from the inside for 15 years; one of the children would even have a special surprise. As a result, sales of wonka chocolate skyrocketed all over the world, because the tickets are hidden in five boards. The German butcher's son Augustus Glupsch, who is already fat for all the chocolate, is the first to draw a ticket. In England, a wealthy manufacturer buys tons of chocolate and thus secures the admission ticket for his spoiled daughter Veruschka. The self-confident Violetta Beauregarde is world champion in chewing gum, collects one trophy after the other to the pride of her mother and finds her happiness a matter of course. No less arrogant and precocious on top of that is Micky Schießer, a callous technology freak who was given every imaginable computer game by his parents. Charlie finds the last ticket. Together with his grandfather Joe, he embarks on an adventurous journey into the fantasy land of the candy manufacturer, during which the children are confronted with their abilities and, above all, their mistakes. At the end of the eventful day, nothing is the same for everyone involved, including Willy Wonka.

The original book from 1964, translated into 32 languages ​​and sold millions of times, was written by the children's book author Roald Dahl, who died in 1990. Director Tim Burton, who was assisted by Dahl's widow, closely followed the famous book and the author's drafts. At the same time, however, he has filled the story with his own cinematic universe and supplemented it with important details such as Wonka's recap of his childhood, which make his development as an unworldly hermit and his character plausible.
Wonka is convincingly played by Johnny Depp, who worked with Tim Burton in 1990 on "Edward Scissorhands", a modern fantasy fairy tale film that, like "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", reproduces excerpts of our reality like in a distorting mirror. The child actors also seem very believable, which contributes a lot to the success of the film. A huge technical effort was required to adapt the fantastic world of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, in which everything is made of chocolate and sugar paste and even the grass is edible, for the cinema screen. But technical perfection is entirely at the service of imagination and creativity. Scenes filmed in the studio were skilfully combined with computer animation in front of a real backdrop. In one of the funniest scenes, 64 squirrels sitting in a circle check whether the nuts are hollow and separate the good from the bad. Partly real, trained squirrels can be seen in the film, partly computer-animated images. The same was done with the chocolate river, which plunges over a huge waterfall. It flowed in real backdrops with almost a million liters of water mixture and was generated on the computer for some action scenes at the same time. The tiny Umpa Lumpas, Willy Wonka's hard-working factory workers, all look the same. They are embodied by the actor Deep Roy with the help of the motion capture process, with the help of which filmed movements and reactions of the actor were transferred in the computer to various characters, which can then be seen together in a single scene. There are numerous humorous allusions, especially for experienced moviegoers, for example when Burton quotes a famous scene from Kubrick's "2001" and puts it at the service of his own story. But the younger viewers can easily understand the wit of the dialogues and the discreetly used situation comedy.

Tim Burton's cinematic stroke of genius is a very entertaining and at the same time moral film, but it is never pedagogically intrusive. It conveys a deeply humane message that is equally suitable for young and old and can contribute to successful dialogue between the generations.

Willy Wonka's day of visiting his factory serves no other purpose than to find a suitable successor in good time who could continue his life's work. In this respect, Wonka is similar to Violetta's mother, who transfers her own unfulfilled hopes and dreams as a legacy to the next generation. The film conveys particularly well how much people are shaped by their upbringing, which can even have a decisive influence on later career aspirations. With a lot of humor and linguistic wit, the film gets to the heart of the upbringing mistakes of adults, caricatures them in the case of children who are either overwhelmed or treated in such a way that they have no limits and remain without orientation. The children are poorly brought up and therefore the sometimes sugar-sweet punishment hits their parents at the same time and above all. Conversely, Charlie's example shows how much the happiness of children and grandchildren inspires the older generation, just as Charlie's grandfather draws new energies and accompanies his grandson to the factory.
The message of the necessary cohesion of a family, which often appears in American films, is not disguised ideologically, but is much more closely linked to whether a family only provides material security or can also convey immaterial values. The film shows that an intact family, supported by love and mutual understanding, can be much more important in life than money, reputation or professional success. Therefore, in the end, not only the positive title character Charlie is the winner (you know that at the latest after the introduction of his four colleagues), Willy Wonka can also learn a lot from Charlie and his family.

Thomas Werner