Prayer Focus
Movie Review

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

MPAA Rating: PG for quirky situations, action and mild language

Reviewed by: Sheri McMurray

Better than Average
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Family Kids
Kids Family Musical Fantasy
1 hr. 46 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
July 15, 2005
Featuring: Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, David Kelly, AnnaSophia Robb, Helena Bonham Carter
Director: Tim Burton
Producer: Brad Grey, Richard D. Zanuck
Distributor: Warner Bros.
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“There is no place I know that compares to pure imagination.” —Roald Dahl, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.” —Pablo Picasso

Tim Burton has been working on his most beautiful inspiration yet, and if the audience with whom I watched the movie is any indication, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is a very sweet confection indeed—a hardened shell surrounding a gooey and heartwarming center of humor and affection, sprinkled liberally with assorted nuts.

The film’s heart comes from Freddie Highmore (as Charlie), a gifted young performer who had a leading role in “Finding Neverland.” with Depp (who insisted Highmore must play the role of Charlie). Depp doesn’t rely on quirky mannerisms, but creates and inhabits a complete character, an eccentric whose serene facade is a veneer over an inner life of childhood woes. From the TV ads and movie trailers, it may look like Depp has finally lost touch with reality, but in the context of the film, he is right on the money. He is a most fearless actor, always willing to take a chance with his characters.

As a Christian viewer, I see this tale about an eccentric chocolate maker and a boy who embodies all that is good as a first-rate morality tale for children and adults. As you sit there look deep inside the story that surrounds you and drink in not just the lush images, but the spiritual significance that echos our Lord’s warnings about making wrong choices and the inevitable consequences involved.

Here’s the key to understanding choices and their consequences: God has set in motion spiritual laws for human beings that lead to good or bad results, depending on the choices we make. God tells us that if we rise above our selfishness, we build good character. If we fail to understand that, we fail to understand a great deal about God and His plan and purpose for us.

Based on the children’s book by Roald Dahl of the same name, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is about Charlie (Freddie Highmore who’s fine performance is sincere, deep and unforced) a boy from a poor but loving family, who lives in the town where Willy Wonka has his world-famous chocolate factory. Johnny Depp plays Wonka for laughs, of course! His droll sense of humor gets a laugh almost every time he opens his mouth and propels the film along.

Charlie’s family is so poor that they eat cabbage soup every night, and only once a year on his birthday, does Charlie get a chocolate Wonka bar. Both sets of grandparents share the dilapidated home with Charlie’s family, which includes his parents (Helena Bonham Carter and Noah Taylor). 1 Timothy 5:8 tells us our Holy God will take care of our needs. Hebrews 13:20 tells us what this little family knows—that God will provide everything you need.

A leisurely opening, related by Charlie’s favorite grandpa Joe (an endearing David Kelly), tells the history of the Wonka factory, from its beginnings to the fateful day when Willy found his special secret candy recipes were being stolen from the inside. Wonka subsequently fired his workers, grandpa Joe being one, and closed his gates to the public. In the 15 years since then, the factory has magically kept operating, some think through brilliant automation or perhaps some other mysterious means.

Charlie dreams of one day being able to go inside the factory, and his hopes are raised when one day Willy Wonka announces a contest: For five lucky children who find Golden Tickets in their Wonka Bars, the long-locked factory gates will open, and Willy will personally escort them through the factory. A special surprise is promised for only one of them who remains at the end of the tour. With just one day remaining before the tour, Charlie finds a Golden Ticket wrapped within his Wonka bar!

Now we are introduced to the four bratty kids who will vie for the prize: Augustus Gloop (Philip Wiegratz), a portly boy with his mouth constantly stuffed with chocolate; Veruca Salt (Julia Winter), a spoiled rich girl with her daddy wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde (AnnaSophia Robb), a bratty, competitive gymnastics champion; and angry Mike Teavee (Jordan Fry), a violent TV video-game addict.

Each child comes to the factory with an indulgent parent. Charlie brings his lovable grandpa Joe. As Willy Wonka turns the key in the magical lock of the door that allows this group to enter his world of candy confections, we see the wondrous landscape of chocolate rivers, colorful gumdrop trees, little pink lambs (whose wool is actually cotton candy), and rock candy mountains akin to the rapture felt when Dorothy first opens her door and steps from a world of black and white into a fantastic land of richness and color! Unlike the Wizard of Oz, Willy Wonka is the real deal; nothing in his world is an illusion, including a glass elevator that travels in every direction.

This factory of wonders is run by the Oompa-Loompas who Willy has trained to harvest candy, mine the fudge mountains, and who take the wide eyed group in rowing seahorse-inspired Viking ships through churning rivers of chocolate. Oompa-Loompas (all played by the same actor, Deep Roy) are small, almost lemming-like creatures who are extremely adept at playing ’70s music and capable of dance numbers with a definite Busby Berkley twist.

Willy is remarkably self-controlled. He rarely says what he’s thinking, but the audience can read his thoughts—and his struggle to stay polite, as well as the frequent discord between his thoughts and his demeanor, becomes extremely funny. It becomes funnier, in fact, as the movie goes on. Through flashbacks, we are made aware that Willy Wonka has been out of social circulation for most of his adult life. He lives in his own imagination, surrounded by the Oompa-Loompas, and being around these kids—especially the four brats—is a real strain. It also brings up memories of his own childhood, in which Willy’s father, a dentist played by Christopher Lee, refuses to let young Willy eat any candy. (The dentist father also explains why Willy has blindingly white, ridiculously perfect teeth.) As a boy, Willy ran away from home to go on many adventures and eventually invented the most perfect candy in the whole world.

As the tour travels from one fantastic section of Wonka’s chocolate factory to the next, all four of the nasty children are eventually eliminated by their own greed and arrogance, leaving sweet, decent, innocent and good-hearted Charlie the last remaining tourist and the big winner of Wonka’s ultimate prize! But what is this extremely extravagant extra special reward? What does Charlie teach Willy along the way? That’s for moviegoers to find out, and the trip is well worth the secret!

I can see why Gene Wilder was moved to retract his earlier statement that Warner Brothers was making this film to cash in on the summer box office. After seeing Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Wonka and being exposed to Burton’s movie effects magic, Wilder was enamored with the outcome, hailing Johnny Depp as a “magical” choice to play Willy Wonka. Where Gene Wilder played the chocolate-maker as a fun-loving scamp who enjoys seeing bad little children get what they deserve, Depp portrays a man whose unhappy relationship with his father leads him to withdraw from his dad and go out to seek his own way in the world. By the time he re-enters the public eye, he is guarded about human contact and draws his social skills from a child-like innocence and his personal look from his whimsical, kaleidoscopic view of the world. Like a child who is poiniately honest with those he encounters in life, Wonka just blurts out what he is feeling at the time. Although hard for the adults around him to swallow, in the end, it is a most effective teaching experience for everyone involved.

I found a passing reference to “hell” in the film, but it went by so quickly that I am not sure if it was in reference to the place or to the profanity. I am more inclined to think the “place,” as the whole movie had no swear words, no violence (other than comic), and absolutely nothing sexual. There was a funny scene where someone was alluded to be swearing, but young Charlie’s ears were covered by his parents, and thus the audience couldn’t hear the tirade either.

Charlie wouldn’t give up his family for anything, not even the happiness promised him from Willy, the thought of having as much chocolate as he could ever dream of for a lifetime, or all the unimaginable sums of money offered him by complete strangers for his Golden Ticket. They’re poorer than dirt, but they have loving relationships, and that’s just fine with Charlie. He knows the values in life are not with instant gratifications or material comforts that blow away as quickly as they drop in your lap. We are taught that we must pay for the consequences of our selfish deeds. Selfishness brings bad results. Unselfishness brings good results. The choice is up to us. Within the elements of this film, there is a clear sense of family, respect for elders (and their wisdom), selfless loyalty, humility, love, and honor.

“And so shines a good deed, in a weary world.” —Willy Wonka

There is so much to be noted and learned within this story, that I find it hard to know where to start the comparisons. I commend Tim Burton for his playful and subtle treatment of the subjects, without being in-your-face preachy! Kids will get it, and adults will give a sigh of relief to know they will be able to let their kids enjoy this movie over and over again. If anyone could do it, Tim Burton was the right man for the job. He had already directed “James and the Giant Peach,” another Dahl creation. Burton went to Roald Dahl’s widow and got permission to do a new version of the story that is closer to the author’s original vision. He also made the right choice by giving Wonka a backstory that helps make a little more sense out of how and why he became a peculiar recluse.

With the screenplay by John August and music by Danny Elfman (delivering a knockout score that adds weight and drama to this familiar tale), Daryl Zanuck has proven he knows how to produce a winner (perhaps it runs in the family). Tim Burton again proves he can come up with something wildly unique, even with a story we already know and love. Tim Burton, at the top of his whimsical form, fashions a world of eye-popping colors and cinematic eye candy that shouts, “Turn me into a theme-park ride!”

From the beginning shots of Wonka Bars being produced in the factory to the ending as Charlie and his family help Willy Wonka win something even sweeter than his world renowned candy, I was enchanted. Missing this cinematic confection would be bitterly disappointing.

Viewer Comments
Positive—Take into consideration when watching the movie, it is directed by Tim Burton and a little on the dark side. I watched this with my 7 year old daughter. I was always a Willie Wonka fan so I was more excited than she but not disappointed. From a Christian standpoint, Warner Brothers proves they can make a movie without offensive language. I didn’t hear ANY bad words.

I found the movie enjoyable and loved Johnny Depp as Willie Wonka—he fit the role perfectly. I would recommend this for school-age children; parents should use their own judgment with the smaller ones as there are a few scenes the little ones could find disturbing.
My Ratings: Average/3½
—Kate’s mom, age 41
Positive—…I really enjoyed it. There might a scene or two which would be scary for younger children, such as Veruca being attacked by squirrels. But the movie has a moral ending on the importance of family. Charlie sticks by his family in the face of everything.
My Ratings: Good/3½
—DebraLynn Mims, age 30
Positive—What a beautiful film! my only concern would be very small children (toddlers) as this is a film that soaks in and enthralls its viewers and therefore could be frightening to young children. The positive effects of this film are numerous. The consequences which happen to the children open up multiple opportunities for discussions between parents and their children. This film is visually spectacular, very flawlessly acted (in my opinion) and an obvious choice for a summer family film. There is concern from many due to the fact that this is a Burton film and therefore may have “darker” elements. I can honestly say I did not see that at all. In actuality, I thought this version less disturbing then the original. There are multiple instances where parents will laugh out loud as well as children. Overall, I would have to encourage families to see this movie!
My Ratings: Good/5
Misty Wagner, age 29
Positive—I took my kids (7, 5, 3) to see this movie, and this was a movie that we all enjoyed. I loved the morals at the end. Johnny Depp showed why he is one of the most versatile actors in modern society, with an incredible portrayal of the chocolate maker. The kid that played Charlie also nailed his role.

Possible Spoiler: I was very excited to see that Burton left out the soda pop scene from the Gene Wilder movie. The scene in which Charlie and Grandpa Joe drink a new kind of Soda Pop and go floating up to the ceiling. I always felt that the scene contradicted the message of the film. In this new version of the movie, I was able to have discussions with my kids about the importance of family, and doing what is right. The film does a great job at putting these messages across. I would highly recommend this film for any family.
My Ratings: Good/4
—Jeff D. Pieros, age 35
Positive—I thought that this movie, while being taken from the book more, offered a back view into why Wonka was so strange. A bully of a father that was so terrifying that it left Wonka without the ability to utter the word “Parents.” Children are our gifts and to treat a child badly is to treat The Lord badly.

Our two daughters ages, 9 and 13, loved the original and liked this one even better. They laughed and cringed and overall had a great time. There is only one reference that I thought was out of line—the squirrel and his nuts. Though I think that it went over most of the children’s heads.
My Ratings: Good/5
—D. Leeth, age 35
Negative—…I love the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It’s wonderful and is right up there with some of the best children’s literature masterpieces like “At the Back of the North Wind, The Hobbit, and the Chronicles of Narnia.” I couldn’t recommend (the book) more highly to Christian parents for the fact that it is wonderful, delightful, and full of Christian themes. But this vile movie which falsely claims to be a truer adaptation to the book than the original film is utterly terrible…

This is not “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” folks; this is: Tim Burton and the Chocolate Factory. Tim Burton took one of my favorite children’s stories and ruined it. Tim Burton was quoted saying of the Roald Dahl story, that there are these “dark subtle messages in the book.” But that’s a lie. No, Tim Burton! The “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” story wasn’t dark, YOU MADE IT DARK! You made it dark because you are dark. You are a sick, twisted, man, and I only hope the Lord saves you and changes you. Why am I acting like this? I’ll tell you why. In the film, you know when Willy Wonka tells Mike Teavee, when he and the other five children come inside the beginning of his Factory? “Oh,” he says. “And you’re Mike Teavee. You’re the little “devil” that cracked the code and won the third Golden Ticket.” The Willy Wonka that I know and love in the books doesn’t say that! Tim Burton’s not only gone and corrupted the Willy Wonka story, he’s gone and corrupted Willy Wonka himself! In the book, and in the original film (which by the way follows the book ten times more than this despicable remake does), Willy Wonka greets the five lucky children, including the bad ones with the utmost kindness and joy.

…The book is uplifting, cheerful, delightful, profound, and at the end even moving. The Willy Wonka of the books, is amazing in how his admirable characteristics parallel the beloved aspects of our Lord Jesus. He’s kind-hearted, loving, polite, generous, wise, and utterly delightful. But the Willy Wonka that Depp plays is not. He’s mean, freakish, effeminate, and at times Tim Burton tries to make it as if Mr. Wonka wanted the children to get hurt.

In the books, Mr. Wonka, after he… warned the kids and they… disobeyed him and got punished, he would show despair and worry for them, not subtle maliciousness. In the book, the Oompaa Loompaas, who were described as being small little men with rosy white faces and long golden brown hair, with leaf-like clothing, would sing their proverbial songs all to teach the reader to not make the mistakes the four vice-stricken children make, trying to warn them that you reap what you sow. What is Tim Burton’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s book like? Imagine a beautiful rainbow with all its wonderful colors; in all its pureness, and brightness, and then, imagine a large black crayon, take it, and scribble it all over the rainbow and you’ll have Tim Burton’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s novel.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive/1
—Matthew, age 18
Positive—My wife, 14 yr old daughter, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I had my doubts about it, being a Tim Burton film, but we laughed throughout the movie. It was refreshing to see bad behaviors and attitudes having consequences. But the best was the kindness shown by Charlie that helps reconcile Willie and his father. Kudos to all for such a positive film.
My Ratings: Good/4
—Bill, age 57
Neutral—Only a few questionable moments such as “Don’t touch the squirrel’s nuts” (referring to the walnuts the squirrel is cracking open). Overall, a clean movie to watch, but not nearly as good as the original “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”
My Ratings: Better than Average/3
—Nathan, age 25
Negative—I was rather bothered to read that so many individuals had rated this film so highly and tagged it as “a winning family film.” I found myself leaning in to cover my children’s eyes during more than a few scenes. Especially disturbing was the visual reference to Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho.” How can a scene where a child is running around the bottom of a bathtub to avoid being stabbed by a huge knife possibly be labeled okay for a family film? Also disturbing was the scene where the carnival dolls performed an introduction for Willy Wonka. Was it necessary to have them catch on fire with their faces melting and eyeballs popping out of their heads? They looked like something out of a Chucky movie and were definitely scary.

I found the notion of “cocoa bean worship” by the oompa loompa’s also unnecessary. Where was the redemption of the oompa loompa character? They went from worshipping the elusive cocoa bean to worshipping the ever present cocoa bean. The oompa loompa’s were rewarded for their worship of idols.

Where was the forgiveness for the children? I’m not sure the children actually learned anything from the cruel punishments inflicted upon them in the chocolate factory. God is a god of forgiveness and has a plan for every action that takes place. What was God’s plan for these children? There is no resolution in the characters of the children—or their parents. The one mother was just mad that her child was blue, she didn’t seem to learn anything at all, but seemed rather inconvenienced that her daughter might have to compete as a “blue little girl.” Christ died as an atonement for the sins of man and thus God does not inflict cruel and unusual punishments upon children for their transgressions. And what was up with the English girl being labeled as “bad.” God said that man is created in his image and that we are good. The sin that results from our human nature is bad, we are not bad. To think of a child being labeled as bad and carelessly chucked into the garbage incinerator. Such blatant disregard for human life and basic Christian principles should certainly not be labeled as a “good family film.”
My Ratings: Average/4
—E. Warton, age 31
NegativeJohnny Depp is SO deeply psychotic that any moral messages that may be garnered in this film are completely lost! What a pity when the first 20 minutes establishing Charlie’s innocence, virtue and love for his family are the best seen on film in years.
My Ratings: Offensive/1
—Rob and Denise Palguta, age 43
Negative—YUCK—Don’t bother! …Early into the movie, one of the adults, “Like H--.” Again, there was an instance where one of the grandparents started to curse, “Ba____.”…; Charlie’s dad placed his hands over his ears so that you couldn’t “hear” the language; but it left no doubt about what he had started to say. They go into the factory gates and are greeted by this weird puppet show type thing; which might have been okay, except that in the end, fireworks were being shot off as a finale. Perhaps the sparks or something, but the whole thing began to melt. Melted dolls, eyeballs popping out, etc. …There were a couple parts that reminded me of a bad horror film… Willy Wonka himself, throughout the movie looked kind of like he belonged on a horror show himself. Ghastly-looking is all I can say—greenish-grayish tint to his skin.

They enter into the factory, into the room where the Chocolate River is—the room where “everything in it is edible.” One of the children made a mention that not everything in the room was edible—there were people in the room. Wonka replied that it was indeed and such a thing was called cannibalism. The kids you expect to be, well, not so nice. Mike likes to argue, and destroy things. In the same room, Violet’s mother takes a bite from some kind of red flower or bush or something, and then looks directly at the camera. Red oozing all around outside and inside of her mouth as she smiles big; it has all the appearance of blood, even reminding me of some kind of vampire shot.

At one point as Wonka was thinking back to the time that he discovered the oompa loompas, it showed the oompa loompas bowing down and worshipping cacao beans. …These were just a few of the things I objected to. I didn’t like the movie at all. …Nothing God-honoring about it. Not at all a good family film in my opinion. Save your time and money!
My Ratings: Very Offensive/1
—Stary_eyed_lady, age 33
Positive—I really fail to understand why people are labeling this movie as “evil” or “taking a black crayon over a rainbow.” Did you not read the book? They kept to the book. Dahl is a dark author. ALL his stories contain horrible things that happen to children. Did you read “The Witches?” And for the guy who read and supposedly loved the book, did you actually read it??? Willy Wonka brings those kids into the factory because he knows they are bratty and they will get what they deserve.

To defend Tim Burton, the guy has an AWESOME imagination. There is nothing Satanic in this film, …Weird, yes. But look who is directing and look who is starring, when has either of those two made a “normal” movie? …This movie may not be mainstream enough for you… maybe you need to develop imagination.
My Ratings: Good/5
—Sarah, age 18
Negative—The negative comments about this movie are certainly not exaggerated. I wish I would have taken them seriously. This movie could have been sweet and charming but is ruined by spiritual darkness. The message of putting family first is totally overshadowed by the spiritually dark nature of this film. Wonka is pictured as feminine-like with an almost evil underlying quality. The first 30 minutes were adorable, portraying what is truly important in life, family. But then came the darkness. My husband and I actually looked at each other in horror asking audibly who could have created such a sick movie. I felt spiritually oppressed after viewing the movie.

This film is not child’s play. I am sorry I took my precious children to see this movie.
My Ratings: Very Offensive/2
—Amelia O., age 44
Positive—My girlfriend and I went to go see “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” after reading the review on here. We both loved it. I thought it definitely had the imagination and look of Burton’s “Big Fish.” This is a great movie for the whole family. Now, I just want everyone to know that this could creep some of you out, but it wasn’t as bad as “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” My girlfriend was a little creeped out by the puppet type show (when the kids first enter the gates of the factory) when all the fireworks went off and melted everything. It did look weird, but then one of the last Oompa-Loompa songs kinda weirded me out. It had some brief “remade” clips of Hitchcock’s Psycho with the Oompa-Loompa guy in the shower, but it didn’t show anything objectionable—it was just plain weird.

Other than that, I don’t think much would seriously frighten little kids, but I would hope that parents would be careful in taking there kids to see this. The entire movie looks like a dream, so it would be easy for it to become a nightmare for children. This movie was amazing and I’m definitely going to buy it when it comes out on DVD. One of the best movies of the summer. My favorite thing about it was the innocence of Charlie and his love for his family. It was wonderful!
My Ratings: Better than Average/5
—Brandon R., age 19
Positive—My wife and I took not only our daughter (age 7) and the rest of our nephews and nieces to see this movie. The shame in most of the negative comments here are that you really need to be oversensitive to be offended. This movie appeals to truly diverse crowd of children and grown-ups alike. Things could have been done a lot differently to make Christian viewers more at ease, but as we all know Hollywood isn’t in the business of making movies that appeal to our minority class of viewers. I personally like Tim Burton’s twist.

I do think that this is a movie worth seeing, I just can’t believe that people would think that Tim Burton and Johnny Depp were intent on exploiting parallelism’s with Michael Jackson and the like. I never remembered any sleep overs with Willy in this film. I think that the viewers need to remember that children also read the comments that we make here and with all of the spoilers and comments you can take something that a child views as innocent and make them open to the things your trying to safeguard them from.
My Ratings: Better than Average/5
—Chris C., age 33
Positive—…a great movie. Johnny Depp was absolutely hilarious. This was probably one of the best movies that I have seen in a long time. The acting, script, effects and score were terrific. This is a must see for the whole family.
My Ratings: Better than Average/5
—Heather, age 18
Positive—…it was wonderful. I have never read the book so I can’t say if it was accurate or not, but I thought that this film was very fun and magical and exciting. Tim Burton is by far one of my favorite directors. He has such an amazing eye for scene design and imagination. There was basically nothing objectionable in the film. I suppose it could be seen as a bit dark in spots. I would not recommend this movie to young children to see. I enjoyed this version a lot better than the first one. In here, Wonka was seen as a funny, eccentric, and imaginative fellow that has fun. While in the first one he was seen as simply an amusement park operator who goes to his office in the end and it ruins the feel that this place is real. In Burton’s version the factory is real, and it’s run by a fun and imaginative owner.

One thing to make note of is that this film is not a Christian film. That is a big pet peeve of mine. When Hollywood makes a movie you should not expect it to be Christian. It’s rated PG so that automatically means that it has some sort of objectionable materials. Don’t go griping about how the film did not promote a Christ-like message and you sound all upset that it didn’t. Don’t expect non-Christians to be Christian about anything! If you’re upset that this film didn’t promote any Christian messages or themes then go get a Focus on the Family movie from Lifeway and stay out of the movie theaters!
My Ratings: Better than Average/5
—Benjamin, age 22
Neutral—I thought the movie was good—my husband and I enjoyed the flick—however we took our 4 year old son and he was hiding his face through many of the scenes with Johnny Depp. I think his character was just scary looking for a 4 year old. Also some of the scenes with the girl and the nuts—a little much for a 4 year old.
My Ratings: Better than Average/30
—Rachel, age 30
Positive—My children and I truly enjoyed this film and found nothing at all objectionable. Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Wonka was wonderful. He had a childlike excitement about his factory and work and a social naivety due to being isolated and withdrawn from society for so many years. He had been hurt first of all by family and then by factory employees whom he had trusted, and so he withdrew to his very creative work, but he has flashbacks and is obviously missing so much.

So it was interesting that when Wonka discovered Charlie’s commitment and loyalty to his family, he was no longer happy but troubled, as he began to realize what he was missing. Charlie was able to help Wonka overcome his hurt and isolation in a beautiful way, and to begin to create again. Charlie’s character was true to the book and very delightful. He is a virtuous and principled boy, and in spite of poverty, he is contented. His character overshadowed the book and came across clearly in this movie as well. The grandfather also was a delightful and caring person who was extremely interesting to watch.

I disagreed with the poster who wrote that Wonka appeared to want the children to be hurt. He tried to warn them, and then seemed concerned about them when they endangered themselves by not heeding his warnings. In the first film Wilder’s character actually bothered me more in this aspect—as he seemed to whisper, “don’t do that” at times almost inaudibly. I can recommend this film for school age children and families, everyone can enjoy it guilt-free! It was wonderful.
My Ratings: Good/4
—Jennifer Smith, age 35
Neutral—We have not seen the movie yet but my concern is the fact that Depp bases Willy Wonka on Marilyn Manson. Johnny Depp has revealed that he is basing his character of Willy Wonka in the new adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on Marilyn Manson. A source told Teen Hollywood, “He has his music and pictures in his trailer to help get in character. He’s making Willy far more sinister than before, and there’s a little of Marilyn in there.” There is no mention of this in any Christian reviews. Should it be of any concern?
My Ratings: Average/3
—ML Scap, age 40
Positive—I thought this movie was extremely entertaining. The children were cast wonderfully. Charlie was splendid. The end teaches you that family is the most important thing and that people make mistakes and you should give them a second chance. Although this movie is dark I think children as young as nine or ten should be allowed to see it. If they were any younger than that the movie would most likely frighten them. johnny Depp is unbelievable. If I had been the casting director I could not have done a better job myself! So to sum things up go see the movie with your children and grandparents. It is a sweet treat for young and old.
My Ratings: Good/3½
—Anne Smith, age 38
Positive—I’m pretty disturbed that so many “Christians” (of which I profess to be) are so deeply critical. Do you have to read some hidden message into everything? I never did as a child. I absolutely loved this movie. I didn’t like the original movie. I have read the book and the sequel. I didn’t like the books. I felt this brought a new look into the story. So what if some things have been changed. As far as the foul vocabulary, I never believe it is necessary. However, my children are going to be exposed to nasty vocabulary (unless I needlessly shelter them), and it is my responsibility as their parent to guide them not to use those words. I say, “Lighten your hearts and enjoy something funny!”
My Ratings: Better than Average/5
—Sally, age 39
Negative—…most unpleasant film. Depp is portrayed as almost feminine and has a seemingly underlying evil quality. You wouldn’t want this Willy Wonka character working in your church nursery. The first 30 minutes of this movie were precious and sweet, My fifteen year old and I were wondering about the negative reviews we had read by individuals. Then came Willy and his factory in glorious color. I sat there in shock as the old haunted looking doll merry-go-round was caught on fire and the dolls faces melted and eyeballs popped out much like a bad horror movie that I would not take children or myself to see for that matter. The dolls’ melting faces clearly delighted Willy Wonka and reinforced his warped, sick shock therapy. As mentioned in other reviews the psycho scene is way over the top but is very representative of the mood of this film.

This film is so very, very dark. The only redeeming factor is that the film has a good moral lesson about the importance of putting family first but the spiritual darkness far, far out weighs any good. I felt very oppressed after leaving this movie. Please do not subject your children to this film. My husband and I sat with our mouths open in unbelief at the weirdness and sickness of this movie wondering out loud who and what kind of sick mind would come up with this film. There was a group of gothic teenagers that were bowed over laughing at the film throughout, if that tells you anything.

Please spare your family the spiritual oppression. As a Christian family, we do not consider this entertainment, but gross darkness. The negative personal reviews we have found are not out of line.
My Ratings: Very Offensive/3
—Amelia O., age 44
Positive—…the new Willy Wonka worked magnificently for me. As a fan of the original, I had my doubts about De pp assuming one of Gene Wilder’s most memorable roles, but Depp managed to create his own unique character while still adhering to the material. I was afraid this film would just be a rehash-remake, but it stands on its own as a quality film, both for children and adults. The best thing about the film was its visual styling. As is typical with Burton movies, this movie took on a life of its own in the editing room. It feels as if you are viewing a surreal work of art, which is exactly what it is. There was little to no objectionable content, as far as language, violence, or sexuality, and should be fine for viewers of all ages.
My Ratings: Good/4
—sweatygy, age 18
Positive—I absolutely LOVED this movie. Johnny Depp was perfect for the role, just kind of, you know, weird. But that made it FUNNY! I think that it’s silly criticizing the movie for coco-bean worship. I mean, it’s a chocolate factory movie. Me, my mom and my dad, and my family (4 other kids, 9, 8, 7, 6) all saw the movie, and we ALL laughed! The youngest whispered in amazement, “Uh, he got the ticket!” when Charlie got the ticket.

This is a movie aimed at more the 8-up crowd. It was made so that the kids will like it and the parents would LOVE it. I have never read the book, but I still love the movie. The uumpa-loompas were hilarious, and the opening scene was the best-shot clip I have ever seen. The movie had great values on family.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD: No one else has yet noticed that Willie and his Dad forgave and reconciled in the end. I thought that this is what the original lacked, and made the movie 10 times better. When Charlie refuses to abandon his family, I think that that is the turning point for Willy. I didn’t thing that he was really cruel at all, but just misunderstood. He did warn the children, and they got what they deserve. And from what my parents tell me (they read the book when they were little) Tim Burton actually lightened the story up a little!

Anyway, I loved the movie (PS: If you don’t know what to expect from the burning doll scene, think Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, at the very end, you know, the white faces, melting eyes, exploding heads, and all that jazz. It’s very humorous, though, and isn’t too offensive.)
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Jack, age 11

Comments from young people
Negative—Although Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s technical and artistic quality were exceptional, the mood of the movie was not. I came out of the theater disgruntled and not sure why. Although I enjoy movies like Monty Python, Princess Bride, and Napoleon Dynamite that are odd and random, I did not enjoy this movie. The only word I can find to describe the theme and mood of the movie is dark. The oompa loompas freaked me out and I was happy when their scenes had finished. Johnny Depp played a character that seemed very disturbed, calculating, and subtly violent. As a seventeen year old teenager I felt stupid feeling afraid, but that is exactly what I felt. The difference between Charlie and a violent movie like Batman Begins is the underlying message. Why was I afraid of Charlie and not at all phased when watching Batman Begins? The reason is the mood of the movie. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was bizarre and dark. There was no message of hope whatsoever, only a distorted view of reality.

In Batman Begins a fight for what’s right and a good vs. evil theme was portrayed. What makes a scene with squirrels scarier than a scene of characters worst dreams envisioned? The element of darkness, confusion, and bizarreness. I would not encourage anyone to go see it. It is a waste of money and leaves you feeling oppressed. This movie should remind us of the truth that the creator of a movie (Tim Burton in this case) has a direct and indirect effect on the movie itself. You know the creator when you see his works.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4½
—Rachel, age 17
Positive—Wow! they could not have picked a better person to play Willy Wonka then Johnny Depp! He made the movie more funny and interesting to see. I’m surprised that parents don’t like this movie because it has a lot of morals in it. For instance: all the children learned that you can’t always get what you want, the film showed that family was important, and that being good definitely pays off. It also shows parents what will happen if they don’t discipline their own children. (It just takes the consequences to an extreme level) I thought this movie was hilariously funny and I would recommend it to anyone except young children that might be a little creeped out by a couple of the scenes.
My Ratings: Good/5
—Liz, age 13
Positive—Ever since I found out that Tim Burton, Danny Elfman and Johnny Depp were getting together to make another movie, I was excited! This movie didn’t disappointed me whatsoever! It was beautifully done—the acting, the kids, the set, the music. EVERYTHING WAS PERFECT! Depp’s acting was hilarious and impressing. it’s something very different then he has done before and you have to admit it, he plays an awesome Willy Wonka! This movie has more adaptation to the book (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory written by Roald Dahl) which I really enjoyed. The music was stunning, and the Oompa Loompa songs were funny! In the end, I liked how the good kid, Charlie, was able to get what he wished for. I also liked the part where everything in the end turns out okay in the end after those mean children disobeyed and got punished, but were fine afterward. I couldn’t help but feel a little “gooshy” at the part near the end where Willy and his father hug after everything they’ve been though. I recommend this movie for anybody who is looking for a clean, humorous, imaginative and warm-hearted movie. If you liked the 1971 version, you will hopefully like this one better. I found it more entertaining.
My Ratings: Better than Average/5
—Charity, age 16
Positive—I thought this was definitely Tim Burton at his best while also displaying one of Johnny Depp’s better roles as well. To continue a little bit on acting, the child who played Charlie did extremely well and has acted previously with Johnny Depp in Finding Neverland. To me he was an obvious choice for the part, as the same goes for Depp-Wonka.

I highly recommend this to adults and children alike, of many varying ages. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for toddlers because it can at time leave a disturbing mark. Though absolutely nothing that would be unacceptable to any other age group. The most questionable scene is the opening of Wonka’s factory to the children. They are presented to by a large amount of puppets much to the same as Shrek’s little welcome song to Duloch. The worst part is not language, nor obscenity in action, they burst into flame during the finale due to poorly down pyrotechnics. Hehe, it was actually quite humorous to me, though again, to toddlers, or those who may act like them, it could be considered slightly frightening.

I rated this very highly because of its excellent film-making techniques and applications, while also supplying the audience with appropriate laughs and great acting. Glad to see some of Hollywood is catching on to the fact that vulgarity doesn’t always sell as we see “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” rise to 1st in the box office.

As far as morality goes, A+. Great job on it and Christian principles were visible throughout I believe. The official reviewer for the site was right on target.
My Ratings: Good/4
—Zach, age 15
Positive—One word. Refreshing. Tim Burton’s best movie yet is “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. It leaves no doubts that this will be an instant classic. Johnny Depp has made Willy Wonka his own, giving the character a renewed sense of eccentric yet child-like qualities that make him such a wondrous man to watch.

The vibrant yet dark imagination of Tim Burton brought such color and amazing creativity to the film that one could feel so many emotions as well as see the emotions in each character, especially Charlie and his grandpa. Also,Tim Burton embellished the plot to where you understood why Wonka was the way he was.

…there was a bit of language but that was muted because Charlie’s father wouldn’t allow him to hear it from his other grandpa (not grandpa Joe). There was laughter, there were rewards as sweet as the chocolate and lessons bitterly tasted by those deserving of it…
My Ratings: Good/5
—Caroline, age 16
Positive—This movie was marvelous! I liked it much better than the original. I love Johnny Depp, so I guess I’m sort of biased. I found nothing wrong with it whatsoever. And I enjoyed it thoroughly… I will definitely be adding it to my DVD collection.
My Ratings: Good/5
—Krystal, age 15
Positive—…a cute movie with a good, positive message. My only hang-up is that it didn’t have the charm of the 1971 version featuring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. Johnny Depp’s Mr. Wonka freakishly resembles Michael Jackson: he has weird makeup, has a woman’s haircut (he even looks like a woman), and wears funny clothes. He also is a recluse living in a child’s fantasy, allowing to give a tour to preteen kids. The factory is a freakish reminder of Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. Gene Wilder’s Wonka was a guy who loved to re-live his childhood fantasies but still lived in reality. That’s the major hang-up of this film.

Still, it’s a good movie for the kids. The cocoa bean worshipping Oompa Loompa thing was just played for laughs and parents shouldn’t really take it seriously.
My Ratings: Better than Average/4
—Shannon H., age 23
Positive—…captures the true spirit of Ronald Dahl’s classic. Depp is truly fantastic and humorous in his role as Wonka, and the supporting cast is perfect in their respective roles. This film captures the intrigue of the story with the present day spectacular special effects. A must see movie for the entire family because of the positive messages of the film and the absence of objectionable material.
My Ratings: Good/5
—Matthias, age 17
PositiveTim Burton has done it! He’s made one of his best films yet! I must say that what I dreamt of expecting and what I saw proved my thoughts on “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” to be something quite different. Upon first seeing such a preview of the film, I was unsure of how to react and what would come of Johnny Depp’s performance as the eccentric and child-like Willy Wonka. As we all know,Gene Wilder was a most astonishing and perfect Willy Wonka himself and I did not know how Depp would differentiate his version and ideas of making Willy Wonka his own character, even though I did have some vague idea of my own as to his plans for the wonderful Willy Wonka.

Now that I have seen the film, I will proudly say that Johnny Depp has lived and given a renewed and refreshed life to Willy Wonka in both spirit and heart. Every role Johnny Depp has chosen has been qualified in my book as unique and versatile for his career. This role especially will I say has truly brought him out as a very fine actor and more than just an ordinary human being. He brings such refreshing, and I will use that word more than once because it was, humor and vibrant color where there is no imagination and creativity in our world. This goes double for the director Tim Burton because he is the one who sparked for the remake of the original we all love,even made this version into an automatic classic.

There is far too much to see and so little time. I desired to view the entire factory, but as it is,there wouldn’t be enough hours to see such a wondrous factory. Every character justly gets what they want,whether it is the entire factory or it is simply a little lesson that gives a bitter/sweet taste of their own attitudes towards Life.

One thing that gave me a better understanding of Willy Wonka and his indifference to the parental figure was the flashback of his childhood life before chocolate. I never really understood why he was the way he was until I saw the way he was treated as a young boy. I won’t tell you much more than that because I might just spoil something.

…there was just a bit of language, but not that we could hear, and overall it is the most beautiful film I have seen this summer as well as in this time frame of this year. I have yet to be amazed at any other director who can create a better movie for the audience. Gene Wilder would be quite proud of Johnny Depp. I recommend seeing this movie.
My Ratings: Excellent/5
—The Writer, age 16
Negative—I disliked the movie. The original was odd but; much better! This movie did not bring to life any of the magic! Willy Wonka looked scary to me and my younger brother. He is 9. I would not advise this movie to anyone! I thought this was a girly image for Johnny. I liked a lot of the other movies he in but; this was not one of them!
My Ratings: Offensive/1½
—Melinda Bloch, age 12
Positive—I really liked this movie! There was absolutely no bad language except one cuss word, except it was said so quickly that nobody could really hear it. There was nothing else, not even people saying God’s name in vain! I think it’s a lot better than the original. Johnny Depp did a really good job in this movie. Everything about the movie was great (the music, etc.) I would say that all ages can come see this movie. This is one that I’m definitely buying on DVD!
My Ratings: Good/4½
—Carolyn, age 12
Positive—This movie was brilliant! I never wanted it to end. It had everything to make it a good movie, save romance (except Mr. and Mrs. Bucket, and they are, as you might’ve guessed, married). It had humor that wasn’t overdone, action that was either humorous or amazing or both, a tad bit of adventure, excellent props instead of constant CGI, wonderful performances by people that were born for the part, and very catchy lines that aren’t over the top or stupid. This is definitely one of Johnny Depp’s best, right up there with Pirates of the Caribbean and Finding Neverland and Edward Scissorhands. It’s a great summer movie that has nothing objectionable—the only cussword I could catch (although apparently there’s one more) was blocked out. I recommend it to anyone who wants to have a good time and a good laugh (neither me or my dad could stop laughing!). The only reason I put four and a half instead of five is because you should never put the top rating for anything, because there is always going to be someone who doesn’t like it.
My Ratings: Good/4½
—Cassie B., age 12
Positive—I was afraid when I went into this movie that they would somehow mess it up because the original was so good. It was different, but just as good as the original! I didn’t notice any bad words or innuendo, and the squirrels attacking Varruca Salt is the most violent it ever gets. It was dark, a lot like Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. Johnny Depp was the perfect actor for the role of Willy Wonka. I liked how you got to see history of Willy and find out what happened to all the children afterwards. It was really funny and I laughed out loud more than once. I would recommend it for kids and adults of all ages!
My Ratings: Better than Average/3½
—Brittney, age 14
Positive—Wonderfully imaginative, but I hope viewers have seen all the previews and specials on TV because if you see the movie for the 1st time the New Willy Wonka is very shocking as portrayed by Johnny. You would have to see the movie a number of times before you get used to him. Maybe it was a money making trick? But none the less magical.
My Ratings: Average/5
—Jack, age 13
Positive—Good for kids 6 and older.
My Ratings: Good / 4
—Rob, age 14
Movie Critics
…I’m sure author Ronald Dahl, were he still with us, would be pleased. His playful morality tale is respected here, and the lessons he sought to teach arrive alive and kicking…
—Steven Isaac, Plugged In
…a great piece of entertainment. It’s funny. It’s visually exciting… Depp is delectable as Willy Wonka…
—Kerry Lengel, The Arizona Republic
…Burton’s finest movie since “Ed Wood”… Depp gives a performance that’s an acrid, mocking put-on, delivering meta-sarcasms as if they were vicious tidbits meant only for his private amusement…
—Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
…“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” succeeds in spite of Johnny Depp’s performance, which should have been the high point of the movie.
—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
…The movie—and Depp’s performance—is on a constant sugar high, which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t…
—Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
…It’s full of witty or awesome scenes, flights of fancy and characters either totally, lovably sweet or outrageously, humorously rotten…
—Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune