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Movie Review

Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory

Reviewed by: Brian Nigro

Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
All Ages
100 min.

Top 10 reasons why “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” belongs on every Christian family’s must-see list:

  • It is based on Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book with timeless “message” that easily carries over to Bible stories.
  • Vintage 1970’s camera tricks. Recent films like “Austin Powers” and the tacky action-movie sequence in “Boogie Nights” parody it—this is the genuine article.
  • Numerous social themes, most prominently the need for parental discipline.
  • Good performance by Gene Wilder as Mr. Wonka himself, the eccentric candy man who loves kids (but not greedy kids).
  • An even better performance by Julia Dawn Cole as Veruca Salt, the spoiled rich girl who wants everything. Really fun to watch.
  • And the rest of the cast is still unknown, more than twenty-five years after its release.
  • The Oompa-Loompas, the funny little chocolate workers.
  • Terrible special effects. “Willy Wonka” gets your suspension of disbelief the old-fashioned way: It EARNS it. (That’s no mud bog, it’s a chocolate waterfall.)
  • One of the last “musicals” released by a Hollywood studio, “Willy Wonka” got an Oscar nomination for the music.
  • It’s a fun movie.

Year of Release—1971