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A True Delight Filled with Magic and Fantasy.

  • Jul 15, 2005
  • by
Pros: Depp and a charming plot.

Cons: May be to creepy in parts for the youngest viewers.

The Bottom Line: A charming updated to a beloved classic.

It seems of late that every month Hollywood either releases or plans to release a remake of a classic film. This summer has spawned no less than 5 remakes of classic films or televisions shows and with box office receipts in decline, it would seem that the public is craving for something fresh.

Thankfully the Tim Burton remake of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is not only a winner, but injects a much needed jolt of camp, charm, and wit into a late summer season that desperately needed it.

The film stars Johnny Depp as the mysterious candy maker Willie Wonka. Wonka has become a reclusive for two decades in order to protect his secret recipes from corporate spies and thieves.

As the film opens, a young boy named Charlie Bucket, (Freddie Highmore), returns home to his family shack, which he shares with his parents and four grandparents. As told via narration, that despite the poverty of his family, Charlie is a very lucky boy. Over their meager dinner of cabbage soup, Charlie’s grandfather (David Kelly) regales the family with tales of Willie Wonka and his exploits which he saw first hand while working in the factory decades earlier.

When Wonka resumed candy shipments after a hiatus the world was delighted, but many wondered who was making the candy as aside from shipping trucks, nobody was ever seen coming or going from the factory.

Such secrecy only added to the legend of Wonka as amazing candy creations continued to arrive in shops to the delight of customer’s world wide.

When it is announced that five golden tickets have been hidden inside candy bars world wide, and that the winners will be given a full day tour of the factory by Wonka himself, frenzy erupts across the globe as Wonka Bars are snatched up by a rabid public. Charlie dreams of getting one of the precious tickets, but his family’s meager income limits him to one bar a year on his birthday. Undaunted Charlie counts the days until his coming birthday, undaunted by the discovery of tickets around the globe.

When his efforts to get a ticket are daunted, and the fifth ticket is reported to be found, Charlie consoles himself by finding money in the street and purchases a Wonka Bar from the corner store. In the blink of an eye Charlie finds himself holding the last ticket when he learns that the last one reported found was a hoax.

Soon Charlie and his Grandfather are touring the magical factory complete with rivers of chocolate and edible candy forests in the company of the quirky Wonka and the fellow contest winners. What follows next is not going to be much of a surprise for those who have seen the 1971 version starring Gene Wilder or those who have read the novel by Roald Dahl, what is a surprise is how fresh and spirited this new version is. I was utterly charmed by the story and the effective pacing of the film.

Burton is a master of mixing visuals and fantasy and this time he not only excels, but he adds an effective touch of humanity to the fantasy which keeps the film from being lost in a see of color and FX.

Depp is brilliant as the eccentric Wonka as his mirth and camp, is underscored by equal amounts of fear and mistrust. The film is essentially a morality tale, but it never losses its focus or the charm by becoming preachy or drawn out. In a role that could easily have been mishandled, Depp soars and shows that he is one of the greatest actors of our generation.

Parents should note that there are a few moments in the film that may be a bit intense for the youngest of viewers, but that being said, the film is a true delight full of magic and fantasy that will delight young and old.

5 stars out of 5


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More Charlie and the Chocolate Fact... reviews
review by . May 23, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****    Advertised to audiences both young and old alike, the universe that Roald Dahl created in his 1964 novel "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" has always been one of dark but affectionate humor. So far, there have been two noteworthy adaptations; one in 1971 starring a memorably apathetic Gene Wilder, and another in 2005 directed by Tim Burton. And guess who plays the leading role in the latter. You know the story, you know the characters, you know the music …
review by . January 28, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
It's no secret that the 1971 film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory became a cult classic hit after it's strange flop in theaters.  What people don't know right off hand, is that Roald Dahl absolutely hated it because it deviated from his book a little too much.  In fact, Dahl hated it so much he refused to sell the rights to any of his books for years.  When he finally did sell the rights to another book, it would be just before he died (and from that you received the movie: James …
review by . September 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The first third of this movie, where you meet poor little Charlie Bucket and his family in their dilipidated home, where they are so poor that his grandparents sleep in one bed by the fire, head to toe, is so nearly perfect and straight from the novel by Roald Dahl that I actually got tense as Charlie opens each candy bar and still does not find that golden ticket. The disgusting children around the world finding those tickets were spot-on as well, including the best update whatsover in the movie, …
review by . March 31, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Tim Burton takesone of the most beloved stories of all time and turns it on it's heels....
Tim Burton is a master at constructing brilliant and unique films that boggle the mind and defy all beliefs there films that deliver a bold new twist each time but what makes Burton a master is his attention and devotion to his story. The detail and meticulous design of the sets, the costumes, the atmosphere of his films and how they all in some  strange way  impart a certain message of sorts   that  has a  bizarre connection to real life.  Tim Burton's 2005 adaptation …
Quick Tip by . July 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Definitely a die-hard fan of the original; Johnny Depp played a failing Wonka. Not my cup of tea.
Quick Tip by . July 18, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
a twisted tim burton take on a classic story...i will say i liked it better than the origional.
Quick Tip by . July 17, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This movie was ok I was hoping it to be as good as the orginal I think it could have been better!
Quick Tip by . June 15, 2010
I like the story, but Johnny Depp creeped me out and so did the same actor who played the umpa lumpa- just down right disturbing.
Quick Tip by . June 10, 2010
Definitely better than Alice. I thought this was good, but nothing compares to the original.
review by . November 17, 2008
Chorus:   Willy Wonka, Willy Wonka   The song sticks in my brain   Willy Wonka, Willy Wonka,   This chocolatier's insane     A magician and a chocolate wiz   His creations are incredible   He's the best darn guy that ever lived   Too bad that he's inedible     When they stole his secret brews   He sealed the factory tight   He lost another dozen screws   But …
About the reviewer
Gareth Von Kallenbach ()
Ranked #111
I am a syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. My work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site "Skewed … more
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About this movie


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a 2005  film adaptation of the 1964 book of the same name by Roald Dahl. Directed by Tim Burton, the film stars Freddie Highmore as Charlie Bucket and Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka. The storyline concerns a young boy (Highmore) winning a tour through the most magnificent chocolate factory in the world, led by an eccentric candy maker (Depp).

Development for another adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory began in 1991, which resulted in Warner Bros. providing the Dahl estate with total artistic control. Prior to Burton's involvement, directors such as Gary Ross, Rob Minkoff, Martin Scorsese and Tom Shadyac had been involved, while Warner Bros. either considered or discussed the role of Willy Wonka with Nicolas Cage and Jim Carrey.

Burton immediately brought regular collaborators Johnny Depp and Danny Elfman aboard. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory represents the first time since The Nightmare Before Christmas that Elfman contributed to the film score using written songs and his vocals. Filming lasted from June to December 2004 at Pinewood Studios in England, where Burton avoided using digital effects as much as possible. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was released to critical praise and was a box office success, grossing approximately $475 million worldwide.
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Movies, Comedy Movies, Family Movies, Kids Movies, Tim Burton Movies, Johnny Depp Movies, Book Adaptation, Roald Dahl Movies, Willy Wonka, Helena Bonham Carter Movies
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