In 2005, Tim Burton made one of his most famous films: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, based on the fairy tale of the same name by Roald Dahl. It is worth noting that this British writer, who was born in a family of immigrants from Norway, in principle wrote rather peculiar fairy tales and not quite trivial children’s books. Black humor, the rejection of sweetness, sentimentality and “pink snot” is inherent in almost every of his works. And Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is no exception to this rule.
Over the fabulous scenery, the filmmakers did their best, and many of them were really edible.
Therefore, it is not at all surprising that such a plot interested Tim Burton. The latter, in principle, is known for his love of horror stories, monsters, the theme of death and cruel plot twists, wrapped in a terrifyingly charming pseudo-fairy wrapper. It is worth noting that Burton was not the first in his desire to film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: in 1971, a film was already made based on the book, which brought fame to Gene Wilder, who played Willy Wonka, and was criticized by Roald Dahl himself. Unfortunately, the writer did not live to see the release of the new film adaptation, but it can be assumed that he would have liked it more: Dahl always wanted Charlie to be the main character, and not Willy Wonka, and Tim Burton, in fact, practically did not shift the focus from the younger character.
Dahl criticized the first version of the film adaptation of his book due to excessive attention to Willy Wonka.
What is the movie “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” about?
Synopsis for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In the center of the plot, Charlie Bucket is a boy from a poor family. More than anything, Charlie loves chocolate, which at least somehow brightens up his rather gloomy life.
One of the main attractions of the city in which Charlie lives is the chocolate factory of Willy Wonka, the enigmatic confectionery magnate. The boy’s grandfather used to work there, but after an unpleasant episode with competitors who learned the secrets of making delicious chocolate, he, like other employees, was fired.
Since then, the factory has closed, although it continued to work. One day, Mr. Wonka announced an unusual action. After making five golden tickets, he put them in five chocolate bars. And he said that the children who found these tickets would be able to enter the factory and receive a lifetime supply of sweets. And one of the tourists, according to the confectioner, will receive a special prize.
The first ticket was found by August Gloop, a young gluttonous chocolate lover. The second ticket was received by the major girl Veruca Salt: her father, the millionaire Salt, indulging his daughter’s desire, bought several hundred thousand chocolate bars. The third ticket went to athlete Violetta Beauregard, and the fourth ticket went to chocolate-hating prodigy Mike Teavee, who, thanks to his unique mathematical abilities, managed to figure out exactly where he was. The fifth ticket went to Charlie Bucket – and then by pure chance.
At first, the boy thought about selling the golden ticket and helping the family, but Joe’s grandfather, a former employee of Wonka’s factory, convinced him not to do it.
Soon, the guys who found the tickets, accompanied by adults, came to the factory, where they were met by the eccentric Mr. Wonka. Having greeted the guests, the confectioner invited them to the Chocolate Shop and advised them not to lose their heads from what they saw. There, the heroes saw strange little singing men – Oompa-Loompas, who, as it turned out, did all the work.
None of them listened to what they sang about. And in vain – because the Oompa-Loompas sang about them. The first wonders of the factory could not stand August Gloop, who tried to drink the chocolate river, and eventually turned into strawberry fudge. Then, despite Mr. Wonka’s warnings, Violetta Beauregard paid the price for her obstinacy. After tasting unprocessed chewing gum, the girl turned into a giant blueberry. Veruca Salt was the next to drop out: the daughter of a millionaire did not covet chocolate, but one of the squirrels working at the magic factory. She, like her father, was thrown into the garbage chute.
Failure also awaited the young genius Mike Teavee – at first he was reduced, and then stretched in length, moreover, Mr. Wonka said that he would remain so (flat as a piece of paper) forever.
Only Charlie Bucket was able to overcome all the temptations of a wonderful factory – he became the recipient of a valuable prize. And the prize was the chocolate factory itself. Charlie was happy – exactly until the moment when Mr. Wonka announced the condition: the boy could become the new owner of a wonderful factory only if he abandoned his family. For Charlie Bucket, who sincerely loved his poor but friendly family, this was unacceptable.
After a while, the boy’s family really began to live better. Closer to the final, Charlie again met with Mr. Wonka, who could not find the answer to his tormenting question: why the family was more important for his winner than the chocolate factory. Charlie said that he won the impromptu competition thanks to the support of his relatives.
Mr. Wonka thought seriously, and a little later he found his father, from whom he ran away as a child, and reconciled with him. The explanation for the ending looks like this: there is nothing more important than family.
Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a fairly simple film with no hidden meaning. But on the other hand, he raises the issue of fathers and children and family values.
Willy Wonka: either regret or hate
In his story, Roald Dahl quite specifically separates the “good” and “bad” children’s characters at the poles, but Willy Wonka turned out to be rather ambiguous. And this ambiguity was very elegantly conveyed by Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. On the one hand, we are shown Willy as a man with a mental trauma, who suffered as a child because of his father’s excessive severity and, as a result, made the production of sweets that he hated as his life’s work. By the way, flashbacks from Wonka’s childhood were invented by the writers, they are not in the book.
On the other hand, one cannot say that Willy is unhappy, nor can one call him good-hearted. He is quite satisfied with his life, he built a whole chocolate empire and even an incredible chocolate world inside his factory, he is quite confident in himself and is very negative about any criticism. He punishes children ruthlessly and quite cruelly, and, apparently, enjoys it. It is obvious that he deliberately leads his little guests through those workshops where various “traps” await them, and does everything to ensure that they are caught. And, in the end, he kicks out Charlie, whom he wanted to make his student and heir, as soon as he stutters about his unwillingness to part with his family.
Willy Wonka, at least, does not feel sorry for the punished children, at the maximum, enjoys their torment
At the end of the film, the impression softens a bit: Willy Wonka, who did not want to hear anything about family ties, reconciles with his father and invites both Charlie and all his relatives to his factory. Although, perhaps if he hadn’t lost his ability to invent new sweets, upset because of Charlie’s refusal, he would not have done any of this. In a word, this is how it is: not too good, not too bad. Not a villain, but certainly not a hero. Perhaps sympathetic, perhaps rather provoking irritation. And the character’s quirky appearance, which is a collective image that both Burton and Depp have worked on, perfectly complements his ambiguous behavior.
Conditionally bad children
In fairness, it should be noted that the work of Roald Dahl was periodically criticized due to the fact that the four “bad” children are depicted as too negative and even, in fact, personifying mortal sins: you can drag Veruca Sol to greed, Violetta Beauregard to pride, to idleness – Mike Teavee, and, finally, to gluttony – Augusta Stupid.
In fairness, it should be noted that the development of vices in “bad” children is greatly facilitated by their own parents.
Such hypertrophied negative images can be explained by the fact that the work is still theoretically childish, and in children’s fairy tales and stories such a technique is used extremely often. However, this is one of the reasons why “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is not always called the best movie to watch with children. Looking for negative traits in others and sticking labels on them based solely on shortcomings is still not the best thing for the younger generation. However, if you correctly explain to a small viewer that in real life people are much more multifaceted than in the film, then you can turn it on to children without any twinge of conscience.
Severe penalties for childish vices
All “bad” children were punished very subtly. Augustus Fool was sucked down a drain pipe when, in a fit of gluttony, he wanted to drink Chocolate River. Violetta Beauregard, who tried an experimental chewing gum that included a three-course meal, turned purple and bloated. Veruca Sol, who wanted to replenish her zoo with one of the squirrels that worked in the Nut Shop, ended up in a garbage chute. And finally, Mike Teavee, whose “kryptonite” turned out to be the TV Chocolate Shop, shrunk in size, and then was sent to the “toffee puller”, becoming two-dimensional.
We are never given a clue as to whether the “bad” kids will recover from what happened to them at the chocolate factory.
Of course, all this is hyperbole, which should not be taken too close to heart, and which once again emphasizes the fabulous nature of the story. However, this fabulousness is sustained in the style of the terrible works of the Brothers Grimm, which many authors tried to soften and embellish, adapting them for children of more modern generations. And this is another reason that makes the question of watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with children open.
Charlie Bucket – neutral hero
Although Roald Dahl considered Charlie Bucket to be the central character of his book, his personality became another subject that many critics procrastinated. In fact, Charlie can be called a walking stereotype: a modest, quiet and polite boy from a poor family, accustomed to not demanding anything and obediently obeying the orders of his elders. If for “bad” children the author colorfully prescribed pronounced shortcomings, then for Charlie he left only meekness, good manners and poverty. In other words, critics have often pointed out that all the “positiveness” of the boy is simply the absence of “negativity.” And, perhaps, due only to the difficult financial situation of his family, because of which he simply did not have the opportunity to manifest, for example, gluttony. Charlie does not demonstrate any exceptional nobility.
Charlie and his family are classic respectable poor people from children’s fairy tales.
Nevertheless, such characters in fairy tales are also found all the time, so Dahl, and then Burton, can hardly be blamed for building the image of a good hero on this basis. The point here, rather, is not that the poor must be an incredibly outstanding person. It is likely that the author originally wanted to show it so neutral. Say, modesty adorns, and sometimes the most inconspicuous and unremarkable person can be the most reliable and truly trustworthy. But showing your character, setting specific goals for yourself and achieving them, being original and not everyone likes it is also normal, and this is another topic for discussion with representatives of the younger generation if you want to arrange a family viewing of the picture.
In a word, watch this movie on your own or with your children – it’s up to you. In any case, you will get pleasure from viewing this colorful picture, but about the meaning and lessons learned from it, everything is not as simple as it might seem at first glance.
The meaning of the film “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a fairy tale, and the essence of the film is also a fairy tale. The target audience of this film is children aged 8-12 (adults may be interested only in the magnificent visuals and Johnny Depp). Therefore, it is not surprising that this eerie story has a powerful edifying message.
The meaning of the whole story can be summed up in two words: crime and punishment. In the images of “bad” children, common vices are represented, including rudeness and greed. They all get what they deserve, and the sweet and modest Charlie finds a reward and happiness.
The role of the arbiter of fate is taken by a mega-strange subject – the owner of a factory that produces magical sweets. The factory itself is a whole world filled with secret nooks and crannies and creepy devices. On the one hand, all this intrigues, surprises and delights, on the other hand, “not all that glitters is gold”. Here you can easily drown in a lake of chocolate or be attacked by thousands of squirrels.
Mr. Willy Wonka, of course, can laugh it off and say that everything is in order, but … in the manuscript of Roald Dahl, which was published relatively recently, it was said about a much larger number of children who visited the factory. Not everyone returned…
In their analysis, viewers note that Charlie receives the main prize not at all because of his personal merits, but because he is a quiet and polite boy from a very poor family who is used to obeying. That is, the meaning of the whole story looks like this: be gray, do not arise, and maybe you will be lucky.
His antagonists are carriers of mortal sins. In particular, the young genius Mike Teavee symbolizes idleness and anger, Violetta – pride, Veruca – greed, and Augustus Gloop – gluttony.
Charlie is completely free from these sins. But for what reason? According to one interpretation, poverty prevents this character from sinning. The fact that Charlie could well have been a greedy glutton is evidenced by the fact that he bought a chocolate bar at a time when his family was starving. That is, he could well be punished, like the rest. However, the meaning of the story is that Charlie was not punished … And this is its beauty: Charlie is essentially all of us, and we have the right to hope for a miracle.
Who are you, Mr Wonka?
In the book, he is a very mysterious character. In essence, this is an unkind wizard, who, according to the concept of history, is a metaphor for a punishing God. That is, this is not a person, and this is indicated quite clearly in the book.
In the movie, Willy Wonka is just an eccentric chocolate magnate. The whole rendezvous looks like his attempt at fun. It was because of his “humanization” (Tim Burton came up with a whole drama with Wonka’s father, which, of course, was not in the book) that creepy theories began to appear. According to one of them, the key to Mr. Wonka’s behavior lies in the fact that he is a sociopathic maniac who solves the problem of his children’s complexes in such an extraordinary way.
This theory is supported by the amazing luck of Charlie Bucket, who was able to get his golden ticket in an absolutely fantastic way. That is, we can conclude that there were no random people at the factory. The chain of events that led Charlie to the ticket suggests that the wizard chose him as his heir long before the action began.
Wonka’s maniacity is proved by the fact that he justifies the massacre of sin-bearers with strict criteria. So, the first victim, Augustus the Fool, personifying gluttony, was devoured by a huge pipe. But what happened to him is far from the worst.
Much more terrible is the fate of Veruca, who demanded a squirrel from Mr. Wonka. We see that the girl herself is dressed in a fur coat, and in her house there is a huge number of stuffed animals. Did Mr. Wonka know about this, arranging her fall into the garbage chute? Most likely, yes: the whole scene with intelligent squirrels (who actually eat not only nuts and mushrooms, but also meat) looks like a sophisticated revenge.
Mr. Wonka uses his factory as a giant gingerbread house to lure “bad” kids there and deal with them according to their sins. The winners of the Golden Ticket are not its first victims. When the Oompa-Loompas sing their first song, the wizard says that they haven’t had an audience for many moons. That is, given that the factory was closed for many years and the Oompa-Loompas never left it, it is quite obvious that other children previously listened to magical songs. It can be concluded that adventures in the factory are not the first time.
Charlie, the preselected winner, had to witness four acts of mutilation. It was he who pushed Wonka to reconcile with his father, which eventually led to the destruction of the inner monster of the insane pastry chef.
“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” from the point of view of a psychologist: analysis of Willy Wonka’s childhood traumas
The first is about childhood traumas and their consequences.
This line is identified by the owner of the factory, Willy Wonka. He was the son of a dentist. His father is the best specialist in his field, but an absolutely callous parent. And although he cares about the health of the child, he does it with manic cruelty. This is evident from the way he forces the boy to wear an ugly iron overbite. It is forbidden to eat any sweets. And even on a holiday, he burns the treasured chocolate in the fireplace. By these actions, the father completely discourages the child’s love for himself and the desire for any relationship with people. Psychologically, the lack of love requires compensation. Willy Wonka does this by fulfilling his candy dream. As an adult, he opens a chocolate factory. Now he has as much candy in his life as he wants. And the chocolate produced by the factory is the most delicious and most famous in the world.
Willy Wonka partly repeats the behavior of his father. He is a tough leader. Does not trust people and does not give them the right to make mistakes. A sociopathic misanthrope, upon learning that some employees steal the secrets of making chocolate, he fires everyone, which leaves them without a livelihood. The doors of the factory are closed “forever”. And the owner himself closes inside his fairy-tale world. No one can ever get inside.
Here we see the opposite sub-personalities of Willy Wonka. One of them is a tough, self-confident, critical chocolate magnate. He leads conditionally “bad” children into traps. And ruthlessly deals with them.
Another subpersonality is a little boy who never grew up and still lives in a fairy-tale world. He created it himself. Magical elves work at the factory. They dance and sing funny songs. Everything in the shop is edible. Molasses grass. Caramel flowers. Around the mountains of marshmallows and candies.
“Adult” Willy Wonka does not notice that he is unhappy. What he does does not make up for the lack of parental care. And only a boy named Charlie will help to understand what he really lacks in order to become truly happy.
The second line is raising children
Willy invites 5 children and 5 parents to his factory. Each of them identifies personal qualities and styles of education.
Mike Teavee reflects an indifferent parenting style. This style does not involve education at all. Children grow up on their own, and there is no connection between them and their parents. What we see. The parent is emotionally cold towards the child, does not notice his interests and does not take care of him. The child plays “shooters” all day long. Which breeds laziness, stupidity and cruelty.
Spoiled Veruca Salt. The parenting style is liberal. It is close to anarchy. A child can do anything – he grows up in an atmosphere of permissiveness. This allows the child to be capricious, demand the immediate fulfillment of their desires, and manipulate their parents.
Glutton – August Gloop. The parenting style is overprotective. Parents overprotect their children and do their best to ensure their safety and security. Children grow up helpless, infantile “sissy”. Often the child is over-fed. From the same desire to please and patronize.
Violetta Beauregard measures everything by achievements. She even chews gum for a record. Here, the mother puts her own ambitions at the head of education. She herself is a record holder and wants the same from the child. At the end, mom will say “I don’t want to have a blueberry daughter! How will she compete?
Charlie Bucket. The parenting style is democratic. The most constructive parenting style. The child develops correct, responsible social behavior. The concepts of justice, care, firmness and discipline.
The third line is philosophical and follows from the second.
These are vices that represent sins. They are exaggeratedly represented in the characters. This can be explained by the fact that the film is for children. And children are characterized by maximalism. Veruca Sol can be attributed to greed, Mike Teavee to idleness, Augustus the Fool to gluttony and, finally, Violetta Beauregard to pride. And everyone will be punished according to their deserts.
The fourth line identifies Charlie.
Sincere, naive, educated, polite boy. He appreciates the family, helps relatives. Kind and modest, he does not try to be cunning and therefore does not fall into traps. It says that to win it is enough to be yourself, to be in contact with your feelings and surroundings. When Willy Wonka suggests that Charlie stay at the chocolate factory but forget his family, the boy refuses. This becomes a complete surprise for the owner of the factory and a reason to think. He understands that true happiness is not in achievements, but in love. Thus, there is a “healing” of Willy Wonka. Reunion with father. And in the future, finding a family in the face of the boy and his relatives.
The film is controversial and non-trivial. Handsome and amazing. He raises many questions about the family, about the relationship between children and parents, about dreams and unfulfilled hopes, about small childhood joys and lost childhood. It carries a lot of meaning: no matter how much money and ambitions you have, how many victories and merit, human relations, kindness, honesty, love for loved ones and family values are important. No wealth can replace a family, not even mountains of chocolate.