Wonka’s Chocolate Factory
As always, I am collecting the thoughts as I work my way through this one. I guess the start of this is to go to the beginning and see where it takes us from there. See, the movie came out before I was born. And yet, it was such an important movie at the time that it was possible to still see it in theaters from time to time as well as on TV. I’m talking about Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
This is one that my experience starts with the movie before the book. And I have only experienced the book and the sequel book (Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator) when they were read to me as a child. Only the one time and never personally read. I can remember almost nothing from the books other than the entire family flying around in the elevator in the second book. It’s been a long, long time. Yes, I have seen the remake with Johnny Depp. But that one doesn’t strike me the same way the original Gene Wilder movie did and still does.
Now with that bit out of the way, let’s get into where I am attempting to go with this.
It started all harmless enough. I was in the office playing around with some music and happened to be looking at the Primus albums I have. If you didn’t know, Primus covered the soundtrack to the Gene Wilder film (the biggest knock against the remake is it dropped almost the entire musical score). My oldest granddaughter came into the room and as the way of children, she was nosey about what I was doing. So we listened to a few of the Primus songs.
This was all well and good until I remembered we had a better way of doing this. I went to Youtube and pulled up the few Primus videos to the songs. Of course, they were tripped out and weird and made her laugh. From there we found a couple of the original score videos, namely, The Candy Man and Pure Imagination. There was a bit of bouncing back and forth as we looked at the interpretations of the songs.
And so, after all of this, in my infinite wisdom, I went on a search for the movie. Apparently, I own the Johnny Depp version but not the original. This had to be rectified. Once I picked it up we commenced on a movie binge.
The movie has always been a favorite of mine. For my wife it is a different experience. She claims that the Oompa Loompas are creepy. I find them humorous. And the girls, my granddaughters, they call the movie the candy movie.
The story itself is one of those timeless stories that should always have a place on your shelf, whether as a movie or a book. There are so many moments of caricature and satire that openly display our many foibles as people. And it’s all distilled down to this simple story that even a child can see and enjoy.
The story has been around for a long time. I don’t need to get too deep into it because I imagine we all have this connection to it in some way that transcends the story itself. That’s its power. It is one of those great stories that even now I can sit with my grandkids and we can marvel at the wonders and maybe even learn a few things.
Needless to say, I have spent the past few days or so immersed in the stories. By that I mean both movies, with and without my girls. When it comes to either movie, each of them has their own strengths and weaknesses. I like them both. It always comes back to the Oompa Loompa songs. The new version songs are a fun, but they don’t have the haunting catchiness of the original. They don’t stick with you and become earworms that you can’t escape. Much like a good piece of toffee, it clamps onto your teeth and you have to fight with it to free yourself again.
We have reached the point where I dare say enough of this. Step into a world of pure imagination again and revisit a bit of indulgence. Maybe if you are lucky you can share it with someone new and see it through their eyes. Makes me wonder if maybe in another 40 years or so, new generations will be visiting the candy factory that fuels the previous generations.
P.S. As a side note for those who may take this into a different direction. I do know the connotations of candy man as a drug dealer and the Primus interpretation of the music is a bit like an acid trip gone loopy. That is not the point we are exploring here. But in and of itself could be a whole new world to explore
If you enjoy these stories, consider leaving some coffee money in the jar or you could buy a book or two. Either way helps keep the stories flowing.