Sunday, December 18, 2011

Observations on Curiosities in Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory

So I'm watching Willy Wonka on ABC Family, and I have a number of questions or comments that I feel the need to share with someone, and I've already blown up twitter enough.

Let me just say that back in like, 1996 my Dad VHS recorded Willy Wonka on TV and he, David, and I watched it like a million times. He strongly, perhaps strangely, emphasized that I take away Wonka's message of "anything you want to do it, want to change the world, there's nothing to it..." But that's a story for another time.
  1. My first observation: it is not Christmas at any point in this movie, why is it a 25 Days of Christmas movie???? I thought maybe he gets the candy bar for Christmas, but no, it's his Birthday.
  2. Everything I learned about how candy is made comes from the opening credits of this movie.
  3. Where does this movie take place??? I know the director intentionally wanted it to seem like it "could be anywhere" - Europe or America, but it kinda bothers me. It was filmed in Germany.
  4. Grandpa comments on the brilliant marketing strategy Wonka uses: "He'll sell a million candy bars that way..." or something to that effect. Veruca Salt's father mentions that his factory workers had already opened 700,000+ candy bars, and were working at 19,000 bars an hour! Wonka sold almost a million candy bars to this guy alone!
  5. "Charlie, there are 100 billion people in this world..." - Charlie's mom. Um, it's 1970: try 3.7 billion. 
  6. Woah: I totally forget the mom has a singing part, haha. Talk about your minor characters... Why does she focus so generically on "cheer[ing] up Charlie", he's not even there to be sung to!
  7. "I bet those chocolate tickets make the chocolate taste terrible..." "Let him sleep, let him have one last dream..." Oh My God, this kid's life is so depressing!
  8. The Queen bids 5,000 pounds for the last box of Wonka bars in the UK. That's approximately $7,000 in then-dollars, and between $89,000 and $164,000 in 2011 money.
  9. Wow, the teacher guy in this movie sucks. As does the teacher from "Frosty Returns" which I was watching earlier. Why are teachers portrayed so meanly in movies? Is it cause kids associate us with School and winter has winter break? Cause let me tell you, we look forward to it just as much or more!
  10. When they find out the last ticket was fake - there's a HUGE crowd around the newsstand, but the candy store a full 10 feet away is all but empty? Just think -- if one of these people chilling at the news stand ran straight to that candy store, they could have beat Charlie to that ticket!
  11. Slugworth's classes are octagon shapes. The money he flashes to Charlie is blue, and he offers him "10,000 of these..."
  12. It's definitely not Christmas time. The ticket says come on the "1st day of October", "but that's tomorrow!" -- presumably Charlie's birthday is sometime in September. Oh, and talk about cutting it close!
  13. Grandpa Joe wobbles around (and almost smothers Charlie) like he literally hasn't gotten out of bed in 20 years, as they (presumably) exaggerate is the case. But if it were, he'd have all kinds of bedsores, and how does he buy tobacco? How did he buy Charlie that candy bar? How does he use the bathroom. (Though I do think there is a bedpan beneath the bed, ew.)
  14. During the parade-thing outside Wonka's, the newscaster that does the most speaking to the Camera aims the microphone at the camera for some reason.
  15. Despite how poor they are, the hat and coat Grandpa Joe wears during the dance sequence is not what he wears to the factory.
  16. All the kids wave American, German, and UK flags. So it's unlikely Charlie's from anywhere else. My theory is that the movie takes place in Berlin, that explains why there is an inconsistent representation of British, American and German influences.
  17. Why do the Oompa Loompa's listen when Mike T.V. says "Lights, Camera, Action." Btw: for years, the way Mike T.V.'s mom says "unharmed" has craaaacks me up, lol.
  18. I want to challenge the fact that reading a book is inherently better than watching TV. There are a lot of educational TV shows, and I would say I've learned volumes from TV shows and educational books are often less condensed. I've read A Time Machine, The Odyssey, a few dozen Star Trek books, -- I've also seen every episode of The West Wing, Charmed and Veronica Mars. I would say they both have added to my character and knowledge set in their own way. Not to mention historical documentaries, etc. Top Chef made me want to cook things. Eh, I'm just tangenting now.
Website of the Day: The Urban Gentleman, a random fashion blog I came across accidentally.It's so hard to find good websites about straight men's fashion.

Video of the Day: That Guy with the Glasses (AKA: The Nostalgia Critic) reviews Moulin Rouge! Haha, Panda told me to check this out for some reason. I am pretty disappointed Critic doesn't like the movie, but it's still entertaining me, and gives me a reason to go watch the Nostalgia Critic again, and I may get around to watching Moulin Rouge soon too, lol.

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