Monday, June 21, 2010

Chocolate Factory Madness

Everyone who was ever a kid (this excludes certain test-tube adults) remembers the joy of Roald Dahl's book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and the 1971 screen adaptation, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" starring Gene Wilder. This was the film that had it all:

1) Pushing sugary calories on young children;

2) Child poverty--apparently despite the film's contemporary setting, there was no welfare or food stamps or child services agencies and a healthy boy could be raised on cabbage water;

3) Slave labor--notice that the Oompa Loompas were provided "protection" by Mr. Wonka in exchange for unpaid labor;

4) Child murder;

5) A psychadelic boat trip that screwed up a generation of kids.

Wonka, as it turns out, is a viciously insane man who concocted a clever contest to select an heir for his candy factory, using the best screening technique possible--putting a "golden ticket" in five candy bars that were distributed among the billions of candy bars sold around the world. The golden tickets give the bearers the right to take a tour of the deathtrap that his candy factory was, and apparently the kid who survives various accidents would be the one to take over the factory when Wonka retires. Now, what if all five tickets went to rotten kids, instead of humble, well adjusted Charlie Bucket? Well I suppose Wonka would need another contest to murder another group of kids, until a good one finally came along!

The lesser known sequel to this film was "Willy Wonka and the Board of Health".

1 comment:

  1. Little known fact: The golden tickes were all printed on high-quality blotter acid.