Based on Roald Dahl’s classic story by the same name, this movie tells the story of a young boy named Charlie Bucket, a kind caring boy who has very little but who has a very big heart. When he and four obnoxious and spoiled children find golden tickets in their Wonka chocolate bars and win a tour of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, it is a dream come true. But the eccentric Wonka is unsympathetic when one by one, the children break the rules and lose out on the grand prize, leaving Charlie to take over the chocolate factory. And Charlie is able to give Wonka something back in return—a real family and reconciliation with his father.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory contains some violence and verbal insults from both Wonka and the Oompa-Loompas at the expense of the misbehaving and spoiled children and their parents. The film uses classic Burton style, pairing dismal blacks and grays with bright, colorful scenery, making his vision a perfect pairing with Dahl’s eccentric story. Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Wonka is first-class and stays true to the version of Wonka found in the text. While the film is entertaining, it does teach lessons about being humble and giving, not greedy and self-centered. The film is a wonderful companion to the book, and could be shown in both the age-appropriate classroom or in a library.