The part everybody skips in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/05/23/the-part-everybody-skips-in-wi.html


#2

Yes, I always fast forward through it. I feel kind of bad, because she’s a nice lady with a nice voice, but not bad enough not to give it a skip. It’s a misstep in an otherwise thoughtfully and precisely crafted movie.

One thing I enjoyed noticing on a recent re-watch was how the boat only has seats for four children and their parents (right after Augustus Gloop takes himself out) and then, later, the soda-powered Wonka-mobile only has enough seats for the remaining two kids and their escorts. Willy Wonka is a man with a plan.

Also, always fun to let children know the real identity of the Paraguayan gambler who gets caught forging his golden ticket. So many nice touches.


#3

Speaking of Charlie’s mom, I’ve never understood why she didn’t hit Grandpa Joe with a bedpan when he suddenly got out of bed after being waited on for years.


#4

people fast forward movies? :scream:


#5

That never actually ‘bothered’ me because as a kid my sense was always that his plan was to get rid of one kid per part of the factory, one way or another.


#6

Give people the benefit of the doubt but give them enough rope to hang themselves


#7

I saw the headline and was concerned this was going to be the scary boat ride.


#8

I didn’t realise it until I was older, seeing all the small hints they drop in the film. Now I see it was also part of his plan to make sure Charlie ended up the winner. That sinister and plotting aspect of the character was a group effort, as this story indicates:

Without Wilder the film may have been good, but with him, it was wonderful. As it turns out, however, the actor wasn’t always sold on the role. In fact, he only agreed to play the famous candyman under one condition.

As reported by Letters of Note, Wilder told Stuart:

“When I make my first entrance. I’d like to come out of the door carrying a cane and then walk toward the crowd with a limp. After the crowd sees Willy Wonka is a cripple, they all whisper to themselves and then become deathly quiet. As I walk toward them, my cane sinks into one of the cobblestones I’m walking on and stands straight up, by itself; but I keep on walking, until I realize that I no longer have my cane. I start to fall forward, and just before I hit the ground, I do a beautiful forward somersault and bounce back up, to great applause.”

When asked why he wanted to do this, Wilder simply said, “Because from that time on, no one will know if I’m lying or telling the truth.”

A theme like that is why a sincere and bittersweet song seems so out of place.

No, that’s the part that everyone under age 10 covers their eyes at (and later peeks at a little) in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Totally different thing.


#9

No, that’s the part you rewind so you can watch it again!


#10

I’ve seen this movie a million times, but I consistently forget that this part exists.


#11

I’ve never noticed that it was biased towards Charlie winning, beyond him not being horribly killed in the Fizzy Lifting Drink incident; I’ll have to give the movie another watch.


#12

“…bittersweet song about Charlie… I have always hated it and I love that others think so, too.”

Interesting. Why is that exactly… about others hating it also?


#13

Every scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is great, except the one where Charlie’s mother sings a bittersweet song about Charlie. It comes out of nowhere and is very boring. I have always hated it and I love that others think so, too.


#14

Now we have this to fast forward though the whole thing.


#15

This post is Roald Dahl-approved. Dude hated benign paternalism in all its form, and probably especially saccharine calls to mediocrity.


#16

While I agree it’s obtusely out of place, we only feel this way because of the way we are acclimated to modern movies. We are used to a steady stream of stimulus. Willy Wonka is a throwback / comes on the tail end of a different era of movies, namely, the musical.

For its time the musical number in this movie was not so out of place. I suspect Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was breaking the mold by having drastically less musical numbers than its contemporaries, but a musical number (or two, or several of them) was convention at the time.


#17

The other musical numbers fit, though, in terms of being fun and/or edgy – that’s as true now as it was then. I suspect that either the studio insisted on the specific convention of having a sincere love song in a musical or the composer and lyricist were traditionalists enough to feel they had to put one in.


#18

My wife and I have noticed that most musicals have their “Cheer Up, Charlie” moments. When the Mother Superior sings “Climb Every Mountain” in Sound of Music is one. “Hushabye Mountain” in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is another.


#19

Bit like some moments in old Marx Brothers films when the action stops for a serious song:


#20

The inspiring/sincere song is a convention that didn’t go away as a requirement until around the time Sondheim started doing his own shows. Even so, the convention lives on in animated Disney musicals, where the love song is required along with the “I Want” number and the scene-establishing song. When paced and placed right and incorporated into the larger story those conventions work fine. It just didn’t work here given the subject matter and themes and lack of a place to drop it in.