‘Willy Wonka’ still heartwarming and sincere 45 years later

Fathom Events partnered with TCM to screen Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to honor the film’s 45th anniversary and audiences were treated to the beautiful colors of Wonka’s factory, the educational lessons for children and an overwhelmingly great film. If you missed the weekend screening, a find a theater near you for an encore Thursday.

Gene Wilder’s eccentric and reclusive titular character sends out five golden tickets for five lucky children to go behind the gates and visit the candy maker’s lair. Each child believes they are also on a secret mission to acquire one of Wonka’s groundbreaking everlasting gobstoppers.

oompa-loompa photo Willy WonkaEven in 2016, the message to kids and their parents should ring loud. Selfishness, gluttony, envy, egomaniacal behavior are all worse today than in 1971 when director Mel Stuart’s film landed in cinemas.

Over those years, the film’s cult status has grown after bombing with only $4 million at the time. The film earned over $21 million during 1996 re-release and continues to grow in fandom with each generation. TCM and Fathom’s presentation included some tidbits, but nothing earth shattering about the film or its production.

Author Roald Dahl arrives in theaters this Friday with an adaptation of The BFG, director by Steven Spielberg, but here Dahl was a vocal opponent of the film, the casting of Wilder and the deviation away from Charlie’s story in the book.

Audiences would disagree as they sing along with Pure Imagination or the Oompa Loompas. The film as delightful as ever, much more a film about parenting than chocolate. Laced with hilarious quotes and great puns Willy Wonka is and will forever be a classic.

Mired in misunderstanding by some, I always loved the challenge of personal responsibility revealed in Wonka’s promise to Charlie to restore the wicked kids’ health: “My dear boy, I promise you they’ll be quite all right. When they leave here, they’ll be completely restored to their normal, terrible old selves. But maybe they’ll be a little bit wiser for the wear. Anyway, don’t worry about them.”

If we all could just be a “little bit wiser for the wear.”

Willy Wonka is a 4/12 out of 5 star film and deserves a full 5 stars when placed in context of being released in 1971.

UPDATE: This has been re-posted to promote the Thursday encore screening via Fathom Events.

Visit Fathom Events’ full schedule of shows and activities HERE

Gene Wilder as Willy WOnka

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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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    […] was frustrated and unhappy with Willy Wonka, which is an amazing film, so Spielberg’s adaptation is making the writer turn over in his […]

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