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Oompa Loompa Doopadee Doo

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johnhattan

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I tire of the folks in movie message boards who are excited about the new Charlie And The Chocolate Factory movie because it'll be closer to the author's "original vision" of the story.

Now then, it has been about 25 years since I last read the book and my memory is a bit fuzzy about details, but I don't recall the book being all that different from the movie back then. It's certainly not something like The Running Man or I Robot where the only thing the books share with the movies are the names of some of the characters. The differences I recall between the book and the 1972 movie are as follows. . .

1. At the end of the movie, Willy Wonka assures Charlie that the other kids will return to their original lives unharmed. At the end of the book, from Wonka's office window Charlie sees the children leaving the chocolate factory all twisted up, covered in trash, etc. as a result of their misdeeds.
Frankly, I think this is a case of screenwriters fixing mistakes in the author's narrative. Charlie is supposedly the most kind-hearted of all children, yet the book has him blithely shrugging when he sees his pals permanently harmed for their foolishness. It recalls the whole dilemma of the moral man who goes to heaven but finds only sorrow there because he knows that others are suffering proportional to his reward.

In order for Charlie to truly be the most kind-hearted boy of all, he would certainly have condemned Willy Wonka for harming his friends, so the screenwriters chose to have the children repaired and returned to their old lives "a little wiser" and without a lifetime supply of chocolate, which greatly softens the ethical contradiction at the end.

2. In the movie, the Oompa Loompas are singing orange-skinned dwarves rescued from LoompaLand. In the book, the Oompa Loompas are 3,000 black-skinned pygmies that were imported from "the very deepest and darkest part of the African jungle where no white man had been before".
Yeah. I'm certain that they'll be returning the whole slavery aspect of the story to the new movie
3. The movie had songs in it. The book didn't.
Big whoop. The Lord of the Rings books had songs in 'em that didn't make it into the movie. Go complain about that.


In short, the new Charlie And The Chocolate Factory will do exactly squat towards realizing the author's "vision" for the material. Given that it's being done by the man who single handedly killed any chance for Planet of the Apes to return as a franchise, my best hope is that it'll be an easily-forgotten trifle, like Return to Oz.




. . .and yeah, I do think to hard about some things. What of it?
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...but then again Tim Burton was brought on pretty late in production of Planet of the Apes so I don't think he deserves all the blame. Tim's earlier track record is quite good for the most part.

With that said I'm worried about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Like Planet of the Apes there was nothing wrong with the original and I don't see much new being brought to the table so I think there's no reason to remake it. It's too high of a standard. It has to be awesome otherwise it'll be viewed as a failure. Not a good position to be in.

I'm much more hopeful about Corpse Bride. IMHO, that has a lot of potential.

From the IMDB:

The legend of the corpse bride began as a nighttime horror story in 19th century Russia. At the time, anti-Semitism was rampant, and Jewish girls would often be ambushed and murdered on their way to the wedding chapel in order to prevent them from bearing any future generations. Because of the Jewish tradition of being buried with the clothes one died in, these girls would invariably be laid to rest wearing their blood-splattered bridal gowns.


I see alot of interesting stuff to work with in this material.

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With that said I'm worried about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Like Planet of the Apes there was nothing wrong with the original and I don't see much new being brought to the table so I think there's no reason to remake it. It's too high of a standard. It has to be awesome otherwise it'll be viewed as a failure. Not a good position to be in.
I tend to agree. And Tim Burton ain't so great at doing "awesome" like Spielberg or Zemeckis. He's much better when he shoots for "amusing" like with Ed Wood, which is IMHO his best movie.

I agree that Corpse Bride looks like a much better film. It seems like a much better fit for him.

Oh and interestingly, the original Willy Wonka got lousy reviews when it first came out. Reviewers on the whole thought it was too dark and sinister for a kids' musical.

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