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Frida Ruiz
Frida Ruiz
Staff Writer & Graphics Team

Paul King’s Wonka takes new approach at Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

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Art by Frida Ruiz

Paul King’s Wonka, starring Timothée Chalamet as Willy Wonka himself, takes a new approach to Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Two other film adaptations exist: Tim Burton’s 2005 version and Mel Stuart’s 1971 film – both sharing the name Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. All three films credit Roald Dahl as the original writer but don’t all stick to the same plot. 

Wonka focuses on Willy Wonka’s road to chocolatiering rather than his career as an established producer of unconventional sweets alongside his band of Oompa Loompa employees, as shown in both of the other Charlie and the Chocolate Factory films. 

Chalamet showcases his range as he plays a silly, dispositioned Wonka, singing lighthearted songs and drinking chocolate and giraffe milk. We see flashbacks to his youth: him living alongside his mother in a houseboat, poor and only able to afford one special chocolate bar a year. He carries this passion long after his mom passes, aiming to make her proud by becoming a chocolatier at Galeries Gourmet, home to the fanciest, most delectable chocolates around. The movie is all around sweet; it’s so bright and fast, it’s hard to look away. 

However, some people think Chalamet’s performance is lacking. 

“He didn’t seem as mischievous as the previous movies,” one TuHS junior said. “But I guess he was kind of entertaining in his own… joyful way.”

Tim Burton’s 2005 version displays Wonka with the mischievous demeanor people crave. Burton’s approach is much eerier, as if Wonka became jaded walking along his road of chocolatierism. Maybe it had to do with the Oompa Loompas. 

Johnny Depp flashes an unusual smile for his take on Willy Wonka. The sets in the 2005 version are unsettling and futuristic, making Wonka’s factory look like an awful fever dream. 

Mel Stuart’s 1971 version – or “The Original” – seems to be a harmonious blend of sweet and hopeful, as well as a little odd and creepy. Gene Wilder plays Willy Wonka as a kind man with a love for inventive chocolates, but it seems he’s harboring a secret throughout the film. I think anyone employing thousands of little orange guys to produce candy must be a little strange, but who’s to say? 

The film is grainy and warm with a focus on Charlie, played by Peter Ostrum, and his winning of a Golden Ticket. This Golden Ticket allows him to visit Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory, as well as get a tour of its holdings. The other winners are people of wealth, while Charlie is not. The children disappear throughout the film and leave Charlie as the only remaining winner. 

With uncomfortable songs and a nonsense ending in which Charlie floats away, we’re left confused, curious and with an unfitting, sour taste in our mouths.



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Zelda Zamora-Villa
Zelda Zamora-Villa, Staff Writer
Hi! My name is Zelda and I'm a sophomore at Tualatin High school. I joined newspaper because I thought it'd be a great way to learn about important topics and bring focus to them through our newspaper.

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