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Today in Nerd History: Willy Wonka

Published on June 30th, 2016 | Updated on June 30th, 2016 | By FanFest

It has been 45 years since Gene Wilder amazed us all as Willy Wonka and gave us a magical look into his top secret candy factory! 

pure imagination WW

Five “lucky” kids found a golden ticket in their candy bars and were given a once in a life time opportunity to take a guided tour through the candy factory by non other than Willy Wonk himself.  Out of the five children four of them are straight terrible humans, the now famous children are Charlie Bucket, Veruca Salt, Violet Beauregarde, Mike Teevee, Agustus Gloop! Mr. Wonka’s chocolate factory is unlike anything any of these people could ever imagine, after the initial introductions Wonka takes the group to an amazing candy garden with a chocolate river. This is also the point in which you are introduced to the oompa loompas, who are a race of orange people who were being eaten in their home land so Wonka saved them and put them to work! I tend to question who made them dress the way they do? Just imagine the conversation, “Yes small human like people I will save you only if you style your hair crazy and where these crazy outfits, also I’d love it if you would sing and dance…like always.”

Video still from the 1971 movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.  Pictured here, the Oompa Loompa's dancing. Credit:  Paramount Pictures/Handout
 Paramount Pictures

Wonka Group

This is where the movie takes a turn and when you really look at it becomes a tale of a crazy man punishing bad children! Agustus Gloop gorges himself in the chocolate river falls in and gets sucked up in a tube. Violet Beauregarde blows up until she almost explodes. Veruca Salt throws a fit and is dropped into the FURNACE?!?! Ya that happened don’t worry her Dad follows her down. Mike Teevee gets disassembled on a particle level then reassembled in miniature, Wonka’s solution for Mike is to stretch him out on a taffy puller…sounds a little medieval to me good sir! The good kid Charlie and his Grandpa try something they shouldn’t and almost kick the bucket (haha) by being chopped up by fan blades on the ceiling!!! We should really just call this movie Wonka Will Get You! As a child none of this seemed important, all that mattered was the beautiful colors and crazy adventure you got to go through with the group. If you are a really good kid Wonka may even give you his factory…seriously not fiscally responsible to give a child your life’s work, especially a poor child…hes going to eat all your candy! Willy Wonka me be a disturbed crazy chocolatier, but he will take you on a wicked boat ride any time.


In all seriousness there are not many movies that hold up after 45 years and this one has. The movie is a colorful explosion of imagination and crazy times, it is no surprise that the movie inspired Tim Burton to add his weird flair to it in 2005. If you have an extra couple hours today sit down and watch this wild ride of a movie that first graced the big screen 45 years ago today!

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