Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a 2005 musical adventure film directed by Tim Burton. It is the second film adaptation of the 1964 British book of the same name by Roald Dahl and stars Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka and Freddie Highmore as Charlie Bucket. The storyline concerns Charlie, who takes a tour he has won, led by Wonka, through the most magnificent chocolate factory in the world. Development for another adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, filmed previously as Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, began in 1991, 20 years after the first film version, which resulted in Warner Brothers providing the Dahl Estate with totalartistic control. Prior to Burton's involvement, directors such as Gary Ross, Rob Minkoff, Martin Scorsese and Tom Shadyac had been involved, while Warner Bros. either considered or discussed the role of Willy Wonka with Bill Murray, Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey, Michael Keaton, Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Adam Sandler, and many others.
Burton immediately brought regular collaborators Johnny Depp and Danny Elfman aboard. Charlie and the Chocolate Factoryrepresents the first time since The Nightmare Before Christmas that Elfman contributed to the film score using written songs and his vocals. Filming took place from June to December 2004 at Pinewood Studios in the United Kingdom, where Burton avoided using digital effects as much as possible. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was released to critical praise and was a box office success, grossing approximately $475 million worldwide.
Charlie Bucket is a kind and loving boy living in poverty with his parents and four bedridden grandparents. They all rely on his father for income, employed at a toothpaste factory, responsible for putting the caps on the tubes. Down the street is Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, which reopened after industrial espionage forced him into seclusion and to sack his employees. Charlie's Grandpa Joe worked for Wonka before the termination.
Wonka announces a contest whereby children that find five Golden Tickets hidden in Wonka bars will be given a tour of the factory and one a chance to be presented with an unknown grand prize. Four tickets are quickly found: the greedy and gluttonous Augustus Gloop from Düsseldorf; the spoiled and rotten Veruca Salt from London; the competitive and boastful Violet Beauregarde from Atlanta; and the arrogant and aggressive Mike Teavee from Denver. Charlie hopes to find a ticket but chances are small as money is tight so the best has to be made of is his annual birthday present of one Wonka bar and a bar bought by Grandpa Joe's money. All hope is crushed when the last ticket is claimed in Russia. Charlie, on finding some money in the street, just intends to enjoy one chocolate bar when news breaks that the last ticket was fake. Charlie finds the bar he just bought has the last Golden Ticket. Bystanders attempt to separate him from it, only for the shopkeeper to see that he keeps the ticket and gets back home with it.
Grandpa Joe offers to accompany Charlie on the tour, but Charlie explains how he was offered money for the ticket and intends to sell it. Grandpa George reminds Charlie that money is far more common than the tickets, and convinces Charlie to keep it. The visitors find Wonka to be peculiar, lonely and acting odd at the mention of "parents". The tour shows how fantastical the factory operates under the efforts of the short humans called Oompa-Loompas. The other four children succumb to temptation, and end up being caught in the factory workings and have to be safely recovered by the Oompa-Loompas, albeit in worse shape than at the start of the tour: Augustus falls into a river of chocolate and has been sucked up by a pipe before being rescued from the fudge processing center; Violet expands into an oversized blueberry when she tries an experimental piece of chewing gum; Veruca is thrown away as a "bad nut" by trained squirrels; and Mike is shrunk down to a few inches in height after being the first person transported by Wonka's new television advertising invention.
Charlie is congratulated as the only remaining child and the winner of the grand prize, Wonka's heir to the factory. Unfortunately, Wonka stipulates that Charlie's family has to stay behind ergo Charlie rejects the offer. Charlie learns that Wonka had a troubled past with his father, Wilbur Wonka; a dentist. Willy was forbidden from eating candy of any type or quantity and had torture device-like braces affixed to his teeth. But once Willy got a taste, he wanted to become a confectioner, against his father's wishes and he left home to follow his dream. Wonka later returned to find his father and home completely gone. Wonka's candies are selling poorly and comes to associate his unhappiness with the sorry financial state of his company, so he makes an effort to find Charlie who locates Wilbur. When they visit, it appears that despite his strict avoidance of candy, the dentist has followed Willy's success and they reconcile. Wonka allows Charlie's family to move into the factory while he and Charlie plan new product lines to produce.
Principal photography for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory started on June 21, 2004 at Pinewood Studios in England. Director Tim Burton and composer Danny Elfmanfound filming somewhat difficult because they were simultaneously working on Corpse Bride. The Wonka Factory exterior was coincidentally constructed on the same backlotBurton had used for Gotham City in Batman (1989). The ceremonial scene required 500 local extras. The Chocolate Room/River setpiece filled Pinewood's 007 Stage. As a consequence of British Equity rules, which state that children can only work four and a half hours a day, filming for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory languished for six months and ended in December 2004.
The architecture of the Bucket family home was influenced by Burton's visit to Roald Dahl's writing hut. Like the book, the film has a "timeless" setting and is not set in a specific country. "We've tried not to pinpoint it to any place," production designer Alex McDowell explained. "The cars, in fact, drive down the middle of the road." The town, whose design was shaped by the black and white urban photography of Bill Brandt, Pittsburgh and Northern England, is arranged like a medieval village, with Wonka's estate on top and the Bucket shack below. The filmmakers also used fascist architecture for Wonka's factory exterior, and designed most of the sets on 360° sound stages, similar to cycloramas. Burton biographer Mark Salisbury wrote that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory "melds 1950s and '70s visuals with a futuristic sensibility that seems straight out of a 1960s sense of the future." The "TV Room" was patterned after photographs from 2001: A Space Odyssey, Danger: Diabolik and THX 1138. Danger Diabolik also served as inspiration for the Nut Room and Inventing Room.
Visual effects Edit
Tim Burton avoided using too many digital effects because he wanted the younger actors to feel as if they were working in a realistic environment. As a result, forced perspective techniques, oversized props and scale models were used to avoid computer-generated imagery (CGI). Deep Roy was cast to play the Oompa-Loompas based on his previous collaborations with Burton on Planet of the Apes and Big Fish. The actor was able to play various Oompa-Loompas using split screen photography, digital and front projection effects. "Tim told me that the Oompa-Loompas were strictly programmed, like robots — all they do is work, work, work," Roy commented. "So when it comes time to dance, they're like a regiment; they do the same steps."
A practical method was considered for the scene in which Violet Beauregarde turns blue and swells up into a giant 10-foot blueberry. A suit with an air hose was considered at one point for the beginnings of the swelling scene, before the decision was made to do the entire transformation in CGI. The visual effects house Cinesite was recruited for this assignment. In some shots that were shot of AnnaSophia Robb's head, a facial prosthetic was worn to give the impression that her cheeks had swelled up as well. Because this decision was made late in the film's production, any traces of Violet's blueberry scene were omitted from trailers or promotional material.
Rather than rely on CGI, Burton wanted the 40 squirrels in the Nut Room to be real. The animals were trained every day for 10 weeks before filming commenced. They began their coaching while newborns, fed by bottles to form relationships with human trainers. The squirrels were each taught how to sit upon a little blue bar stool, tap and then open a walnut, and deposit its meat onto a conveyor belt. "Ultimately, the scene was supplemented by CGI and animatronics," Burton said, "but for the close-ups and the main action, they're the real thing." Wonka's Viking boat for the Chocolate River sequence floats down a realistic river filled with 192,000 gallons of faux melted candy. "Having seen the first film, we wanted to make the chocolate river look edible," McDowell says. "In the first film, it's so distasteful." The production first considered a CGI river, but Burton was impressed with the artificial substance when he saw how it clung to the boat's oars. Nine shades of chocolate were tested before Burton settled on the proper hue.
The original music score was written by Danny Elfman, a frequent collaborator with director Tim Burton. Elfman's score is based around three primary themes: a gentle family theme for the Buckets, generally set in upper woodwinds; a mystical, string-driven waltz for Willy Wonka; and a hyper-upbeat factory theme for full orchestra, Elfman's homemadesynthesizer samples and the diminutive chanting voices of the Oompa-Loompas.
Elfman also wrote and performed the vocals for four songs, with pitch changes and modulations to represent different singers. The lyrics to the Oompa-Loompa songs are adapted from the original book, and are thus credited to Roald Dahl. Following Burton's suggestion, each song in the score is designed to reflect a different archetype. "Wonka's Welcome Song" is a maddeningly cheerful theme park ditty, "Augustus Gloop" a Bollywood spectacle (per Deep Roy's suggestion), "Violet Beauregarde" is 80's hip hop, "Veruca Salt" is 1930's Christmas Music, and "Mike Teavee" is punk.
The original motion picture soundtrack was released on July 12, 2005 on Warner Bros. Records.
Box office Edit
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory earned $56,178,450 in its opening weekend, the fifth-highest opening weekend gross for 2005 and stayed at #1 for 2 weeks. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory eventually grossed $206,459,076 in US totals and $268,509,687 in foreign countries, coming to a worldwide total of $474.97 million. It was the fifty-eighth highest grossing film of all time when released, as well as seventh-highest for the US and eighth-highest worldwide for the year of 2005.
Critical response Edit
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory received positive reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a rating of 82%, based on 220 reviews, with an average rating 7.2/10. The site's consensus reads, "Closer to the source material than 1971's Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is for people who like their Chocolatevisually appealing and dark." By comparison, Metacritic calculated an average score of 72 out of 100, based on 40 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
- Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka
- Freddie Highmore as Charlie Bucket
- David Kelly as Grandpa Joe
- Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Bucket
- Noah Taylor as Mr. Bucket
- Missi Pyle as Mrs. Beauregarde
- James Fox as Mr. Salt
- Deep Roy as Oompa Loompas
- Christopher Lee as Wilbur Wonka
- Adam Godley as Mr. Teavee
- Franziska Troegner as Mrs. Gloop
- AnnaSophia Robb as Violet Beauregarde
- Julia Winter as Veruca Salt
- Jordan Fry as Mike Teavee
- Philip Wiegratz as Augustus Gloop
- Blair Dunlap as Young Willy Wonka
- Liz Smith as Grandma Georgina
- Eileen Essell as Grandma Josephine
- David Morris as Grandpa George
- Nitin Ganatra as Prince Pondicherry
- Shelly Conn as Princess Pondicherry
- Chris Cresswell as Prodnose
- Phillip Philmar as Slugworth
- Tony Kirwood as Ficklegruber
- Todd Boyce as TV Reporter at the Factory
- Nayef Rashed as Moroccan Market Vendor
- Menis Youstry as Moroccan Market Trader
- Harry Taylor as Mr. Gloop
- Hubertus Geller as German Reporter
- Francessa Hagon as Mrs. Salt
- Garrick Hagon as Denver Reporter
- Kevin Hagon as Man with Dog
- Mark Heap as Man with Dog
- Roger Frost as Tall Man
- Oscar Frost as Shopkeeper
- Colette Appleby as Customer in Shop
- Debora Weston as Woman in Shop
- Annette Badland as Jolly Woman
- Steve Hope Wynne as Museum Guard
- Geoffrey Holder as Narrator
Costume designer Gabriella Pescucci received an Academy Award nomination, but lost to Colleen Atwood on Memoirs of a Geisha. Johnny Depp lost the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy to Joaquin Phoenix in Walk the Line. More nominations followed from the British Academy Film Awards for Visual Effects, Costume Design (Pescucci), Makeup & Hair (Peter Owen and Ivana Primorac) and Production Design (Alex McDowell). Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was also nominated for theSaturn Award for Best Fantasy Film, as well as Performance by a Younger Actor (Freddie Highmore), Music (Danny Elfman) and Costume (Pescucci). Elfman and screenwriter John August were nominated for a Grammy Award with "Wonka's Welcome Song".
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