Willy vs. Charlie

I’ve never been a Tim Burton fan.

I think I just don’t get him.

Corpse Bride? Why?

Edward Scissorhands? I wanted to love it. Failed.

But even I have to admit that pairing Tim Burton with Roald Dahl is genius. Add in Johnny Depp and the result seems guaranteed.

I held off seeing the 2005 movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory until recently.

The first movie adaptation, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, starred Gene Wilder in the wwtitle role and was released in 1971. I was twelve-years-old and had loved the book since my classroom teacher read it aloud a few years previously.

I didn’t love the movie immediately. But it did grow on me and I have a fondness for it now.

I didn’t expect to enjoy the 2005 Tim Burton and Johnny Depp version so I didn’t bother to watch it when it was released.



The good: Burton and screenwriter John August kept the story closer to the original novel.
The (ironically) bad: The story as Dahl wrote it, was quite dark. It’s still dark, yet accessible. Children know the world is a dark and scary place and Dahl never condescended to his youngest readers. The movie holds to that standard.

The ugly: I had to humble myself and admit it’s quite good.

I still wouldn’t call myself a Tim Burton fan, but I certainly appreciate him and his work more now.

What movie or book forced you to change an opinion after you saw or read it?