On Tuesday night I got the chance to take the wife and kids to see Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on the big screen. Harkins Theatres has a Tuesday Night Classics program where they play classic movies and it is only $5 a ticket. I was able to buy tickets on their website a couple of weeks in advance.
My younger son is 8 and he just sat there enraptured the whole time. He was a little surprised when he saw the orange Ooopa Loompas for the first time but sang right along with them on all of their subsequent appearances. My wife enjoyed it right along with us and I think that my 11 year old fell asleep.
It is my understanding that the script was written to highlight Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka and not focus as much on Charlie. This was one of the first times that I read the book after having seen the movie and realized that they didn’t necessarily match up. I don’t care. I saw the movie for the first time when I was 5 or 6 and fell in love with it. For the next 10 years I watched it every time that I saw it was coming on TV. To this day I will sit there and finish watching it if I happen to find it while flipping channels.
I was excited to see the Tim Burton version when it came and really enjoyed it. It follows the book more closely and was fun to watch. It will never come close to the nostalgia that I hold for the original film. Gene Wilder’s deadpan delivery of warnings when the children were misbehaving is classic. It is something that I unknowing imitated when I was growing up.
It was definitely worth the price of admission and I am glad that I was able to take my kids to see it on the big screen.