Willy Wonka 40th Anniversary Gift Set on sale at Amazon (ended)

Hey kids, do you love candy? Yes? Well look kids, here’s FAKE CANDY!

Roald Dahl may have famously hated the film, and it may have died a quick death at the box office when it was first released in 1971, but thanks in no small part to frequent TV airings throughout the 80s and 90s many have grown to savour and admire the unique and often surreal charms of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

As a personal anecdote, I recall seeing the film on cable when I was 8, wondering why four grown-ups were all sleeping in the same bed and craving chocolate all the while.

This week Amazon has the 40th Anniversary edition of the film on sale at $24.99 (the lowest this box set has ever gone). Aside from scented pencils (“what will they think up next?”), the set includes, more interestingly, a 144 page film book apparently written by the director himself and 14 pages of production correspondence (it’s always fascinating to read studio executives drop in words like gobstopper and slughorn without a whiff of diffidence).

Check the set out on Amazon:

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

You can read an interesting overview of Dahl’s frustrations with this movie over at BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/4660873.stm

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2 thoughts on “Willy Wonka 40th Anniversary Gift Set on sale at Amazon (ended)

    • Well anything by Burton deserves at least one watching (whether it’s worth finishing is another matter, commenting a matter further, and rewatching a whole new state). The filmmakers claimed they were being truer to the book with the remake (hence the original title “Charlie” rather than “Willy Wonka”), but I wonder how Dahl would have appreciated Depp’s weird take on Willy Wonka. A sort of effete pixie, he seems to be playing Michael Jackson meets Peter Pan. Ultimately I can’t say whether that’s the right choice for the material (Wonka didn’t seem so cooky in the book, and in that respect Wilder’s moments of calm lucidity gesture towards that). It’s certainly glossier and prettier than the 1971 version, but then Burton’s outlandish visions struggle to congeal into anything substantial. The world building of Batman, Edward Scissorhands, and Sleepy Hollow contributed to the psychology of the characters in those films; they were in a sense characters themselves, and it was on the terrain that Burton would map character growth. Not only is this feature absent in this film, the world itself suffers from a lack of internal logic. Tim Burton’s visions were splendid and powerful precisely because they fashioned a logic to a fantastical reality. Take for instance his stop-motion work.
      Here it’s like Burton is trying to remember why he’s telling the story. I’m not convinced he quite figures it out by the end.

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