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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Vs. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Essay by   •  June 30, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  1,820 Words (8 Pages)  •  2,019 Views

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) is a remake of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971). Despite the fact these were produced 34 years apart, there are many striking similarities. Of course, there are also many differences, which a viewer would expect in films that were done so far apart.

Although these films were done three decades apart, the formula of the fantasy genre has not changed much over the course of the decades. The most obvious similarity in the genre is the general audience who will view these movies. The general theory of the fantasy genre is to create an imaginary world, which viewers can get immersed in to give them a break from reality. In this regard, both films succeeded wonderfully. On the flip side, the major difference in the genre is the scope of the imaginary world that can be created. In Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the filmmakers were limited by having to create their imaginary world in a real world space. In 1971, filmmakers didn't have the ability to create an unlimited virtual world like modern day fantasy filmmakers have, so the grandeur of the world that can be created now is very different.

While the formula of the fantasy genre hasn't changed a great deal, the social context of the time periods these films were made in has. For example, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory puts a greater emphasis on the disparity between social classes, which was a major aspect of the 1970's. The movie also focuses on proper behavior, being appreciative of what you have, acceptable societal behavior, and morals. In comparison, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was created during a time period when society places more emphasis on entertainment value in movies, instead of using them as a tool to express and teach acceptable societal behaviors. The remake also doesn't focus as heavily on the difference between social classes, as the social classes have been blurred in today's society, and aren't as well defined as they were in the 1970's.

Oftentimes, remakes deviate from what was done in the original movie. This is done for many reasons, but may actually hurt the remake. That is not the case with the editing style of these films, as the editing style of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory had a significant impact on the editing style of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The editing style and importance of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, directed by Mel Stuart, made it become one of the most beloved family classics of modern time. Through his editing, Stuart created a visually remarkable world that was considered ground breaking for the time period. Although it seems extremely outdated by today's standards, the world Stuart created was highly memorable and provides the launching point for Burton's film. Being a visual wizard, Burton takes the base canvas that was created by Stuart, and further enhances it with his unmistakable creative style. This allowed Burton to create a visual masterpiece, true to his unique standards, while maintaining many of the same characteristics of Stuart's film.

In comparison, both films are approximately the same in length, but are significantly different in pace and rhythm. The 1971 version, which is approximately one hour and forty minutes, is a very quick and fast paced film. Once inside the factory, the filmmakers did not spend much time in any individual room, which keeps the pace moving along. The 2005 version, approximately one hour and fifty-five minutes, feels more expansive, which adds more emphasis to the story of Charlie and the buckets. While this takes more time to tell the story, it does not detract from the story itself. Despite the difference, both films are adequately paced and keep viewers engaged the entire time.

The use of sound, light, and color in both of these films also help create the fantasy world both directors were striving for. Both films combine light, sound, and color in various ways to create differing levels of verisimilitude. The first world, which is the world outside of the factory, gives viewers a high level of verisimilitude. The use of lighting, sound, and color here create a world viewers can relate to, because it's a world similar to the one we live in. These aspects also contribute to a more realistic viewing experience when the story follows life outside the factory. Use of these same aspects in the second world, Mr. Wonka's factory, creates the opposite effect for viewers, and lacks verisimilitude. The outside lighting in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is more dark and dismal than in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which can be a reflection of the struggling economy that began in 2005.

The use of light also successfully conveys the difference between life and attitudes inside and outside of the factory. For example, both films show minimal lighting inside the Bucket household, giving the sense the family is poor. In contrast, the lighting is very different when the other children who find golden tickets are shown, which expresses the difference in social status of the various families. The lighting inside the factory in both versions is very bright and widespread, indicating

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