The Lights Go Dim in The Chocolate Factory

I saw Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when it first hit the movie theaters in the early 70’s. I think I was about 11 or 12, but even at that age when I was supposed to be way too cool for movies like this –  I loved it. I don’t remember being afraid to admit it either and I loved Gene Wilder.

I remember a few years later going to see Young Frankenstein when it first came out as well. I can still watch that movie and laugh just as hard as I did back then. There were plenty of other movies, but those were the two that made the impression on me. They were the ones that brought Gene Wilder front and center for me.

Willy Wonka has become one of DC’s favorite all-time movies and I am glad I was able to introduce him to something that meant so much to me during my childhood and that he loves it just as much if not more that I did. It is a classic and it is timeless. Willy Wonka and Gene Wilder will live on forever in our hearts.

In honor of my and DC’s love for the great Gene Wilder, I am re-running an “Everything is Related” post from last year.

RIP Gene Wilder…..

Everything is related – Willy Wonka

In a few weeks we will be leaving for our trip to London.

One of the items on our agenda is going to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – The Musical at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. DC is so very excited. Willy Wonka has been a favorite of DC’s since I can remember.

Wonka through the years

Wonka through the years

In honor of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – The Musical – here is the third installment in the “Everything is Related Series” – you can find the first and second here and here.

Among the many other reasons:

  – Everything being related, has helped him to move on to a more diverse realm of TV shows and movies (while still loving all of the originals he has loved since he was a baby). When attending an ARC movie activity or even just a movie night with friends, for instance, a Disney or animated movie may not be the choice of the others attending. Relating one movie or actor to another has helped him to be more open to watching something that may not be Disney-based.

For the first time so far in this series, we do not begin with Disney. DC, for some reason decided that Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, even though not a Disney Movie was just fine with him. He has been watching it for years. I’m sure I had to bring it to his attention originally but this one he actually liked the first time around (this is not always the case – he hated Shrek – refused to watch it for the longest time. Now he is Shrek’s biggest fan).

Yes I do realize that Willy Wonka does not have much to do with London, but I am going with it anyway.

It is entirely possible that Jack Albertson had something to do with DC green-lighting Willy Wonka. Jack Albertson was “the voice of” Amos Slade in The Fox and The Hound…..

and there it is…..

the Disney connection.

DC knows “the voice of” just about any Disney character you can name. His love of the original Willy Wonka brought him to the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie and to Johnny ‘Deep” (DC-speak). For quite awhile after that version came out, I did hear quite often that it was “Not ‘Jen Wonder’ (Gene Wilder)”, but I think he just felt the need to tell me that. It did not deter him from watching. Johnny ‘Deep’ opened up a whole new world for him, some Disney based…

DC as the Mad Hatter

DC as the Mad Hatter

..and some not – but he was instrumental in getting him to watch other types of movies. As I said in the first post and above – it is important for him to be open to other movies when he is attending an activity or out with his friends.

When DC was younger he did seem to like the Harry Potter movies. The books were just too much for him at the time. I was always on a hunt for Harry Potter type books that were a little less intimidating for him. I was really never successful, but I did come across the Spiderwick Chronicles Series. I bought him all of the books that were available at the time and I discovered that there was even a movie out on DVD. I tried desperately to read these books with him every night and I tried and tried to get him to watch the movie. He was not having any of it.  So, after years of them sitting on the shelf collecting dust, I finally gave up and got rid of them.

It was only a year or two ago that I was flipping channels in the living room, not really paying attention when DC ran in screaming “Freddie Highmore, Freddie Highmore!!!” – I had no idea who that was or why he was screaming.

“Charlie Bucket! Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!!!”

The Spiderwick Chronicles was on TV and he was so excited. He watched the entire thing – which is a big deal since it was a weekend and he was giving up some computer time to watch – and yes, we did have to go out and buy  the DVD and the books all over again. This movie that I tried so hard to get him to watch when he was younger is now among his favorites.

The original Willy Wonka is by far his favorite version. Meeting the real Mike-TeeVee saved him from an anxiety attack at NY ComicCon a few years ago.

But , Johnny ‘Deep” has broadened his horizons.

DC’s latest obsession is the latest version of “Into the Woods” with Johnny ‘Deep’. He does have the original version from the 80’s or 90’s but this new version is without a doubt his new favorite movie.

He randomly will announce to me that ‘Merue Strip’ plays the wicked witch, just in case I have forgotten……

Meryl Streep………yes! I can work with that!

But it all began, long ago with Gene Wilder.