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CHARLIE AND THE
USA & UK: Warner Bros Pictures
Cast: Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, David Kelly, Helena Bonham Carter, Noah Taylor Missie Pyle, James Foxx, Deep Roy, Chistopher Lee, Adam Godley, Franziska Troegner, Annasophia Robb, Julia Winter, Jordon Fry, Philip Wiegratz, Blair Dunlop, Liz Smith, Eileen Essell, David Morris, Nitin Ganatra, Shelley Conn, Chris Cresswell, Phil Philmar, Tony Kirwood, Todd Boyce, Nayef Rashed, Menis Yousry, Harry Taylor, Hubertus Geller, Francesca Hunt, Garrick Hagon, Kevin Eldon, Mark Heap, Roger Frost, Oscar James, Colette Appleby, Debora Weston, Annette Badland, Stephen Hope-Wynne, Geoffrey Holder (narrator)
Director: Tim Burton
Countries: USA & UK
USA & UK: 115 mins
US Rated: PG for quirky situations, action and mild language
UK Certificate: PG contains mild language and peril
USA Release Date: 15 July 2005
UK Release Date: 29 July 2005
Twice a day, on his way to and from school, little Charlie Bucket had to walk right past the gates of the factory. And every time he went by he would begin to walk very, very slowly, and he would hold his nose high in the air and take long deep sniffs of the gorgeous chocolatey smell all around him. Oh, how he loved that smell! And oh, how he wished he could go inside the factory and see what it was like.
- Roald Dahl - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Acclaimed director Tim Burton brings his vividly imaginative style to the beloved Roald Dahl classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, about eccentric chocolatier Willy Wonka (Johnny Depp) and Charlie Bucket (Freddie Highmore), a good-hearted boy from a poor family who lives in the shadow of Wonka's extraordinary factory.
Most nights in the Bucket home, dinner is a watered-down bowl of cabbage soup, which young Charlie gladly shares with his mother (Helena Bonham Carter) and father (Noah Taylor) and both pairs of grandparents. Theirs is a tiny, tumbledown, drafty old house but it is filled with love. Every night, the last thing Charlie sees from his window is the great factory, and he drifts off to sleep dreaming about what might be inside.
For nearly fifteen years, no one has seen a single worker going in or coming out of the factory, or caught a glimpse of Willy Wonka himself, yet, mysteriously, great quantities of chocolate are still being made and shipped to shops all over the world.
One day Willy Wonka makes a momentous announcement. He will open his famous factory and reveal "all of its secrets and magic" to five lucky children who find golden tickets hidden inside five randomly selected Wonka chocolate bars.
Nothing would make Charlie's family happier than to see him win but the odds are very much against him as they can only afford to buy one chocolate bar a year, for his birthday.
Indeed, one by one, news breaks around the world about the children finding golden tickets and Charlie's hope grows dimmer. First there is gluttonous Augustus Gloop, who thinks of nothing but stuffing sweets into his mouth all day, followed by spoiled Veruca Salt, who throws fits if her father doesn't buy her everything she wants. Next comes Violet Beauregarde, a champion gum chewer who cares only for the trophies in her display case, and finally surly Mike Teavee, who's always showing off how much smarter he is than everyone else.
But then, something wonderful happens. Charlie finds some money on the snowy street and takes it to the nearest store for a Wonka Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight, thinking only of how hungry he is and how good it will taste. There, under the wrapper is a flash of gold. It's the last ticket. Charlie is going to the factory! His Grandpa Joe (David Kelly) is so excited by the news that he springs out of bed as if suddenly years younger, remembering a happier time when he used to work in the factory, before Willy Wonka closed its gates to the town forever. The family decides that Grandpa Joe should be the one to accompany Charlie on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Once inside, Charlie is dazzled by one amazing sight after another. Wondrous gleaming contraptions of Wonka's own invention churn, pop and whistle, producing ever new and different edible delights. Crews of merry Oompa-Loompas mine mountains of fudge beside a frothy chocolate waterfall or ride a translucent, spun-sugar, dragon-headed boat down a chocolate river past crops of twisted candy cane trees and edible mint-sugar grass. Marshmallow cherry creams grow on shrubs, ripe and sweet. Elsewhere, a hundred trained squirrels on a hundred tiny stools shell nuts for chocolate bars faster than any machine and Wonka himself pilots an impossible glass elevator that rockets sideways, slantways and every which way you can think of through the vast and fantastic factory.
Almost as intriguing as his fanciful inventions is Willy Wonka himself, a gracious but most unconventional host. He thinks about almost nothing but candy - except, every once in a while, when he suddenly seems to be thinking about something that happened long ago, that he can't quite talk about. It's been said that Wonka hasn't stepped outside the factory for years. Who he truly is and why he has devoted his life to making sweets Charlie can only guess.
Meanwhile, the other children prove to be a rotten bunch, so consumed with themselves that they scarcely appreciate the wonder of Wonka's creations. One by one, their greedy, spoiled, mean-spirited or know-it-all personalities lead them into all kinds of trouble that force them off the tour before it's even finished.
When only little Charlie Bucket is left, Willy Wonka reveals the final secret, the absolute grandest prize of all: the keys to the factory itself. Long isolated from his own family, Wonka feels it is time to find an heir to his candy empire, someone he can trust to carry on with his life's work and so he devised this elaborate contest to select that one special child.
What he never expects is that his act of immeasurable generosity might bring him an even more valuable gift in return.