This film far exceeded my expectations.
Let’s be honest. Burton is WEIRD, and so is Depp. I got a little freaked out just watching Depp in the previews. He looked like a manicured Michael Jackson after a Mary Kay party.
But the kids begged me to see it. Since it was clean and seemed harmless…I caved.
Next thing I know, my wife and I are laughing on the couch with our kids, thoroughly enjoying ourselves. Maybe it was because my expectations were so low…but I have to admit, this is probably my favorite Tim Burton film.
The story is the most recent version of the classic Roald Dahl book where a young boy wins a tour through the most magnificent chocolate factory in the world, led by the world's most unusual candy maker. This is the second time the story has been made into a film, the first, a classic, starring Gene Wilder 34 years ago in 1971. Some critics will disagree, but I think the first film has been surpassed.
The characters are fun and unique, in a Burtonesque way. Charlie and his grandfather are lovable, and the other kids and their parents are detestable. There’s a clear line between good and bad.
Willie’s flashbacks are hilarious. Christopher Lee plays his father, a dentist who seems to enjoy causing his son grief, a role only outdone by Steve Martin in Little Shop of Horrors.
You’ll love the headgear that young Willie is forced to wear.
Although bizarre, this film is the kind that everyone walks away from smiling—the film provided a good combination of humor and heart. And your kids will be asking you if they can watch it again. Definitely worth it.
SHOULD KIDS SEE IT?
Sure. It was very mild, even for Tim Burton. Very little kids might be a little frightened when kids fall or get sucked into various parts of the factory.
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):
- What are some of the messages or themes you observed in this movie?
- How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this movie?
- How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this movie to actually living out those opinions?