Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (Blu-ray)

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
8 out of 10
Extras Rating:
7 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: G

Starring:
Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka
Jack Albertson as Grandpa Joe
Peter Ostrum as Charlie Bucket
Roy Kinnear as Mr. Salt
Julie Dawn Cole as Veruca Salt
Leonard Stone as Mr. Beauregarde
Denise Nickerson as Violet Beauregarde
Nora Denney as Mrs. Teevee
Paris Themmen as Mike Teevee
Ursula Reit as Mrs. Gloop
Michael Bollner as Augustus Gloop
Diana Sowle as Mrs. Bucket
Aubrey Woods as Bill
David Battley as Mr. Turkentine
GŁnter Meisner as Mr. Slugworth

Special Features:
Delectable Documentary Pure Imagination: The Story of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
Mouth-Watering Commentary with the Wonka Kids
4 Scrumptious Sing-Along Songs
Tasty Vintage Featurette
38-Page Book
Theatrical Trailer

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese, French Language
Norwegian, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, Danish, Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese, French Subtitles
Running Time: 100 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the film:

"Join the expedition visiting legendary Candy Man Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) in a splendiferous movie that wondrously brings to the screen the endlessly appetizing delights of Roald Dahl's classic book. Coated with flavorful tunes and production design that constantly dazzles the eye, this effervescent musical never fails to enchant young and old. On a whirlwind tour of Willy's incredible, edible realm of chocolate waterfalls, elfish Oompa-Loompas and industrial-sized confections, a boy named Charlie (Peter Ostrum) will discover the sweetest secret of all: a generous, loving heart. And you'll rediscover the timeless magic of a delicious family classic. "

"Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" is rated G.

Mini-Review:
"Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" finally gets the Blu-ray treatment with this release. This is one of those movies that fascinated me and terrified me as a kid. The story was great, the factory was cool, and every kid wanted to be like Charlie and inherit a candy factory. And the music is still memorable today. "The Candy Man," "Pure Imagination," "I've Got A Golden Ticket," and the "Oompa Loompa Song" can be quoted by people 38 years later. But there were elements that were the stuff of nightmares. Let's face it, the Oompa Loompas were creepy. And each of the kids were taken out one by one in somewhat scary ways (Sucked up a pipe? Blown up and blue? Dropped in an incinerator??) Then there's the trippy ride in the boat with the insane Wonka. Who thought to flash a chopped off chicken head in the background? This movie was equal parts great and terrifying. It's well worth inflicting on kids today.

The Blu-ray picture looks pretty good, but I can't say it blew me away like some other restored classics. The bonus features are surprisingly minimal, but they cover most of what you'd want to hear about on the making of the movie. "Pure Imagination: The Story of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" covers the making of the movie. You discover that Quaker Oatmeal financed the film in order to promote a new candy bar they were going to sell. You also get to see all the kids now as adults. It's very interesting to hear their stories and see what they're doing now. Peter Ostrum is almost unrecognizable and is now a vet. All the kids also get together to provide the audio commentary. Rounding out the bonus features are some sing alongs and a vintage feature on the production design.

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