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Johnny Depp's ICONIC Willy Wonka.

"Can you imagine Augustus-flavored-chocolate-coated Gloop? Ew! No one would buy it."

By 'Vive AkughaPublished 2 years ago Updated about a year ago 22 min read
Image Credit-Screenshot from clown energy on YouTube.

Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory(2005) is another of his most known movies. I was inspired to watch it again as well as write about it after viewing clown energy's video. The video highlights the humour in the movie with good edits and references. The movie is 16 years old now and that's worthy of acknowledgment. Its predecessor Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and is worth acknowledging as well.

Video Credit-clown energy on YouTube.

**I have not watched Willy Wonka & the chocolate factory or read Roald Dahl's book which was seemingly banned according to a 2013 Buzzfeed article. "A Colorado library banned the book because it embraced a "poor philosophy of life." Additionally, since its publication in 1964, the book was under fire for comparing the Oompa Loompas to Africans." However, the 14 Classic Children's Books That Have Been Banned In America article also claimed that "The characters' descriptions were later changed in an edited version in 1988.". My write-up is solely based on Johnny Depp's performance and the Charlie and the chocolate factory movie.


This goes without saying but **Spoiler warning** for anyone that hasn't watched it yet and would like to do so before carrying on. Also, If you like this, you can get more of my articles when you subscribe to my account.


After being told about the mysterious Willy Wonka and introduced to him, we get his first comeback of many to Veruca(played by Julia Winter). This sets the tone of his attitude to everyone especially the children, with the exception of Charlie (played by Freddie Highmore), for the remainder of the movie. This was the beginning of many red flags that were acknowledged as odd but not dangerous. 

Another is the moment he speaks to Mrs.Gloop (played by Franziska Troegner) that asks what would become of her son, Augustus (played by Philip Wiegratz)after being sucked up the pipe. His response is he would never allow Augustus-flavored-chocolate-coated Gloop to be sold all over the world because the TASTE would be terrible and NO ONE WOULD BUY IT hahaha hahaha. 

This is the first proper indication that Willy Wonka is in fact a terrible person. The lashing out and lack of concern could be concluded to having a bad day, feeling stressed or whatever reason. However, this response to a worried mother indirectly stating his chocolate is more important than this boy's life is a great big RED FLAG for everyone else that can hear this. Then, he tells one of the Oompa Loompa's(played by Deep Roy) to "take a long stick and start poking around in the big chocolate mixing barrel" to find him. Is there a less demeaning way to find him? They could strain the chocolate and Augustus could get up because they won't use that batch either way.

Mr. Salt (played by James Fox), the guardians and children question the Oompa Loompas' musical number about Augustus claiming it seemed rehearsed and aware of what was going to happen while wondering why Augustus' name fits in the song that well. To which Willy says "poppycock"-the swear-sounding version of 'nonsense' and that the Oompa Loompas had improvised the song to silence their claims, as he does severally.

Image Credit-Screenshot from clown energy on YouTube.

This moment is shared with the start of Willy's expressed hate towards Mike(played by Jordan Fry) after he previously called him a "little devil". Mike disproves Willy's claim of his improvisation and the Augustus song being the same to which Willy silenced by telling him not to mumble because he can't understand anything he's saying. 

I noticed (honestly, you can't miss it)that Willy frequently has sinister glares. Is this just how he looks? Is he an evil villain? Because he looks elegant and regal enough to be a villain. 

If there was a counter for the glares, then: 

at the pipe coming towards Augustus, 

at Mr. Salt on the field, 

at the stopping boat, 

when in the boat, 

when the boat slowed down the first time from the tunnel ride, 

when speaking to Veruca about the whipped cream room, 

after he told Mrs.Beauregarde (played by Missi Pyle) what would happen to her daughter, 

when he said "to the incinerator" in the nut sorting room, 

when he opened the door for Mr.Salt to go after his daughter, 

when he told Mike to go ahead in picking a room, 

and when he said taffy puller again. 

I feel he may have believed everything that happened to each child was well-deserved and the possible outcome of their brief televised character portrayals.

Knowing that Augustus loves candy and chocolates, his warning to the children to calm down and not get over-excited coupled with his tone and facial expression seemed as if he was aware of something. Also, we get a foreshadowing of the pipe that sucks up the chocolate which would also suck up Augustus later.

His look at the pipe heading towards Augustus struggling in the chocolate river was menacing. He didn't say anything which could imply that Augustus deserved to be eliminated or get his comeuppance.

Image Credit-Screenshot from Willy Wonka on YouTube.

In the song about Augustus, the lyrics say "but don't, dear children, be alarmed. Augustus Gloop will not be harmed" to avoid any claims before they admitted he would "be altered quite a bit" as "Slowly wheels go round and round And cogs begin to grind and pound". 

Then, they followed it by saying "This greedy brute, this louse who's here" to highlight his love of candy that excited him as he left the chocolate bar he brought to eat from the bountiful field. However, the song ended by saying "For who can hate or bear a grudge, Against a luscious square of fudge?", therefore justifying his love of sweets. 

Violet (played by AnnaSophia Robb)insisted she could handle chewing the experimental bubblegum and became a living blueberry. She was taken to the juicing room where the Oompa Loompas' were to squeeze her "like a pimple". When Veruca asked Willy if she would be a blueberry forever, he said "No. Maybe. I don't know…But that's what you get from chewing gum all day. It's just disgusting". Her song states "This dreadful girl, she sees no wrong chewing, chewing, chewing, chewing, chewing, chewing, all day long" and they intend to "save miss Violet Beauregarde" from this. Another child getting their comeuppance.

Veruca decided she could get the squirrel she wanted and was held down as the people did in Gulliver's travel. It seemed as though Willy hesitated to find the key to the gate when her dad wanted to help her. This aided Veruca's elimination. He did try but it felt like he was intentionally stalling with the big bunch of keys. Before she was thrown down the garbage chute(that leads to the incinerator), he had said "Oh, my goodness. She is a bad nut, after all." when the squirrels knocked on her forehead. Another comeuppance ladies and gentlemen, another comeuppance.

With fear in the air, Willy felt the need to state, "But don't worry. We only light it on Tuesdays." said Willy Wonka FULLY AWARE THAT THIS DAY IS A TUESDAY. This is confirmed by Willy's irritated face when Mike says that day is a Tuesday. So she deserved it because she is "such a brat" as her song states. Also, they don't forget to throw her dad and a framed picture of her mum through the chute because "the guilty ones now this is sad are dear old mum and loving dad".

Mike decided to deviate from the plan and used the 'teleporter' after insulting Willy. As Mike was insulting, Willy had a look at the Oompa Loompa sitting beside him which could be identified in many words such as "I can't STAND this kid" but he turns back to the visitors with a slight smile. Mike is so awful that he didn't listen to his dad that told him to calm down and unnecessarily knocks down two Oompa Loompas while trying to get to the machine.

On his way, Willy says "Hey, little boy…Don't push my button.". This is a really good statement because it could be used in two ways for himself and for the actual button-warning him of the repercussions of 'transporting' and telling him not to piss him off any more than he already has. 

He HATES this child which is confirmed by Willy's slight smile as the machine begins and he calmed down. Knowing there are possible effects, he said "I sure hope no part of him gets left behind." and asked Mr. Teavee (played by Adam Godley) "If you had to choose only one half of your son, which one would it be?".

The lyrics of Mike's song states "Regarding little Mike Teavee. We very much regret that we, Shall simply have to wait and see, If we can get him back to shape, but if we can't…It serves him right.". He is the last child getting their comeuppance and the song boldly says serves him right.

Willy found most of these amusing with the enjoyable songs by Danny Elfman being performed. The musical numbers were really good and melodic albeit judgemental which is confirmed by Willy's remarks such as "Bravo! Well done!" and his clapping.

Image credit- A Collage of screenshots from Willy Wonka channel on YouTube.

The Oompa Loompas were always on time for their performances with each song detailing the ill manners of the children and parents. What is your favourite of the four songs? Mine is the Violet Beauregarde song. I recall Willy previously saying that they were mischievous and always making jokes, I wonder if that was a foreshadowing of the songs.

All these, represent his disapproval of children or at least children he deems awful and annoying. We know there is a difference because he doesn't snap or react poorly to Charlie, unlike the others.

Image Credit-Screenshot from clown energy on YouTube.

A hilariously childish example of this is his argument in the boat with the other children. Charlie and the guardians don't chime in, in the Willy Wonka versus the rotten kids' war. After Veruca cut him short, in irritation he tightened his gloved fist before he called them short. He looked for something to piss them off too. Their answer of still being children is not enough justification for Willy as he says that's not an excuse. When questioned about his height as a kid assuming he was probably short too, he said he was never as short as them stating he remembered putting a hat on top of his head which they could never reach with their "short little arms".

It's quite questionable or alarming that each child and guardian kept on with the tour knowing someone was recently eliminated and there's a possibility they could be next. There were several red flags to leave his factory and presence but after all the hard work to find the golden tickets and the promising prize, I guess you can understand their perseverance. Also, maybe some of them thought the children deserved what they got and did not expect it for themselves or their children. There was a face Veruca made when Violet started changing colour, it was a justifying expression that could indicate she thought Violet deserved it. This was very telling. From the point of Augustus Gloop's elimination, I believe the others should have been a little scared for their safety which is less than assured here. Being in proximity to this potentially harmful man should probably discourage people which is why I liked the moment Mr. Salt held his daughter after Willy returned from another flashback.

Image Credit-Screenshot from Willy Wonka on YouTube.

I had seen a few things about Willy deserving to be arrested or sued and it could be claimed that he had intent- to give his company to the "one who was the least rotten" which would require some form of elimination. 

However, it may be argued that the Oompa Loompas could have prepared their performances but only perform them if the children misbehaved. Willy could have felt they would but was quite surprised by some of their actions.

I think Willy might be able to get out of attempted child murder or child endangerment cases because he can claim he warned them and he did.

Augustus ("Hey, little boy, my chocolate must be untouched by human hands), Violet ("I'd rather you didn't. There are still one or two things that are little…" "Yeah. Spit it out" "I'm just a little concerned about the ["blueberry pie and ice cream"] That part" "Well, I told you I hadn't quite got it right, 'cause it goes a little funny when it gets to the dessert. It's the blueberry pie that does it." "I'm terribly sorry."),Veruca ("Little girl?" "Little girl? Uh, don't touch that squirrel's nuts. It'll make him crazy."), Mike ("Hey, little boy…Don't push my button"). It may not always be for their safety but he did warn them.

Collage of screenshots from Willy Wonka, Movieclips, Maia Dumatol and Willy Wonka on YouTube. (in the order of appearance from L-R)

I actually don't know if that would be good enough to free him from those claims but I think the warnings serve as a disclaimer- the ones given to the children and when entering the rooms. He could also say that the incidents were more of a cause and effect thing, that they caused their problems and got the effects. He didn't personally harm them, they were harmed or put in harms way due to their disobedience.

It is a huge factory and just like any tour everyone is warned to be safe and not touch anything until when you can, if you can. 

I had also seen some things about him probably having a mental disorder, I didn't carry on to see what it might be but I think that If he wanted to he could have really hurt them. For example, Mike would have not seen the light of day because he HATED that boy, LOATHED that child. His remark to Mike's size change and harmful song involvement was a flat "Oh, thank heavens. He's completely unharmed". During the Mike Teavee song, he was punched, squashed, flown and a victim to an attempted stabbing.

Most of them did not have permanent physical side effects as Mike and Violet probably did. There's also the fact that they walked through the path of burning puppets to get into the factory. Despite his warning to come quickly, it is still unusual and unsafe. So, they should be able to charge him. We are shown their departures from the factory after Charlie is chosen as the winner. The other children were fearful of what might happen while having possible regret during their songs but we see they were safe, not necessarily alright but alive. Augustus was still eating chocolate, Violet was still blue, Veruca was still rotten and Mike was thinner than his patience. In essence, not much changed to the children's attitudes but they may have had a change emotionally and mentally.

The idea that their eliminations were planned or that everything seemed staged could be supported by Willy saying "I had a hunch, you know, right from the beginning" as he congratulated Charlie.

Image Credit-Screenshot from Willy Wonka on YouTube.

Willy seems to be a very traumatized and hurt person. His employment of the Oompa Loompas from their dangerous homes could be seen as a good thing after their discussion and sealed deal. They get to be around more Cocoa beans which they adore and be safe from the harmful creatures that lived below. This could easily be a lie to tell the visitors but the Oompa Loompa's seem to be more of his friends that work than just workers. He has one that cuts his hair, one that listens to him as a therapist and he communicates freely with them. It could be said that they became his friends while living in isolation or they are his employed friends.

His life seems sad and the friction with his father is made known to us as he struggles to mention the word 'parent'. When Charlie asked if he remembered what it was like being a kid, Willy said "Oh boy, Do I" in confirmation but questioned himself saying "Do I?". During this moment, you witness the sadness flush his face from the previous smile. We are notified by the Narrator (voiced by Geoffrey Holder) that Willy had not thought about his childhood in years which could be the result of him trying to suppress it.

Willy Wonka is the son of the city's most famous dentist, Wilbur Wonka (played by Christopher Lee) and had to have exemplary teeth. The first flashback shows little Willy (played by Blair Dunlop) trick or treating with other kids then returning home with his candy. His father seemed truly terrifying as he talked about the effects of candy and chocolate. You feel bad and empathize with little Willy in his braces and orthodontic headgear asking if he could try a piece not knowing if he's allergic to Chocolate but his father asks why he should take a chance then throws it all into the fireplace as he watched.

Image credit-Screenshot from Willy Wonka on YouTube.

It's not just about his father being a dentist but Willy looked like it took everything in him to ask if he could try one. He was so saddened to see them burning after getting them during his trick-or-treat run. I noticed his costume was a white sheet with cut-out eyes representing a ghost while others were pirates or angels. It seemed to be a simple and maybe rushed costume like he was only allowed to go at the last minute to partake in this often joyous tradition. With his father's discomfort with candy and the effects, he strikes me as someone who might not allow their child to participate but he does saying "let's see what the damage is this year". This indicates Willy has gone before and maybe goes every year. His emotional change was clear from the time of trick or treating to the time he got home. Willy was smiling as he revealed himself to the lady who asked for the identity of the ghost but looked sad at home.

After his flashback, we return to grown Willy looking quite affected by it. Charlie asked if he remembered eating his first piece of candy, he said 'no' but he had another flashback that showed us the solution to his curiosity and the beginning of his love for chocolate and candy. The first piece of chocolate he ate was luckily unharmed in the fireplace and from that moment on this poor boy snuck to eat candies. He jotted the differences between each of them and this truly was the beginning of his aspiration to be a Chocolatier. He wasn't as affected by this flashback, although he got a seemingly traumatic flashback when Mike said "candy is a waste of time" which he heard in his dad's voice. He remembered those words and the memory of their argument which led him to run away.

Image credit-Screenshot from Willy Wonka on Youtube.

His father told him no son of his would be a chocolatier and said if Willy were to come back he wouldn't be there anymore. Willy returned home after an obstacle and the house was singled out, uprooted, and removed not even demolished. I know he told Willy he won't be there when he comes back but IT WAS THE SAME DAY and the house vanished?!!

Image credit-Screenshot from Willy Wonka on Youtube.

He was saddened, unloved, homeless and hateful. Chocolate and candy were his solaces. This is the reason he believes "a chocolatier has to run free and solo. Look at me, I had no family, and I'm a giant success". When speaking to Charlie about the terms of his offer, he basically called family weight "hanging over your neck like a dead goose" and should "consider that a bonus" if he doesn't see them again. These opinions express how he felt about his father and his limitations.

He couldn't understand that Charlie's family was THAT much of a necessity for Charlie to not leave with him calling it "unexpected and weird". This was new to him because he has never experienced or witnessed anything like that.

After some days, Willy's problems reflected in his candy and business. It's so intertwined in his life that art imitates life or life imitates art. If he's sad, the candy is bad but if he's alright, the candy is great. Like most creatives, this is a real issue that he didn't know how to tackle. He decided to pretend to be a normal customer at Charlie's shoe-shining spot but revealed himself to defend his haircut (as he should!). He asked what made Charlie feel better when he's sad and Charlie's response of family is so disappointing and disgusting he actually said 'ew'.

It's endearing how he baits Charlie to join him to visit his father as he said "at least not by myself". It also shows he's open to reconciliation and knew where his father moved to but was too upset.

His fear is shown as he lies thinking he might be at the wrong house.

THIS is the house in question. Image credit-Screenshot from Willy Wonka on YouTube.

His uneasiness is depicted by his expression seeing his father's nameplate. He probably reconsidered doing this before he speechlessly sees his dad.

It's also endearing that his father collected newspaper articles about his business and put them into an album with some framed as well in order to keep up with him. 

It was an emotional moment when his father realised that this was his son. Not much is shown about Willy Wonka especially without his glasses and hat. The pictures in the articles were far and from the gates, even the visitors did not know how he looked. Despite being his son, people change and he probably wouldn't have expected a visit, so this is believable. After a dental and character-related statement to portray a connection, they try to show emotion and hug. However, it seemed strange because it has probably never happened and they ended on awful terms. His father looked happy to see him and full of remorse as he seemed to appreciate the hug more than Willy. This could be seen as some closure for Willy knowing his dad loves him despite it not being said.

After Charlie accepted his repeated offer on the grounds that his family joins him, Willy seems to be a regular at the Buckets' residence. After one of their meetings, he accepted to stay for dinner saying "oh, yes, please". He seemed slightly uncomfortable but enthusiastic and pleased to be there.

Image Credit-Screenshot from clown energy on YouTube.

He may not like rotten children, the concept of family or most people but his encounter with Grandma Georgina (played by Liz Smith) was quite wholesome.

If he had a family, he wouldn't need to do the golden ticket search for an heir to his company. The movie ended with the Narrator saying "In the end, Charlie Bucket won a chocolate factory, but Willy Wonka got something even better - a family" which I agree to. It might not be his actual family or dad but the Buckets were nice to him and seemingly adopted him into their family.

To see my other opinions about other characters and side notes while watching the movie, click this below to read:

Johnny Depp's Willy Wonka was humourous, interestingly odd and questioned to be inspired by Michael Jackson, who was actually an option to be included in the movie but not for the Willy Wonka role.

An excerpt from a 2018 Mental Floss article (7 Movies That Could Have Starred Michael Jackson) claims:

When Jackson learned Warner Bros. had hired Tim Burton to reimagine Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - which had been previously filmed with Gene Wilder in 1971 - the singer became so preoccupied with being considered for the role of eccentric chocolatier Willy Wonka that he recorded a soundtrack to surprise studio executives. Although they loved the music, no one was behind the idea of casting him as Wonka. When they offered to pay an exorbitant sum for the soundtrack and give him a small supporting part, an offended Jackson dropped out of participating entirely. The role eventually went to Johnny Depp, who denied he based his portrayal on Jackson.

To visualize a possible inclusion, here is this deep fake video by Faux Studio.

Video Credit-Faux Studio on Youtube.

A 2005 CBS News article(Depp: Wonka Is No Michael Jackson) claims "Depp's demure voice, pasty complexion, perfectly bobbed locks, neo-Victorian garb and androgynous air seem to present a reflection of pop singer Jackson". 

However, Johnny Depp was surprised about this claim and stated in the article that "he based the way Wonka speaks on children's show hosts he remembers from his childhood. "How odd it was the way that they spoke…that bizarre, musical cadence to their speech pattern" and "Michael Jackson was not a sort of ingredient or inspiration for the character at all".

This article also detailed his inspiration for the iconic bob, "Depp said he figured Wonka had been a recluse for so long, he wouldn't know what a modern haircut looks like. "I just did this sort of strange, almost like a Brian Jones' kind of bob and supershort bangs. His line of reference would be very, very dated," Depp said".

The Willy Wonka craze carries on to this generation that still reference and celebrate him. There is a Willy Wonka Youtube channel. Also, there is Willy Wonka TikTok account (@ willywonkatiktok)which was made and run by Duke Depp. Duke embodies the Wonka character with a similar outfit and speaking cadence.

This TikTok was really special because he performed the dance from the movie with Deep Roy who played the Oompa Loompas. They actually had two videos together doing the dance routines to the Augustus Gloop and Violet Beauregarde songs. Roy is also on TikTok as @ realdeeproy.

I had also seen this great TikTok video by @ kukombo.

One of my favourite parts of the movie was remembering this character was played by Johnny Depp. I know he's no stranger to transformative characters but it was still interesting to me and I had to see him doing the accent as himself. I love it when I see these types of videos, so I was excited to see the change from his voice to Willy or him doing the voice out of character and found this:

Video Credit-YielDepphead on YouTube from 0:00 to 0:26.

The movie does have its dark moments and undertones but it is enjoyably hilarious which is the balance they were striking for and in my opinion, achieved. The humorous parts are why I appreciate watching clown energy's video because it became evident to me.

Everyone did such a great job in the movie, it's visually stunning, the actors portrayed their characters very well especially the child actors, wow! and there were so many great facial expressions. 

I watched this movie on Netflix and may have missed some content but it had such a rich quality. It was a pleasant watching experience.

I cover other thoughts, my lesson from the movie and a probable theory of Charlie's importance in my side notes article above. I enjoyed writing this and I hope you enjoyed reading it. 

Also, because "the best kind of prize is a SURPRISE", I found a video that shows the wonderful behind-the-scenes in the creation of this movie.

Feel free to subscribe to my profile.

ENJOY the behind-the-scenes, Starshine!

Video credit- Ethan Hart on YouTube

If you enjoyed this, for more of my articles:

  • you can check through the Geeks category on my profile
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About the Creator

'Vive Akugha

I write on various things: social issues, well-being, cinema and out of curiosity. More!

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