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 CATCF Discussion Question #2 Willy Wonka, he's a genius who just can't be beat
captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 16 2007, 05:29 AM


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Originally Posted by Karen
on 7/26/05 at 05:38 AM

Dahl describes Wonka:
"And oh, how clever he looked! How quick and sharp and full of life! He kept making quick jerky little movements with his head, cocking it this way and that, and taking everything in with his bright twinkling eyes. He was like a squirrel in the quickness of his movements, like a quick clever old squirrel from the park."

The Burton/Depp interpretation of Willy Wonka differs slightly from the Dahl description in the book....how do you think they kept Wonka true to the essence of the book? Did it work for you? Do you think they missed the Wonka mark?
How? When?
What worked for you about Wonka and the spirit of the book...what, if anything, didn't?


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captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 16 2007, 05:32 AM


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MerryK

It worked for me. When I read that, I thought of Willy/Johnny when he'd get really excited about something and he would sort of react in that manner.. the eyes would get bigger and brighter.. and he'd move his head about in a certain fashion. And the way he'd get excited when he'd talk. I think they hit it pretty well on the mark.


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captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 16 2007, 05:33 AM


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Jeppody

Yep, I think they hit the mark too. Especially in the parts like the first time we meet Wonka watching the puppet show, he is so excited and bouncy. I'm glad he wasn't like it the whole way through though. The sly looks, that grin that doesn't quite reach his eyes, they are perfect for showing the darker side of the charater. He was quite wicked sometimes too, like when he was searching for the correct key in the Nut Room. It was so obvious that he was playing for time, but the expressions were priceless.
I have a feeling that I am not going to find a single thing to complain about in this discussion.....which is an oddity in itself for me!! lol


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I'm Captain Jack Sparrow, savvy
captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 16 2007, 05:34 AM


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MadScntst

I love how excited Willy got when he was explaining his new inventions (ha, well, I am a scientist, so of course I would love this!!). I agree that he's not necessarily always showing a physical "quickness" per se, and there are definitely many times during the movie when he's deliberately slow and methodical. But when he is describing his experiments and inventions, he seems to lose himself in his enthusiasm and exhuberance, and becomes very childlike. And this seems to me to be the spirit of Willy that Dahl was going for.


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captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 16 2007, 05:36 AM


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captainjacksparrow

The books description of Willy Wonka also states that he was a little man, his trousers were green, his gloves were pearly gray, he carried a fine gold topped walking cane and his chin...he had a small neat pointed black beard-a goatee....
But, I dont think these things were needed to fullful the final outcome.
The kicker is........"his eyes were most marvelously bright. They seemed to be sparkling and twinkling at you all the time. The whole face, in fact, was alight with fun and laughter."
This is where they hit the nail on the head......


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captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 16 2007, 05:37 AM


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Karen

I know I've read somewhere, that Johnny wanted the lavender contacts so that his eyes would sparkle/shine....


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captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 16 2007, 05:38 AM


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BarbToo

Luckily, Johnny carried the sparkle in his behavior and voice, too. The place I saw it must have had problems with their projecting. It was my first experience at an IMAX, but the eyes were a dark, midnight blue, at best. You could seldom even see anything other than just black dots where the purple I had so wanted to see should have been.
I think Johnny's spry and upbeat characterization of Willy Wonka was dead on. Any more physical activity on his part and I'd have felt I was watching a movie about elves or wood nymphs or something on that order... and not about an individual entity like Willy Wonka.
Did I answer the right question? LOL


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captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 16 2007, 05:39 AM


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Karen

You answer works for me! LOL


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captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 16 2007, 05:40 AM


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deppraved

It's a shame they didn't give Depp's Wonka a pointy black goatee. And Dahl's Wonka seemed much more delighted to have the children there, greeted them more graciously..but!
The essence of Wonka was there for me, courtesy of August, Burton and Depp. It definitely worked for me. Some of Johnny's movements were smooth, and some were quick. And I'm so glad he saw fit to go ahead and do a little bouncing and hand "waving". Dancing, if you will, but calling it dancing is a stretch, but it's as close as Johnny comes, lol. Wonka channeled though Johnny was sheer delight, and the continued top place at the box-office bears this out, no?


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captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 16 2007, 05:42 AM


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ForeverinmyheartJD

At first I thought Willy Wonka was lacking in the "quick movements" area that we read about so much in the book. But as others have already mentioned (and I thank you because I wouldn't have been so clear in my descriptions), was what he lacked in physcial quickness, he definately made up for with mental quickness. (I like how those of you described it that way). Now I have only seen the movie twice (I know, I know, I'm getting to #3), but I think I can see the quickness we are looking for in the way he walks as there is some quickness to it (note to self to study more of this on viewing #3). But I have to admit, that deep down inside, I wish there had been just a little bit more of that shown. Hope that makes sense.
As for the goatee, I had a thought. Remember last year when the (was it the MTV Movie Awards) were on and Johnny was presented with the award sitting on the boat, etc etc. We all saw the goatee then and that was right before or as filming began. I remember alot of comments then about there's Willy Wonka. I began to think about this when we first started seeing trailers for the movie and wondering why doesn't he have the goatee. I thought that maybe without it, his face is more "childlike" (does that make sense?). And that perhaps Tim Burton wanted Willy Wonka to come across as more childlike than maybe he would have if he had kept the goatee. Just a thought.


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captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 16 2007, 05:43 AM


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Karen

Good thought about the childlike face....and I wondered if he would have resembled Capt Jack Sparrow a bit too much with the goatee. Burton/Depp wanted Wonka pale and gaunt.....maybe facial hair would have distracted from the overall fragile look?


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captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 16 2007, 05:44 AM


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deppraved

Brilliant deduction on both your parts. Yes, Karen I think a goatee would have made Willy look too much like CJS. Also, WW was described and illustrated as short in the book, and Johnny was made to look long and lean; he wore the "cha-cha heels" to do the trick, and he made that crack about how short the kids were. That was definitely a departure from the book.


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