Mike Teavee is a violence-obsessed, anger-fueled television fanatic, who is seldom away from his television set. Like Violet Beauregarde he is American in the films, but his nationality is not stated in the book. Before the tour with his parents to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, Mike's parents felt that television was a good choice for raising a child, as they believed they could always keep track of him and lay his food right by the TV. He is the fourth of the children to find a Golden Ticket, and is also the fourth to be expelled from the tour (in the final version of the book), leaving Charlie Bucket as the last child remaining. Unlike the other finders, the novel gives no explanation as to how Mike found his Golden Ticket because he talks only about his television obsession at his newspaper interview, especially his preference for the violent programs and expresses annoyance at the press for disrupting his viewing. He also becomes very angry when his parents stop him from watching his shows, as shown at the end of the book when his father declares that the television will be tossed out of the window when they return home, as a direct result of Mike's behavior. His father, out of both of Mike's parents, is thus the most critical of his son; he even screams at his son to "shut up!" in the book.
In the novel. nine-year-old Mike is particularly obsessed with violent gangster films. He wore "no less than eighteen toy pistols of various sizes hanging from belts around his body," and he liked to act out gangster shootings wherein the characters were "pumping each other full of ,
Mike in the 1971 filmEdit
Mike was played by Paris Themmen in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, in which his last name was spelled as "Teevee" in the credits. Mike, hailing from Marble Falls, Arizona, is dressed in a cowboy outfit complete with a hat, a fringed jacket, a cap gun, and a red bandana in imitation of his favorite western TV show. He openly wishes he could have a real gun, a Colt 45, to which his father replies with a warm smile, "Not till you're twelve, son." Again, Mike is far more interested in his television than his Golden Ticket and expresses annoyance at the news reporters for disrupting his viewing, and only diverts his attention from the TV set long enough to listen to what Slugworth is whispering in his ear. When the children are asked to sign a contract prior to the tour that forbids them from divulging Wonka's secrets, Mike remarks, "I saw this in a movie once. A guy signed his wife's insurance policy, then he bumped her off." He signs his name as "Mike T.V." as he is saying this.
Unlike the 2005 adaptation, Mike does not have an aversion to chocolate, and is seen eating candy in the Chocolate Room. He also gets along fairly well with Charlie. He appears younger then the other children, they are all a pre-teen age while he is around 8 or 9 years old.
Mike in the 2005 filmEdit
In the 2005 film, 13-year-old Mike (portrayed by Jordan Fry) is more arrogant but still has a more contemporary wardrobe in lieu of cowboy attire, now wearing a skull t-shirt and dark jeans with Converse sneakers. He now resides in Denver, Colorado, and his interests include the Internet and video games (especially gory first-person shooters) in addition to television viewing. He is confrontational with Wonka, who pretends not to understand what Mike is saying, opining that Mike shouldn't mumble so much, providing a contrast between Wonka's thought process of imagination versus Mike's thought process based solely on logic. He also only smiles once (during his scene where he teleports himself through the Television Chocolate machine). He only talks with Charlie one time in the movie, but seems to understand his family's problems beneath his anger. His theatrical poster show him holding a PlayStation 1 controller.
Mike is (grudgingly) more willing to talk about his Golden Ticket than his previous incarnations and provides an explanation as to how he found it, which he never did in the book or the previous film (albeit as he is playing video games). He proves to be both scientifically and economically literate: he finds his Golden Ticket by analyzing both the Nikkei Index and the datecodes of the other ticket finds, offset by the weather that day, and then calculating the location of the next ticket, thus requiring him to purchase only a single Wonka Bar. He also states that he doesn't even like chocolate and only wanted the ticket to test himself, which Grandpa George finds particularly insulting. His father (Adam Godley), who later serves as Mike's tour chaperone, laments during the press conference about his inability to understand his son's thought processes, while bemoaning children's obsession with modern technology in general. Mrs. Teavee, however, doesn't seem to mind Mike's obsessions.
When the five children first enter the facility, Mike is the only one whom Wonka addresses by name, adding, "You're the little devil who cracked the system." (implying he hacked the distribution of the Wonka bars). He gets along very well with Charlie (as in the 1971 movie) and jumps in shock at seeing Veruca being chased by angry worker squirrels. For some reason, in spite of his claim that everything in the factory is "completely pointless", he seems impressed by Fudge Mountain.
Mike in the video gamesEdit
In the 1985 video game based off of the book, Mike's level consists on the player having to avoid various "TV men" to collect the choclate bars that lie around. In the 2005 film's game, Mike's story is far more explained. During chapter 3, Mike notices that Wonka's robots are not efficient enough and decides to upgrade them himself, which causes a massive short-circuit that makes the robots hostile (and turning them into the game's enemies). His endgame at the Television Room is the same as in the movie, only his shrinking damages the Television Chocolate's circuits, which causes Charlie to go inside the machine to fix the problem.
In the novel and both films, Mike is shrunk when he disobeys Wonka's request to stay away from the Television Chocolate camera. In an attempt to distribute free samples of Wonka's candy, Television Chocolate was intended to send larger-than-life-sized Wonka Bars through television sets around the world. After the bar is teleported by the camera, it is shrunk down to normal size, and can then be extracted from the television set and consumed. The Television Chocolate camera transmits Mike to a television set across the room, shrinking him to a size that enabled him to fit within the screen. Prior to this, Wonka says he has not yet released Television Chocolate to the public because he is still trying to work out problems with the Television Chocolate camera; one time when the Oompa Loompas experimented with the camera only half a bar of chocolate materialized, and that could be Mike's fate. In the book, Mr. Teavee remarks "Let us hope it is the top half" while Mrs. Teavee expresses horror. In the 2005 film, Mr. Teavee thinks Wonka is being absurd asking a question about which half of Mike would he prefer. Wonka orders him to be stretched to his normal size in the gum-stretching machines (taffy pullers in both films) but the transform him into a thin giant. Wonka suggests that every basketball team in the country would now be looking for him. In the 2005 film, Mike is left with a very high, squeaky voice after being shrunk, and his thin, overstretched figure was seen leaving the factory after the tour, where stated other than Wonka's reassurance to Charlie that Mike would be okay when he leaves with his mom and that he would continue watching TV like normal children, but he would perhaps be wiser.
In the book and the first film, Mike sends himself through the Television Chocolate machine simply due to his television fanaticism. In the novel, when his parents lament the loss of his ability to attend school or engage in society, he asserts his retained ability to watch television, whereupon his father finally blames the television set for Mike's behavior and attitude, and swears to "throw it out the window" once they get home, much to Mike's anger. This can be used in the theatrical versions if a director chooses to show the parents of the "rotten" children realizing the errors in raising them, but recent real-world studies reveal it just makes a child's anger worse. Mike's demise was also supposed to come before Miranda Piker's as well.
In the 2005 movie, Mike sends himself through the machine to demonstrate its potential use as a teleporter, after becoming frustrated that Wonka never considered using the machine in any other context beyond distribution of his products. After realizing that he has been shrunk by his trip through the machine after his mistake, Mike tells Wonka to "put him back through the other way" and return him to normal size, but unfortunately the process is irreversible. Wonka then suggests to stretch him in the taffy stretcher, but unfortunately, just like the blue form of Violet Beauregarde, Mike's new form of a paper-thin giant is seemingly permanent.
Mike Teavee songEdit
This song took place in the factory's Television Room, and was sung by the Oompa Loompas after Mike was shrunk while trying to use the camera to teleport himself into the in-room television screen. In the book, they sing that too much TV viewing is unhealthy and detrimental for the minds of children, and that children should read books instead of just watching TV; the song in the original film and theatrical shows conveys the same message but only gives reading books as a suggestion rather than an imperative. In the 2005 film, the song suggests that television is bad for young minds, and it makes children "dull and blind", as mentioned in the novel.
The 2005 version of the song is performed as Mike finds himself jumping from, and interacting with, one television program after another while an Oompa Loompa changes channels with a remote control: he flips through a heavy metal music video, a Psycho-style shower scene, two other Oompa Loompas playing Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, a WNN (Wonka News Network) news broadcast, a cooking show, and a parody of a Beatles concert. All of the performers on all the channels are Oompa Loompas.
In the theatrical adapatations, his song is called "I See It All on TV", which also mentions his love of video games, his cell phone and his personal computer like the 2005 Mike. In addition, the play version of Mike thinks that reading books and traveling is for "wimpy kids", something that his parents agree with until they leave the factory.