The book and the film adaptations both vividly depict an odd Willy Wonka, a phoenix-like man arising from his creative and eccentric genius. He bewilders the other characters with his antics, but Charlie enjoys Mr. Wonka's behavior. In the 2005 film adaptation, Willy Wonka's behavior is viewed more as a sympathetic character flaw, but in the 1971 film adaptation, Wonka tells Charlie he "can't live forever", so he wanted to find a sweet child to who he could entrust his candy making secrets.
1971 film adaptationEdit
Candy-maker Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) has hidden five Golden Tickets amongst his famous "Wonka Bars." The finders of these special tickets will be given a full tour of his tightly guarded candy factory as well as a lifetime supply of chocolate. The contest sets off a global craze, with everyone desperately seeking the tickets. They are eventually found by five children from around the world: Augustus Gloop from West Germany, Violet Beauregarde and Mike Teevee from the United States, and Veruca Salt and Charlie Bucket from the United Kingdom.
Before the tour of the factory can begin, Willy insists the participants sign a confidentiality form. As the children and their guardians enter the chocolate factory, among the many wonders seen, they notice strange looking people whom Wonka introduces as Oompa-Loompas, Willy Wonka's short, orange, green haired workers whom he saved from the wild beasts of Loompaland.
The Chocolate Room is the first room encountered in the tour. Wonka States that everything in this room is edible: the pavements, the bushes, even the grass. In reality, only about 50 percent of the things in the room were edible. There are trees made of taffy that grow jelly apples, bushes that sprout lollipops, mushrooms that spurt whipped cream, pumpkins filled with sugar cubes instead of seeds, jelly bean stalks, and even spotty candy cubes. The main features of the room is the Chocolate River where the chocolate is mixed and churned by waterfall. Willy Wonka proclaims, "There is no factory in the world that mixes its chocolate by waterfall." Pipes that are connected to the ceiling suck up the chocolate and send it to other rooms of the factory; Augustus Gloop is sucked into the pipe to the Fudge Room after falling into the river while drinking from it.
The Inventing Room is the second room that the tour goes through. Mr. Wonka states that all of his ideas are simmering and bubbling in this room, and that Slugworth will give his false teeth to stay inside for five minutes. The room is home to Wonka's new (and still insufficiently tested) candies, such as Everlasting Gobstoppers, exploding candy and Wonka's greatest idea so far, The Three-Course Dinner Chewing Gum. This gum is a three course dinner all in itself, "Tomato Soup", Roast Beef & Baked Potato, and the dessert, Blueberry Pie". However, once the chewer gets to the dessert, there is a side effect: they turn into a giant "blueberry". This happens to Violet Beauregarde after she rashly grabs and consumes the experimental gum.
Violet is subsequently taken to the Juicing Room to be squeezed before she explodes. The tour then leaves the Inventing Room.
2005 film adaptationEdit
Willy Wonka is portrayed by Johnny Depp in this remake. However, many changes were put into the character: He acts childish because of his troubled childhood, and therefore does not take any interest in the kids.
One day, Willy informs the world of a contest, in which five Golden Tickets have been placed in five random Wonka Bars worldwide, and the winners will be given a full tour of the factory as well as a lifetime supply of chocolate, while one ticket holder will be given a special prize at the end of the tour. After all five of the tickets are found, Willy greets Charlie and the other ticket holders outside the factory and leads the group into the facility.
Throughout the movie, Willy has flashbacks to his troubled childhood.
During the tour, each of the bad children disobey his orders with something related to their individual character flaws. Augustus begins to drink the chocolate river until he overbalances and falls into the river and is sucked into a pipe. After a fast boat ride, the tour then progresses to the Inventing Room, where Violet chews on an experimental piece of gum against Wonka's orders. She then transforms into a large blueberry. Later on Veruca wants to buy a squirrel from the Nut room and when Wonka and her father refuse to get her one, she goes into the room herself. But when she goes to grab a squirrel, all of the squirrels team up and throw her down the chute, and then later send her father down the chute as well.
Later on, the last two kids, Mike Teavee and Charlie Bucket, enter the Great Glass Elevator with him, and Mike picks the Television room. Once there, Willy demonstrates his latest invention, Television Chocolate, which is seemingly impossible as he clearly has no clue about how science and television work. When Mike tries to teach him the basics, he dismisses it as mumbling. He then proceeds to send a large bar of chocolate from one end of the room to another on a TV Screen. Mike is surprised when Willy dismisses any other suggestions to send through the teleporter and replies (while smiling a little), "Don't you even realize what you've invented? It's a teleporter. It's the most important invention in the history of the world. And all you ever think about is Chocolate."
Mike then teleports himself through the teleporter and gets shrunken to a few inches. As a result, Charlie is the only child left on the tour.
Willy then travels with Charlie and Grandpa Joe to Charlie's house and meets the family via the Great Glass Elevator. He also reveals that the purpose of the Golden Tickets and the tour was to make the "least rotten" child the heir of the factory itself, so he can have someone carry on his legacy when he gets too old to do so himself, and requests that Charlie come live and work in the factory with him. The only condition, however, is that Charlie must leave his family behind, since Willy believes family is a hindrance to a chocolatier's creative freedom. This is because of his father, Dr. Wilbur Wonka (who was said to be the greatest dentist in the city), denying his son candy simply because of the potential risk to his teeth. As a child, Willy had to wear headgear and braces. After secretly sampling some candy, Willy was instantly hooked and ran away to follow his dreams. As his family is most important to him, Charlie refuses the offer.
Willy then falls into a state of emotional depression, which in turn makes life for Charlie's family much better. Willy then returns to Charlie to seek advice and they travel to meet Willy's estranged father. Willy has an appointment with him, while Charlie discovers that even though Wilbur was against his son's wishes of becoming a chocolatier, he has followed his son's success regardless. Wilbur then realizes that it is his son and calmly says "All these years, and you haven't flossed". Wonka replies with "Not once". They both share a hug, and Wilbur feels tearful because of having learned a painful lesson about accepting his son for who he is and not what he does for a living. Charlie watches with a smile. Afterwards, Willy repeats his offer to Charlie, who then accepts on one condition - that his family can come too. And this time, Willy agrees.
Charlie and Willy then arrive at home in time for dinner, and the camera pans out to reveal that the house is now inside the factory. An Oompa Loompa narrates that "one thing was absolutely certain - life had never been sweeter".