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Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

‘Wonka’ Lives Up to Films in ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ Franchise

Wonka%2C+released+on+Dec.+15%2C+features+actor+Timoth%C3%A9e+Chalamet+and+follows+Willy+Wonka+in+his+early+days+as+a+chocolatier.
Shivani Kondubhatla
Wonka, released on Dec. 15, features actor Timothée Chalamet and follows Willy Wonka in his early days as a chocolatier.

After first hearing about the Wonka movie directed by Paul King on social media, it was intriguing to see what more could be said about the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory franchise — and if it was necessary to add a third movie to this already successful series. The main attraction that kept this up-and-coming film in the minds of millions was Wonka himself, played by Timothée Chalamet. In the past, Chalamet has had many lead roles, yet this one stood out as he had multiple musical numbers and was able to showcase his singing abilities. After its premiere on Dec. 15, it was exciting to buy tickets and see a childhood favorite enter the theaters once again with a new story to tell. 

Wonka, based on the 1964 novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, reveals the beloved main character’s origin and early days as a chocolatier. This movie entails the hardships faced by Wonka, showing parts of his childhood and why he became interested in making chocolate in the first place. 

The movie kicks off with Wonka blissfully leaving a ship — eager to share his unheard of chocolates to the world, exhibiting the same mindset, personality, and persistence as the original Willy Wonka played by Gene Wilder from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory premiering back in 1971. In the film, Wonka showed his determination to find the perfect new owner of his renowned chocolate factory after being much too old to be running it. 

Throughout the movie, it was entertaining to be in a world of pure imagination and to reminisce on the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory while also seeing the differences between the other movies. Wonka included many of the classic songs tied to the initial movies — yet with their own new twists and changes. Paul King did an immaculate job at showing the known songs in a new light and adding new depth to them. The most well-known reused songs include Oompa Loompa and Pure Imagination. King shows the many layers of the story by slowing the tempo of these known songs to fit the emotion of the scene and characters singing them. 

Taking inspiration from the prior films, Willy Wonka’s costume consisted of a blend of both Wonkas. In the new movie, his hat is a dark brown and has little details to look as if it is made out of chocolate, inspired by Gene Wilder’s Wonka from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Throughout the film, Wonka is seen to also be wearing a maroon velvet coat that was originally worn by Johnny Depp in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Lindy Hemming, who was the costume designer for the Wonka movie, is the bright mind behind all the enchanting choices in wardrobe, which captivated viewers and brought the film to life.

 In closing, Wonka is a great new addition to the well-known and forever loved series. This movie would be great for anyone who wants to watch a hopeful and reminiscent film showing the determination of Willy Wonka in the early stages of his life as he is stuck in difficult circumstances.

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About the Contributors
Maddy Yendle, Reporter
Class of 2026 I have always had a passion for writing and poetry, which is one of the reasons that I am elated to be a part of Student Press this year. Other activities I love are art, rewatching Gilmore Girls, listening to music, and reading.
Shivani Kondubhatla, A&E Editor
Class of 2025  Feeding my ardent love for both the arts and journalism, I am beyond enthused to take on the role of the Arts & Entertainment editor to represent the fine arts and pop culture not only at Westwood but also in our buzzing community. Outside of the newsroom, I am most likely cherishing time with friends, watching sit-coms (probably Modern Family!), or sustaining my unhealthy coffee addiction. 

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