Welcome to the Wonderful World of Willy Wonka, the magical place where the world's best candy is made.
In this sweet world, one man (Willy Wonka as played by Johnny Depp) makes the dreams of five children come true by hiding five golden tickets in the wrappers of candy bars. These tickets will allow the children entry into Willy Wonka's awe-inspiring chocolate factory, which no one has seen since the day the workers were let go due to spies stealing Wonka's secret recipes.
A frenzy begins as everybody around the world starts buying all of the chocolate bars to better their chances of gaining access to the mysterious factory.
Here we find Charlie Bucket (Freddie Highmore), a poor and humble boy who lives in a rundown old house with parents and grandparents who are barely able to make ends meet. When Charlie hears of these golden tickets, Charlie dreams of winning a chance to visit the Wonka factory. But for now, all he can do is watch.
The first ticket is found by the gluttonous Augustus Gloop (Philip Wiegratz). Number two is found by spoiled brat Veruca Salt (Julia Winter). Number three? Goes to Violet Beauregarde (Annasophia Robb). The rowdy Mike Teavee (Jordan Fry) gets the fourth golden-ticketed Wonka Bar.
Charlie watches in vain, hoping that he will somehow come across his very own ticket. But the poor boy only gets one candy bar a year. On his birthday, no less.
Charlie's birthday comes around. He gets his candy bar. He opens it. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Looks like Charlie won't be getting a golden ticket after all. But his grandfather gives him another chance, offering Charlie the last of the Bucket money.
Just as he has given up, Charlie finds money lying in a snow bank. He rushes to the nearest store, buys one more candy bar, and finds, at long last, the final golden ticket.
In a year full of movie remakes, I think this one is an excellent choice. Director Tim burton has truly outdone himself in this non-musical version of Roald Dahl's classic story. With outstanding sets and a wonderful cast, Burton makes a modern-day classic. Given the elements, he has made the definitive version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
I was surprised to see Burton using CGI so sparingly, only when absolutely necessary. The use of one man to portray the entire army of the Oompa Loompas was ingenious. As for the character of Willy Wonka, it was pleasing to be shown his background, where he came from, and why he is the way he is.
In the end, it doesn't matter if you've seen the original version or read the book. You will fall in love with this movie on first sight. Even with that said, you'll have to see it to catch the new ending. It ties everything up perfectly.
Take my advice. Take your friends. Take your family. And go see this movie. It is one of the Must-See's of the year.