If the good Lord had intended us to walk, He wouldn't have invented rollerskates.This movie was ignored in it's initial release (I only recently learned that it debuted just a few days after Shaft. Go figure.), but has since gone on to become a classic. Maybe it was too dark for kids (probably). At any rate, it's still required viewing. The book that it's based on is, too.
We all know the story about Charlie and the Golden Tickets and the Oompah Loompahs and all that, so I'll skip the summary. Point is, this is simply not a movie to be missed. It's trippy, even as a family film it plays like it's occasionally on acid, and that's part of it's charm. Gene Wilder has never really had a role like Wonka (not before or since), and he's alternately the most charming, genial man there is, and also the creepiest, most sadistic bastard around. The movie's a trip, and I can't wait to sit down with my kids one day and see the looks on their faces. Wonka's world is wonderous (ooh, alliteration), and that's what makes the film so interesting. Chocolate mixed by waterfall, a jawbreaker that will never disappear, seven-course-meals all in one little stick of gum...it's all there, and it's fantastic. You can look past the somewhat bland performance of Peter Ostrum as Charlie, because all the other kids are a hoot and Wilder, as I said, is terrific.
Skip the latest direct-to-video Disney sequel, and show your kids this. The younger ones might not like it (they will, eventually, though), but anyone over the age of seven is probably going to be absolutely giddy.Bubbles, bubbles everywhere, and not a drop to drink... yet.