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Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 8+

Pure, sweet imagination for both kids and adults.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that overall this is an excellent, imaginative family film. While it doesn't have any content that would be considered inappropriate for kids, author Roald Dahl's signature dark humor is evident. There are a few scary/tense scenes that may disturb younger or more sensitive children. Slugworth is a creepy character (who turns out OK in the end). When Wonka takes the kids on a wild boat ride through a tunnel, some icky images appear and the kids on the boat are terrified. All of the ticket-winning kids end up in some kind of peril (some wind up in more dangerous situations than others), but they all turn out safe and sound in the end.

  • Families can talk about the different kids' choices as they go along on the tour. What would you do if you were one of the kids? When has being honest been rewarded for you?
  • Compare this version to the more recent Johnny Depp version. Which do you prefer, and why?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true2

    Educational value: May inspire kids to read the book upon which this is based.

  • message true1

    Messages: Charlie is rewared for honesty, and he learns that his dreams can come true. Various character flaws (greed, gluttony, and excessive television watching) are satirized.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Charlie is a wonderful role model, and is rewarded for his good behavior. The other children, who are not good role models, are punished.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence and scariness: Four of the young leads impetuously leap into situations that at first seem fatal, but ultimately aren't. Charlie and Grandpa Joe are almost decimated by fan blades (they escape the situation in short order). Wonka takes everyone on a creepy pseudo-psychedelic boat ride.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Not applicable

  • language false0

    Language: Not applicable

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not applicable