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(Review originally written at 22 November 2005)

No doubt that kids will love this movie. The imaginary world inside the factory is stunning and looks delicious. It's too bad that the visuals most of the time are more present as the story, even though the story has a good message and moral in it, but because of the overly present visual style, this doesn't really reach the audience as much and as good as the story intended it to. Style over substance you could say.

Still "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is a wonderfully entertaining movie to watch. Not only the visuals impress but also the actors. Johnny Depp is perfectly eccentric as candy maker Willy Wonka. He lovely goes over-the-top at times without becoming ridicules. There really are some laugh out loud moments with him. Also more than great was the young Freddie Highmore as Charlie Bucket. Perfectly cast were also Helena Bonham Carter and Noah Taylor as Charlie's parents. Christopher Lee also shows up in a small but good and fun role, as Willy Wonka's father, who is obsessed with keeping his sons teeth in good and clean shape.

The movie certainly has some fun characters in it! All of the kids and parents who visits Willy Wonka's chocolate factory are stereotypical and over-the-top but because of that at the same time work perfectly for the movie its entertainment value. But at the same time all of the characters in the movie lack real depth because they aren't exactly realistic. The movie is mostly entertaining and because of this the movie its message and moral simply don't work out in the sequences toward the ending.

Some of the highlights of the movie were the Oompa Loompa song and dance numbers. All of the Oompa Loompa's are played by Deep Roy who has already received a bit of a cult-status. The musical numbers are perfectly eccentrically scored by composer Danny Elfman, who also did all of the singing voices for the Oompa Loompa's himself.

The sets in- and outside the factory are really impressive and so are the costumes. It all visually really is eye candy to look at. Fans of Tim Burton will not be disappointed by this!

Not the must see I expected and hoped it to be but still a perfectly entertaining movie, that's worth seeing.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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