San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Sweet surprises await as Wonka’s legacy continues

Dive into the world of pure imagination with the latest retelling of Willy Wonka’s enchanting tale
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

The magic of the beloved story of Willy Wonka is back on the big screen this week. 

The new “Wonka” movie promises a sweet and savory tale that highlights the journey of Willy Wonka in his rise to chocolatiering. 

Director Paul King, famously known for the Paddington movies, creates a new spin on the origin story of Willy Wonka while adding a musical touch to a world where imagination can get you anywhere. 

The score creates a whimsical atmosphere that transports the audience into a realm where every note carries magic.

Lead actor Timothée Chalamet steps out of his comfort zone of dramatic acting to portray Willy Wonka in a new manner of positivity with vibrant energy. Seeing Chalamet in a more upbeat role was not only a surprise but also highlighted his versatility as an actor. 

He conveys this positivity with musical numbers, smiles and jokes. In preparation for this film, Chalamet stated in a Vanity Fair interview that he went through three months of intense choreography and vocal training. 

Chalamet’s practice paid off in the end as he performed six original songs written by Neil Hannon and a new rendition of the beloved “Pure Imagination” in the film. 

Alongside Chalamet is Hugh Grant, who plays an outspoken and snarky Oompa-Loompa. Grant brings his unique charm and wit to the character, creating a profound love and greater meaning to the Ooompa-Loompa characters in the previous films. 

Along with a more cheerful version of Willy Wonka, the narrative in the new release contradicts the previous 2005 adaption of the film by adding the presence of a mother figure instead of focusing on the past trauma caused by his father.

Wonka’s mother is portrayed as a struggling chocolatier, living with him alongside a river. Each day, she would gather a single cocoa bean, saving them up until Wonka’s birthday when she would craft the most exquisite chocolate Wonka had ever tasted. 

As a child, Wonka’s dream was to continue his mother’s legacy of creating exceptional chocolate and sharing it with the world. 

Despite certain deviations from the original storyline, Wonka’s essence remains unchanged, rooted in his boundless dreams about the

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

possibilities of candy-making. His relentless dedication to crafting and the optimism he holds for his enterprise remains unwavering.

The movie begins as Wonka arrives in London after voyaging around the world, creating chocolates and candies in different places. Wonka’s dream is to open up his own chocolate shop in the extravagant Galeries Gourmet, which includes a fierce competition of other chocolatiers. 

Upon his arrival, all Wonka had was a factory the size of his briefcase and a hat full of dreams. 

He remained stranded until a devious Scrubbit and her henchman, Beacher allowed him to stay at their laundromat with the slogan, “Come for a night, stay forever.” This comes in no small feat as Wonka signs a contract without reading the fine print, which makes him pay for obscene charges. 

This results in Wonka having to work in their laundromat for over 27 years just to repay her. With his dreams and goals on the line, Wonka enlists the help of the other workers tricked by Scrubbit in hopes of opening his own chocolate shop. 

In Wonka’s pursuits, a cartel of chocolate makers, including the infamous Slugworth, as well as Ficklegruber and Prodnose, want nothing more than to be the only chocolatiers in the business. So when Wonka enters the scene, their desire to dominate the chocolate business is challenged. 

Wonka embarks on a whirlwind journey with Noodle, a confident and caring orphan, and their gang of laundromat workers, which is filled with schemes, mysteries and, of course, chocolate. 

Wonka and his crew change a world where the “greedy beats the needy” to a place filled solely with pure imagination, never-ending dreams and an abundance of chocolate that surpasses all of your desires. 

Here, the essentials are the family and friends that you make and the limitless wonders that await. 

This movie surpassed all of my expectations, immersing me in the captivating origin story of Willy Wonka. 

As a child, I’d eagerly watch the 1971 “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” dreaming of a realm filled with infinite candies and delights. Now, at the age of 19, experiencing this fresh take on the timeless narrative reignited that sense of wonder, taking me to a world where imagination is limitless. 

This film revives your inner child and sparks your dreams regarding all of life’s possibilities, even in your adult years. 

While primarily geared toward children and families, I wholeheartedly enjoyed the movie, finding myself laughing at numerous jokes and relishing in all the musical numbers. 

The movie not only revealed Wonka’s backstory but also reignited my belief in the enchanting possibilities of storytelling, making it truly nostalgic. 

You can witness Wonka and his hat full of dreams as it hits theaters this Friday, Dec. 15 — grab your “golden tickets” for a delightful experience in a world where imagination and chocolate know no bounds.

About the Contributor
Mimi Simons, '24-25 Social Media Editor