It has been my delight over the last three days to watch two classics, both of which are aimed at entertaining children. It wasn't the first time I watched them, but it had been years since my last viewing, and after the latest showings, I can't believe I waited so long to enjoy them.
Seriously, it had been so long since I'd seen Disney's Alice in Wonderland, I forgot a lot of stuff that was in there. Most of the songs were unfamiliar and I don't remember it being nearly as nutty, witty, batty or daffy as it is. I have yet to read Lewis Carroll's classic all the way through, but watching the movie again makes me want to do so forthwith. It's delightfully demented, artfully absurd and classically cockamamie- go out and enjoy it now. Or if you haven't the time, enjoy these clips:
Much more nostalgic and enjoyable, however, was re-watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the 1971 musical starring Gene Wilder and Jack Albertson. I watched this some time within the last few years, so the amnesia was much less than it was with Alice in Wonderland. But wow, did I fall in love with this movie again, perhaps more so than in the past.
The impetus for watching it again is this commercial featuring the iconic Willy Wonka song "Pure Imagination". If you've seen it, you know how awesome it is. This last Saturday, Jason and I were going to watch just the scene where Gene Wilder sings "Pure Imagination," but since Tamara was out shopping for the new house, we figured we had time to watch the whole thing. We did so, skipping only the uncomfortably awkward "Cheer Up, Charlie" song, and relished every lyric, joke and poem.
Seriously, there are so many awesome quotes, most from Willy Wonka, they merit a blog post on their own. Here's a link to IMDB's quote page from the movie where you can find the best, like "The suspense is terrible...I hope it will last" or "If the good Lord had intended us to walk, he wouldn't have invented roller skates."
I like the new version of the story, I really do. I love the unique touch that Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Danny Elfman give in their respective contributions. But it just took second place to the older version, and likely won't come back on top.
Gene Wilder makes the movie. He does so in a way actors rarely can for a film. He is the golden combination of funny, witty, whimsical, creepy and mad (in the mental sense) that embodies the classic Roald Dahl character. Once again, I haven't read the book. I plan to rectify that in the near future.
So, to close, enjoy these musical treats and consider them your Golden Ticket to rewatch Willy Wonka soon, or watch it for the first time if you haven't.