Published in 1964, Roald Dahl’s masterpiece about a reclusive confectionary inventor who hides five Golden Tickets in bars of chocolate around the world so a group of kids can win a visit to his factory has thrilled readers for generations. It’s been adapted for the screen twice – originally starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka and again with Johnny Depp.
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In fact, the key to Wonka’s mind-blowing sweets and chocolate is that it’s made from children’s body parts – the competition is actually a way of getting more into his clutches. That’s right, the Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight is people! And what’s more Willy is a serial child murderer. Bet you’re glad you never got a golden ticket now…
So if Wonka – the foremost candy inventor in the world – was in search of the best-tasting sweets ever, why wouldn’t he look at alternative and perhaps more delicious ingredients for gelatin? Might human bones be the answer he was looking for?
And why do only kids find the Golden Tickets? Adults buy chocolate and in greater quantities. In other words, Wonka deliberately made it so that children would win in order to gut them.
The tube branching off the chocolate waterfall didn’t need to be almost-boy-sized. On top on that, when Wilder sees Augustus Gloop drinking from the chocolate river, he could have easily saved him. Instead, he causes a ruckus and runs towards him, leading to the German fattie falling off the bank.
Also in the 1971 film, Grandpa Joe and Charlie break the rules by imbibing some fizzy lifting drink which almost ends with them being decapitated by an unnecessary ceiling fan.
It’s worth pointing out too that when Roald Dahl was drafting the novel, there were originally between 10 and 15 kids invited to the factory. That was eventually whittled down to six, including a girl called Miranda Mary Piker, who was ultimately culled by the author in the final novel. But according to the writer’s official website, before that, Piker suffered an ignominious fate after falling into the Peanut Brittle Room. Dahl’s poem, sung by the Oompa Loompas, included the lines:
Soon this girl who was so viciousWill have gotten quite deliciousAnd her parents will have surely understoodThat instead of saying, ‘Miranda,"Oh the beast we cannot stand her!’They’ll be saying, "Oh, how tasty and how good!’“
Er, she’s dead and you’re eating her, people.
Only Charlie is blameless and that’s what ultimately changes Wonka’s mind. Or more disturbingly, Charlie is a blank slate, ready to take over Wonka’s homicidal business.
Finally, think back to when Wilder takes the group into the factory for the first time. He unveils an endless contract to be signed in case of accident. But he only asks the kids to sign it. If he was worried about accidents or being sued, wouldn’t he get the grown-ups for their signature too? Not if the small print included something about agreeing to use your body for candy-eating pleasure.
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In addition to all the evidence above, ponder the end of the movie, when Charlie is the only kid left. Wonka says that the other children will be “recovered”. Isn’t that what policemen say when they are talking about a corpse? And while he does intimate they’re not dead, we don’t see them alive and he’s lied consistently throughout the journey anyway.
So, next time you take that bite of a Twirl, think about what might have gone into it. Doesn’t taste so good, right?
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