Where did all the kids go after their transformations?
In the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, many people think it is just a cute kids movie filled with candy and fantastical Oompa Loompas. What many don’t know is there is a dark side to the film as well. The film has themes of survival with the four kids that are pushed away from the factory (spoiler alert: Charlie wins the factory). All of the kids are transported in a strange factory by a very strange man with a sugar obsession, and we never see the four outed contestants after they “leave” the factory. Is this movie a sugary sweet adventure or a survival horror flick?
First of all, Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) is a very strange man. He dresses all in purple and wears a top hat. Not only does he where strange clothes, he invites five children into a candy factory that is running down and is very dangerous. Due to the factory’s dangerous nature, four of the kids’ lives are destroyed while in the factory. After the many transformations of the kids (except Charlie) we never see them again after they are “excused” from the factory which makes us think, “where do these kids go, and do they ever actually leave the factory alive?” One thing that is even creepier is that this weird man and his minions are picking these kids off one by one, and no one ever thinks this is odd? This seems more like a murderous scheme than a friendly competition. One last thing that must be said is why is the friendliest of the kids chosen? Is it because of his kind leadership ability? Or is it because he is so sweet that he would never tell a soul about the dark secrets about Willy Wonka and his factory. Is he being blackmailed into keeping this dark nature a secret? Something about Wonka is definitely not right.
One scene in particular that makes me reconsider this as a horror movie rather than a sickeningly sweet kids flick is the boat scene. In this scene, all of the kids and their adult guardians are hoisted onto this weird boat with a peculiar man and his minions. The scene gets increasingly dark as they go through what looks like a hallucinogenic acid trip, with the lights going on and off with the black and white swirls. What makes the scene frightening is Gene Wilder singing a horrific rhyme about where they may or may not be going. Then the lights go off as if this were a murder mystery movie where they kill everyone off one by one. This scene helps set up the film as more of a horror than a kid’s movie.
A question that many people may have not asked but have definitely thought of is where do all the kids go? For instance, where does Augustus go after he goes up the tube after being sucked into it after he falls into the chocolate river? Where does Veruca go after she goes down the slide after trying to steal the golden gooses egg? Does Violet get de-juiced after turning into a blueberry? And does Mike get resized after being shrunk into the tv? We never see these kids after their disappearances, which makes me think did they disappear? Or did they meet their demises? Also, what happened to each of the losers’ parents? We never see them either, did they get out ok or did they meet the same fates as their naughty children.
One last scene that comes to mind that makes me think of this as more of a horror movie than a kids movie is the scene with the Fizzy Lifting Drink”. During this scene, Charlie and Grandpa Joe go into the fizzy lifting chamber and almost get cut up by the fan. The scarier thing about this scene however isn’t that they were almost cut up into a million pieces, but rather Willy Wonka’s reaction. He is so angry and offended that it makes me wonder if this has happened before, if he sent someone up there on purpose who met their demise? This is why I would never trust a weirdly dressed man who runs a chocolate factory and hands out golden tickets to five people with only one person coming out on the top of a competition.
Based on these strange examples from the movie, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, we can now see why not everything about this movie is sunshine and rainbows.
Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory (1971) Official Trailer