Ben Oliver

Banner image for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.
04 September 2016

If the obits are anything to go by, Gene Wilder had a prolific career but he is first and foremost Willy Wonka.

This is not without reason. There are few more memorable and enchanting performances than this one. He is warm, charismatic and intelligent while being slightly unhinged, possibly mad. Despite being based on a character in the Roald Dahl novel, it’s Wilder who really makes Wonka a name familiar to all, even 40+ years after the film was made.

This is bolstered by some of the most creative set design work ever put to film. The main room in the factory is just so colourful and tactile - you want it to be real. The way Wonka glides around during his musical number makes you feel like he’s been there all his life.

It’s the perfect cocktail of happiness, madness, warmth and danger; easily one of the greatest films ever made. Rest in peace Mr. Wonka.