We all remember when we saw Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory for the first time. The candy-coated world was the perfect playground for our childhood, full of excitement at every turn and an everlasting supply of Everlasting Gobstoppers.
I couldn’t have been more than 6 or 7 when I was introduced to that wonderful world. It was like nothing I’d ever seen before, and I immediately identified with Charlie Bucket. He was innocent, wide-eyed and curious about the world around him. I remember watching The Candyman scene on repeat as a gigantic smile formed across my face. There’s never been a movie character as happy as Charlie when he won that golden ticket and the life-changing tour of Willy Wonka’s factory. Charlie loved life and he loved his family, and in turn, we all loved him for that. He represented all the happiness in our little souls. A few of my favorite Wonka-isms…
–“A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.”
–“So much time and so little to do. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it. Thank you.”
–“So shines a good deed in a weary world.”
–“If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it. Anything you want to, do it; want to change the world… there’s nothing to it.”
–“There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination. Living there, you’ll be free if you truly wish to be.”
So I was heartbroken over Gene Wilder’s death this week. The man who brought Mr. Wonka to life was a larger-than-life figure to a generation, bringing both adults and children such joy and happy memories. With him, anything was possible, any dream attainable and every star reachable.
Thank you, Mr. Wilder, for all the wonderful memories! You truly were one of a kind.
Were you obsessed with Willy Wonka as a kid? Did you have a favorite character? And, doesn’t the film just take you back to your childhood…every single time??? xoxo