Monday, January 28, 2013

I Want it Now...Book Review

I did a very Veruca Salt thing a couple of weeks ago, and grabbed this book when it was free on Kindle!  Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is one of my favorite childhood movies that I have enjoyed sharing with my own children, so I thought I would get a kick out of reading Julie Dawn Cole's memoir.

I was afraid, at first, that after sharing her Willy Wonka escapades the book would deteriorate into her own sordid, life story, as have other memoirs that I've read.  And that sort of ruins the show from then on.  Though Julie does continue into Life After Wonka, her life is not a very sordid one (or she kept the worst stuff to herself out of respect for her readers!)

This was a fun book to read, learning about the interesting facts behind-the-scenes, and some of the techniques the director used to heighten the awe-factor of the chocolate factory.  The 2 girls, Violet and Veruca, became very good friends off-set, and both had crushes on sweet Charlie.  Mike TeeVee was just as obnoxious in real life as he was on screen!  I think Gene Wilder probably pulled his hair out (when they entered the Chocolate Room) as a way to get back at him for being a pest!  After reading this one, I think I'd like to hear the stories from the other children, too, to get their perspectives!

Dying to watch the movie again, I was thrilled to find the DVD at Tarjay the other day for only $5!  We've watched it twice since I bought it on Saturday, and I love it every time.  It even has a sing-along special feature!  Yes!!!

Have you seen it?  Read it?  More importantly, how do you compare the old Willy Wonka movie with the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?  I think the new movie is more faithful to the original book, but it lacks charm and exudes more creepiness in my opinion.

A very interesting detail is that the title of the original book is "Charlie and..." but the old movie was titled "Willy Wonka".  Did you ever wonder why?  As a kid I hadn't read the book, so I didn't know or care, but I did wonder why there wasn't a real Wonka Bar.  Evidently, there was supposed to be one put out by Quaker Oats, but the formula failed and the Wonka Bars were melting in the boxes, so that early promotional tie-in to the movie was lost!  I don't know why they haven't remedied that situation, but maybe they'll get on the ball for the 50th anniversary in 2021.


  1. Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka simply can not be topped! One our favorite family films and always makes us hungry for candy. Btw, I do believe there is a Wonka bar out there. Or was. I'm sure my kids have had them. Along with a Scumdiddlyumptious bar.
    Go to
    The boys and I were just discussing this the other day. Johnny depp could never be better than Gene Wilder but Tim Burton really gave that film its creepy edge. Yuck. The good old-fashioned version will always be the best! Can you imagine a remake of Gone With the Wind or Sound of Music? Never! But I did hear a remake of the Wizard of Oz is in the works. The studios just can't leave it alone -- too much $$ to be made!

  2. PS is the book for grown ups? Faith's favorite character is Veruca.

  3. The book is for grown ups, but there is a lot you can share with Faith that she might be interested in---like how they made Violet's "blueberry" costume.

  4. I haven't seen the new version of the film, but I do love the charm of the old one--and I don't even KNOW how many times I read the book. I'm glad to hear that it's good, and that it covers some staging/technical details. That should be fascinating!


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