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Willy Wonka

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Will "Willy" Wonka is a character in the classic Roald Dahl children's book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and its sequel Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. He is the founder of the Wonka Candy Company and the inventor of fictional candy, such as Wonka Bars and Everlasting Gobstoppers. He is 42 years old.

Claim To FameEdit

2005-7-16-1willy wonka
He proves an unparalleled genius in confectionery development, inventing seemingly impossible products that capture the world's imagination,. From his factory, his products are shipped and sold worldwide. However, other candy makers become jealous and started sending spies to find out the Wonka recipes. Nearly ruined, Wonka closes the factory and fires all of his workers. Years later, the factory once again starts running, secretly staffed exclusively by Oompa Loompas, a race of people from Loompaland who relish the taste of cocoa beans. His business resumes its dominance. Wonka's journey to Loompaland was for the purpose of finding new exotic flavors for his candy.

Later YearsEdit

Eventually Wonka, getting old and not having any heirs, felt the need to arrange for a successor for his business, if only to provide a home and work for the Oompa Loompas. However, he wanted to groom one from childhood to guarantee they would keep with his methods and spirit. To that end, he announces a contest with five Golden Tickets randomly placed in his products promising a tour and a lifetime supply of his products to the winners for starters. Five children find the tickets, including Charlie Bucket, and they go on the tour of the bizarre factory. During the course of the tour all the children except Charlie misbehave, and find themselves in terrible predicaments that result in their being removed from the group. When only Charlie remains, the delighted Wonka reveals his plan and his offer, which Charlie eagerly accepts.

He and his family move in to live and work in the factory.


Willy Wonka

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory character
First appearance Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Created by Roald Dahl
Portrayed by Gene Wilder (1971)
Johnny Depp (2005)
Maurice LaMarche (Commercials)

Willy Wonka is a fictional character in the 1964 Roald Dahl novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the subsequent film adaptations.

Wonka in the film adaptationsEdit

1971 version A musical film adaptation of Dahl's book Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, titled Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, was directed by Mel Stuart and starred Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. It was released in 1971.[1] It was originally a box office disappointment, but has since been considered a children's classic by critics, and has attracted a worldwide audience. This film added some dialogue with references to poetry, including Shakespeare, that were not in the novel. The film also included a rival chocolate maker offering the children money if they betrayed Wonka and provided him with an Everlasting Gobstopper, but this turns out to be a morality test set by Wonka to determine the finders' worth. Another departure from the novel had Charlie disobeying Willy Wonka with the encouragement of Grandpa Joe and drinking a soda that made them drift up to the ceiling--although they were able to cancel out the effects before they floated out of the room, allowing Wonka to deny Charlie's prize at the end of the tour. An enraged Grandpa Joe tries to give Slugworth the Gobstopper in revenge, but Charlie refuses to betray Wonka and leaves it on his desk, causing Wonka to apologize and allow Charlie to have his factory when Wonka retires.THE END OF THE MOVIES

2005 versionEdit

Another film version, entitled Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and directed by Tim Burton, was released on July 15, 2005; this version starred Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka, changing the traits of the character significantly, and Freddie Highmore as Charlie Bucket. The Brad Grey production was a hit, grossing about $470 M worldwide with an estimated budget of $150 M. It was distributed by Warner Bros. this time. Burton's version added a back story of the character, in which Willy Wonka was the son of a dentist named Wilbur Wonka (played by Christopher Lee). Wonka had a traumatic childhood, as his father locked him into dreadful orthodontics that bore more resemblance to a medieval torture device, and every Halloween, he would burn his son's candy in the fireplace. Eventually, Willy tastes chocolate after sneaking a piece from the fire, and starts getting ideas for other candies. When he becomes an adult, Wonka opens his own candy store, with Grandpa Joe being one of Wonka's first employees. Then Wonka's rivals the other candy makers, steal Wonka's recipes and Wonka became very upset about what they all did to Wonka, and, so, he closed his factory forever. Additionally, in Burton's film, Wonka initially refuses to allow Charlie to bring his family to his factory. An eventual reconciliation between Wonka and his father causes Wonka to change his mind and allow Charlie's family to move in with him as well. At this point, it is revealed that Dr. Wonka, despite his dislike of candy, came to greatly admire Willy while he was away, and made a habit of collecting and framing newspaper articles about Willy's great success in the chocolate industry along the years.

Other appearancesEdit

  • In the Family Guy episode "Wasted Talent", Pawtucket Pat, a spoof of the Gene Wilder version of Wonka, offers a tour of the Pawtucket Brewery to winners in a plot similar to Dahl's and the 1971 movie version.
  • In Dexter's Laboratory, a contest took place in which Professor Hawk gave gold floppy disks to stores around the world; whoever found these golden floppy disks, which were sold amongst normal floppy disks, were allowed to tour Professor Hawk's laboratory.
  • In the Futurama episode "Fry and the Slurm Factory", Fry wins a contest to visit the Slurm factory on the planet Wormulon after finding a golden bottle cap in a can of slurm. The factory features a slurm room where Grunka Lunkas (whom Professor Farnsworth detests) sing. The tour guide slug is dressed like Willy Wonka and tells Hermes Conrad he could fire the whole workforce of Planet Express and hire a team of Grunka Lunkas for half the wage and that the Grunka Lunkas are practically slaves.
  • In The Simpsons, a Willy Wonka-like gag shop owner named Goose Gladwell claims to own "20 stores in 30 states" and buys Bart Simpson's line of T-shirts. Goose is a former green beret who fought in Vietnam and claims that his experiences from those days are what made him crazy.
  • Johnny Bravo once won a contest to visit a jerked beef factory managed by a Wonka-like character named Jerky Jake, who was so impressed by Johnny's jerky-related knowledge he decided to name him his heir but changed his mind after Johnny's display of his usual stupidity during the press conference held to announce Johnny as Jerky Jake's heir.
  • In What's New, Scooby-Doo?, the Scooby Snack factory owner dresses himself like Willy Wonka and once held a contest where whoever finds the golden Scooby Snack could pick between a tour in the factory or a trip to Aruba. Shaggy and Scooby win and Velma comments only they would pick the tour instead of Aruba.
  • In the Scottish comedy Chewin' The Fat there is a spoof in which a man bites into a pie and then finds a golden ticket inside. This summons Wullie Pie who takes this man and two friends on a trip to the pie factory where they spoof the imagination song and the factory is revealed to be a disgusting and dirty place that makes the men throw up, for which Wullie blames bad pie.
  • In Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Rin owns a chocolate factory that parodies Willy Wonka's. Nozomu is refused entry as he doesn't have a Golden Ticket, however he was able to enter because he threatened to notify the health inspectors if he becomes suspicious about how the chocolate is made.
  • In The Office, Michael decides to offer 10% discount coupons to clients but accidentally ships all five golden tickets to the same client. He also forgot to mention they cannot be used together and hence has to face delivering 50% off the price of paper to Dunder Mifflin's biggest client. Michael tries to frame Dwight for this, who has never seen or read Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
  • In Marilyn Manson's music video for "Dope Hat", several twisted references to the boat ride scene are made.
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Toy to the world", Phineas remodels the toy factory and suddenly everything looks like Willy Wonka's factory. A reference to the Oompa Loompas in the same episode is also shown.
  • In Superjail, the main character of the show is the Warden, a parody of Willy Wonka. He is also described as a "sadistic Willy Wonka".
  • In an episode of Drake and Josh, Drake and Josh's room is filled with candy, and Josh has a similar appearance to Wonka, with the brown top hat and a cane. He even eats the cup he used to contain chocolate milk.
  • In Epic Movie, four people are trapped inside a factory with a Michael Jackson-like Willy Wonka (Crispin Glover) who says that they are 'mine now' and tries to take their body parts.
  • In an episode of the hit Canadian animated series "BEING IAN" a Willy Wonka inspired episode entitled "Ken Kelley and The Keyboard Factory" features many nods to the original movie. An accident makes Ken realize he needs to find a successor to run the store. While moving a Piano onto a second floor, the bench slips Odbald’s grasp and it hits Ken on the head. He dons a Wonka-ish top hat to cover the bump and so begins the parody. Or, more accurately, the homage. Not only does the accident make him break into song at the drop of a hat, it also makes Ken realize he needs to choose one of his sons to run the store once he’s gone. And when Odbald’s hardworking twin cousins visit and get jobs at the store, Odbald becomes the odd man out.
  • In Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi, the character "Wacky Wally" is a parody of Willy Wonka.

Nestlé's mascotEdit

Main article: The Willy Wonka Candy Company An animated version of Willy Wonka, based on Gene Wilder's portrayal and Quentin Blake's illustrations, serves as a mascot for Nestlé's Willy Wonka Candy Company brand. He appears on the packaging, marketing, and in the company's television commercials. Animated versions of Oompa-Loompas are seen on the website.


The book and the 1971 film adaption both show this eccentricity rather vividly, seemingly stemming from his creative genius. He bewilders the other characters with his antics, to the point that Veruca perceives him to be "bonkers", though Charlie sees Wonka's behavior as a positive trait. In the 2005 film adaption, Willy Wonka's eccentricity is viewed more as a sympathetic, if humorous, character flaw. These aspects of Wonka's personality are explained in Burton's version by a strained, conflicted relationship with his father, the dentist Wilbur Wonka.

Gallery Edit



  1. ^ "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory". The Internet Movie Database (IMDb). . Retrieved 2008-10-01.

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