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Every good thing in this world started with a dream.
―Tagline


Wonka is a 2023 British-American fantasy musical film directed by Paul King from a screenplay by Simon Farnaby and King. Released on December 15, 2023 by Warner Bros., it serves as a prequel to the 1964 novel and the 1971 film.

Premise summary[]

The film follows a young Willy Wonka who finds the Oompa-Loompas and opens his Factory.

Plot[]

Willy Wonka, an aspiring magician, inventor, and chocolatier, arrives in Europe to establish his chocolate shop at the Galeries Gourmet. Burning through his meager savings, he is coerced to stay at Mrs. Scrubitt's boardinghouse by her henchman Bleacher and, despite orphan Noodle's warning about the fine print, signs a contract because he is illiterate. To pay them off, Wonka introduces "hoverchocs", chocolates that make people fly, facing mockery from three rival chocolatiers who call the Chief of Police to confiscate his earnings for selling without a chocolate store.

Unable to pay the exorbitant fees imposed on him by the contract, Wonka is captured and starts to work in a launderette for Mrs. Scrubitt alongside five other captives, including Noodle. Learning of a "Chocolate Cartel" consisting of the rival chocolatiers, who exploit the Chief's weakness for chocolate to force Wonka to leave town, Wonka makes his escape with the help of Noodle; while he promises her a lifetime supply of chocolates, she promises to teach him how to read. Wonka tells Noodle that his affinity for chocolate stems from his late mother, and mentions the theft of his chocolates by an enigmatic orange man who has been stealing them for years. To produce his signature chocolate, Wonka and Noodle travel to the local zoo, milking Abigail the giraffe. Together with other laundrette workers, they embark on a chocolate selling crusade to alleviate their debts while using tunnels underneath the city to evade Scrubitt and the Chief. Unmasking an Oompa Loompa named Lofty as the thief, Wonka discovers that the Oompa Loompa seeks retribution for the cocoa beans Wonka took from Loompaland years ago under Lofty's watch, before he escapes by duping Wonka.

Using the funds raised from selling chocolates, the captives open Wonka's dream chocolate store. The Chief and the Chocolate Cartel, now unable to arrest him since he has a legitimate shop, expose him to Scrubitt. Infusing his chocolates with Yeti sweat, Scrubitt incites chaos among the customers, leading to the destruction of Wonka's store. Wonka agrees to the Cartel's offer to leave town by ship to pay off everyone's debts. All of the workers are released from the launderette except Noodle; Cartel leader Slugworth pays Scrubitt to keep her there indefinitely. Wonka deduces that Noodle is Slugworth's niece, before he and Lofty are forced to jump off the boat that has been rigged to explode. After rescuing Noodle with the help of the group, they devise a strategy to obtain the Cartel's incriminating account book.

Taking advantage of Abigail's distraction, Wonka and Noodle infiltrate the Cartel's base. They are confronted by the Cartel, who reveal that Noodle, who was reported dead to her mother Dorothy, was left by Slugworth to Scrubitt in order to eliminate her claim to the family fortune. The Cartel attempts to drown Wonka and Noodle in chocolate, but Wonka enables Lofty to rescue them and unveils the Cartel's misdeeds to the authorities and the public. They release the Cartel's chocolate reserve through a fountain, laced with Wonka's unique ingredients, ruining the Cartel's enterprise. The Cartel meets their downfall, and the police arrest the Chief. The crowd revels in tasting Wonka's chocolate fountain, and Wonka unwraps the last chocolate bar his mother had given him, discovering a golden paper with a message that says what matters is who you share the chocolate with. He aids Noodle in reuniting with Dorothy, settles his debt with Lofty, and acquires an abandoned castle to commence building his own factory with Lofty as his tasting chef.

In an epilogue, the captives return to their old lives, and Scrubitt and Bleacher are arrested after their attempt to eliminate evidence of sabotaging Wonka's shop backfires and then kiss before they taken away.

Cast[]

Production[]

The film was first conceived in 2016 (the same year Gene Wilder died) when Warner Bros. re-acquired the rights to the Willy Wonka franchise from The Quaker Oats Company, but was not officially announced until the original film's 50th anniversary in 2021.

Music/Soundtrack[]

Main article: Wonka (soundtrack)

Neil Hannon, lead singer of the Divine Comedy, wrote the film's original songs, and the score was composed by Joby Talbot.[1] The soundtrack with the original songs and score was released by WaterTower Music on December 8, 2023.[2][3]

Release[]

Wonka had special screenings at ShowEast on October 24, 2023, and at the auditorium at Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads on November 19.[4][5] On November 20 the film had a special premiere in Tokyo, with a red carpet attended by director Paul King, producers, David Heyman and Alexandra Derbyshire, and stars, Timothée Chalamet and Hugh Grant. The film had its world premiere in London, at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, on November 28, 2023,[6] and was theatrically released by Warner Bros. Pictures in the United Kingdom on the December 8, 2023,[7] followed by the United States, on December 15, 2023, in both conventional theaters and in Dolby Cinema and IMAX.[8] It was originally set for release on March 17, 2023.[9]

Home media[]

Main article: Wonka (video)

Wonka was released for digital platforms on January 22, 2024 in the UK.[10] It was released by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on digital download on January 30, 2024, and on Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and DVD on February 27 in the United States.[11]

Reception[]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 82% of 318 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 7.2/10. The website's consensus reads: "With director Paul King at the helm and some solid new songs at the ready, the warmly old-fashioned Wonka puts a suitably sweet spin on the classic character while still leaving some room for the source material's darker undertones." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 66 out of 100, based on 64 critics, indicating "generally favorable" reviews.

Sequel[]

Main article: Wonka 2

On June 13, 2024, an article on the website World of Reel was published that stated Wonka 2 was happening and set to be released on December 17, 2027.[12]

Videos[]

Gallery[]

Trivia[]

  • The film was originally rumored to be a sequel, but this rumor was revealed to be false when it was announced to be both a prequel and a reboot (as it is set in an alternate universe but is set before the events of the previous two films).
  • This film is the third feature film in the Willy Wonka franchise and the first film in the "Roald Dahl Cinematic Universe".
  • The film's exterior and the characters' appearance are a mix of the previous adaptations.
  • There are many references to Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
    • When Willy Wonka and Noodle are about to drown in chocolate, they bang on the roof of the glass of the room. This is a nod to the original floaty fizzy drinks scene where Charlie Bucket and Grandpa Joe floated to the ceiling and tried to avoid death from hitting the ceiling fan.
      • The aftermath is a nod to the scene in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in which Charlie Bucket and Grandpa Joe look at the others from the glass elevator where Augustus Gloop was also covered in chocolate, eating it off his hands.
    • Wonka's mother's note on the golden paper was actually on a Golden Ticket that would be used again in the Willy Wonka universe.
    • Arthur Slugworth was depicted as more antagonistic than in any previous media.

References[]


Navigation[]

v - e - d
Wonka logo
Media
Films: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (soundtrack/video) • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (soundtrack/video) • Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (video) • Wonka (soundtrack/video) • Wonka 2 (soundtrack/video)
Video games: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Books: Wonka
Characters
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory: Willy WonkaCharlie BucketGrandpa JoeAugustus GloopViolet BeauregardeVeruca SaltMike TeaveeArthur SlugworthMr. TurkentineOompa-LoompasMrs. BucketMr. BucketMrs. GloopMr. GloopMrs. TeaveeMr. TeaveeMrs. BeauregardeMr. BeauregardeMrs. SaltMr. SaltGrandma GeorginaGrandpa GeorgeGrandma JosephineWinkelmannTinkerMr. Jopeck
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Prince PondicherryPrincess PondicherryWilbur WonkaShopkeeperProdnoseFicklegruber
Wonka: NoodleChief-of-PoliceMrs. WonkaMrs. ScrubittFather JuliusMiss Bon BonAbacus CrunchBleacherPiper BenzLarry ChucklesworthLottie BellOfficer AffableBasilBarbaraGwennieThe CountessShip CaptainDorothy SmithFruit & Vegetable VendorColinSinister Ship CaptainLoftyAbigail the Giraffe
Locations
Bucket HouseWilly Wonka's FactoryWilbur Wonka's HouseNew DelhiIndiaTokyoJapanMarrakechMoroccoNew York CityGermanyEnglandAtlantaGeorgiaDenverColoradoBill's Candy ShopGaleries GourmetScrubbit & Bleacher Bilk LaneWilly Wonka's Chocolate Shop
Songs
Original: The Candy ManCheer Up, CharlieI've Got a Golden TicketPure ImaginationOompa LoompaThe Wondrous Boat RideI Want It Now

Remake: Wonka's Welcome SongAugustus GloopViolet BeauregardeVeruca SaltMike Teavee
Prequel: A Hatful of DreamsYou've Never Had Chocolate Like ThisScrub ScrubSweet ToothFor a MomentA World of Your OwnSorry, Noodle

Objects
Wonka BarGolden TicketEverlasting GobstopperScrumdiddlyumptiousWonka's Magic Chewing GumWhipple-Scrumptious Fudge-Mallow DelightLickable WallpaperBluebird's Egg CandyWonkavatorChocolate Extraction Pipe
See also
Paramount PicturesWarner Bros.Village Roadshow PicturesWolper Pictures, Ltd.The Quaker Oats CompanyThe Willy Wonka Candy CompanyPlan B EntertainmentThe Zanuck CompanyTurner EntertainmentMusical


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Warner Bros. Pictures 2023 (Alt)
Lists
Films by decade: 1910s-1920s (List) • 1930s (List) • 1940s (List) • 1950s (List) • 1960s (List) • 1970s (List) • 1980s (List) • 1990s (List) • 2000s (List) • 2010s (List) • 2020s (List)
See also
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