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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Movie Poster

Charlie and the
Chocolate Factory

Genre: Family Fantasy/Comedy
Rated: PG
Directed by
: Tim Burton
Starring: Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, Helena Bonham Carter, David Kelly, Noah Taylor, Annasophia Robb, Missi Pyle, Christopher Lee, Deep Roy

Released by: Warner Bros.

Deliciously Demented
A Chocolate Treat for the Young and Old
By Jenny Peters

Whenever Johnny Depp and Tim Burton get together, very interesting things happen. Think "Edward Scissorhands," "Ed Wood," "Sleepy Hollow," and now, happily, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," their wildly imaginative take on the classic Roald Dahl children's novel. A winning blend of visually fantastic moments, comical catastrophes, and brilliant satire, the film is sure to please candy-loving kids and adults alike.

Burton's slightly twisted sensibilities are an ideal marriage to Dahl's dark tale of greedy children who meet their match in Willy Wonka, a candy-making genius and recluse who opens his fabulous factory to five lucky (or unlucky, in some cases) winners of a Golden Ticket. The kids are perfectly cast, especially Freddie Highmore, who plays Charlie, the one child who isn't horrid. His performance is completely natural and believable, and centers the movie as wackiness ensues around him. David Kelly as his spry old grandfather also gives a winning turn, and Christopher Lee's demented dentist is truly creepy and slightly scary.

But it is Johnny Depp that makes the film a true delight. With his pale skin, Prince Valiant bob, Chiclet smile, and weird voice, his Willy Wonka is an unforgettable blend of genius, psychosis and hilarity. It's a characterization that keeps everyone giggling as the fantastical tale unfolds, and long afterward in memory.

And let's not forget the Oompa Loompas, the tiny tribe that staffs the Chocolate Factory. All are played by Deep Roy via the magic of CGI, and—without spoiling the surprise—some of their sequences are the best moments in the movie, alone worth the price of admission.

But it really is the whole movie, the completely clever, wild-eyed vision from the bizarre brain of Tim Burton, that makes "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" such a truly terrific movie for both children and adults. And don't miss this one in the theater, for the big-screen visuals are just amazing and wonderful, well worth the trip to the multiplex, or even better, the IMAX.

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