Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wonkers for Willy Wonka

Wonkers for Willy Wonka
Roald Dahl’s classic children’s novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, was adapted into the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in 1971. In 2005 the movie underwent a modern twist when Tim Burton directed an adaptation entitled Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Although the story line primarily stays the same in the most current edition of the film, the film showcases how the broad film making industry has evolved.
            Unlike James Cameron, the director of Avatar, Tim Burton did not use many computer-animated special effects to create the magical world of Willy Wonka. Instead Burton used forced perspective techniques by utilizing over-sized props and scale models in order to avoid computer-generated imagery. But Burton could not avoid using computer techniques when creating the infamous Oompa-Loompas.
In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory hundreds of orange Oompa-Loompas are shown dancing, singing, and even synchronized swimming. The Oompa-Loompas are so life like because a real actor, Deep Roy, plays them. Roy danced and acted every scene for the various Oompa-Loompa. Roy’s image was multiplied until there were hundreds of copies of him on the screen. This explains how all the movements of the Oompa-Loompas are so precise and in synch with each other. With having this be a remake of an original film, the Oompa-Loompas add sense of familiarity to the film, and to this day people are still chanting:
Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee-do
I have a perfect puzzle for you
Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee-dee
If you are wise, you'll listen to me

The little orange characters do add more than a add familiarity to the movie, they add depth in various facets. In the film Willy Wonka was asked how his magical candy land stays so perfect and precise and Willy Wonka gives it credit to the Oompa-Loompas. He then goes into detail describing how he saved their ancient tribe and they choose to work for him in order to thank him. This endorses Willy Wonka’s credibility because he doesn’t keep up with the chocolate factory himself, but instead has help from his friends the Oompa-Loompas. In real life this is obviously not logical, but inside the chocolate factory it makes perfect sense. 
            Only one scene is completely computer animated in entire movie. According to James Cameron “technology should wave its own wand and make itself disappear.” Cameron’s principle was fufillied in the scene where the Oompa-Loompas are sitting in 8 rows of 3, each holding a paddle in a rowboat. They are all wearing blue jump suits and there is one at the stern of the boat playing a big drum. Although this scene is completely animated, one would never be able to tell for everything blends in with the rest of the movie and looks as if it was filmed the same way as the other scenes. For example, the chocolate river in the rest of the movie is man made, but in this scene it is computer generated. This specific scene sets an eerie mood for it is one of the only scenes where we see every Oompa-Loompa’s face in one image, and since it is duplicates of the same actor, they are all the same person 48 times. The spooky vibe is also because the Oompa-Loompas are such unknown characters and kind of unpredictable. When the visitors have to get in the boat with them and go through the tunnel the audience becomes concerned for their safety and are waiting for what happens next.
            The special effects in the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are necessary in order to get the correct details from the novel Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Although there is only one scene in which special effects were solely used, for the most part the film relied on special effects to portray the Oompa-Loompas. And for this reason I think it enhanced the movie. A Willy Wonka movie with out Oompa-Loompas is not a Willy Wonka movie at all. Because these tiny men were made smaller and rounder, very similar to the previous Willy Wonka movies, it adds credibility to the plot line and the characters.
            I would give this movie 4 out of pickles on special affects because the uses of special affects were used wisely and were very realistic.

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