Comparing CATCF to the Book

by Roald Dahl

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Comparing CATCF to the Book

Unread postby Liz » Sat Jul 16, 2005 3:30 pm

It occured to me while watching the movie yesterday, that we can't let his topic slip by. So we welcome any of you who have read the book to give your thoughts, observations and even criticisms on Tim's (and Johnny's) interpretation of certain aspects of the book. Note that if you are interested, you can refer to our discussion of the book in the ONBC Archives beginning on page 4.

Post away as you please. I'm headed off now to see it again--this time at the local theater. :snoopydances: :popcorn: :wonka:
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Minor Spoilers!!!!!!!!!!!

Unread postby scarlett » Sat Jul 16, 2005 8:34 pm

I thought the movie was very true to the spirit of the book. Freddie Highmore's Charlie was as loving and pure as I pictured him and David Kelly just brought Grandpa Joe to life for me. The various rooms in the factory and the Oompa Loompas were also true to form. I can't be sure, but even the lyrics to the songs all sounded pretty much as though they came straight from the book.

One difference for me: Johnny's Willy was more three-dimensional than the book character, in my opinion. A number of the reviews I read criticized the the "backstory" on Willy, which was not in the book. But I, for one liked the addition. I think it fit with Johnny's interpretation that Willy was isolated at an early age from ever being "normal" or trusting of other human beings and at some point he just chose to remove himself entirely from the "real" world. (JD's "porcelain doll in a box" explanation of Willy's pallor).

The ending of course was also totally different. Again, quite nice, in my opinion. A good post on the Porch talks about the various scenes which are nods to Tim Burton and Johnny's other work together. I like to think the snowy scene at the end with the "freak" finally finding a loving family is maybe an alternate ending for Edward's lonely, snowy mountaintop existence. :cool:

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Re: Minor Spoilers!!!!!!!!!!!

Unread postby Liz » Sat Jul 16, 2005 8:48 pm

scarlett wrote:I thought the movie was very true to the spirit of the book. Freddie Highmore's Charlie was as loving and pure as I pictured him and David Kelly just brought Grandpa Joe to life for me. The various rooms in the factory and the Oompa Loompas were also true to form. I can't be sure, but even the lyrics to the songs all sounded pretty much as though they came straight from the book.


I agree with you totally on David Kelly. I'm still meaning to look up the lyrics from the book, but haven't had a chance yet as I saw the movie again today. I also have the soundtrack, so I can compare the two.

One difference for me: Johnny's Willy was more three-dimensional than the book character, in my opinion. A number of the reviews I read criticized the the "backstory" on Willy, which was not in the book. But I, for one liked the addition. I think it fit with Johnny's interpretation that Willy was isolated at an early age from ever being "normal" or trusting of other human beings and at some point he just chose to remove himself entirely from the "real" world. (JD's "porcelain doll in a box" explanation of Willy's pallor).


I also agree with you here about Johnny making Willy become more 3-dimensional. I liked the backstory even though it was not in the book. It added a dimension to his character.

The ending of course was also totally different. Again, quite nice, in my opinion. A good post on the Porch talks about the various scenes which are nods to Tim Burton and Johnny's other work together. I like to think the snowy scene at the end with the "freak" finally finding a loving family is maybe an alternate ending for Edward's lonely, snowy mountaintop existence. :cool:


I didn't pick up on this until I saw it again today. The scene with his dad in the dentists chair reminded me so much of the scene with Vincent Price. I also saw Edward in his face at that moment. Yesterday I saw something familiar at that point but couldn't place it. And I like that idea as the alternate ending. Very sweet.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby Johnny Fan » Sat Jul 16, 2005 8:55 pm

I really admired how faithful Tim Burton's movie version of CATCF was to the book. The lyrics to the Oompa Loompa songs were taken almost straight out of the novel, and there were several things included in the first half hour of the movie that weren't included in the 1971 version (i.e. The chocolate Indian palace, Mr. Bucket's toothpaste factory job, etc.)

I also liked how the backstory of Willy Wonka was added. Because reading the book, the reader does wonder why Willy Wonka is so eccentric, and the stuff added here with his father gives us a possible reason as to why Willy Wonka is the way he is.

I was a little surprised at the ending at first when Charlie said he couldn't accept the factory because that was completely different from the book. But I loved the scene where Willy Wonka reunites with his dad and the last scene of the movie where Charlie's house is inside the factory, so I'm okay with the changes. I also liked the fact that Tim Burton stayed true to the book by showing what happened to the kids after they met their demise. The 1971 version never showed that. Overall, I think this movie was closer in tone to Roald Dahl's book than the 1971 version was.
"Breath. We tend not to think much about it. Each one is a blessing--every inhale, every exhale." -Johnny Depp

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Unread postby deeplyinlovewithdepp » Sun Jul 17, 2005 12:32 am

I read CATCF when I was little (being a huge fan of Matilda) and couldn't resist picking up a copy with Johnny on the cover a couple weeks ago. After finishing Needful Things I decided to take a break from mammoth novels and read CATCF before seeing the movie.
I was pleasantly surprised to see how many lines (after only seeing trailers) were taken right from the novel. Johnny's voice of Willy drifted naturally into the rest of them, as well.
I thought the film was very faithful to the book with nice additions like the Willy backstory and the decline of the factory instead of awful ones such as the spy and fizzy lifting drink fiasco from the first film, which had seemed to taint Charlie's purity.
The film brought to life, for me, certain things that the book could not.

I also noticed the similarities near the end to Edward. I couldn't not get the Vincent Price seen out of my head when he went to see his dad. And I also thought of the icy ending in ES. There were very nice, and subtle, references to Tim and Johnny's other films (and some others).

I think Dahl would be happy to see his brilliant book finally given justice.
Marla's philosophy was that she could die at any moment. The tragedy was, she said, that she didn't.

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Unread postby Liz » Sun Jul 17, 2005 1:43 am

The Songs

I listened to the soundtrack just now and recorded the differences between the book and the movie for two songs. Almost all of the lyrics to these two particular songs are taken from the book, as Johnny Fanatic said. Many are left out, some of the lines repeated. The words that are taken from the book are in red. New or repeated lines are in purple. I haven't been able to understand the lyrics to the other two songs on the soundtrack yet. :lol:

Augustus Gloop

Augustus Gloop! Augustus Gloop!
The great big greedy nincompoop!

How long could we allow this beast
To gorge and guzzle, feed and feast
On everything he wanted to?
Great Scott! It simply wouldn't do!
However long this pig might live,
We're positive he'd never give
Even the smallest bit of fun
Or happiness to anyone.
So what we do in cases such
As this, we use the gentle touch,
And carefully we take the brat
And turn him into something that
Will give great pleasure to us all–
A doll, for instance, or a ball,
Or marbles or a rocking horse.
But this revolting boy, of course,
Augustus Gloop! Augustus Gloop!
Was so unutterably vile,
So greedy, foul, and infantile

He left a most disgusting taste
Inside our mouths, and so in haste
We chose a thing that, come what may,
Would take the nasty taste away.
'Come on!' we cried, 'The time is ripe
To send him shooting up the pipe!

He has to go! It has to be!'
And very soon, he's going to see
Inside the room to which he's gone
Some funny things are going on.
But don't, dear children, be alarmed;
Augustus Gloop will not be harmed,

Augustus Gloop will not be harmed.
Although, of course, we must admit
He will be altered quite a bit.

He'll be quite changed from what he's been,
When he goes through the fudge machine:
Slowly, the wheels go round and round,
The cogs begin to grind and pound;

A hundred knives go slice, slice, slice;
We add some sugar, cream, and spice;
We boil him for a minute more,
Until we're absolutely sure

That all the greed and all the gall
Is boiled away for once and all.
Then out he comes! And now! By grace!
A miracle has taken place!

A miracle has taken place!
This boy, who only just before
Was loathed by men from shore to shore,
This greedy brute, this louse's ear,
Is loved by people everywhere!
For who could hate or bear a grudge
Against a luscious bit of fudge?



Veruca Salt

Veruca Salt, the little brute,
Has just gone down the garbage chute,

(And as we very rightly thought
That in a case like this we ought
To see the thing completely through,
We've polished off her parents, too.)
Down goes Veruca! Down the drain!
And here, perhaps, we should explain
That she will meet, as she descends,
A rather different set of friends


A rather different set of friends.
A rather different set of friends

To those that she has left behind–
These won't be nearly so refined.
A fish head, for example, cut
This morning from a halibut.

'Hello! Good morning! How d'you do?
How nice to meet you! How are you?'
And then a little further down
A mass of others gather round:
A bacon rind, some rancid lard,
A loaf of bread gone stale and hard,
A steak that nobody could chew,
An oyster from an oyster stew,
(Note: These two lines were switched in sequence)
Some liverwurst so old and gray
One smelled it from a mile away,
A rotten nut, a reeky pear,
A thing the cat left on the stair,
And lots of other things as well,
Each with a rather horrid smell.

horrid smell
These are Veruca's new found friends
That she will meet as she descends,

These are Veruca's new found friends
And this is the price she has to pay
For going so very far astray.
But now, my dears, we think you might
Be wondering–is it really right
That every single bit of blame
And all the scolding and the shame
Should fall upon Veruca Salt?
Is she the only one at fault?
For though she's spoiled, and dreadfully so,
A girl can't spoil herself, you know.
Who spoiled her, then? Ah, who indeed?
Who pandered to her every need?
Who turned her into such a brat?
Who are the culprits? Who did that?

Alas! You needen't look so far
To find out who these sinners are.
They are (and this is very sad)
Her loving parents, MUM and DAD.
Note: The above two lines are replaced with:
The guilty ones (now this is sad)
Are dear old mom and lovely dad.

And that is why we're glad they fell
Into the garbage chute as well.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby Johnny Fan » Sun Jul 17, 2005 2:44 am

Liz, the CATCF soundtrack comes with a booklet that includes the lyrics to all of the Oompa Loompa songs. I could type the lyrics out to the remaining songs and post them here, if you would like me to.
"Breath. We tend not to think much about it. Each one is a blessing--every inhale, every exhale." -Johnny Depp

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Unread postby Liz » Sun Jul 17, 2005 11:24 am

Johnny Fanatic wrote:Liz, the CATCF soundtrack comes with a booklet that includes the lyrics to all of the Oompa Loompa songs. I could type the lyrics out to the remaining songs and post them here, if you would like me to.


:dunce: :blush: Well, thank you for point that out, Johnny Fanatic. I'm so used to there never being any words in those inserts that I didn't even bother checking. So now, thanks to Johnny Fanatic :thanks!: , I can type the comparison of Violet Beauregarde. Mike Teavee coming up shortly.


Violet Beauregarde (Note: This song is sung in the present tense in the movie)

Listen close, and listen hard, the tale of Violet Beauregarde
Dear friends, we surely all agree
There's almost nothing worse to see
Than some repulsive little bum
Who's always chewing chewing gum.
(It's very near as bad as those
Who sit around and pick the nose).
So please believe us when we say
That chewing gum will never pay;
This sticky habit's bound to send
The chewer to a sticky end.
Did any of you ever know
A person called Miss Bigelow?
This dreadful woman saw no wrong
In chewing, chewing all day long. (instead:
Chewing, chewing, whewing, chewing, chewing, chewing all day long.
Chewing, chewing all day long.
Chewing, chewing all day long.
Chewing, chewing all day long.

She chewed while bathing in the tub,
She chewed while dancing at her club,
She chewed in church and on the bus;
It really was quite ludicrous!
And when she couldn't find her gum,
She'd chew up the linoleum,
Or anything that happened near–
A pair of boots, the postman's ear,
Or other people's underclothes,
And once she chewed her boy friend's nose.
She went on chewing till, at last,
Her chewing muscles grew so vast
That from her face her giant chin
Stuck out just like a violin.

For years and years she chewed away,
Consuming fifty packs a day,
Until one summer's eve, alas,
A horrid business came to pass.
Miss Bigelow went late to bed,
For half an hour she lay and read,
Chewing and chewing all the while
Like some great clockwork crocodile.
At last, she put her gum away
Upon a special little tray,
And settled back and went to sleep–
(She managed this by counting sheep).
But now, how strange! Although she slept,
Those massive jaws of hers still kept
On chewing, chewing through the night,
Even with nothing there to bite.
They were, you see, in such a groove
They positively had to move.
And very grim it was to hear
In pitchy darkness, loud and clear,
This sleeping woman's great big trap
Opening and shutting, snap–snap–snap!
Faster and faster, chop–chop–chop,
The noise went on, it wouldn't stop.
Until at last her jaws decide
To pause and open extra wide,
And with one great (formerly "the most")tremendous chew
They bit the lady's tongue in two.
Thereafter, just from chewing gum,
Miss Bigelow was always dumb,
And spent her life shut up in some
Disgusting sanatorium.
And that is why we'll try so hard
To save Miss Violet Beauregard

From suffering an equal fate.
She's still quite young. It's not too late,
Provided she survives the cure.
We hope she does. We can't be sure.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby Liz » Sun Jul 17, 2005 11:46 am

Mike Teavee

The most important thing we've ever learned,
The most important thing we've learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set–
Or better still, just don't install
The idiotic thing at all.

NEVER, NEVER let Them
NEVER, NEVER let Them

In almost every house we've been,
We've watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone's place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they're hypnotised by it,
Until they're absolutely drunk
With all the shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don't climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink–
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
IT ROTS THE SENSES IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND

IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND! (replaced by a fairytale, in fairyland)
A fairyland, a fairyland.
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK–HE ONLY SEES!

HE ONLY SEES!
HE ONLY SEES!

'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say,
'But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!'
We'll answer this by asking you,
'What used the darling ones to do?
'How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?'
Have you forgotten? Don't you know?
We'll say it very loud and slow:
THEY...USED...TO...READ! They'd READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic takes
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching 'round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it's Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy–Winkle and–
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How The Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There's Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole–
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks–
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They'll now begin to feel the need
Of having something good to read.
And once they start–oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hears. They'll grow so keen
They'll wonder what they'd ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.
P.S. Regarding Mike Teavee,
We very much regret that we

regret that we
Shall simply have to wait and see
We very much regret that we
Shall simply have to wait and see

If we can get him back to his height (replaced by "size").
But if we can't–it serves him right.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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