This coming weekend many young muggles will be absorbed by the latest
in a certain fantastic series. Then again, maybe they'll feel harried
at times and want a break from reading, in which case, it's fine that
the remake of the movie of the equally fantastic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
opens this Friday.
The movie is based on one of the most wonderful children's books ever, which Shelf Awareness
John Mutter remembers adoring when a school librarian, bless her, read
it aloud soon after publication. Whimsical, cutting, hilarious,
gratifying, it has a sensibility that resonates for adults. Originally
published in 1964, it has sold more than 13.7 million copies worldwide.
Directed by Tim Burton of Big Fish
and Edward Scissorhands
fame with a screenplay by John August and starring Johnny Depp as
Willie Wonka, the movie seems promising--and more appealing than the
1971 movie that author Roald Dahl reportedly disliked intensely.
Besides not changing the name (the earlier movie was called Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
), most of the songs by Danny Elfman use Dahl's wonderful words.
Johnny Depp is doing his best to promote the movie, appearing on the Today Show
today and on the Tonight Show
on Wednesday. On Thursday, he'll appear with Freddie Highmore, who plays Charlie Bucket, on the Today Show
. Highmore appears on Today
all by himself on Wednesday, and Anna Sophia Robb, who plays Violet Beauregarde, appears on the same show on Tuesday.
There are many official tie-in titles. Puffin is publishing the
official paperback tie-in with illustrations by Quentin Blake ($6.99,
0142403881) as well as a picture book tie-in ($6.99, 0142404209).
Knopf Books for Young Readers has the hardcover tie-in edition also
with illustrations by Quentin Blake ($14.95, 0375834605). Besides
the usual movie art on the jacket, this book has an eight-page full-color photo
insert. Knopf additionally has a library binding tie-in edition ($16.99,
HarperAudio has the tie-in unabridged CD ($25.95, 0060852801), which is
read by Eric Idle of Monty Python
fame, an inspired choice.
Of course, there's more. In fact, it's practically a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
factory. Penguin is offering the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Scrumdiddlyumptious Joke Book
($5.99, 014240389X), and its Price Stern Sloan imprint has several tie-in titles:
- Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Color and Draw ($3.99, 0843116366).
- Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Activity Book ($4.99, 0843116277).
- Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Sticker Book ($4.99, 0843116269).
There are even tie-in editions of Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
($6.99, 0142404128) and D Is for Dahl
by Wendy Cooling with illustrations by Quentin Blake (Penguin, $15.99,
0670060232), which has facts and trivia about Dahl and his creations.
(Among his other wonderful children's books: James and the Giant Peach