Have any of you realized how weird and fucked up your favorite movies from childhood are?
In my memories, movies like Willy Wonka and Disney’s Alice in Wonderland were totally awesome kids movies. Now, watching them as an adult with my own daughter, I am like, WTF? This movie is messed up. Alice in Wonderland doesn’t even make sense, which, given that it was written by an opium addict I guess is appropo. Willy Wonka is a psycho or a pedophile–can’t figure out which. Don’t even get me started on The Secret of Nymh or The NeverEnding story. No wonder I am such a weirdo–these are the films that raised me!
Anyway, tradition is tradition so Sofia is totally into “Willy Honka” as she calls him. Watching it with her, it struck me how much of that film is directed towards parents and parenting.
Lessons in parenting from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, sung by Oompa Loompas, summarized by le moi…
Lesson 1) Don’t let your kid be a fatty, or he will surely be stuck in a the chocolate river piping; a fate we all hope our children avoid. The lesson here could also be don’t let your kid be German. Not sure.
Lesson 2) Don’t let your kid chew gum all the time, and make sure they listen to grown-ups (even if they are candyman weirdos). No one wants to have to be juiced.
Lesson 3) Don’t let your kid be a spoiled shit or someone might throw them in a furnace. Nuff said.
Lesson 4) Make your kids read books more than they watch T.V.–or creepy movies about pedophiles and midgets and disappearing children. Hmm.
Lesson 5) Read everything you sign, especially if you plan on stealing something. If Charlie had kept that Everlasting Gobstopper, he would have been out a lifetime supply of chocolate plus a candy empire!
Lesson 6) When you get everything you want in life, remember to be happy. Ok, so this one is totally on point.
Of course, the oddest thing about this film is that the kid who has the most moral capacity is in fact the one with the least parental presence. Charlie’s mom busts her ass all day doin’ laundry, no dad around, and only teachers and old crips spend time with him. What are you trying to say Willy?
No matter. You had me at chocolate river.