The original Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory from 1971 is the latest sacred cow to get the Honest Trailers treatment from Screen Junkies. This edition, however, comes with a twist in the form of Grammy Award-winning singer Michael Bolton, whose comedic reinvention continues as he belts out revised versions of the film’s iconic songs.
There are plenty of laughs before Bolton even shows up, too, with the narrator describing the movie as “pure children’s wish fulfillment that’s still not afraid to scar you for life.” Best of all is a well-deserved dressing-down of Grandpa Joe, a “con artist” with “two big coke nails” who “goes from bedridden to dancing when free chocolate comes along.” Calling Willy Wonka “the Howard Hughes of diabetes” is pretty great, too.
But Bolton’s the real highlight here. In his renditions, sung with the singer’s piercing tenor, a world of pure imagination becomes “a world of safety violations” where “every surface, someone’s chewed it.” He also uses the Oompa Loompa’s song to label them “slaves in need of rescue” before pointing out the queasy fact that, in an early draft of the book, they were African pygmies. Bolton even encourages viewers to “Google it,” which will lead to articles like this.
Maybe producers should recruit him for the forthcoming prequel.