“Charlie and the chocolate factory” was a film Directed by Tim Burton in 2005 starring Johnny Depp and Freddie Highmore. It is about an eccentric Chocolatier called Willy Wonka, Who due to a restricted childhood, with a candy hating dentist for a father, grew to feel extremely passionate about sweets and chocolate. Willy Wonka then took in to his own hands, and created his own magical Chocolate factory. A few years into his business we was victimised by a group of Spy’s trying to steal his secret recipe, As a result, he lost all his trust in adults and closed down the factory ‘forever’.
However this factory was surprisingly re opened with only five VIP guests allowed in for a tour of the factory. In order to decide which five people were allowed the tour, he hid 5 golden tickets in five ordinary looking Wonka bars. Whoever found these tickets would be allowed to attend this tour. One of these five guests would receive an unimaginable Prize at the end of this tour. Charlie Later found out that the prize was the factory. The initial Assumption that Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Willy Wonka is in fact based on Michael Jackson has been created mainly by the media.
This assumption was firstly conjured by a film review written on ‘RogerEbert. com’ by Tim Emerson, He includes strong critical points to show that Johnny Depp did in fact base Willy Wonka on Michael Jackson. This aroused suspicion has been advertised throughout the media, some people believe this accusation however some believe it is mere coincidence. There are many similarities between Willy Wonka and Michael Jackson which may lead people to believe that Johnny Depp did base his character on Michael Jackson, for example appearance.
In the new film both Willy Wonka and Michael Jackson look astoundingly similar, they both have short, jet black, bobbed hair, extremely pale skin, angular faces with a prominent chin and wear similar eccentric clothing. In the original film Willy Wonka had a healthy skin colour with long, blonde, wavy hair, no weirdly shaped chin and did not wear eccentric clothing. This aroused greater suspicion as it seemed like these changes were made for a specific reason. There must have been a reason why his hair colour changed so drastically from blonde to jet black?
And why his facial features changed so randomly to fit the description of Michael Jackson? Also, Willy Wonka is seen on a number of occasions to wear unusually large sunglasses all the time, and wears these weird gloves. Michael Jackson is well known for wearing sunglasses when there is not necessarily sun, and well known for wearing one glove. The Traditional Willy Wonka never wore sunglasses, or odd gloves, and therefore these changes had no significance to Willy Wonka’s character.
Michael Jackson is also notorious for his family problems, in the new film; Willy Wonka has Flashbacks that reveal to us, his troubled childhood. This also created suspicion because in the original film and novel, there was no recognition of the fact that Willy Wonka ever had a Troubled Family life/Childhood. It seemed that Willy Wonka’s background was altered based on Michael Jackson’s past, as showing Willy Wonka had a troubled childhood didn’t make any major difference to the film, and was somewhat irrelevant. Where else would the idea for this particular choice of background for Willy Wonka have come from?
Both Willy Wonka and Michael Jackson had an unpleasant childhood, they both had significantly bad relationships with their father, both fathers where obsessive with their careers and in their eyes they were doing the best for their children. For example, Wilbur Wonka, Willy Wonka’s dad, was a candy hating dentist who denied Willy of any types of sweets or chocolate. We know he did this because in the film, when it is Halloween, Willy Wonka brings home sweets that he was given, and his dad threw them all away claiming they was bad for him, although Willy begged his dad to let him try just one piece of candy, his dad never changed his mind.
Joe Jackson, Michael Jackson’s father and manager of his singing career, deprived Michael of any sort of childhood. He was not allowed to play or socialize with other children, and had to be 100% focused on his singing career. Both Michael Jackson and Willy Wonka grew up to open a business relating to what they were denied when they were younger. For example, Willy was not allowed sweets; therefore he then opened a whole factory dedicated to making candy, to give other children the opportunity to experience what he never.
As Michael Jackson was deprived of a childhood, when he became older, he opened his own fantasy land called ‘nevaland’, giving other children the opportunity to ‘play’, that he never had. Both characters seemed to be stuck in the past, living now what they should of as a child. The chocolate factory environment was noticeably similar to Michael Jackson’s ‘Nevaland’. The chocolate factory is magical and full of rides and activities such as the glass elevator and the boat ride, this is much like Michael Jackson’s ‘Nevaland’.
The factory is also similar to ‘Nevaland’ as it was made especially for children, and has mostly children visitors. Willy Wonka’s factory was invaded by spies, as a result of this he closed his factory down, fired all workers and lost trust in all adults. This is similar to Michael Jackson, however, instead of being invaded by spies, his life was somewhat invaded by the media and paparazzi. Also, due to the paedophilia allegations made against him, he lost trust in a lot of people.
Also in the film, just as the children are entering the factory, there is a puppet show production greeting them. In The Puppet show there were a lot of puppet children dancing around having fun (much like they would in nevaland) when one of the mechanical items goes wrong and starts to spark. Due to these sparks, the whole production becomes set alight and starts to burn. This shows another resemblance in these characters as in 1984 Michael Jackson was filming a Pepsi commercial, when there was a mechanical fault. This caused sparks, much like in the puppet show.
These sparks set Michael Jackson’s hair alight, causing him to get Third Degree burns, much like what Willy Wonka would have got if he had sit inside the puppet show, on the chair that he placed there for himself. Michael Jackson and Willy Wonka have a similar attitude towards children, they both seem enthusiastic yet unsure when they are around children, Willy Wonka is a sarcastic, yet excitable character, who gets very much excited about small childish things, for example, when willy Wonka is showing the visitors his chocolate factory, he gets very excited especially when showing his inventions such as the course-meal gum.
He also seems quite unsure and confused when he notices that the children aren’t excited as he is. This could be related to Michael Jackson as when he is talking about his nevaland ranch he gets very excited about his creation, and almost enjoys showing it off to children. Johnny Depp has spoken out on numerous occasions about this topic, on every occasion both him and Tim Burton have denied all allegations that Willy Wonka was based on Michael Jackson in any way.
However, when Johnny Depp played the role of ‘captain Jack sparrow’ in the ‘pirates of the Caribbean’ he denied all allegations that the character was based on anyone in particular, but then later admitted that he based the character of Keith Richards from ‘The rolling stones’. Johnny Depp could in fact be lying about this occasion as well however, has not found the right time to admit that Willy Wonka has based on Michael Jackson, as Michael Jackson has passed away.
Johnny Depp and Freddie Highmore (Charlie Bucket) both co-starred in a previous film called ‘finding nevaland’ which is based on nevaland and peter pan, whom Michael Jackson is extremely passionate about. Here they are again in another film together, which seems to be also related to Michael Jackson. Maybe these two characters enjoy acting/making their films influenced one way or another by Michael Jackson. Although there are many strong reasons why some people believe that Johnny Depp based his portrayal on Michael Jackson, there also reasons to suggest that Willy Wonka’s resemblance to Michael Jackson was a mere coincidence..
The first Charlie and the chocolate factory was written in 1965, it can be argued that the film has nothing to do with Michael Jackson as the original story was written before Michael Jackson was famous. However this point can also be argued against as it is not the original version that is seen to be based on Michael Jackson, it is the many various and possibly irrelevant changes made to the original version which is seen to have a remarkably similar resemblance to Michael Jackson.
In the film Willy Wonka seems to dislike children to a certain extent, for example in the film when the children first arrive inside the factory, he approaches them in a sarcastic manor. Especially towards Verucca as he makes a remark about her name being some sort of wart you find on the bottom of your foot. And also towards Mike Teevee, Mike is always questioning Willy’s thoughts and actions, which Willy does not like. Willy Wonka accuses Mike of mumbling whenever Mike talks, when in fact Willy can hear Mike he is just choosing not to acknowledge what he’s saying.
Also whenever one of the children get into trouble, for example, when Verucca is thrown down the garbage shoot, Willy Wonka just stands back and does nothing, even though he has the power to save them. This is the total opposite to Michael Jackson as Michael Jackson adores children and is always nice to them. He would never even dream of being rude to them or putting them in danger. One last reason to show that Willy Wonka was not based on Michael Jackson is that Willy Wonka owns a chocolate factory and Michael Jackson owns Nevaland.
Michael Jackson was never involved in a chocolate factory, and Willy Wonka was never involved with an amusement park such as Nevaland. In conclusion I believe that Willy Was in fact based upon Michael Jackson as there are too many similarities, some possibly too similar to be coincidental. Johnny Depp and Tim Burton just did this in a less obvious way so that it was not too apparent to the audience. Also the new version of Willy Wonka was released during the time that Michael Jackson was on trial for his paedophilia allegations, and maybe Johnny Depp and Tim Burton did this to show a hidden message about Michael Jackson.