The thing about the holidays, among a million other things, is the ceremonial showing of some of the most extraordinary films ever made. Extraordinary not always for skill, script or savoir-faire – but for that element of holiday imagination that never grows old.

Your holiday “short-list” probably stars the likes of Bing Crosby, Rudolph, a trove of Wooden Soldiers – marching, and an infinite list of miracles.

This Thanksgiving I caught Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the 1971 musical film adaptation of the 1964 novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. I’d seen it a good handful of times over the years and dutifully watched a few times prior to the Tim Burton version, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2007), starring Johnny Depp. Interestingly, to spite the lovely original score (Bricusse/Newley) and colorful sets, Willy Wonka was just too dark for 1971 audiences and did not fair well at the box office. But all these years later…ALL of them…it’s still really good. And not so dark afterall.

“If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it. Anything you want to, do it. Want to change the world? There’s nothing to it.”

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One thought on “in a world of pure imagination

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