So I went to the Willy Wonka sing along at the Music Box this afternoon. I'm going to have that stupid Golden Ticket song stuck in my head for a week.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was a go-to film for me as a kid, a movie I loved like burning, but I haven't seen it probably since I was fifteen or so. And yet, both I and the woman sitting next to me managed to sing along to every song, including the creepy boat song, and recite half the dialogue. (It occurred to me also, watching the opening credits, it's probably to blame for my fascination with industrial mass-production equipment.)
I frankly have no idea how that film got made or marketed to children, because it's like a psychotic romp through Roald Dahl's ultra-creepy subconscious and parts are genuinely traumatising. What other children's movie do you know has footage of a chicken being beheaded? I guess we can blame the fact that it was the early seventies.
And it's not like the film isn't enchanting, too. The whole thing is remarkably well-written, which I can appreciate more as an adult; Roald Dahl was a fantasist but he had a very firm grasp on how to tell a multi-channel story, using cultural objects like news reports and television interviews to build a world around the central plot. It holds up extremely well on the big screen, especially when you have Audience Participation and get to blow bubbles during the fizzy lifting drink scene. I've never blown bubbles during a movie before, they look really cool when they drift up through the projection light.
Next year I'm so going in costume. SOMEBODY FIND ME A PURPLE VELVET FROCK COAT.