Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a children's book written by British author Roald Dahl and was published in 1964. It's the story of Charlie Bucket, a little boy with no money but a good heart who dreams of being able to buy candy just like any other child. Charlie wins one of the five "Golden Tickets" to visit the mysterious chocolate factory owned by Willy Wonka and run by his crew of mysterious Oompa Loompas. Charlie takes his Grandpa Joe as his guest and once behind the factory gates, he joins the other winners on a journey to discover that a kind heart is more valuable than a sweet tooth.
I read this book years ago while taking a Children's Literature course at university and then made sure my children got a chance to read it, along with seeing the 1971 movie starring Gene Wilder, retitled "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factor." The movie was remade in 2005 starring Johnny Depp, but I must say I prefer the original. I loved the music in the movie as it really brought it alive.
So just who or what are Oompa Loompas? Well, they come from Loompaland, which is a region of Loompa, a small isolated island in the Pacific Ocean. They were preyed upon by the Whangdoodles, Hornswogglers, and Snozzwangers so Willy Wonka invited them to work at his factory to get away from their predators. They tend to speak in rhyme and are mischievous, love practical jokes and singing. As each bad child makes his or her exit, they sing moralising songs accompanied by a drum beat. To me, they just make the story! The music in the 1971 and the 2005 movie versions are different, but I love the earlier movie's music better. Scroll down to get a taste of it - can't figure out why it won't sit right below here, but it's worth a listen.
Our thanks to creator/producer/director/hostess Denise Nesbitt and her team of Oompa Loompas for keeping the fun Ongoing.