Johnny Depp is everywhere lately, isn't he? Public Enemies is in theaters now, the trailer for Alice in Wonderland was just released, and now it's been announced that he is going to be starring in Dark Shadows. I love Johnny Depp (and Tim Burton), so I'm thrilled about all of this. In fact, it made me want to revisit another one of their collaborations.
Check out the costumes the kids are wearing during Willy's Halloween flashback - three of them are wearing costumes that look like Lock, Shock, and Barrel, Oogie Boogie's evil helpers in A Nightmare Before Christmas. You have to look quick though - they run by at the very beginning of the scene from the left side of the screen to the right side of the screen. When the gang is riding down the chocolate river just after they see the "Whipped Cream" room, they pass a room labeled "Jelly Beans." If you pause it and go into slo-mo, you'll see that the next room is labeled "Beetle Juicing."
If you love bad puns, you'll love this one - you probably remember the scene where the group is touring the factory and they make a brief stop at the secretary, who is also an Oompa Loompa played by Deep Roy. The title plaque on her desk says "Taste Accountant." It's a silly little reference to the phrase, "There's no accounting for taste." Apparently, there is! In the edible meadow scene, the tube that vacuums the chocolate up from the lake is stuck into a flying saucer-looking thing, which is because it is. It's actually one of the saucers from Burton's Mars Attacks. People who were considered for the role of Willy Wonka: Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey, John Cleese, Robert DeNiro (can you imagine?!), Michael Keaton, Marilyn Manson, Leslie Nielsen, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Brad Pitt, Christopher Walken, Patrick Stewart, Ben Stiller, Will Smith and Robin Williams. A bunch of famous T.V. dads were considered for the role of Mike Teavee's dad - Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson), Tim Allen (Tim Taylor), Ed O'Neill (Al Bundy), Bob Saget (Danny Tanner), and Ray Romano (Ray Barone), among others.
Some of the other buttons in the Glass Elevator: Fragile Egos, Spewed Vegetables, Root Beer Googles, Nice Plums, Secretarial Poodles. Heart-Shaped Lungs, People Poo and Blackberry Sausages. When Willy and the kids are checking out all of Wonka's various candy-making rooms, they pass one with a bunch of pink sheep. "I don't want to talk about it," Wonka remarks. This is a reference to Ed Wood, another Burton and Depp collaboration - real-life director Ed Wood had a thing for wearing pink angora sweaters. The actress who plated Grandma Georgina said she had her pick of which grandma to play. After reading the whole script, she picked Grandma Georgina because she's the one who gets to kiss Johnny Depp. I like the way that lady thinks. Willy Wonka's cane is filled with Nerds candy. The little boy who played Augustus Gloop wore a fat suit for the role. A bunch of people saw the similarities between Willy Wonka and Michael Jackson after the movie came out. Tim Burton begged to differ. "Michael Jackson likes children; Willy Wonka can't stand them. To me that's a huge difference." Depp agreed and said that his inspiration was somewhere between Howard Hughes in his later years and Mr. Rogers. Martin Scorsese almost directed the film, but ended up doing The Aviator instead. Mr. Bucket works for a company that makes Smilex toothpaste, which you can see early on when it shows a shot of him taking the misshapen toothpaste caps from the assembly line. "Smylex" is also the name of the poison the Joker releases on the city in the Burton-directed Batman.
The squirrels in the Nut Room scene are real - at least, 40 of them are. The animals were trained every day for nearly three months so that the close shots in that scene would look realistic. It also provided reality for the kids instead of forcing them to work with a green screen and CGI. Johnny Depp ad-libbed the line where he's talking to Mike Teavee about the types of people who would want to have long hair and slips into jive talk. To be exact, it's "It's in the fridge, daddy-o! Are you hip to the jive? Can you dig what I'm layin' down? I knew that you could. Slide me some skin, soul brother!" The first time he did it, the actor who plays Mike looked at him like he was nuts and said, "That's not in the script." Deep Roy is the one who suggested that the Augustus Gloop dance scene be like a big Bollywood musical scene. The chocolate river was originally going to be CGI, but they tried that and Burton didn't like the way it looked. So after testing nine different chocolates for their color, 192,000 gallons of it were used to make a real chocolate river. It looks great, sure, but apparently after a couple of weeks it started to smell quite bad. Johnny Depp tested out Wonka's slightly lispy, aloof voice on his daughter while they were playing Barbies. She liked it, so he went with it. What do you like better - this version or Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the Gene Wilder version? Have a movie suggestion, or just want to read my babble? I'm on Twitter.