Top 10 Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Facts That Will Ruin Your Childhood



Top 10 Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Facts That Will Ruin Your Childhood

VOICE OVER: Emily - WatchMojo WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
It may be a classic, but these are the “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” facts that will ruin your childhood. For this list, we'll be going over trivia and other knowledge about “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” that may change the way you view the 1971 film, or else that are just interesting. Our countdown includes Roald Dahl disowned the film, Wonka's unpredictable behavior, the chocolate river wasn't chocolate, and more!
Some things are best left to “Pure Imagination.” Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” facts that will ruin your childhood.

For this list, we’ll be going over trivia and other knowledge about “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” that may change the way you view the 1971 film, or else that are just interesting.

#10: Marketing Led to Name Change

Roald Dahl wrote “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” the children’s book that this film is based on. Naturally, this begs the question – why the name change? Although some accounts suggest that the name change was due to the civil rights movement (Charlie can be a racially charged name), it’s more likely that the rebranding was because of marketing. “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” was financed largely by the company Quaker Oats, with the goal of creating a line of candy, and it made sense to tie the Wonka brand more to the movie. The resulting candy bar wasn’t a success, though that had more to do with how easily it melted.

#9: Wrong References

“Willy Wonka,” like many other films, is filled with references to other parts of pop culture. Although most of it is recognizable, not all of it is correct. For instance, when Wonka opens his musical lock, Mrs. Teevee claims the composer to be Rachmaninoff, when it’s actually Mozart. Wonka himself references Shakespeare numerous times throughout the movie and sometimes gets the quote wrong. The Bard isn’t the only writer he misquotes however; Wonka also gets a line wrong from a poem called “Sea-Fever” written by English poet John Masefield. Granted, in all of these cases, the characters being incorrect might be a conscious character choice rather than an error on the filmmakers’ parts.

#8: Real Knee Injury

Veruca Salt is, to put it mildly, quite the pill. The spoiled brat is arguably the most deserving of the children on the tour that Wonka teaches his decidedly harsh lessons to. Still, her actress actually suffered an injury that was unplanned by the candy kingpin. While in the Chocolate Room, Veruca can be seen smashing a chocolate egg on a rock to break it open. During filming, actress Julie Dawn Cole cut her knee when she fell on the rock, which was real. The injury can even be seen in subsequent scenes, and Cole apparently still has a scar.

#7: Roald Dahl Disowned the Film

Roald Dahl is a complicated figure, and not just because of how dark his stories tend to be. But it’s actually partly for this reason that Dahl reportedly did not care for this film adaptation of his book. Dahl reportedly told his friend Donald Sturrock that he found the music added to the movie to be too upbeat. He was also critical of Gene Wilder in the title role, feeling that he lacked the edge needed to bring Wonka to life. It’s also been reported that Dahl disliked the final film so much that he refused to grant rights to a sequel.

#6: Wonka’s Unpredictable Behavior

Willy Wonka is a madcap genius of candy and utterly unpredictable in his actions, being soft-spoken one minute, and shouting angrily the next. Wonka’s mercurial nature also extended to Gene Wilder’s performance of him. Reportedly, one of Wilder’s conditions for taking the part was that he be allowed to do a somersault during his introduction, which the rest of the cast didn’t know about, with some of their reactions to his fake “fall” being genuine. Wilder also surprised the cast with his maniacal performance during the boat ride, which terrified some of the actors so much that they didn’t think he was acting.

#5: Nazi Golden Ticket Winner

The first part of the film follows the worldwide scramble to find the five golden tickets Willy Wonka hides in chocolate bars to allow five winners to go to his factory. Although Charlie Bucket dreams of going, his hopes seem to be dashed when the news announces that a millionaire in Paraguay has found the last ticket. Naturally, it’s soon revealed to be a forgery. What many may not realize is that the man pictured is Martin Bormann, Adolf Hitler’s secretary and a high-ranking Nazi party official. Although Bormann died in Germany, rumors persist that he fled to Paraguay, which is the origin of the joke. The filmmakers clearly overestimated how familiar people would be with Nazi party members.

#4: Post-“Wonka” Blues

While every departure of the misbehaving children is memorable in its own way, arguably the most renowned is that of Violet Beauregarde. The champion gum chewer is unable to resist trying a gum that changes flavors while on the tour, and the unfinished product eventually turns her blue when she reaches the pie part - and it also inflates her to an enormous size. Violet’s embarrassing exit stayed with her actress after the fact – literally. While at school shortly after shooting the scene, actress Denise Nickerson’s pores sweat out the leftover makeup, turning her blue all over again. Yikes!

#3: Wonka Wash Foam

Willy Wonka’s bizarre inventions aren’t just limited to candy and other edibles. He has also done marvelous things with vehicles too! The most on-brand of these is the Wonkamobile. True to form, the fuel for this car is all manner of fizzy drinks, the byproduct of which is a copious amount of foam. During the visitors’ short but unforgettable ride, the passengers and Wonka are all covered in the stuff. Despite it seeming fluffy and edible-looking at first glance, anyone who’s seen a fire extinguisher discharged couldn’t help but notice the resemblance - and that’s because that’s exactly what it is! Since it aggravates the skin on contact, the actors had to receive medical treatment afterwards.

#2: The Chocolate River Wasn’t Chocolate

Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory is filled with delicious looking confections. However, most of what’s shown on screen wasn’t edible. The candy was made of cardboard or plastic and the snozzberry wallpaper tasted like wallpaper. A good rule of thumb is that unless you saw someone eat it then it wasn’t edible… although that buttercup Gene Wilder takes a bite out of was actually wax. Most famous of all though is the chocolate river. According to the actors, it was mostly water with coloring added to it, and it smelled and tasted horrible. Other sources claim it was real however… so maybe we can keep the dream alive a little longer.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

An Oompa Loompa Believed He Was Steering the Boat - But It Was Actually on Rails

This Line Took SO Many Takes! (40+)

The Oompa Loompas Became Friends & Pranksters

Trouble with Gymnastics Manoeuvres

#1: Sinister Seat Numbers

Willy Wonka is an eccentric chocolatier looking for someone to take over his business for him someday. He gives 5 children the chance to prove themselves. While he seems benevolent, he certainly has a darker side, and it’s likely worse than some viewers notice on the first few times through. The crux of this is in Wonka’s vehicles. His infamous boat on the chocolate river only has room for himself and 8 passengers – not the 10 he started with! Similarly, his Wonkamobile later on has just enough for the number of people left at that point. Is this a production gaffe, or all part of Mr. Wonka’s sinister scheme to eliminate his contestants by hook or by crook until only one remains? You decide!