Homecoming skit requires sweetening up by sophomores

September 10, 2018 — by Alan Zu

Sophomores perform Charlie and the Chocloate Factory for Homecoming

When I first saw the 1971 and 2005 version of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” I thought both movies were fantastic and imaginative. The 1971 version’s visuals were especially magical and enhanced by the bright colors. Because of its enticing plot, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is a great choice for the sophomore Homecoming theme.

The impact from all versions of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” — the original 1964 Roald Dahl book, the 1971 movie and the 2005 movie — is notable in pop culture. The 1971 film, named “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” was nominated for two Academy Awards. Many of the original movie’s songs, such as “The Candyman,” are still popular.

In general, critics have preferred the old version over the new one. Movie critic Roger Ebert wrote, in 2005 on his own movie review website, that the most recent movie version is extremely disturbing for viewers.

“The problem is not simply that Willy Wonka looks like Michael Jackson; it's that in a creepy way we're not sure of his motives,” Ebert said. Willy Wonka, in the 2005 version, is performed by Johnny Depp, while the 1971 version Wonka is played by Gene Wilder.

Even so, both movies and the book still share many similarities, such as their overall plot. Charlie is chosen to go to a factory along with four other children. The others, who all misbehave in the factory, are punished for their misdeeds, and Charlie is rewarded with the entire factory.

The original movie would be a more delightful inspiration for the sophomore skit. As Ebert says, the 1971 version is “delightful, funny, scary, exciting and, most of all, a genuine work of imagination.”

One aspect from the original story that the skit should definitely include is the Oompa Loompas. The Oompa Loompas, who are short, exotic, orange-skin dwarves working in Wonka’s factory and paid only with cocoa beans, create memorable dance scenes in the movie that could be an entertaining quad day number.

Another enjoyable scene occurs when Willy Wonka introduces his machines in the factory’s inventing room, which is full of imagination.

For example, Wonka adds sport shoes into a frothy mixture in order to give it “a little kick,” and each one of his machines makes strange noises as they pump or whirl chemicals to create different candies like the “Everlasting Gobstopper.” Such scenes are worth adding to bring some more charm to the Homecoming skit.

Wonka, being the owner of the chocolate factory, should be portrayed energetically. In the 2005 movie, he is excited at the strangest ideas, such as the almost-creepy puppet performance before the ticket winners enter the factory. The sophomores could portray Wonka as this eccentric character to add humor into their skit.

Many scenes from the 1971 “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” are captivating due to their their charming creativity.

While it is impossible to perform the entire film, both movie versions include so many iconic scenes that the skit should be successful. And, with so many Oompa Loompas, main characters, and an entire town, the skit will require a vast cast in order to cover all starring or supporting roles.

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