Pure Imagination: The Story of 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory' (2001)

Video  |   |  Documentary, Short  |  13 November 2001 (USA)
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Retrospective documentary on the making of the cult classic "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."



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Cast overview:
Himself, author of 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' (archive footage)
David Seltzer ...
Himself (as Michael Böllner)
Rusty Goffe ...
Harper Goff ...
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Leslie Bricusse ...
Himself (archive footage)


Retrospective documentary on the making of the cult classic "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Short





Release Date:

13 November 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pure Imagination  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This documentary is featured on both the Widescreen and Full Screen releases of the Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) DVD, released in 2001. See more »

Crazy Credits

In the memory of Producer Stan Margulies. See more »


References Angels (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

An Outstanding Bonus Feature; Fun To Watch & Very Informative
27 July 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I learned a lot of interesting trivia from this 32-minute bonus feature that was on the Special Edition DVD of "Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory."

The movie was filmed in Munich. The producer didn't want the scenery to look like anyplace the audiences might recognize, like New York or even St Louis. They wanted a place "you couldn't peg for any time nor any place - a fantasy place." They chose this castle-like complex in Munich.

Producer David Wolper said they got $3 million by a company to release the film the same time a new candy bar was being introduced on the market: Wonka Bar, so they also changed the title from author Roald Dahl's "Charlie and The Chocolate Factory" to "Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory" because of the candy bar's name. (You scratch my back; I'll scratch yours).

Gene Wilder said he wouldn't do the role if he couldn't make an entrance with a cane and limping, looking like he was crippled. Then he would do a somersault. From that point, people wouldn't know if he was telling the truth or not which is the way he thought people should view the character "Willy Wonka." Gene also put a lovable look to a guy who, at the same time, is really a nightmarish, evil character who would systemically eliminate kids. Wilder was perfect for the role.

It also was fun to see in this "documentary"little Peter Ostrum ("Charlie") now as a grown-up, an almost middle-aged guy with a big mustache. In addition, we get to see what the other kids now look like, too. This was great fun to see a grown-up "Augustus Gloop" (who still looks very similar!), "Veruca Salt" (who is a beautiful woman), "Violet Buregard" and "Mike Teevee" (who is now bald!). Later in the DVD feature, the actors tell us what they are doing today. It's all very good stuff.

There were lots of comments by director Mel Stuart, who you can see really enjoys talking about this film. In discussing the Oom-Pah characters, Stuart noted, "For some reason, it was very hard to find midgets and dwarfs in Germany who could speak English. We wound up getting nine of them, and they were all over: England, Turkey, Malta - the communication was difficult."

One of the keys to the success of the film, according to Stuart, was Harper Goff, the art designer "who had an incredible imagination."

Wolper said the set costs about two million, which would probably be at least $80 million today. He is the only person in this 30-minute documentary who turned me off. All he seems to care about his money. There is no sentimental value to his film for him, unlike everyone else who was interviewed.

After watching this "DVD feature," I have new respect for Wilder. He comes across an extremely nice guy, a low key compassion man who must have been very good with the kids on this movie. "You have no idea how many people have come up to me over the years and commented on this movie," said. "You might think 'a lot,'but it's more than that and, yes, it's a wonderful legacy."

Of the bonus features I've seen on DVDs, so far this is about as good as it gets.

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