3 Things I Learned From Willy Wonka That Roald Dahl Probably Hadn’t Intended

Yesterday I wrote about 3 things I learned from Willy Wonka.  Seeing that movie taught me about the importance of imagination, the value of giving over receiving and the power of marketing.  But while watching the film, I also discovered a few other things.

Here are 3 things that I learned from Willy Wonka that author Roald Dahl probably hadn’t intended for me to learn:

1 – Chocolate is more important than school – Kids everywhere are already convinced of this, but Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory seems to endorse chocolate over school.  In one scene where Charlie is at school, the teacher dismisses the class when they learn that Wonka is opening up his factory.  The opportunity to buy chocolate so you can win a lifetime supply of candy is all it takes to cancel school.

2 – Chocolate has healing powers – Grandpa Joe hasn’t been out of bed for 20 years.  His family is poor and he shares a bed with three other bedridden people.  Apparently he has neither the motivation nor the physical strength to help his struggling family.  And if he hasn’t been out of bed in 20 years, where does he go to the bathroom? Gross

But as soon as he learns that Charlie has a golden ticket, he begins to sing and dance around the room.  It is a miracle! He suddenly has hope and is healed.

Here is a video of the song Grandpa Joe sings when he is healed.

3 – It is okay to smoke, especially if you are poor and bedridden – Before Grandpa Joe’s miraculous recovery, all he does is stay in bed and smoke a pipe.  When Charlie gets his first paycheck, he gives some money to Grandpa Joe to pay for tobacco.  Grandpa Joe tries to decline, but Charlie’s mom, Joe’s daughter, tells him it is okay and that it is “only one pipe a day.”

Only one pipe a day? I don’t know how much tobacco is needed for one pipe a day, but when all the family can afford to eat is cabbage water, I think one pipe a day is one pipe too many.  And did Joe ever stop to think that maybe the reason he has been bedridden for 20 years has something to do with his one pipe a day?  Maybe he needs to stop the pipe for one day and see if it helps his legs work again.

So overall, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is not only a great movie, but it can teach us many things.  Some really important lessons and some things we probably shouldn’t learn.


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