DUELING OOMPA LOOMPAS
This won't be a timely post, but as I just got around to watching Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this past weekend, it will have to suffice.
First, I should probably establish the fact that the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was a childhood favorite of mine - shown once a year here in the Detroit area, a la The Wizard of Oz and The Sound of Music. [Of course, there weren't so many channels in those days - for us: just 2 (CBS), 4 (NBC), 7 (ABC), 9 (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) on the VHF (no remote control, so you actually had to get up off your ass and click!-click!-click! that upper dial). On the UHF, you had 20 (Green Acres, Petticoat Junction), 50 (Gilligan's Island; The Brady Bunch), 56 (PBS), and 62 (one-step up from community access) (spin that lower dial!). And that was it. How the hell did we ever survive that primitive, seemingly Amish-dominated era?]
But to get back on point... Johnny Depp certainly amused me in the new version of Chocolate Factory (though no one will ever hold a candle to Gene Wilder in that role), and there were some nice visual bits, as you'd expect from Tim Burton (I especially liked the nut-shucking squirrels). So... C+, I guess.
As for the music, I've always liked Danny Elfman's scores (hell, I even went through an Oingo Boingo stage, though I don't like to talk about that). I was also always a big fan of the Oompa Loompas in the original film. They (and the songs they sang) had a certain "menacing" quality to them that appealed to me as a child (you just know that, given half a chance, they would have turned any number of Munchkins and Von Trapp children into dinner).
I liked the digitally-manipulated Oompa Loompas in the new film as well, though they seemed to be played more for humor than horror. As for their musical interludes, I'll leave it for you to decide which version reigns supreme...
From Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2005 >>>
[MP3] "Augustus Gloop"
[MP3] "Violet Beauregarde"
[MP3] "Veruca Salt"
[MP3] "Mike Teavee"
From Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, 1971 >>>
[MP3] "Oompa Loompa Song #1"
[MP3] "Oompa Loompa Song #2"
[MP3] "Oompa Loompa Song #3"
[MP3] "Oompa Loompa Song #4"