Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – PC police beware

Like any parent with deferred-parenting skills might do, thumb08I took my kids to see Charlie and the chocolate factory. Having seen the original 1971 version, I have to admit I was eager to see how a great kids story would be modernized as only through the mind of Tim Burton.

Before entering the theater, I knew Tim Burton’s new film would be a bit different and likely lean towards the dark genre of films, but what I did not expect was the absolute disregard for political correctness. Being a bit of a movie buff, and having watched many old films, I’ve always enjoyed the stark contrast compared to modern films. Today’s films endorse sex, graphic language, and violence, but shy away from anything controversial, which might be condemned by the politically correct police.

This film, aimed at children, broke so many PC rules that I wish I had a scorecard just to keep up. I’m truly unsure of how Hollywood managed to sneak this film out without a protest from some activist group, especially PETA.

Picture this, a milking cow suspended in the air, while creepy Oompa Loompa’s whip the milk. Okay, a bit bizarre perhaps, but nothing that unusual, right? I mean, we all know cow’s milk is used for whipped cream. Well, the scene is much more ominous – those Oompa Loompa’s are using real whips while the cow lets out ear curdling moos. I couldn’t quite catch if they were whipping the drops of milk, or the cow itself. Why didn’t PETA break into the Hollywood set and rescue that poor cow? Think of how many retakes from how many angles that poor cow would have had to go through. What kind of message does whipping a cow send The Children(TM) on how to treat animals?

While on the whole PETA kick, I thought it’d be fair to talk about the other abused and mistreated animals: The poor digitally trained squirrels. They work in the factory sorting nuts. PETA – they work in conditions not fit for humans, let alone animals. Imagine a huge open hole in the middle of the floor where any one of these squirrels could fall down and get incinerated on Tuesday after spending the rest of its short life in a pile of garbage. The stench that rises from this hole would be unbearable. Those squirrels work in a sorting area cracking nut after nut. Where are the repetitive stress injury lawyers when you need them? Not even the Oompa Loompa’s were subjected to such working conditions. Those squirrels didn’t even have fresh water to drink from when they needed to rest. Is this the message we should be sending The Children(tm)?

To be fair, PETA shouldn’t be protesting alone. The society to protect endangered animals should have been in an uproar. If this film were properly done in the modern world, Willy Wonka would have sacrificed his life to save that obviously endangered massive insect species chasing Willy through the thick rainforest. Instead, the creature ended up as a tasty sample for the likes of Willy searching for exotic new tastes for chocolate. I ask – where is the anger?

Charlie and the Chocolate factory and the diversity PC police should have been on this one…. Imagine a whole society of Oompa Loompa’s uplifted from their native land where they lived in harmony with nature and were forced to work for cocoa beans in a massive chocolate factory. This movie should be a modern-day scandal. The whole Oompa Loompa story starts off with Willy Wonka insulting the native culinary dish of caterpillars. Next, the entire Oompa Loompa society is transported to his factory and has not been let out for years. All the while the Oompa Loompas are kept as working slaves for the evil capitalist Willy Wonka. Worse, these labourers are used for Willy Wonka’s scientific testing and experimentation. Their language is lost, their culture is lost, and their food delights are no more. How can anyone sit idly by and allow this to happen?

Union heavy Hollywood should have picketed this movie into the reject pile. An entire factory of workers is put out of work for the thievery of a few accused working class stiffs. The accusations are unproven. And clearly, a generous compensation package was not obtained after one observes the nature of Charlie’s grandfather living in a single bed with two generations of Charlie’s family, and all the while, Willy Wonka hordes the profits of his successful chocolate empire. The workers are replaced with cheap Oompa Loompa workers and are locked out of the factory forever. Why did the unionist not save Charlie’s grandfather’s job? Why did they allow such anti-union propaganda in a children’s film?

All kidding around aside, the film is uplifting in a dark, creepy way. Imagine a film that teaches morals, instead of moral relativity. Imagine a film that does not push some kind of traditional-PC agenda down children’s throats. How refreshing!

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Darren Barefoot

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