Life Magazine
CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
May 27th 2005
Photographs by Mary Ellen Mark

(Warner Bros.; July 15; not yet rated)

The plot: A darling boy named Charlie (Freddie Highmore) and four obnoxious imps get the VIP tour of an eccentric man's candy complex staffed by wobbling, height‑challenged day laborers. Like we needed to tell you that.

Big lessons: Don't be nosy, or greedy, or bratty, or gluttonous, and, by all means, watch your step around that chocolate river.

Why kids will want to see it: Because they've seen Gene Wilder's version 50 times, and this one's got Captain Jack (Johnny Depp).

Why you should: 1. So you can debate at cookouts who's the best Wonka. 2. The awesome set: "They built a chocolate room the size of a soccer field!" exclaims Highmore (Depp's Finding Neverland costar). 3. Two words: Oompa‑Loompas!

Just remember: Director Tim Burton makes sweetly dark movies (Edward Scizzorhands) and way‑too‑dark ones (Batman Returns). Read the reviews to see if this one's right for your kids.


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The golden-ticket kids of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; here, Philip Weigratz as Augustus Gloop


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Julia Winter as Veruca Salt


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Highmore as Charlie Bucket


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Jordan Fry as Mike Teavee


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Annasophia Robb as Violet Beauregarde


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