Tag: Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory

Author Fight Club: Dr. Seuss vs Roald Dahl

Ignoring the broader themes of Chuck Palahniuk seminal work, Fight Club, we’re going to do what we do best and have two people fight each other.

Since we can’t talk about Fight Club (see rules one and two), we’re going to write about it. Specifically, we’re going to have two writers fight each other. Three rounds will determine their strength as we go through their power as description, their distinctive style, and their impact on the world at large.

Then, they’re going to beat the snot out of each other.

In one corner we have the creator of James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and many more (including all those Oompa Loompas). He’s the King of Pure imagination—although he didn’t write the song—he’s Roald Dahl. Dahl’s birthday just past so wish him some luck because he’ll be facing off against…

The creator of the Cat in The Hat, The Grinch, and the Lorax, the man whose made elephants hatch eggs and put stars on Sneeches. A brilliant author, a quirky illustrator, and the man who just breathes wondrous insanity and insane wonder: Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss—though he’s not a real doctor.

Let’s fight!

 

 

1-Whose Writing Style is More Descriptive?

You read that right. Who has the most expressive, pictorial, picturesque descriptions between these two children’s writers?

 

Theodor Geisel

Image Via All That’s Interesting

 

Now we’ll give it to Theodor Geisel: We all have the same picture The Cat in the Hat, The Sneeches, How The Grinch Stole Christmas whereas we all have different images of what the layout to Willy Wonka’s dangerously FEMA-violated haven of a factory in our mind, but we’re not talking pictures here.

No, we’re saving that for later.

Let’s compare passages from both author’s magnum opuses: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Cat in the Hat

First is Roald Dahl up at bat:

 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Image Via Roald Dahl Wiki

 

Charlie Bucket stared around the gigantic room in which he now found himself. The place was like a witch’s kitchen! All about him black metal pots were boiling and bubbling on huge stoves, and kettles were hissing and pans were sizzling, and strange iron machines were clanking and spluttering, and there were pipes running all over the ceiling and walls, and the whole place was filled with smoke and steam and delicious rich smells.

 

Now let’s look at what the doctor’s got cooking:

 

The Cat in the Hat

Image Via Amazon

 

the sun did not shine.
it was too wet to play.
so we sat in the house
all that cold, cold, wet day.

i sat there with sally.
we sat there, we two.
and i said, ‘how i wish
we had something to do!’

too wet to go out
and too cold to play ball.
so we sat in the house.
we did nothing at all.

so all we could do was to
sit!
sit!
sit!
sit!
and we did not like it.
not one little bit.

and then something went BUMP!
how that bump made us jump!
we looked!
then we saw him step in on the mat!
we looked!
and we saw him!
the cat in the hat!

 

Which can you picture more: The house with the rain outside, or the room in the factory? Whose passages give us most illustrative words?

Well, our good ol’ doc might have the illustrations, but Dahl’s got the words, so we have to give it him. After all, can’t you just picture Willa Wonka’s factory? Maybe that’s just because of the Gene Wilder, and the Johnny Depp, movie, but we found ourselves on the side of Dahl.

 

Roald Dahl

Image Via Smithsonian Magazine

 

Dahl=1

Seuss=0

 

 

2-Style

 

Roald Dahl writing

Image Via The Telegraph

 

Whose got style? Who’s method of writing is more memorable, distinctive, and just all around fabulous?!

Roald Dahl is up to bat:

 

Charlie Bucket stared around the gigantic room in which he now found himself. The place was like a witch’s kitchen! All about him black metal pots were boiling and bubbling on huge stoves, and kettles were hissing and pans were sizzling, and strange iron machines were clanking and spluttering, and there were pipes running all over the ceiling and walls, and the whole place was filled with smoke and steam and delicious rich smells.

 

Here we have great comparison: “The place was like a witch’s kitchen!” Buzzing onomatopoeia: “boiling, bubbling, hissing, sizzling, clanking, sputtering.” Dahl shows us a knack for word order, notice how those adjectives rhyme?. Plus, he’s certainly has a knack for names. What’s Augustus Gloop’s main characteristic? What about Mike Teavee?

 

Theodor Geisel writing

Image Via LA Times

 

Now before we hand this over to Dahl, let’s take a look at what Dr. Seuss has to offer.

 

the sun did not shine.
it was too wet to play.
so we sat in the house
all that cold, cold, wet day.

i sat there with sally.
we sat there, we two.
and i said, ‘how i wish
we had something to do!’

too wet to go out
and too cold to play ball.
so we sat in the house.
we did nothing at all.

so all we could do was to
sit!
sit!
sit!
sit!
and we did not like it.
not one little bit.

and then something went BUMP!
how that bump made us jump!
we looked!
then we saw him step in on the mat!
we looked!
and we saw him!
the cat in the hat!

 

Oh. Dang.

Not counting pictures, you can just tell by the word choice and the way the good doc structures his sentences that he’s got a style that could rival Billy Shakes.

 

Dr Seuss 'The Cat in the Hat'=sit sit sit

Image Via Goodreads

 

Notice how Seuss uses ‘sit sit sit’, making each word take up page on the space to symbolize how much time them sitting takes up. We don’t know how long exactly, but we know it took a dang long time.

 

Dr Seuss 'The Cat in the Hat'=the introduction

Image Via SlideShare

 

Notice how he also stages for the introduction to the Cat in the Hat. The phrase “We looked!” is good on its own, but then we get the line “we saw him step in on the mat!”, building the anticipation. What’s next?

Another “we looked!”, empathizing the children’s stares at this magnificent creature. To further pound the hammer into that, we have the line “and we saw him!” before we finally learn what these children are looking at.

Yeah, but we already have a picture of the cat, I hear you say. But the words that build the anticipation, emphasis that this creature is not one the children normally see. The words and the pictures, they are intertwined.

It’s such a distinctive style that it’s the figure of parodies.

 

 

Now we’ll give it to Roald Dahl: We all can all picture what the layout to Willy Wonka’s dangerously FEMA-violated haven factory might look like, but know exactly what the Cat in the Hat and the Sneeches and the Grinch all look like.

See, I told you were saving that for later, and it came in good use, didn’t it?

 

Dr Seuss drawing

Image Via History

 

Each word, each space is used for maximum effort. Deadpool would be proud and he’s got Katanas, so in this battle of word use we have to the side with Seuss.

 

Dahl=1

Seuss=1

 

 

3-Influence/Impact

Both of these authors have made classics work, but how have they influenced pop culture?

 

Roald Dahl movie

Image Via The Wrap

 

We have Roald Dahl, whose work has been turned into great movies. We have the cult classic James and the Giant Peach as well as Matilda, the classic and iconic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory that’s given us Gene Wilder as the ultimate Willy Wonka, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a movie that didn’t hurt anyone.

 

Dr Seuss movies

Image Via Yahoo

 

Then we have Dr. Seuss, whose film adaptations reminds us of the horrors of soulless consumerism. We have the Grinch, a movie where Jim Carry makes a man he hates kiss a dog’s butt…

 

The cat in the Hat Mike Myers

Image Via Amazon UK

 

The Cat in the Hat staring Mike Myers, a movie which I’m convinced isn’t really a movie but a portal to hell…

Other adaptations include Horton Hears A Who, an alright movie that never hurt anyone, The Lorax, which butchered the original message, and The Grinch, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, a movie that panders to children and adults at the same time creating a confused mess.

In fact, the only way Dr. Seuss’s film adaptations can even stand up to Roald Dahl is with the shorts, such as The Lorax (1972) and The Grinch starring Boris Karloff, but what do you remember more? The 1973 Sneeches movie

Plus, the most modern adaptation of a Roald Dahl work is Wes Anderson’s fantastic The Fantastic Mr. Fox and how can you fight the power of symmetry?

 

Willy Wonka

Image Via Gorton Community Center

 

…or Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka?

Just goes to show that just because people know you’re name, doesn’t mean that’s a good thing. Dahl lives in a world of pure imagination, while Dr. Seuss is now at the center of pure consumerism.

So Roald Dahl wins!

 

Dahl=2

Seuss=1

 

Winner: Roald Dalh!

 

 

The Match

Coming down from the Great Glass Elevator, Roald Dahl surveyed the black land. He had left as soon as Great Daredevil Sneelock flew into his troops, knocking down Oompa Loompas by the dozen before he met the might of a lone, Oompa loompa, smeared with blood and war paint, his head chopped off with a machete.

Landing on the ground, Roald Dahl took a breath. At his feet the enormous alligator and Trunky lay side by side. The enormous alligator had gobbled up The Cat in the Hat and choked on his hat. Trunk was dead when Horton flew a spear at his chest using his drunk.

Coming across the battle field, Dahl put a hand over his nose. Black smoke made his eyes water from when the ingenious Mr. Fox, against the orders of General Wonka and Colon Charlie Buckett, had crafted a bomb under the factory and blew it up.

With each step, Dahl stepped in the remnants of the giant peach. When the hordes broke through, the Grinch had raised the peach above his head like a Christmas sled and threw it at the factory. That was their only mistake. It didn’t kill them, in fact it made them stronger, well fed and ready to fight.

On the horizon lay what was left of Horton. Oompa Loompas had slingshot an every-flavor-dinner gumball and threw it in Horton’s mouth. The Horton turned violet, bloated, and soon, since no one could properly juice him, blew up. Dr. Seuss had been riding the elephant. What had become of him?

Dahl marched forwards and heard a soft scream from below him. On the ground, he saw nothing, but he knew that Sam-I-Am had eaten some green eggs and ham during the battle, unaware they were poisoned with George’s marvelous medicine.

The sun poked its orange head above the horizon, and in the light everything was clear to see.

The Wonka factory was in ruins, the Oompa Loompas were smoldering alongside with the hordes of witches. The BFG lay on his side, a gaping gushing bloody hole in his chest from a spear that shot straight through him when Horton threw a spear at him with his trunk.

The Lorax has called upon The Fox in Socks, Thidwick, Yertle and all his turtles, but they were all slaughtered, when Matila and her army of schoolchildren had come after them. They had taken on the Trunchbull; the Lorax and his army were chopped down like a Truffula Trees.

The Sneeches (star-bellied or otherwise) and all the other men in the Seuss army, from Nizzards to Quan and all the fish (yes, even the blue fish), were taken out from the bomb.

All the Seuss characters, all of Dahl’s characters, dead.

Walking over to the dead purple mesh that once was Horton, Dahl looked to the ground. There had to be something here, they had to be something that made all this madness worth it. Then he saw it, the cause of this war.

It was called the Helen of Troy, but it was no woman. It wasn’t even a human. It was a drawing pen that Thedore had stolen.

Picking it up from the ground, Roald Dahl smiled. Now he could create his characters once more. No, he would new characters, better characters.

Turning around, Roald Dahl danced through the battle field. Six foot six and he towered over the dead, basking in the sun.

But when he got the Great Glass Elevator and took out a notebook, he found that the pen was out of ink.

 

 

Featured Images Via History.com and Metro

Gene Wilder and Peter Ostrum as Willy Wonka and Charlie in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

4 Authors-Turned-Screen Writers Who Hated Their Film Adaptations

Sometimes famous authors try to adapt their own books to the big screen because if you want it done right, then you got to do it yourself. But film is a collaborative effort, and the shift from a one-person medium to a multi-person medium can be quite the shock, and often the creatives working on these collaborative projects don’t see eye to eye.

As a result, despite being involved in the production, there are many instances of authors detesting the adaptation of their work. Here are four top examples:

 

 

4. Roald Dahl, WIlly Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

 

The beloved film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder, is based on the novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. In the credits for the film, Roald Dahl is credited as a screenwriter along with David Seltzer. At first glance you might think that Roald Dahl gave his seal of approval to this beloved children’s classic, however actually, Dahl entirely disowned the film.

 

Image result for roald dahlImage Via Animation Magazine

According to Yahoo Movies, Dahl “signed a poor deal which gave almost total control over the property to Warner Bros in perpetuity,” which allowed Warner Bros, the production company financing the film, to make whatever changes they pleased. As a result, Dahl’s script was partially rewritten by David Seltzer, who gave the film a ‘villain’ in the form of Slugworth (a minor character only briefly mentioned in the film’s book counterpart) and broke Dahl’s golden rule: he gave songs to characters other than the Oompa Loompas. These songs were “The Candy Man,” sung in the opening by the cherry candy salesmen to the children while poor Charlie watches outside, and “Pure Imagination” sung by Willy Wonka when he and the children enter the chocolate factory.

Donald Sturrock, a friend of Dahl’s and the author of Storyteller: The Life of Roald Dahl, revealed that the now iconic “Pure Imagination” was, to Dahl, “…too sappy and sentimental.”

 

Image result for willy wonka gene

Image Via Huffington Post

Ironically, the creative genius behind the beloved children’s film hated the film itself.

 

3. Paul Rudnick, Sister Act

 

Image result for paul rudnick
Image Via Goodreads

Sister Act stars Whoopi Goldberg as a lounge singer on the run from a mobster who finds solace and safety with in a convent. The film was released in 1992, but was originally pitched in 1987 by Paul Rudnick. Between jobs as a playwright and novelist, Paul Rudnick, writer of the 1986 novel Social Disease, decided to try his hand at screenwriting. According to a 2009 article from The New Yorker, Paul Rudnick pitched Sister Act with Better Midler in mind for the lead role. In a stroke of luck, his script was bought by mega company Disney.

 

Whoopie Goldberg smiling and looking sideways at another nun in Sister Act
Image Via Slash Film

Unfortunately Better Midler turned down the role and the script was rewritten over and over. Credited as “Joseph Howard”, Paul Rudnick said that the 1993 movie is “no longer my work” and “I can’t vouch for the original film, for one reason. Sister Act may very well be just fine, but I’ve never been able to watch it.”

 

2. Bret Easton Ellis, The Informers

 

Bret Easton Ellis of American Psycho fame famously dismissed the famous adaptation starring Christian Bale, telling Indiewire that he doesn’t believe the book “really works as a film”. He moved on, writing a collection of short stories entitled The Informers.

 

Image result for bret easton ellis

Image Via The Creative Independent

Soon afterwards, Ellis was approached by young screenwriter Nicholas Jarecki to adapt The Informers into a film. This time Ellis was a co-screenwriter and the team spent three years prepping the movie, eventually accumulating a star-studded cast. Reuters describes the film as “seven stories taking course during a week in the life of movie executives, rock stars, a vampire and other morally challenged characters,” and was reported to include Brandon Routh, of Superman Returns, as a vampire.

However, Brandon Routh isn’t in the finished film. Neither is the character of the vampire. Despite Nicholas Jarecki being set to direct, he was replaced and the film was reworked. According to Fox News, Jarecki and Ellis’s script was cut from 150 to ninety-four pages and, as a result, Brandon Routh’s scenes were cut completely.

 

Movie poster for The Informers, starring Billy Bob Thornton, Kim Basinger, Winona Ryder, Mickey Rourke, Chris Isaak, Amber Heard and Austin Nichols
Image Via Amazon

The cast famously did not do publicity for the film, a telltale sign they had little faith in what would become a critical and financial flop. Ellis concluded: “There were things I recognized, and a lot that I missed. But it’s the director’s version of the script, and that’s just how it is.”

Ouch.

1. Gore Vidal, Caligula

 

Image Via The New York Times

 

Published in 1948, Gore Vidal’s City and the Pillar follows a young man coming to terms with his sexuality in what has been called an early champion of sexual liberation. In 1959 he enjoyed early success with an adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ Suddenly, Last Summer, but was largely unrecognized.

Then in 1979 his adaptation of Caligula was released. The film had major production problems, however. For instance the film’s producer, Bob Guccione, was unhappy with the homosexual content and demanded rewrites for wider audience appeal, according to a New York Times article. The screenplay, originally titled Gore Vidal’s Caligua, was renamed and put into production.

 

Image Via IMDB

 

After its release, Roger Ebert infamously gave the film zero stars, calling it “sickening, utterly worthless, shameful trash” in a scathing review. Gore Vidal has since distanced himself from the film, calling the film’s director, Tinto Brass, a “megalomaniac.”

 

 

Featured Image Via Lisa Renee Jones