Tag: Willy wonka

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

The Top 10 Most Mouthwatering Foods in Children’s Fiction

We’ve all craved a magical food that doesn’t actually exist, or we’ve read about a real food that didn’t live up to the hype of our childhood imaginations. Here are some of the foods (in no particular order) that still seem to appear in my dreams.

 

1. Everlasting Gobstoppers (Charlie and The Chocolate Factory)

 

Willy Wonka with an Everlasting Gobstopper

Image via iCollector

 

There are what feels like hundreds of candies within the walls of Willy Wonka’s factory, all of which sound absolutely mouthwatering. However, everlasting gobstoppers stick out to me because they actually exist. You can go down to your local corner store and buy a box right now if you really wanted to.

But you don’t want to. Because the real everlasting gobstoppers are flavorless little balls of cement. And the fictional ones are, well, fictional.

#JusticeForEverlastingGobstoppers

 

 

2. Fruit From the Toffee Tree (The Chronicles of Narnia)

 

An illustration of the toffee tree

Image via Citizen of Anvard

 

C.S. Lewis doesn’t do the most creative job of describing this treat. The fruit falls from a tree, and it’s described as being “not exactly like toffee – softer for one thing, and juicy – but like fruit which reminds one of toffee.

The tree formed when a toffee candy was planted in the ground in the moment of Narnia’s creation, and it grew at an incredible rate because the song that brought Narnia to life was still clinging to the world.

Must taste pretty good, with an epic backstory like that.

 

3. ‘Eat Me’ Cookies (Alice in Wonderland)

 

'eat me' cookies from Alice in Wonderland

Image via Amino Apps

 

There are a couple of bad side effects when you snack on these magical cookies. In Alice in Wonderland, Alice takes a bite of one these and grows to be about the height of a one-story house.

Yet somehow, that just makes them more tempting. What’s life without a little risk of becoming gargantuan?

 

4. Pasta Puttanesca (a Series of Unfortunate Events)

 

Pasta Puttanesca inspired by 'A Series of Unfortunate Events'

Image via Fiction-Food Café

 

Pasta puttanesca is a very real dish, and something you can order at most Italian restaurants. However, sometimes the way something tastes in reality just can’t compare to the way it tastes in your imagination.

In A Series of Unfortunate Events, the pasta puttanesca serves as a small amount of comfort in the bleak world that the Baudelaire children have found themselves in after the death of their parents. Something about the warm, homey feeling that it provides makes it an absolutely crave worthy dish.

 

5. Green Eggs and Ham (Green Eggs and Ham, obviously)

 

The cover of 'Green Eggs and Ham'

Image via io9

 

Sam-I-Am was pretty insistent about this dish. If someone follows you from a house, to a box, to a tree, to a train, to the dark, to the rain, to a boat just to get you to try a bite of their food then they’re probably insane.

But they probably also have some pretty good eats.

 

 

6. Leek and POTATO sOUP (Coraline)

 

Potato and leek soup

Image via Food Network

 

Coraline isn’t particularly excited by this dish, choosing instead to stick with her frozen mini-pizzas. However, considering the themes of family and parental love in this novel, this soup dish gives off a cozy and homey sort of vibe.

And if someone hands you a warm pot of homemade soup, that someone must love you an awful lot! Certainly more than your eyeless, soul stealing, puppet mom.

 

7. Saffron Tea (Kiki’s Delivery Service)

 

A moment from 'My Neighbor Totoro,' another Studio Ghibli film

Image via Studio Ghibli

 

Studio Ghibli, the Japanese animation studio, has a knack for animating foods in the most delicious looking way possible. This particular gif is from My Neighbor Totoro, as the saffron tea from Kiki’s Delivery Service didn’t make it’s way out of the book.

In the book the tea serves as a reminder of Kiki’s home while her travels become too much to handle. The smell and the warmth remind Kiki of her mother, and the memory helps keep her spirits high while she’s speeding around on her broom.

 

8. Unicorn Blood (Harry Potter Series)

 

A bleeding unicorn from 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'

Image via Sci-Fi Stack Exchange

 

This one is a bit macabre, but there’s something undeniably intriguing about the unicorn blood in the Harry Potter.

The golden trio (plus Draco) are serving detention in the Forbidden Forest with Hagrid, when they stumble upon a pool of shiny silver goo. When they see a shadowy figure knelt over the body of the unicorn, the kids all run away screaming, except for Harry who stumbles over a tree root.

He’s saved by a centaur, the story moves on, and no one even asks for a sip of that shiny, magic goop.

Maybe this is why I never got my Hogwarts letter.

 

9. Magic Beans (Jack and the Beanstalk)

 

Some perfect beans

Image via Tourism Currents

 

If a bag of beans is worth selling your family’s only source of income, they better be some damn good beans.

 

 

10. Giant Chocolate Cake (Matilda)

 

The moment where Bruce Bogtrotter must eat a whole cake in 'Matilda'

Image via Giphy

 

Bruce Bogtrotter is one of literature’s bravest heroes. He’s punished for his humanity (what child wouldn’t try to sneak a piece of cake?) and still emerges triumphant despite all odds.

While this scene can be a bit nauseating, there’s always something enticing about the thought of having a triple layered chocolate cake plopped down directly in front of you.

Plus, you get to dive straight into that sucker fork first.

Might not be such a punishment after all.

 

 

 

Featured image via Simplemost

Violet becoming a blueberry: "what are you talking about?"

This Viral Post Proves Why Violet Beauregarde Deserved Wonka’s Chocolate Factory

We all remember Roald Dahl‘s classic children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factorythe whimsical tale of an entrepreneur passing on his life’s work as any eclectic genius might—to a random uneducated child, by means of an elaborate screening process rife with the risk of grievous bodily harm. (No, that’s not what it says on the back of the book.) Willy Wonka selects Charlie, a desperately poor yet kindhearted boy, to be his successor. Maybe Charlie is the clear pick—all one generally has to do in a children’s book to make it out okay is to be blandly good in the most general sense. But could Wonka, a man who runs his factory on unethical Oompa-Loompa labor, have chosen wrong? Look at this maniac.

 

Gene Wilder in 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory'

Image Via The Mary Sue

 

This viral post on this topic is so outrageously convincing, that I had to break it down.

 

Let’s take a look at what sins these dastardly children commit to get kicked out of the factory. Dahl presents Augustus Gloop as a seven-deadly-sins level glutton, cutting him out of the competition early. Gloop loses his shot at the title when he tries to drink from Wonka’s chocolate river, falling in and becoming lodged in a pipe. Wonka’s sweatshop labor then gathers around to sing a song about how this kid is wildly self-indulgent, not about how he’s a young child at risk of drowning and then being boiled. Mike Teevee watches too much television; laziness isn’t good for business. Fair. Veruca Salt is so spoiled she would never have gotten anything done, so spoiled that she didn’t even open the golden-ticket chocolate bar herself. Then we have Violet Beauregarde, who… chews too much gum?

 

Violet Beauregarde in the more recent 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' film

Image Via Daily Mail

 

When Violet infamously pops a mouthful of experimental chewing gum that ends up turning her into a blueberry, even the Oompa Loompas have little to say:

 

Gum chewing’s fine when it’s once in awhile
It stops you from smoking and brightens your smile
But it’s repulsive, revolting, and wrong
Chewing and chewing all day long

 

…is it, though?

 

Gif Via Giphy

 

It’s true that Violet specifically goes against Wonka’s wishes, as he specifically demands that she spit out the gum. But if breaking the rules is a good enough reason to throw Violet from the factory, why does Charlie get the goods? Let’s not forget that Charlie stole fizzy lifting drinks—a line Wonka actor Gene Wilder scared the hell out of us by yelling and an incontrovertible fact. Wonka is quick to point out that Oompa-Loompas had to waste valuable time by washing and sterilizing the walls and fan Charlie and Grandpa Joe rubbed their grubby hands all over. In comparison, Violet’s rebellion only impacted herself.

 

Let’s take it a step further—not only did Violet Beauregarde do nothing wrong, but she’s also the true heir to Wonka’s candy empire. Tumblr user evayna outlines Violet’s professional assets in this viral post summarized below. Let’s explore the credentials of our would-be female CEO:

 

1. Violet knows candy

 

"what's so funny?"

Image Via The Odyssey

 

Why would supposedly excessive gum chewing be a bad thing at a candy company whose profits come partially from gum? Viewers don’t get a look at all of Wonka’s products, but we know at least two are somewhat gum-related: the actual gum and the Everlasting Gobstopper. When the latter is so significant that corporate spies are willing to bribe children to steal it, wouldn’t any businessman want the help of an expert?

 

2. Violet has business sense

 

"Cut it out dad! For heaven's sake, this is my show!"

Gif Via Giphy

 

Violet’s father is a car salesman who’s pushy about representing his business—though the book and movie present this as an unsavory quality, his keen marketing sense leads him to use Violet’s fifteen minutes of fame in order to promote his car lot. With his example, Violet would be better equipped to make the strategic business decisions Wonka’s company needs.

 

3. Violet understands ethical labor

Violet explains the effects of the special gum

Gif Via Giphy

 

Violet’s downfall occurs after she eats Wonka’s experimental gum, which he claims isn’t yet ready for human consumption. How does he know it’s not ready? Obviously, he’s been testing it on the Oompa Loompas. (It’s not really a stretch, given that he’s willing to let a kid burn to death in a trash chute just because she kind of sucks.) Given that the gum is obviously dangerous—it does basically turn Violet’s organs into Juicy Juice—it’s blatantly cruel to force your employees to eat it. Evayna writes: “Violet is ready to put herself on the front line, instead of treating the Oompa Loompas as disposable, and would therefore be a better boss.” Is it a stretch to assume that a child would be a better employer than an unpredictable sociopath with a penny whistle? In this case, probably not.

 

4. There’s nothing wrong with chewing gum, oh my god

 

Violet chewing gum

Gif Via Tumblr

 

In addition to the points we already hit, Evayna adds:

 

She was able to switch [from gum] to candy bars for the sake of the contest… we already know she can stop if she wants. And yeah, she is defensive about the perceived impoliteness of her hobby, but the obsession with candy and neglect of social norms is EXACTLY what Wonka is all about. This is on brand.

 

5. Violet is brave while Charlie is passive and naive

 

Violet Beauregarde: "I'm a winner"

Gif Via Tumblr

 

What does Charlie do that’s more virtuous than any of the other children? In the movie, we see him tenderly return the Gobstopper to Wonka although corporate spies have offered him money to take it off his hands. Violet, conversely, sells it like the bad business bitch she truly is. (Also, can we actually blame her for disrespecting Willy Wonka after he turned her into a smoothie?) Charlie’s character description tells readers he is “unassuming,” someone who “has every reason to complain [but] never does.” Does that make him a good person? Sure. Does that make him a proficient businessman? Uh… no.

 

"So shines a good deed in a weary world"

Gif Via Imgur

 

 

So here’s the takeaway: Charlie Bucket definitely didn’t deserve his Dickensian latchkey childhood, but his suffering doesn’t make him Wonka’s best successor. Violet has the proverbial skills to pay the bills—and the only thing she did wrong was to try and prevent unethical product testing. Let’s just agree that nobody can consider Wonka’s common sense spot-on when he came up with this bizarre plot in the first place.

 

 

Featured Image Via Gfycat.com