Oompa Loompa Doo Ba Dee Doo

Have I mentioned that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory* (Tim Burton adaptation) is one of my favorite films? It was the first original DVD I ever bought. The fact that I actually paid 600 pesos for something I could’ve gotten for a fifth of the price is a show of integrity that proves just how important it is to me.  It was worth it though:  the classically haunting cinematography, the Danny Elfman songs, even the added Wilbur Wonka (Christopher Lee) bit all fitted together like pieces of a puzzle. When I was a freshman in college, my brother and I memorized all the songs and had a dance-off in our condo. Four years later, we still haven’t agreed on who won.

The launch of Candy Corner’s Wonka Imaginarium at the Shangri-La Plaza atrium earlier today brought back a surge of those memories. I grew up sucking on Gobstoppers, chomping on Nerds, and singing “Pure Imagination” after all. It wasn’t exactly the Chocolate Room Roald Dahl envisioned but the entire idea was sweet (literally, too!). In this rendition, the Wonka world is an enchanted factory that harvests dreams and turns them into candies. I don’t know about you but that sounds Freddy Kreuger-ish to me. We had to course through a “magical forest,” talk to a mysterious tree, walk past the tunnel of lost wishes, learn magic from a witch–all in search of a missing rainbow (the dream that makes the happiest of all candies)… and all while snatching as much candy as we can possibly fit into our pockets.

I just wish they put in a bunch of Oompa Loompas to add to the effect. But on the positive side: FREE CANDY. I ate so much taffy that only one thing was running through my head after we found the “rainbow”:

“Augustus Gloop, Augustus Gloop, the great big greedy nincompoop.”

“Augustus Gloop, so big and vile, so greedy, foul, and infantile.”

The three girls supposedly portrayed the different flavors of Wonka Laffy Taffy.

Happy first day of the month! The Wonka Imaginarium is open from today until December 4.

*The first movie starring Gene Wilder is titled Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and was released in 1971.

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