WTFAW: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Time for some more fan theories. For todays subject, we will be discussing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Dave: Shouldn’t this article be called Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory?

Seeing as A) We’re talking about the book, as well as both movies and B) I’m the one writing the article?

No. We’re calling it Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. Anyway, what are the theories?

Dave: The first one is that the characters in the story all correspond with the seven deadly sins.

Right… I spot a slight flaw in this, but go on…

Dave: Ok, so Augustus is obviously Gluttony. That one’s a given. Violet is Pride, Mike is Sloth, and Veruca is Greed.

That’s 4. You’re missing a few sins, aren’t you?

Dave: Ah, but I’m not! Charlie is Lust, Grandpa Joe is Envy and Willy Wonka is wrath!

Well, that does indeed make seven. So let’s go over them, shall we? See, it’s another of those theories where all parts have to fit, otherwise the theory collapses. Now, I do agree that Augustus is a glutton, and that Veruca is greedy. These two do fit. But how does Violet define Pride?

Dave: Because she’s boastful, of course!

But… that’s not pride in the sense of sin. That’s pride in accomplishment, something she has achieved. In the book, she’s boasting about having the world record for chewing a piece of gum. In the 2005 movie, she’s an accomplished athlete, obsessed with winning. THAT’S what she’s proud of, not some inherent superiority over others.

And then there’s Mike, for Sloth?

Dave: Well, he watches TV all day.

Yes, but he’s hardly indolent. He’s jumping around, firing pistols into the air, and in all adaptations, he’s shown to be just as active as the other children. In fact, I would argue Veruca is more fitting for sloth, seeing as she had her father get the ticket for her, instead of finding it herself.

And then, there’s Charlie for Lust. Exactly how does Charlie display lust. I’m talking the movies or book, not some demented fan fic of yours.

Dave: Well, it’s not lust in a sexual sense, just an intense desire.

Desire for what?

Dave: Oh gee, I wonder what. The golden ticket, obviously!

First off, everyone wanted the golden tickets, and the prize it entailed. He’s not exactly alone in that. But even if he was, there’s a big problem.

Dave: Yeah?

What you just described is not lust. It’s GREED. And Grandpa Joe is Envy? How do you figure that?

Dave: He envies Wonka!

What!? What do you base that on? He doesn’t envy Wonka. He adores the man! He raves and rants about how amazing and clever Wonka is. That is not envy, that’s ADMIRATION.

And finally, Wonka as Wrath. Explain.

Dave: He punished everyone else for their flaws.

…Well, except for Charlie, who he gives his entire factory.

Dave: Ah, but he threw him out first.

First of all, that’s from the first movie, and doesn’t happen in the book or the 2005 movie. Secondly, when that happened, that was not punishment, it was a test of character!

See, there’s that big problem I alluded to earlier. That problem being, we already KNOW what the characters represent!

Dave: What?

The four bad children embody characteristics that Roald Dahl hated. He hated spoiled children, greedy children and ignorant and bad mannered children. Charlie won the prize, because he was the antithesis of those traits. He was kind, generous and well mannered.

Which, perhaps ironically, was one of the criticisms against the 2005 movie, with charlie being almost unreal in how sweet and loveable he was, compared to the first movie.

Dave: Wait… did you just defend the second movie, over the first one?

That I did. Well spotted. Now, I believe you had a second theory.

Dave: Oh, right. The second theory is that Willy Wonka is a child murderer, and he uses children to make candy. He takes on Charlie as a protegé to continue his legacy.

Ok, I’ll bite. What do you base that on?

Dave: Wonka knew the children would die in the factory, seeing as the boat they go on have no spare seats and-

Die? Augustus was sucked up a pipe. That is not “dead”. That’s “sucked up a pipe”. Those are not the same thing.

Really, out of all the bad kids, only Veruca was in potentially mortal danger, being thrown into a (thankfully) unlit garbage incinerator.

Dave: Ah, but how do we KNOW it’s unlit.

Because we see both her and her dad at the end of the story. Dirty, stinking and pissed off, but very much alive. Same with all the other children. Both in the book and 2005 movie, they are all shown to be alive.

Dave: But not in the first movie.

That’s true. But you haven’t actually given a reason to WHY he’d go to such insane lengths to kill children.

Dave: His father was an abusive dentist who hated candy and forced him to wear a huge dental rig. You don’t think that would screw him up?

But.. that’s from the 2005 version! You know, the version where we see the kids come out alive! You are actively contradicting yourself!

Dave: But in the early drafts of the book, there were supposed to be more children and-

In the book where, again, all the children are revealed to come out unharmed! What does that have to do with the movie?!

Dave: Well, Dahl worked on the screenplay….

And the screenplay was rewritten by David Seltzer, which was one of the reasons Roald Dahl disowned the movie.

But really, think about it. What would be gained by making candy out of kids? Disregarding the ethical issues, it’s a waste of time and effort, when we see him do so much more amazing things with what he has already. Remember, this is the first time in ages Wonka has allowed anyone into his factory. How then can he use kids to make candy up until this point?

And finally, there’s the idea that Charlie would continue in his footsteps. His defining trait is how kind hearted he is, and you suggest he’s just going to develop psychopathy, rather than find the idea disturbing?

Dave: Well, he IS a bit of a blank slate…

He’s a fully rounded human being! He’s not some robot you program, and switch from “nice kid” to “psychopath“!

So you see, this theory doesn’t work. There is literally no reason to think Willy Wonka would let anyone entering the factory come to any real harm.

He’s a chocolate maker, not the fucking Jigsaw killer.

And if you needed further proof of how stupid this theory is: It was spoofed in “Epic Movie”.

Dave: A movie that is marginally worse than the 2005 “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” movie.

That’s not really fair. The 2005 movie was fine.

Dave: Oh, come on! Why did they have to remake that!? The first one was already perfect.

A bold statement… How about we look a bit closer into the accuracy of that?

Dave: Oh god, no…

 

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Mortal Kombat

Today, I’ve decided talk briefly about what is perhaps the most infamous franchise in video game history: Mortal Kombat.

Now, I should make it clear from the start that when it comes to games, I prefer RPG’s. I am not denying that for a moment. With a few exceptions, fighting games usually bore me to tears (probably because I am so absolutely terrible at them). As such, I can’t say I have followed the franchise in much detail. Therefore, I will not jump to conclusions regarding the quality of the games.

However, I do believe that, while I am far from an expert, I don’t need to be, in order to notice when something makes no sense.

So with that in mind, I’d like to spotlight an addition to the newer games in the franchise that really annoys me.

That addition being the X-Ray moves.

As their name suggests, they are powerful attacks that feature a slow motion x-ray of the victim, showing their bones and organs breaking or rupturing.

Now, this kind of violence is hardly new to Mortal Kombat. I did describe it as “Infamous” earlier for a reason, after all. The term “Fatality” is all but ingrained into pop culture by now. People lose arms, blow up, are incinerated, crushed, beaten to pulps or impaled left, right and center in these games.

What, then, is so special about the X-Ray moves for them to annoy me?

The answer is that they happen mid-fight! The characters are subjected to them… and then get right back up again.

I’m sorry, but that’s flat out idiotic.

And I know what you’re thinking. These games are hyper-violent. That’s the point. Ridiculously over the top carnage with a side of magic and gore is the dish of the day for these games. I understand that. I know that I am being much more nitpicky than usual with this.

But even in the face of everything this franchise presents, like sorcery, otherworldly monsters, cyborgs, a literal god of thunder and fire-breathing skeleton ninjas, I have to call this out as insane. This is where I draw the line.

I’m not an expert on anatomy, but I’m pretty damn sure that if I kick you in the back, to the point where it shatters your spine like a bread-stick, or snap your femur like dry spaghetti, you’re not getting back up. You’re not standing, walking, running or bicycle kicking. You’re in a wheelchair, eating through a straw for the rest of your life.

And I promise that if a giant with four arms grabs you, lifts you up and squeezes your head so that your cranium cracks like an egg, there’s no “second wind” for you. That’s it. You’re dead.

Not dazed, not stunned, not unconscious. Dead. Game over. Fatality.

If I may borrow a phrase, you’re not passed out, you’ve passed on! You are no more! You have ceased to be. You have expired and gone to meet your maker! You’re a stiff. Bereft of life, you rest in peace. If you weren’t left in Outworld, you’d be pushing up the daisies! You’ve snuffed it! You have rung down the curtain and joined the fucking choir invisible!

YOU ARE AN EX-FIGHTER!

Take any X-Ray move in the game, and you’ve got something that, if it doesn’t kill you, will actually cripple you for life.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have a problem with these moves in and of themselves. But if you go through all that trouble, designing them and putting them in the game, showing us in such graphic, gritty detail exactly what just happened…

That has to have consequences! They need to have a lingering effect, beyond losing part of your life meter. If you just have them appear, but there are no discernible effects, then showing the x-rays is meaningless!

And the thing is, you CAN still have those in the game, without them be a wasted effort. You know how?

Just have the attack, without the X-ray parts. When you activate it, you unleash an incredibly powerful attack string.

However, if that attack string ends up KILLING the opponent, THEN you show the X-Rays. Because at that point, it shows that the characters are going all out, with their final attacks being so powerful, they shatter bones, split organs and crack skulls. You’d effectively combine X-ray moves and brutalities.

It’d make far more sense, and it’d be much more satisfying to see.

That’s really all I have to say about Mortal Kombat. Hopefully, people will not now hunt me down and beat me to a quivering pulp, for nitpicking a game they like.

Assuming that doesn’t happen, and they instead agree with me:

Travis Wins.

Flawless Reasoning.

Pedantry.

WTFAW: Frozen/Tangled

Dave: Hey! I’ve found a cool fan theory about Frozen

Of course you have. Here I was thinking that hey, it’s a new year! A new start, with new horizons! But no, let’s instead go back to the same subject we’ve covered twice already. I’m sure that’ll be much better…

Dave: Well, it’s about Tangled as well…

Oh, great. I’m so much happier now. What is it, then?

Dave: Guess!

No, I don’t want to. In fact, I actively refuse.

Dave: Aw, come on, don’t be boring! Why not?

Because I am at a disadvantage. See, I am a fully rounded and sane person, and because of that, my guesses are founded in reason and logic. In other words, I am incapable of imagining the kind of theories you offer on a regular basis. I literally cannot think that stupidly.

So, how about you save us both a lot of time, and just tell me the god damn theory!

Dave: Alright, killjoy. The theory is that Elsa and Anna are not siblings.

Is that all?

Dave: Well… No. The whole theory is that Elsa is actually adopted, and her parents are the king and queen from Tangled, and Rapunzel is her twin.

But… Rapunzel and Elsa don’t look alike.

Dave: They’re fraternal twins, obviously!

You see!? I couldn’t make that up if I tried! We would have been here for ages!

Dave: You’re just being silly. You haven’t even heard the arguments yet. And when you do, I think you’ll change your tune.

Well, hope, much like stupidity, springs eternal. But fine, let’s hear the arguments.

Dave: OK, first off, we never get an explanation for where Elsa’s powers came from. Rapunzel and Elsa both got magic powers from Rapunzels mother drinking that magic potion!

When the trolls ask Anna’s father whether Elsa was born with the power or cursed, the king pauses before answering. And Elsa and Anna both have blue eyes.

Wait, how does that last one matter?

Dave: Anna’s mother and father have green and blue eyes, respectively. Their odds of having a child with blue eyes is 50/50. Rapunzels parents also had blue and green eyes, and her eyes are green. It’s therefore more likely that Elsa is Rapunzels sister, because it’s more likely that they’d have one child with blue eyes and one with green than Anna’s parents having two children with blue eyes.

Oh dear god, that was painful to read. What the hell are you talking about?!

It’s not “more likely” at all! Just because they had one kid with blue eyes doesn’t mean the second child is more likely to have green eyes! The odds are STILL 50/50, because it’s the same genes involved! The odds don’t change!

As for Elsa’s powers, it’s true that we never find out the origin. But here’s a question for you. Does it matter where they came from? With Tangled, knowing where Rapunzels powers came from is crucial to the plot. However, with Frozen, we don’t need anything beyond “she was born with them” to understand the story. The point isn’t where they come from, but how she deals with them and how they affect her. THAT is what is important. Knowing where they come from doesn’t change anything.

Dave: But why did her father stutter when they asked him, then? He paused, because he wasn’t there when she was born!

Yes, that could be it. Or maybe it was the fact that one of his daughters is in a coma, and he’s asking a bunch of talking rocks for help. Doesn’t it seem reasonable that his first sentence should start with “uh”? And that’s all this supposed “stutter” or “pause” was. Him saying “uh” apparently translates to “I don’t know, because this child is not my offspring”. You are just grasping at straws.

But really, why would Rapunzel’s parents give up Elsa and send her away?

Dave: To protect her from Gothel!

But… that makes no sense! When would they have done that? We only see Gothel kidnap Rapunzel, and we see no other child during that entire opening scene. If she had a twin, why doesn’t Elsa appear anywhere in the opening?

Dave: I knew you’d ask that! That opening was given by Eugene, and he is not a reliable narrator! He only gives the information he has, which didn’t include Elsa!

…Even though some of that information, he couldn’t possibly know, like Gothels discovery of the flower, or where the flower came from?

Dave: He could have learned that, somehow!

OK, so let me get this straight. The King and Queen lost one of their daughters, and their way of protecting their remaining daughter so thay they don’t lose her… is to send her away to Arendelle, never to see her again, and only making a mosaic of Rapunzel, essentially pretending that Elsa didn’t exist at all?

That sounds… counter-intuitive at best…

Dave: Yes, but it’s a sacrifice worth making, if it means she’s safe!

But if she’s adopted, how did she become queen of Arendelle?

Dave: Because she’s the oldest child, obviously! She is therefore the next in line.

But she’s not the child of the king and queen of Arendelle! If she’s adopted, she’s NOT in line to the throne at all! Anna is the crown princess in that case! That’s how a line of succession works!

Dave: Well… uhm…. never mind! I’ve got more arguments! Both Rapunzel and Elsa are blonde!

Well, yes and no. Rapunzel really has brown hair, but it’s a different colour because of the flower. But even ignoring that, they’re not the same type of blonde. Rapunzel has golden hair and Elsa has platinum hair. Rapunzels hair matches the flower that granted her power, and Elsas hair is lighter, keeping with the snow motif.

Which is another point. If they both have magic from the same source, shouldn’t they get the same powers? Why, if this theory is true, does only Rapunzel get the power of the flower, and Elsa gets ice powers that are completely unrelated?

Dave: But they DO have similar powers! Look at the finale for both movies. Eugene gets stabbed and dies. Anna gets frozen and dies. Both are revived by magic powers their wielders had no idea they had. Elsa and Rapunzel have that exact same power, and it manifests in the exact same way!

Oh, of course! You’re right, they’re completely identical!

Except for, you know, all the very important ways they differ. For example, Eugene didn’t die. He was mortally wounded and near dead. One might say he was mostly dead. But as we’ve learned from The Princess Bride:

There’s a big difference between MOSTLY dead and ALL dead.

Anna, meanwhile, was dead. She breathed her last. But as Olaf proves, Elsa has the ability to bring life to lifeless things, such as her sister-turned-ice-sculpture. An act of true love thawed Anna’s frozen heart.

And Rapunzels power is not “new” at all! Her power was always healing in nature! We’re talking magic that can restore the youth and beauty of people. It could keep Gothel young and vibrant for what is implied to be decades, maybe even centuries! A stab wound!? That’s a fucking cakewalk!

Not to mention that we SEE it heal wounds in the movie! Eugene cuts his hand, and Rapunzel heals it! All that happens when he got healed at the end, is the last iota of her magic doing what IT HAS ALREADY BEEN SHOWN TO DO!

And let’s not forget that you still haven’t explained why the frostbite fuck Elsa randomly got ice powers that have nothing to do with the powers of youth and healing magic granted by the flower.

Oh, and their magic is radically different for two other, important reasons. 

First: Elsa’s powers can be used for both offence and defence, whereas Rapunzels powers can only heal.

Second and perhaps more importantly: Elsa controls her powers.

Dave: What do you mean?

Nobody can use Elsa’s powers except her. Their form and extent are controlled by her emotions and her will. The healing magic of the flower is controlled by the song, both before and after Rapunzel was born. If she wants to use her magic, she has to sing. In fact, anyone who knows the song can use her power, so long as they have her close by.

She is only a vessel for the power, whereas Elsa is the wielder of hers. If they both got powers from the flower, both would require that same activator.

And of course, there’s the two major, resounding, gaping holes in this theory, which you, unsurprisingly, have either missed or ignored.

You’ve paid close enough attention to notice that both Elsa and Rapunzel are blonde. But you’ve not only missed the difference in hair colour, but also something far more important.

Elsa has shorter hair than Rapunzel. Her hair is shoulder length. Logically, she’s had a haircut in her 21 years.

Dave: Yeah. And?

Well, since I have to spell it out for you, there was a reason Rapunzel had long hair. If she cuts her hair, IT TURNS BROWN AND STOPS GROWING! That is a major fucking plot-point in the movie! It’s the reason Gothel kidnapped her to begin with! If this theory was true, it’d mean Elsa CANNOT HAVE SHORT, BLONDE HAIR AT HER AGE, because it’d turn brown!

Dave: Oh… well, I suppose…

And finally, and most importantly, I return to my first argument.

Elsa and Rapunzel look nothing alike!

Dave: I told you! They’re FRATERNAL twins!

Yeah, I heard you. But you’re missing the point. Rapunzel doesn’t look like Elsa. But you know who does?

Dave: Uh…

anna.jpg
Her younger sister!
They’re virtually fucking identical, apart from make-up, hair and height!

You know why? Because they were designed to look alike, SINCE THEY ARE SISTERS!

Dave: Oh…

So for all those reasons, Dave, this theory does not work!

I’m almost impressed. The amount of time, detail and effort you have poured into this theory is amazing.

I can’t believe that you’d spend so much effort trying to prove something so stupid. If I may paraphrase; seldom has so much time been wasted in writing so much, meaning so little.

I feel like I’ve aged about 50 years, writing about this. Come here, Dave. Let me touch your hair

Dave: What? You think that my hair can make you younger?

No, I just want something to hold onto while I slam your face against the table.

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