Which Is Better, the Movie or the Book? Charlie And The Chocolate Factory 50th Anniversary

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory book

Two copies of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, printed 1983 and 2014 respectively.

Roald Dahl was one of my favorite authors when I was in elementary school. I loved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The B.F.G., The Witches and James and the Giant Peach (the later two not so much now that I’m an adult. I find those stories a little…weird.)

When I discovered my worn and scribbled on much loved copy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I delighted at the chance to share my love of Roald Dahl books with my son. We read a chapter a night, both of us engrossed in the story of Charlie Bucket and his quest for a golden ticket hidden in a chocolate bar.

As we read, I was surprised at how different the book was from what I remembered and how different it was from the movie — the original movie, not the bizarre Johnny Depp version, although I kept picturing his Willy Wonka, rather than Gene Wilder, as we read.

After we finished the book, we settled in for a family movie night showing of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory*. I couldn’t wait for my son to experience the magic of that movie. It’s one of my favorites; I’d love to live in the chocolate room. I mean, who wouldn’t?

Since then we’ve tried to read the book before seeing the movie. We read Charlotte’s Web and The Wizard of Oz first but watched The Princess Bride and The Neverending Story without reading the books. We also jumped ahead and watched Harry Potter before finishing the book. Yet, we’ve loved them all.

In the case of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory*, I’m not sure which is better, the movie or the book.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

This post was inspired by the classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. To celebrate, Penguin Young Readers Group, in partnership with Dylan’s Candy Bar, the world-famous candy emporium, and First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise that provides books for children from low-income families, is launching a year-long international celebration.

Head over to From Left to Write to learn how you and your child can have a chance to win the Golden Ticket Sweepstakes where the grand prize is a magical trip to  New York City plus much more! For every entry submitted, Penguin Young Readers Group will make a donation to First Book. Then, join From Left to Write on July 24 as we discuss Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. As a book club member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes. 

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