TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET as Willy Wonka and HUGH GRANT as an Oompa Loompa in Wonka.
Warner Bros. Pictures

What Parents Need To Know About Wonka

Timothée Chalamet, who plays Willy Wonka, said “the main message of this movie is to never give up on your dreams.”

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Any movies based on stories by Roald Dahl are always a bit of a question mark when it comes to being appropriate for kids. The famous writer had a knack for writing stories that managed to be moving and sweet and whimsical but also, yes, sort of frightening and dark. Which has us thinking about the new Wonka movie. It’s not technically a Dahl story, but it is based on his beloved character Willy Wonka from the 1964 book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Will Wonka be a kid-friendly flick, or is it going to be a pass for the younger ones? Here’s what parents need to know.

Wonka gives us the origin story of the famous chocolate maker.

For the first time ever, the world is going to find out just how Willy Wonka became, well, Willy Wonka. Timothée Chalamet plays the future chocolate maker before he becomes famous in Wonka, before he has his chocolate factory, before he even has his own army of Oompa Loompas to help him run his business. In fact, it’s a fortuitous meeting with one very special Oompa Loompa (played begrudgingly by Hugh Grant) that manages to seal Willy’s fate in the musical prequel. And the future of magical chocolate making for everyone, as long as the dreaded Chocolate Cartel don’t stop him.

The Wonka trailer is full of color and silliness.

Wonka, directed by Paddington director Paul King, is all about joy and magic. The trailer for the movie is full of color and silliness and, as Chalamet noted in a recent interview with People, genuinely “sincere,” a trait not often found in movies. “The main message of this movie is to never give up on your dreams. And that can feel like a tired, old Hollywood slogan, but it’s meant because it’s Paul King that means it. No matter how ridiculous it sounds,” the actor told People.

What more could you want from a movie experience with your kids than joy, sincerity, and some fun music?

What is Wonka rated?

Wonka is rated PG, for some violence, mild language, and thematic elements. Based on the trailer, it looks as though Willy goes through some trauma at the outset of the film with his mother, and certainly there could be a bit of violence as he and his Oompa Loompa pal take on the Chocolate Cartel. But, much like King’s Paddington movies, parents should expect these elements to be mild enough for kids. As long as they are old enough to understand the story and sit through a two-hour movie, Wonka really could be the one to watch this holiday season.

How can you watch Wonka?

You’ll have to head to the movie theater. Wonka premieres in theater across the country on Dec. 15. A perfect little holiday break for the whole family.

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