Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
We all know and love this beloved classic and look forward to sharing it with our children. However, as a parent, you’re likely concerned about a certain part of the movie that may cause the living room of your home to become flooded with fear urine:
That boat ride scene can be pretty frightening for a kid. There are scary colors and sounds, Willy Wonka is suddenly screaming like a lunatic, there a completely inexplicable and unnecessary shot of a chicken getting its head chopped off, and everyone on the boat has made a chocolate river in their pants. So when I decided this weekend that the time had finally come to show my 4-year-old daughter Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, I was anxious about how she would react to that scene. The tactic I settled on? Distraction. When the Wonkatania pulled into the tunnel and Wonka started to lose it, I quickly pulled out my phone and searched “monkey on roller skates” on YouTube, stuck the phone in her face and said, “Hey, check this out!”
And it totally worked! She skipped right over the worst parts of the terror tunnel and arrived blissfully at the Inventing Room. And, overall, she loved the movie, so much she watched it twice, and I had to distract her again. So you can go forth with this strategy and put on Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory without worrying that your child will be traumatized for life—although you’d be better off replaying that scene for two hours with your kid’s eyelids taped open than showing them Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.