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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) is a children’s book by British author Roald Dahl that was first published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. in 1964, and in the United Kingdom by George Allen & Unwin in 1967.

The book was adapted into two major motion pictures: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory in 1971 starring Gene Wilder, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in 2005 starring Johnny Depp.

The story was originally inspired by Roald Dahl’s experience of chocolate companies during his schooldays. Cadbury would often send test packages to the schoolchildren in exchange for their opinions on the new products. At that time (around the 1920s) Cadbury and Rowntree’s were England’s two largest chocolate makers, and they each often tried to steal trade secrets by sending spies into the other’s factory, posing as employees. Because of this, both companies became highly protective of their chocolate making processes. It was a combination of this secrecy and the elaborate, often gigantic, machines in the factory that inspired Roald Dahl to write Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

This book has often been adapted as plays and/or musicals. These are often titled “Willy Wonka” or “Willy Wonka Jr.”. They almost always feature musical numbers by all the main characters (Wonka, Charlie, Grandpa Joe, Violet, etc.). Many of the songs are revised versions from the 1971 film.

The story features the adventures of young Charlie Bucket inside the chocolate factory of eccentric candy-maker, Willy Wonka, who is in a quest to find a worthy heir.

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