In cinemas now
American star Timothée Chalamet hits on the right mix of pluck and innocence as a wide-eyed younger Wonka.
King ideas a prime hat to Gene Wilder’s confectioner by opening his movie with the chorus of Pure Creativeness, the near-excellent track from Wilder’s 1971 musical.
And Chalamet’s charming and tuneful flip is nearer to Wilder’s Wonka than Johnny Depp’s creepier model from Tim Burton’s 2005 movie.
We meet the dreamer on a ship singing A Hatful Of Goals, considered one of six witty new songs from The Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon.
Wonka’s spent the previous seven years gathering unique components (his tender centres had been harvested in “the mallow marshes of Peru”) for his magical sweeties.
However his plan to open his first store in a fantasy metropolis are hamstrung by a villainous chocolate cartel (Paterson Joseph, Mathew Baynton and Matt Lucas) and a corrupt cop (Keegan-Michael Key).
Then he’s tricked into years of laborious labour within the laundry of Mrs Scrubbit (Olivia Colman) and groups up with an orphan referred to as Noodle, performed by Calah Lane (the US youngster star, not the Liver Birds author).
Earlier than King turned his attentions to a marmalade-scoffing bear, he was the unhinged genius who directed the BBC sitcom The Mighty Boosh.
And there’s a really British sense of humour – a contact of The Goon Present and maybe a sprinkling of The Goodies – within the movie’s surreal diversions, which embrace run-ins with a chocolate-stealing Oompa Loompa (a digitally shrunken Hugh Grant) and a heist at a cathedral the place Rowan Atkinson’s corrupt cleric instructions 500 chocoholic monks.
It’s the humour that ties the story collectively.
This new household traditional may very well be this Christmas’s “golden ticket”.