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Pure Imagination: The Making of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory [Hardcover]

Mel Stuart , Josh Young
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 12 2002
Wonka Bars...Oompa-Loompas...The Candy Man...The Gobstopper Machine...A Chocolate River...The Fizzy Lifting Room...Lickable Wallpaper... Revisit the magical world of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" in this behind-the-scenes look at one of the most popular films of all time!

Ever since Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was released over thirty years ago, millions of viewers have fallen in love with this unforgettable movie based on the classic novel by Roald Dahl. Now from the film's director Mel Stuart, comes Pure Imagination, the first book ever written on the blockbuster picture that won over kids and adults alike, making it the legacy that it is today.

From how Willy Wonka went from the page to the screen--Stuart's twelve-year-old daughter asked him to make a movie of her favorite book--to each step that was involved, beginning with the pre-production stage, the development of the set design to shooting and editing Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, here is a full, insider account of all you've ever wanted to know about the film. Filled with over one hundred lavish photographs of the production, most of which have never been seen, Pure Imagination is the ultimate companion piece for lovers of the film.

Stuart's engaging, light-hearted manner comes alive on every page as he shares colorful anecdotes, interviews, and fascinating trivia, such as the untold story of why the Oompa-Loompas have orange faces and green hair, and little-known facts, including how Gene Wilder was chosen to play the part of Willy Wonka. He describes how the film became a huge hit, and why it still captures the imaginations of audiences today.

A dazzling, visual retrospective celebrating the magic of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Pure Imagination is sure to be a collector's item and will make the perfect gift for anyone-whether they are fans of this timeless film, or have just discovered it for the first time.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Mel Stuart's 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory has become a cult classic, equally enjoyed by children and adults. Fans of the film will delight in Stuart and Josh Young's Pure Imagination: The Making of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, a compendium of facts, photos and film stills concerning the movie Roger Ebert called "probably the best film of its sort since The Wizard of Oz." The authors explain the role Roald Dahl played in the film, who the candidates for the role of Willy Wonka were (besides Gene Wilder), how the whimsical set-from the chocolate river to Mike Teevee's TV room-was created, what went into Violet Beauregarde's blueberry costume and more. The Youngs also provide an intriguing look at special effects in the pre-Spielbergian early 1970s, an overview of critics' responses (Pauline Kael called it "stilted and frenetic, like Prussians at play") and a "where are they now" section (Peter Ostrum, who played Charlie Bucket, never again appeared in a feature film, while Julie Cole, who played Veruca Salt, developed a successful voice-over career).
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Mel Stuart has worked in film and television for over 40 years. He has produced and directed various features including Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, dozens of documentaries including The Making of the President, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Four Days in November, Wattstax, Man Ray-Prophet of the Avant-Garde, and the reality series Ripley's Believe It or Not. Mr. Stuart has been the recipient of four Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, and an Oscar nomination. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Josh Young is a contributing writer for Entertainment Weekly and the co-author of You're Only As Good As Your Next One with film executive Mike Medavoy. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
If you want to credit anyone for the creation of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, credit my daughter, Madeline. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A good book only if you don't have the DVD. May 2 2003
While the book is interesting in and of itself, 80% of the content was already said in the audio commentary track of the DVD. The book reads like Mel Stuart listened to the commentary and retyped it out. Plus, even though the book is 160 pages, it's a very light read, you could do it in less than a day. I think it would have been better if there was more detail rather than just limiting all the topics to just one sentence each.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Come with me.... April 27 2003
...and you'll see a world of Pure Imagination. And pure imagination is what you get from this beauitfully done retrospective on one of the most important films of my generation: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, written by Mel Stuart and Josh Young.
Filled with pictures and wonderful stories, this book provides an enchanting, enjoyable walk down memory lane. You read starting from the original impetus to make the film, all the way to a fond reunion many years later of the kids and director.
Mel Stuart, being the film's director, has numerous and interesting insights to the creation of this classic. Some of the information in the book is also mentioned in a documentary on the Willy Wonka DVD, but no fear. It seems that if you love this movie, you simply cannot get enough of it!
This book was purcahsed for me as a gift, and it does make the perfect gift for anyone who loves this movie. Or buy it for yourself, curl up on a cold, rainy night, and relive all of those wonderful memories you have of this incredible movie.
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Thank you Mel! Thank you first for bringing this wonderful film to life (and special thanks to your daughter for bringing the book to your attention), and thanks to you and Josh for bringing back to book form. The pictures alone are worth the price of admission, and the stories behind the scenes are even more valuable.
I treasure this movie, and now I will treasure the book. Thank you again. For everyone reading this review: If you love Willy Wonka, BUY THIS BOOK, it's a Golden Ticket.
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