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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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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
5.0 out of 5 stars Come with me.... April 27 2003
Format:Hardcover
...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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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book For Willy Wonka Fans!! Feb. 3 2003
Format:Hardcover
It's hard to believe that as a child I had nightmare of Oompa Loompas. Today I adore them! Now that's what I call facing my fears.
I recently purchased Pure Imagination through Amazon.com not only because I'm a huge Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory fan, but also because it was listed at a very nice price that I just couldn't pass up. This (hardcover to date) book is full of wonderful behind-the-scenes photos of the classic family movie that many fans had never seen before. There are tons of facts behind the making of the movie and surprises that will make you gasp or laugh out loud. For example, did you know that after shooting for the day, the Oompa Loopa's were quite the party animals at night! I knew it!
This book also shares the ideas and influences behind the breathtaking set designs, costuming, script, castings, music that made this wonderful family classic. What I most enjoyed, however, was the "Where Are They Now?" chapter that updates fans on the current careers and lives of the child stars of this movie who are now grown professionals. This book is a must have for true Willy Wonka fans and as you go through the glossy pages, you'll feel like a kid all over again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A gorgeous and memorable read Jan. 5 2003
Format:Hardcover
Pure Imagination: The Making Of Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory is written by Mel Stuart (who directed the film) with the assistance of Josh Young. A colorful and exiting look at the making of the fantastic movie adaptation of a classic children's book, and which starred Gene Wilder, Pure Imagination is the story of how the popular children's book was faithfully adapted into a major Hollywood movie. The memorable story is about a poverty-stricken young boy who is granted the chance to experience the mystic workings of fabulous candy factory; yet there are hidden dangers amid the tour! Vivid color photographs and adventurous text with a touch of wry humor bring to life the adventure of capturing a wondrous literary fantasy on the silver screen for all to see. Pure Imagination is a gorgeous and memorable read which is especially recommended to anyone who has enjoyed the film either in its original theatrical release or at home on video.
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