The student news site of Owatonna High School.

Magnet

The student news site of Owatonna High School.

Magnet

The student news site of Owatonna High School.

Magnet

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Ethan Armstrong is a senior at Owatonna High School. He participates in baseball, football, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the musical and Concert Choir. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends,...

Alia Kubicek is a junior at OHS. This is her first year of Magnet. She is involved in DECA, Prom Committee, Young life, and 4-H. Kubicek also plays hockey and soccer. In her free time she can be found...

Lauren Kubicek is a junior at Owatonna High School. This is her first year on the Magnet staff. She is involved in many activites at the school inluding the Owatonna Dance Team, DECA, BBBS and Student...

Before the chocolate factory

Source%3A+Wonka+Movie+Website%2C+main+cast+for+Wonka+posing+for+their+official+movie+poster.
Press release photo from Warner Bros Pictures
Source: Wonka Movie Website, main cast for Wonka posing for their official movie poster.

Movie prequels are nothing new, and although prequels are often criticized, movie producers are fearless in releasing their additions and spins to beloved classics and their characters. The movie “Wonka” is a prequel to the story of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and its cast was revealed in late 2021, with filming starting that December. “Wonka” currently has an approval rating of 85% on Rotten Tomatoes and brought in a domestic box office debut of $39 million over the weekend. 

Of course, many were excited about the movie itself. Still, it was the cast that had viewers gravitating to the theaters on Dec. 15. Actors Timothee Chalamet and Hugh Grant caught the attention of viewers considering their differing audiences spanning every age. Unfortunately for the cast and those excited to watch the movie, there was limited talk about the film due to the SAG-AFTRA strike during the scheduled release of trailers. Due to the strike, many actors who were a part of the union could not talk about upcoming projects. 

With the movie’s announcement, many questioned its premise- what would “Wonka“ be about? The lack of promotion for the film due to the strike made it incredibly difficult for viewers to fully understand what the movie would cover, as the actors portraying the characters could not say anything. Now that the strike has ended, however, actors in the film have finally been able to promote their movie and reveal some details. “Wonka” is not associated with the previous films in any way. Instead of building off previous movies, “Wonka” is just an addition to the broad story of Willy Wonka in general. 

The movie features the infamous Wonka before he became the chocolatier everyone knows him as. The movie paints Wonka as somebody easy to root for, a classic underdog story, as he fulfills his dream of becoming a chocolatier. In the movie, Wonka is seen constantly facing adversity as he tries to implement his chocolate in an already monopolized town, constantly in conflict with the preexisting chocolatiers. The portrayal of Wonka by Chalamet is unmatched as he is able to captivate the audience with his performance, truly embodying the wit and charm of Wonka. Grant acting as the Oompa Loompa Lofty was entertaining and comical, while his character was a bit more stoic it created a great balance that mixed with the quirky nature of Wonka. 

“Wonka” has received some mixed feedback from viewers and critics. One notable controversy is that Grant plays the movie’s famous Oompa Loompas. Many considered this casting decision outrageous as it took away opportunities from little people who had already struggled to get jobs in the industry.

The Willy Wonka movie brought me more joy than I could have imagined.”

— Kiley Knudson

Movie-wise, many thought the movie itself was pretty enjoyable. Senior Kiley Knudson said, “The Willy Wonka movie brought me more joy than I could have imagined.” Many agreed with Knudson’s thoughts, often describing “Wonka” as a feel-good movie that brought back childlike wonder.

“Wonka” is available now in theaters. Plans for its streaming release are still unknown but suspected of being put onto HBO Max.

About the Contributor
Ruby Garza, Editor
Ruby Garza is a senior at Owatonna High School and this is her third year on the Magnet staff. The reason Garza decided to continue being in Magnet was because she has enjoyed her experience in the class the past previous years. Garza plays for the OHS Girls Tennis team, she's also involved inKey Club, SHOC, YOLO, Student Council, Knowledge Bowl, DECA and she also manages her youth group’s Instagram. Outside of school Garza likes to hangout with friends and family, watch shows, read and explore new places. After high school she plans on going to a four year college to double major in computer science and marketing, with a possible minor in finance.