Like a giant playground--lots of fun
This movie is almost a perfect replica of Roald Dahl's original book. People call this one dark in relation to the original, but frankly I think it's the other way around. Gene Wilder hurtling through a scary tunnel of crawling bugs...just not my thing.
There was some stuff added that wasn't in the original book, but it matches the flavor and tone of the book. This movie is colorful, hilarious, and you come out of it wanting to dance. Very uplifting.
Many people may be disturbed by the way the children are treated (I was), but it's true to Dahl's style--the nasty children/people are always punished, the good ones always rewarded. (Check out Matilda, The BFG, and many others.) I appreciate that the story values the right things, like unselfishness and kindness and family.
The theme of family life was particularly fantastic in this world of quickly degrading family life. The way that Wonka learns that family is what matters most will be especially meaningful and useful for teaching smaller children.
Overall definitely worth seeing at least once for kids and adults--weird but lovely.