Willy Wonka (Timothée Chalamet) daydreaming in 'Wonka'.

What Does the Ending of ‘Wonka’ Mean?

Wonka is a look into the origins of our beloved Willy Wonka, starring Timothée Chalamet as the chocolatier. So, the setup of the movie is pretty obvious as to where it’s eventually going to eventually lead to.

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The entire film, Willy Wonka is just trying to be given the chance to make a name for himself without having many people on his side. Pushing back against those who want to keep him and his love of chocolate down, he comes out on top and makes a name for himself in the world of chocolate, becoming the man we all knew him to be when we met him in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

After helping Noodle (Calah Lane) find her mother and making sure everyone else trapped in their contracts gets to be free again, Wonka only has one last thing to do with the orange man who kept stealing all his treats: begin his own journey and factory. This is all, of course, after we witness the other chocolate makers losing their businesses and the chief of police getting in trouble for his crimes, as well. You can’t have the bad guys win!

The true end of Wonka is frankly an emotional one for fans of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory for a very obvious reason, because it hearkens back to what made Gene Wilder’s portrayal so beautiful.

Come with me …

The entire film is a bit of a musical, with Chalamet singing songs on occasion (as does the rest of the cast), but the song that underscores most of the film is “Pure Imagination.” It is a moment in the original film that opens up Wonka’s factory to the children when he invites them in, and it, in the case of Wonka, invites us into Wonka building his vision.

The final song of Wonka is simply just Chalamet’s version of “Pure Imagination” and is a more hopeful rendition of the song. It is building his factory, a joyful expression of what is to come for him. The vision is there, and we don’t yet see that jaded chocolate maker that we got with Wilder’s version of the song in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

It is an emotional moment, especially if your favorite part of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory happens to be Wilder singing this song. Because having Chalamet sing “Pure Imagination” as we know and love it with his own flare really is just a beautiful way to end a purely magical take on Willy Wonka as a character.

We’re watching as Willy builds his factory with the help of his friend, the Oompa-Loompa that he unknowingly betrayed, and we are coming into who Willy is as a person from a much more informed place for the future of his story. All of this makes for a more interesting man heading to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Plus, any excuse to listen to a new version of “Pure Imagination” is a great thing for me.

(featured image: Warner Bros.)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her current obsession is Glen Powell's dog, Brisket. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.