Tag Archives: willy wonka

¡Charlie Cubeta y la Fábrica de Chocolate!

My kid loves to watch movies in Spanish. Not Spanish language movies, but movies she’s already committed to memory with the Spanish audio track turned on. And now that she’s learning to read, she likes to see the Spanish subtitles, too.

I can’t tell you exactly why she likes to do this, but like most of her weirdness, it’s probably my fault. For years, I would bug my wife with questions about how to say this, that, and the other thing in Spanish. As an alternate means to expand my vocabulary, one meant to prevent my wife from murdering me, I began to watch Simpsons DVDs with the Spanish audio track on and Spanish subtitles. This was where I learned such valuable words as chuleta, salchicha, and trasero.

I’m sure my kid saw me doing this at some point in her formative years, because when she was very little, “Simpsons” was her catch-all word for “cartoons.” Now, she now gets really annoyed if she’s watching a DVD only to discover it doesn’t have a Spanish language track. Between DVDs, DVRs, and OnDemand, she lives in a world that denies her nothing. Healthy!

As I am still learning Spanish myself, I’ve been encouraging this curious proclivity of hers. The Harry Potter films are the ones she likes to watch in Spanish most often. (This is how I learned that cicatriz is scar and varita is wand; “muggle” is still “muggle.”) But last night, she asked to watch Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in Spanish. To call this an experience would be a gross understatement.

Here are some highlights of the bilingual discoveries I made while viewing this classic film en español.

  • Willy Wonka’s Spanish subtitles translated “scrumdiddlyumptious” as “rechupeteanchus.” The audio had a completely different nonsense word that I couldn’t discern because I was laughing too hard.
  • The lyrics to the songs were all rewritten and performed anew. Grandpa Joe’s big number, “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket,” became a tune called “Tengo un billeto de oro.”
  • Charlie Bucket = Charlie Cubeta
  • Augustus Gloop = Augustus Gluton
  • Veruca Salt has a different name, too, but I couldn’t make it out. Also, I distinctly heard her introduce herself to Willy Wonka as Veronica Something, even though Wonka immediately uses Veruca when addressing her.

One thing that suffers in the translation is Willy Wonka himself. As far as I’m concerned, Gene Wilder is responsible for everything great about this movie, and removing his voice from the equation robs the film of some of that greatness.

However, there is one scene in the Spanish version that stands alone. It doesn’t surpass the original, but rather tears a whole in its reality and creates a new, terrifying universe unto itself.

I am speaking of the ultra-creepy boat scene. I will not attempt to capture exactly why this is so much more unsettling in Spanish. It defies explanation, and is something you need to experience. Think this scared the crap out of you before? That’s nothing compared to this. Once I saw it, my life was transformed, and now yours will be, too.

Inappropriate Walk Up Music: 03.27.09

santo-shea.jpgFor previous Inappropriate Walk Up Music posts, click here.

Every day until Opening Day, Scratchbomb presents three tunes that are completely, unequivocally inappropriate for use as major league walk-up

These are not necessarily bad songs–although that
certainly helps. They are merely songs that don’t evoke the fear and dread one traditionally associates with the walk-up song. In fact, they evoke the exact opposite.

Imagine yourself in the on-deck circle. Bottom of the 9th. Down by one. Man on second, two out. You hear the PA system blare, The centerfielder, number 20… The crowd roars at the sound of your name. And as you stroll to the batter’s box, you are greeted with the strains of one of these songs:

* “The Battle of Evermore”, Led Zeppelin
I deem this song inappropriate because it does not rock, and because it’s full of ridiculous medieval imagery and pseudo-mystical nonsense. And because it inspired a generation of dumb stoner metalheads to try to pick up 12-string guitars and write songs about hobbits.

Side note: There are many rock bands with have a charismatic frontman who is the strongest element from an image standpoint, but the absolute weakest musical link. Led Zeppelin is a prime example. See also: The Doors.

* The song from the tunnel scene in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”
Imagine you’re at a game, and as someone comes to bat, the Jumbotron shows this scene. I mean, just picture this horror broadcast to a crowd of 50,000. By the time Gene Wilder sang “is it raining, is it snowing, is a hurricane a-blowing…” everyone in the stands would have soiled themselves.

* “Prayer to God”, Shellac
Possibly the angriest song ever. Especially if you’ve ever seen them do it live. I saw Shellac twice, they did this song both times, and I swear my sternum was vibrating by the end as Steve Albini screamed KILL HIM! FUCKING KILL HIM! KILL HIM ALREADY! KILL HIM!

Also, never heckle Steve Albini unless you’re prepared to get totally owned. (I absolutely hate the Show Heckling trend; every show I go to now, some hipster douche has a whole routine worked up in his head to yell at quiet parts of the show. But that’s a whole other post.) One time I saw Shellac, some girl kept screaming at the top of her lungs, in a seemingly pseudo-ironic way. Albini finally couldn’t take it anymore and yelled back, “Jesus, woman, what is your day job–siren?!”