Overrated: Grandpa Joe
I used to regard the Willy Wonka movie as slightly bizarre but still a decent story… and kids seem to enjoy it. Then the other day, I’m sitting there innocently as someone upset my apple cart. They suggested that the movie is not only no good for children, it is actually a terrible story of Grandpa Joe who basically is a barnacle on society. Find it hard to believe… well, dig in here because I’m about to change your opinion of Grandpa Joe… who was actually a selfish, petulant, mean-spirited man and a poor influence to boot.
State’s evidence #1
So, here’s our Grandpa Joe… we are supposed to feel sorry for his bed-ridden, tired, obviously ill and incapacitated old bones. But then we start to see the complaining. While Charlie’s poor soul of a mom work hard for the cabbage soup that the family enjoys, Grandpa Joe complains. Not that he wants to do anything about it. He just wants more. Apparently, cabbage soup is not good enough for ol’ Joe. And when Charlie shows up with a loaf of wonderful bread, who is selfishly impatient waiting for his bread? You guessed it Grandpa Joe… no sense of gratitude to Charlie. Just “gimme, gimme, gimme”
State’s evidence #2
Where did Grandpa Joe get the chocolate bar in the first place? Was it a magic bed bug who brought it to him? Is he secretly leaving the bed at night? Does he have an evil minion? Perhaps he is blackmailing one of the other grandparents to get the chocolate bar? This question still haunts me.
State’s evidence #3
Now this part, this part… shows Joe’s true character. When Charlie does find the golden ticket and rushes home, Grandpa Joe, in a fit of jealousy accuses Charlie of lying, of not having a golden ticket. When he sees it is the actual real mccoy, the selfish s-o-b, starts dancing around. Out of bed in a snap, but not just that… taking complete credit for it. It’s all about him! “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket!!” It’s all about him but not about Charlie. Once again!
State’s evidence #4
You notice when Willy Wonka gives a contract to all of the parents? Some of the parents of the brats, question the contract. You know… they wonder what they are signing. Makes sense, right? But not Grandpa Joe! He very quickly signs away everything. He doesn’t care about Charlie or what he is doing to Charlie. It’s all about him!
State’s evidence #5
Now let’s flash forward to the Fizzy Lifting Drink scene. While Charlie is wondering about what he should do and tempted by doing right vs. wrong, what does Grandpa do? Why, of course, he encourages him to do the right thing, right? NOPE! He encourages our little hero to go ahead and drink it… to break the rules.
The bottom line is that Grandpa Joe was lazy, selfish and completely self-centered. He wants his and couldn’t give a crap about his grandson or anyone else.