Wonka (2023) awakened something in me I had lost.
When I was a kid, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) left me mesmerized. The lyrics of the song “Pure Imagination” became my mantra and saved me from times when I felt lost, hopeless, and awkward.
If you want to view paradise
Simply look around and view it
Anything you want to, do it
Want to change the world?
There’s nothing to it
There is no life I knowSongwriters: Anthony Newley / Leslie Bricusse
To compare with pure imagination
Living there, you’ll be free
If you truly wish to be
“Simply look around a view it.” You mean, I can use my imagination to create a world I want to inhabit? You mean we can invent the future? (See why I became a designer?)
My childlike wonder waned over the past fifteen years. COVID put a serious dent in my ability to wonder and wander like Wonka. Sitting in the movie theatre with my kids, I ugly cried repeatedly—especially when I heard the song “Pure Imagination.”
Creating, imagining, and inventing are my favorite things. It’s about time I revive them every day. My seven-year-old self knew what he was doing.