A Chomp was a cheap chocolate flavoured chew. Defined as such as it had barely sniffed a cocoa bean in its life, and rather was a collection of chemicals wrapped on a wham bar which simulated chocolate. It was about 8p, and since you could buy a proper chocolate bar for 20p, it was only for those kids on a copper controlled diet.

Tim Burton’s Charlie & The Chocolate Factory is the Chomp version of the tale. Not because it is cheap, or a pale imitation. It is (except for one point) a very faithful adaptation indeed. Faithful to the word, if not the spirit. Whilst Burton’s film looks, and sounds like Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, it never really understands the story. Perhaps Dahl’s story is about family (it isn’t really), but not Burton’s idea of family – where overbearing, beastly parents are only that way because they are trying to protect us. The Bucket family is poor, that is their problem, but very supportive. I don’t think Dahl would have approved of Willie Wonka’s dentist father who Wonka needs to reconcile with before he can allow Charlie’s family into the factory. This is an all new Burton fixation, and an unwelcome one. That said the idea of Christopher Lee as a dentist has introduced an new edge to my dentophobia.

So in comes visual trickery, songs which are barely intelligible (bring back the musical) and all the flaws of transporting a kids book into a film. Like Cinderella, C&TCF thrives on repetition and delayed climaxes (Charlie has three goes at getting the ticket). This is great for reading out loud, great when a slow reader, rubbish in a film. Both screen versions take too long to get to the factory, at least the Gene Wilder one has a couple of songs in the way. Depp is game, but obviously too young to play the part (the flashback scenes where he is Charlie’s Grandpa’s boss are most bizarre). The film generates no excitement of its own, which may well be a good thing. Dahl’s book remains the version kids will remember, and all Burton’s restrained imaginings will do is highlight how imagination sometimes gives you the best visuals.