Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory has grabbed the golden ticket as it is named as the most influential children’s film of all time, according to new research from ODEON Kids.
The 1970s classic musical, based on the popular Roald Dahl book, stars Gene Wilder and the famous Oompa Loompas as they take a group of children on a magical tour around the world’s most extraordinary chocolate factory.
Stealing second place in the poll of 2,000 Brits was Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the film that kicked off the billion pound franchise in 2001.
Coming in third was Disney PIXAR’s Toy Story, the computer-generated buddy-comedy about a group of toy who come to life when no one is looking.
Disney’s Lion King completed the top five list of the most influencial films for kids – 24 years after its release it is still the third-highest-grossing animated film of all time.
Child psychologist, Dr Kairen Cullen, worked with ODEON Kids worked to analyse how films can effect children as they grow up. She said: “Imagination is vital to development and emotional well-being. Therefore rich, age appropriate, quality films can stimulate children’s imagination and help them cultivate their creativity in later life.”
Research conducted by Dr Cullen shows that children as young as two years old become mini film critics, with children reaching their creative and imaginative peak at the age of 11 ½.
Explained why Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory has had such an impact on people, Dr Cullen said: “As films go, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory has it all! When Charlie finds the golden ticket and enters the factory’s amazing world young viewers will be transported with him to another dimension and be inspired to create fantasies of their own.”
With 2015 being a huge year for kids films, experts have predicted that new releases such as Big Hero 6, Inside Out and Minions could have a similar impact on the latest generation of children.
Andy Edge, Commercial Director at ODEON UK & Ireland commented: “We all remember our first cinema experience, and we can never forget that film that has stuck with us throughout our adult life.
“Sharing experiences together as a family is an important part of growing up, so we want to make sure every youngster has the opportunity to see the some of the best films of the year through ODEON Kids like Penguins, Two by Two and Cinderella.”