The Oompa Loompas Were African Slaves In The 1964 Book

By | December 13, 2017

test article image
Left: Gene Wilder and Oompa Loompas from the 1971 film 'Wily Wonka And The Chocolate Factory.' Right: An illustration of the Oompa Loompas from the first edition of Roald Dahl's book 'Charlie And The Chocolate Factory,' 1964. Sources: IMDB; processhistory

The Oompa Loompas are the short factory workers in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which starred Gene Wilder and was based on a book by Roald Dahl. Wonka was known as a mysterious, reclusive and eccentric candy maker who owned a factory that produced chocolate and other confections, and his Oompa Loompas were odd little creatures who sang songs and danced. While the 1971 Oompa Loompas, with their orange skin, green hair and green-and-white factory costumes, bring back fond memories for those of us who recall the film, Dahl's original concept for the imported laborers wasn't ready for the big screen, or any screen at all.

test article image

The Oompa Loompas we know from the film were mischievous natives of Loompaland, in the region of Loompa, which was represented to be a small, isolated island in the Hangdoodles. Willy Wonka discovered them and realized that they were being mistreated by the Whangdoodles, Hornswogglers and Snozzwangers. Wonka took them home to work in his factory and to give them a better life, making his Gobstoppers and other sugary treats. He rescued them but they also rescued him because he needed their help. There was a mutual and loving respect that they shared. Beneficial to both sides was the fact that the Oompa Loompa’s diet consisted mainly of cacao beans which were rich in chocolate flavor.