The 1971 cult musical classic Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is one of the few children’s movies with any real perception into just how mean and nasty kids can be, and punishes them and their irresponsible parents accordingly. The mature wit and eccentricity of Gene Wilder as the mysterious candy maker, who leads a group of kids through his factory to teach them about themselves, anchors the film securely in a bizarre fantasy land that rarely runs off course into irritating cutes (mainly in the Oompa-Loompa song interludes). The lively pacing yet firmly grounded viewpoint of Mel Stuart’s direction smoothly integrates Roald Dahl’s dark-hued story with the sprightly Bricusse and Newley songs.

The most impressive brat is Veruca Salt, played by Julie Dawn Cole, whose amazing professionalism and out-of-control desires prove that a "bad egg" can also be a terrific little entertainer. The candy-coated morality may be a trifle heavy-handed, but the film’s ineffable charm and wonder win out.

This special revival of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory screens May 1 at 2 p.m. at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. Tickets are $9 for general admission and $7 for seniors and students with valid ID.

The Aero Theatre is located at 1328 Montana Ave. at 14th Street in Santa Monica, (323) 466-3456. For more information, visit