Good Morning Starshine, The Earth Says Hello

chocolate factory
In 2005, the franchise known as Willy Wonka received a brand new line from the eminently quotable Willy Wonka when he uttered "Good morning star shine, the earth says hello." If the quote caused you to do a double look at the screen you're not alone. The quote is not one of Willy Wonka's many sayings from the past 50 years and its origin may (or may not) surprise you. Hint: it does not come from a piece of media made for children.

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‘Good morning, starshine, the earth says hello.’

Willy Wonka (2005), Originally from the song Good Morning Sunshine seen in the film Hair.

Who is Willy Wonka?

Willy Wonka is a character from the 1964 book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and its 1971 film adaptation. He is the owner of the Wonka chocolate factory.

When does this quote first appear?

This one is a little tricky. The first time the phrase “Good morning star shine, the earth says hello” appears in the English language is in the 1967 musical hair (specifically in the song Good Morning Starshine). However, the first time it was attributed to Willy Wonka, was in the 2005 film where Wonka was portrayed by Johnny Depp.

Who wrote it?

Again, a little tricky. But the original authors are James Rado and Gerome Ragni who wrote the song hair. It’s most associated with a cover done by Oliver until it was uttered by Willy Wonka in the 2005 version of the film.

Why is Willy Wonka so popular?

There are a few reasons why Willy Wonka is popular. First, the character is unique and has a lot of personalities. Secondly, the movies and books featuring Willy Wonka are usually very enjoyable and well-made. Thirdly, many people, after all, do enjoy the candy that Wonka produces.

However, if we go deeper, we can see the depth and nuance in the character. Academic literature studying film and TV has looked at the various aspects of Wonka‘s character and personality. Researcher Leo John Loveday wrote that “his covert verbal abuse with the aim of demonstrating how pragmatic resources help to serve literary characterization.” In simpler terms, his study looked at how rude Willy Wonka is in the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They are using a tool called conversational implicatures to help them understand why he is so mean. Dahl, the creator of Wonka, uses this tool to help make Wonka a more ambivalent villain.

What is the connection between Hair and Willy Wonka?

Hair also made viewers do a double take when it was first released. Hair, which was a musical in the 1960s, took a front-in-center role in the counterculture movement of the time. It had scenes with people that were bisexual and in interracial relationships, which were taboo subjects at the time. There was also a scene where the cast appeared naked for a few seconds, which was very scandalous. “Despite lasting just seconds,” one journalist wrote, “it was considered scandalous and resulted in many audience members walking out of the Shaftesbury Theatre, dinner jackets in hand.”

While that certainly does not sound like something that should be associated with Willy Wonka, a film made for kids, there is a heartwarming silver lining. In her wonderful, long-form analysis of this exact quote, photographer Julia Forrester writes “All in all, the song talks about the carefree spirit plenty of people have. And Wonka, based on his back story and love for chocolate and candy, shows this exact same spirit.”

How many Willy Wonka movies have there been?

There have been two Willy Wonka movies. The first was released in 1971 and was titled Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. The second was released in 2005 and was titled Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Who wrote the song from which the quote appears?

Authors of the musical hair (discussed above) James Rado and Gerome Ragni. Numerous covers of the song were released in the following years.

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