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Mike Teavee
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory character
First appearance Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Created by Roald Dahl
Portrayed by Paris Themmen (1971)
Jordan Fry (2005)

Mike Teavee is a character in the Roald Dahl novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the subsequent film adaptations.

Contents

Background

Mike Teavee is, as his last name implies, a violence-obessed and anger-driven television fanatic, who is seldom away from his television set. He is the fourth of the children to find a Golden Ticket, and is also the fourth to be expelled from the tour, leaving Charlie Bucket as the last child remaining. Unlike the other finders, the novel gives no explanation as to how Mike found his Golden Ticket because he talks only about his television obsession at his newspaper interview, especially his preference for the violent programs and expresses annoyance at the press for disrupting his viewing. He also becomes very angry when his parents stop him from watching his shows.

In the novel, nine-year-old Mike is particularly obsessed with violent gangster films. He wore "no less than eighteen toy pistols of various sizes hanging from belts around his body," and he liked to act out gangster shootings wherein the characters were "pumping each other full of lead." Unlike the movie versions of Mike, he has blonde hair.

Mike in the 1971 film

Mike was played by Paris Themmen in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, in which his last name was spelled as "Teevee" in the credits. The film portrayed Mike in a more greedy yet sociable manner than the book. Mike, no older than eleven and hailing from Marble Falls, Arizona, is dressed in a cowboy outfit complete with a hat, a fringed jacket, and a cap gun, in imitation of the stars of his (unnamed) favorite western TV show. He has amazing reflexes and use of his cap gun though. He openly wishes he could have a real gun, a Colt 45, to which his father replies with a warm smile, "Not till you're twelve, son." Again, Mike is far more interested in his television than his Golden Ticket and expresses annoyance at the news reporters for disrupting his viewing (though he is not as angry as he is in the book, the theatrical adaptions, and 2005 film), and only diverts his attention from the TV set long enough to listen to what Slugworth is whispering in his ear. When the children are asked to sign a contract prior to the tour that forbids them from divulging Wonka's secrets, Mike remarks, "I saw this in a movie once. A guy signed his wife's insurance policy, then he bumped her off." He signs his name as "Mike T.V." as he is saying this.

Unlike the 2005 adaptation, Mike does not have an aversion to chocolate, as he calls a miniature chocolate bar a "TV dinner" in the Wonkavision Room and is seen eating candy in the Chocolate Room. He is very impudent and self-assertive toward most adults, but is generally kind and sociable around the other kids, especially Charlie. He even gave Grandpa Joe a lollipop for Charlie to save Augustus with. He talks about his favorite shows and movies, and dreams of becoming a TV star.

Mike in the 2005 film

In the 2005 movie adaptation, Mike is the main antagonist but still has a more contemporary wardrobe in lieu of cowboy attire, and resides in Denver, Colorado. His behavior has been greatly influenced by television, the Internet and video games, and as a result of being constantly bombarded with violent imagery, particularly from first-person shooter games, he is impatient and often quick to anger, though he is very nice to Charlie and converses with him a few times in the film. He also only smiles once (during his scene where he teleports himself through the Television Chocolate machine).

Mike is more willing to talk about his Golden Ticket than his previous incarnations and provides an explanation as to how he found it, which he never did in the book or the previous film, albeit throughout his video gaming. He proves to be both scientifically and economically literate despite (or because of) his uncontrolled technology usage: he finds his Golden Ticket simply by analyzing both the Nikkei Index and the datecodes of the other ticket finds, off set by the weather that day, and then calculating the location of the next ticket, thus requiring him to purchase only a single Wonka Bar. This version of Mike does not like chocolate, and simply used the ticket hunt as an opportunity to merely test his wits, rather than out of true desire to visit the factory. His haggard father (Adam Godley), who later serves as Mike's tour chaperone, laments during the press conference about his inability to understand his son's thought processes, while bemoaning children's obsession with modern technology in general.

When the five children first enter the facility, Mike is the only one whom Wonka addresses by name, adding, "You're the little devil who cracked the system." He only calls him "little boy" only once in the film, likely to annoy him further. Mike considers everyone else to be beneath him and is especially condescending toward Wonka, while finding almost everything in the factory to be "completely pointless," but is particularly impressed by Fudge Mountain. However, he does get along very well with Charlie and jumps in shock at seeing Veruca being chased by angry worker squirrels.

Whenever Mike tries to argue with Wonka about the impossibility of his inventions, Wonka tells him to "stop mumbling" despite Mike's speech being rather clear. This became a running gag in the movie that held a less prominent place in the novel and the 1971 film.

Mike in the plays

In theatrical adaptations, Mike is a combination of the two boys from the films, but is rude and pushy like in the novel and 2005 film. Depending on the whims of the director, he either dresses like the 2005 Mike (contemporary, 21st century clothes) or the 1971 Mike (cowboy outfit), but instead of Colorado or Arizona, he is from Television City, California - appropriate since some of their economic focus is in the entertainment industry. In most plays, his mother is his tour chaperone like in the 1971 film, and his father is surprisingly not present unless the director says that Mr. Teavee is included. His song is called "I See It All on TV", which also mentions his love of video games and the Internet like the 2005 Mike.[1][2] In addition, the play version of Mike thinks that reading books and traveling is for "wimpy kids", something that his parents agree with until they leave the factory. He is either played by a adult male, a young boy, a teenaged boy, or a girl in various plays, though the role generally works best with a young male actor. Thoughout his television interview, he talks as if he is from the black ghetto even though the person that usually performs him is white. Also, at the near-end of the play, all of the "bratty" kids (including Mike) and the Oompa-Loompas sing a fifth Oompa-Loompa song, talking about all of the "bratty" kids in general; their parents then give them a hug after the song ends and they walk offstage.

Mike's Endgame

In the novel and both films, Mike is shrunk when he disobeys Wonka's request to stay away from the Television Chocolate camera. In an attempt to distribute free samples of Wonka's candy, Television Chocolate was intended to send larger-than-life-sized Wonka Bars through television sets around the world. After the bar is teleported by the camera, it is shrunk down to normal size, and can then be extracted from the television set and consumed. The Television Chocolate camera transmits Mike to a television set across the room, shrinking him to a size that enabled him to fit within the diameter of the screen. Wonka orders him to be stretched to his normal size in the gum-stretching machines (taffy pullers in both films) but the Oompa Loompas overdo the process and transform him into a very thin giant over ten feet tall. Wonka suggests that every basketball team in the country would now be looking for him. In the 2005 film, Mike is left with a very high, squeaky voice after being shrunk, and his thin, overstretched figure was seen leaving the factory after the tour, whereas in the 1971 version, nothing was stated other than Wonka's reassurance to Charlie that Mike would be fine. This may be used in the theatrical adaptations if the director wishes to edit violence.

In the book and the first film, Mike sends himself through the Television Chocolate machine simply due to his television fanaticism. In the novel, when his parents lament the loss of his ability to attend school or engage in society, he asserts his retained ability to watch television, whereupon his father finally blames the television for Mike's behavior and attitude and swears to "throw it out the window" once they get home, much to Mike's annoyance and anger. This may or may not be used in the theatrical adaptations.

In the 2005 movie, Mike sends himself through the machine to demonstrate its potential use as a teleporter, after becoming frustrated that Wonka never considered using the machine in any other context beyond distribution of his products. After realizing that he has been shrunk by his trip through the machine after realizing his mistake, Mike tells Wonka to "put him back through the other way" and return him to normal size, but unfortunately the process is irreversible, and just like the blue form of Violet Beauregarde, Mike's new form of a thin giant is permanent.

Mike Teavee Song

This song took place in the factory's Television Room, and was sung by the Oompa Loompas after Mike was shrunk while trying to use the camera to teleport himself into the in-room television screen. In the book, they sing that TV is unhealthy and detrimental for children's minds, and that children should read books instead of watching TV; the song in the original film conveys the same message. In the 2005 film, the song suggests that television is bad for young minds, and it makes children dull and blind, as mentioned in the novel.

The 2005 version of the song is performed as Mike finds himself jumping from, and interacting with, one television program after another while an Oompa Loompa changes channels: he flips through a [[heavy-metal music video, a Psycho-style shower scene, two other Oompa Loompas playing Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, a WNN (Wonka News Network) news broadcast, a cooking show, and a parody of a Beatles concert. All of the performers on all the channels were Oompa Loompas.

Other

Mike TV, using a different spelling, writes for Dan's Sabbagh's Dan Sabbagh media blog, [3] Beehive City.

==References==]]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
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