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I’d have my own chocolate factory

1st place $50

By Amanda Newcomb, Narbonne HS (Harbor City)

There is nothing in this world more divine than that first taste of a chocolate bar. The caramel center flowing with freedom until its savory stickiness is licked off of fingers, the sweet lingering aroma as the bar diminishes and that oh-so-good feeling as the last bite melts slowly in your mouth. If I had the chance to live in any movie, I would live in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and savor sweet, sweet candy every day.

In the world of Wonka, my insatiable appetite for sweets would finally be satisfied. Prancing through forests of gummies, gooies and blobbies, my sweet tooth would literally start to rot. I might take a swim in a vat of chocolate, not minding if I swallow some of the "water." Being shrunk-down, drinking soda that makes you float and licking wallpaper would be everyday pastimes for me. I would develop new confections, trying each myself and taking a few extra pieces of the good batches. I would also hold financial responsibility over the factory, making sure to order plenty of the main staple: sugar.

I would stay secluded in my candy wonderland. Rumors would fly around about the "bizarre person who owns Wonka" and stepping outside would result in numerous tabloids writing stories about my "wild party life" and pasting my face on their trashy covers. I would be the woman everyone is talking about, yet no one has met.

As for gifts, my relatives would be sick of candy, because that’s what they would receive for every occasion and holiday. Their closets would be stacked with candy, and they would jump for joy when the neighborhood children pass by—finally, someone to give all this candy to! My little cousins would have cavities by age 2 and poor Grandma would have to get dentures. As for Grandpa and Aunt Lorraine, the diabetics, I would make sugar-free confections solely for their taste buds.

But before my fun begins, I would have to win over Wonka. I wouldn’t be like the other children in the movie—ungrateful and bratty. I would be a female version of Charlie and my aspiration to be a good guest would be greater than any other. While Wonka leads the group through the tour, my hands would be firmly pressed against my sides, even with the great temptations to tamper with Wonka contraptions. As the other kids begin to "disappear" from the tour due to cases of bad behavior, I would be the last group member, and as the story goes, the one to receive the factory.

Wonka would be my mentor for a few years before he actually retires. He would teach me all the tricks of making things extra sticky and extra sweet and how to order more Oompa Loompas (just in case).

When the credits roll, they would suddenly stop and cut away to a new scene. It would be me, 30 or 40 years later, hobbling down a yellow sidewalk, opening the gates, not for 10 lucky guests, but for as many as would fit in my pretentious castle. In this annual celebration, the candy would flow freely for each and every guest to sample. Meanwhile, I would secretly scan the guests for that one perfect child who would continue the Wonka legacy.

I’d be free as a fish

2nd place $30

By Karina Muro, Cleveland HS (Reseda)

If I could be in any movie, it would have to be Finding Nemo. I loved, love and will always love that movie. I even named my puppy "Nemo" after I watched the movie. At first I had no interest watching it, but as the good big sister that I am, of course I took my younger sister to see it. The character I would like to play would definitely be Dory.

Just imagining being a fish and living underwater fascinates me. I know it sounds awkward, but learning about the marine world and being among the fish would be the best experience ever! Thinking about it gets me excited. The thought of being able to swim anywhere you want is great. Getting to explore the ocean just by swimming around anywhere you like. Having to catch your breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also having to be aware of other animals. In my opinion being a fish would be fun, entertaining and unique. Imagine not having to worry about grades and school problems. In general, I would have a stress-free life.

I love the movie just as it is. I think the whole movie is perfect and I wouldn’t want to change the outcome. After all, the end was a happy one. Nemo was found and reunited with his dad. If I could be in any scene, it would be when Dory and Marlin are looking for Nemo (even though Dory forgets what she’s doing) and they accidentally meet up with the sharks.

I would want to be in this scene just because I imagine myself being a small fish and being in front of three big sharks. Yeah, not a pretty sight. But being a small fish, it takes a lot of courage to confront sharks. I guess Dory’s short-term memory loss is really helpful. Because of this she is not afraid and even has a conversation with the sharks. I really admire how Dory helps out in any way she can. At the end you can tell that Dory is the true hero of the movie.

Even though this world may not be literal, imagining and dreaming make it real. When I watch these movies, I feel like I have the power to fantasize about whatever I wish. What makes me happy is that no one can take this magical world away from me as long as it lives in my heart.

I’d escape to my own Wonderland

3rd place $20

By Courtney Schade, Arcadia HS

I for one am a romantic. Not the type of romantic that you are probably picturing right now—the typical sappy love story that everyone always associates the word "romantic" with. This type of romantic has nothing to do with love. I mean the type that likes to daydream and just escape from the pressures of everyday life once in a while. I am a dreamer and that’s why, if I could be in any movie I wanted to, I’d be in Alice in Wonderland; everything about the film is romantic. And of course, I would become Alice.

Alice is a girl who very often daydreams about the wildest places that no one would even have the imagination to dream up. While trying to concentrate on her studies, she often gets distracted and wishes she were somewhere else. Somewhere where she can be herself and get away from the doldrums of life. I share the same beliefs and ideas as Alice, only I can’t necessarily just wish myself to a "wonderland" like she did. That’s just the place I wish I could venture to: a world where there are talking flowers and un-birthday parties.

Alice is stuck having to learn grammar and mathematics on a beautiful day. In the midst of her wild and crazy daydreams, she falls asleep and that’s right where I’d like to come in. Here, Alice enters a world that, in society today, would be unacceptable. There are no rules as to what you can and cannot do. Everything is backwards and completely outside the norm. I mean, nothing about Alice’s dream is normal: white rabbits who are late, a talking cat, a deck of cards who have to paint the roses red for the Queen of Hearts, a chorus of flowers, getting lost in a forest where there are creatures that I don’t think I could create if my life depended on it, never-ending tea parties… the list could go on and on. Alice’s world is the complete opposite of our world and that’s why I love it so much. It’s refreshing to imagine a world with no crime, no homeless, no disputes over money and no wars.

I can’t stand having to obey the rules all the time. Sometimes I wish I could just forget about all homework, all tests, all the pressures from parents and teachers and just leave to a place where I can do what I want to do. I know you have to follow the rules and do well in school, but in order to do that you have to take a break sometimes and think about something else for a while or else you could be in over your head. Everyone needs an escape from life at one point or another. Alice’s way of escaping is just the way I’d choose. I wouldn’t change one aspect of the story line at all—it’s the perfect world. It’s a world where all my troubles would vanish.

Everyone needs their own "wonderland" to go to when the going gets tough, whether it be as simple as sneaking off to your room or going out shopping. I just happen to share the same one as Alice—a place where nothing is what it seems, a place where I can go that no one knows, a place where I can temporarily leave my problems and become lost in a world where everything is just how I would picture it to be. As far as I know, no world like that exists so all I can do is dream, just like Alice.

Favorite films

Out of about 200 entries, several movies emerged as the ones our readers would
most like to be in:

1. Mean Girls
2. Spider-Man
3. Scarface
4. Finding Nemo
5. Titanic