Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker. If the good Lord had intended us to walk, he wouldn’t have invented roller skates. A thing of beauty is a joy forever. These are but a handful of life lessons learned from Mel Stuart’s definitive and most magical Roald Dahl musical adaptation, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

This year, the Gene Wilder spectacle turns 44, and the Today show celebrated the anniversary this morning by inviting the principal cast. Sadly, the titular hero wasn’t around to revel in the nostalgia, but they did manage to get the five original golden ticket winners and the most iconic Oompa Loompa.

“We think of ourselves as part of a family,” explains Paris Themmen, aka Mike Teevee. “Maybe a bit of a dysfunctional family, but a family really.” It’s really an extraordinary sight to see the kids all grown up, especially Michael Bolner’s Augustus Gloop, who’s no longer stuck in the Wonka pipes, or Julie Dawn Cole’s Veruca Salt, who’s certainly no “bad egg.”


Watch the full interview below (via The Hollywood Reporter).