While the latest movie from Marvel Studios is packed with references to popular characters and stories in the history of the House of Ideas, director Taika Waititi snuck a clever reference into a movie based on one of Roald Dahl's classic novels.
One scene in Thor: Ragnarok sees Thor (Chris Hemsworth) on his way to meet up with the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) after being whisked away to Sakaar contains a major nod to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Warning: Minor spoilers for Thor: Ragnarok below.
The scene takes place after Thor has been defeated by Hela, cast out in mid-transport from the Bifrost, and landing on the surface of the garbage-covered wastelands of Sakaar. Though he's rescued from a group of cannibalistic scavengers by Valkyrie, he's stuck with an inhibitor chip and transported to the Grandmaster's fighting pits.
But before he gets to fight in the Contest of Champions, the Elder of the Universe has to take look at the goods.
Thor is strapped into a chair that restrains his arms and legs, forcing him to watch an intense visual display as he takes a ride toward the Grandmaster's chambers.
The visual show is backed by loud announcements that Thor, now a prisoner, should enjoy his new life and that there is now going back to where he came from; he is now property of the Grandmaster. The music playing in the background of the scene is a variation of "Pure Imagination," originally sung by Willy Wonka actor Gene Wilder from the classic film.
The voice, backed by music and a mind-bending light show, prepares Thor for his meeting with the Grandmaster in mere moments. It reaches a crescendo, and Thor begins screaming as he's unable to break free, but when he opens his eyes he finds himself sitting before the Grandmaster and a bunch of his goons. The God of Thunder is more than a little embarrassed by his own shrieking.
The scene is a direct nod to the Wondrous Boat Ride scene, in which Willy Wonka's guests depart the fantastical 'garden' area of the chocolate factory. They end up in the Invention Room, but the experience is one of the first signs of Wonka's sadistic litmus test of willpower.
All in all, it was a wonderful way to introduce Goldblum into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, who proves to be just as eccentric as Wonka in the movie.
Thor: Ragnarok premieres in theaters on November 3.