I watched this as a kid, and it was an emotional roller coaster for me. Roald Dahl wasn't afraid of exposing kids to some of the darker elements of life. Neither was Gene Wilder. Very mercurial and unpredictable. One of those films that NEVER needed a remake. Johnny Depp just turned him into an inaccessible weirdo.
Without question, this should be the measuring stick by which all live-action family film should be judged. I've watched it countless times as a child and as an adult, and it still feels rich in imagination, enchantment, musical quality, and sharp wit. The performances of the children are all wonderful, and the great Gene Wilder has never been better.