Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) [Fizzy Lifting Drink]
Much like Alice in Wonderland, the world of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is wrought with body-bending consumable substances including: Three-Course-Dinner Gum (which turns Violet into a person-sized blueberry) and the Everlasting Gobstopper (which will rot your teeth for eternity).
Despite their various benefits (and subsequent drawbacks), only one Wonka product allowed Charlie to defy gravity – the Fizzy Lifting Drink. Apparently, the people at Topo Chico Sparkling Mineral Water couldn’t resist either…
Altered States [Tincture]
By far the most dangerous substance in our list, Dr. Edward Jessup’s Ayahuasca tincture, used in conjunction with a sensory-deprivation tank (at first), causes the researcher to unhinge his consciousness from our reality and experience a number of physical (and non-physical) forms including a primitive man, an amorphous primordial mass, and a proto-consciousness with almost no physical form.
Later, Jessup begins to spontaneously transform, without the tincture, meaning the solution isn’t ultimately a necessity but, similar to Neo in The Matrix, afforded the scientist a much needed push - to free his consciousness from known reality.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets [Polyjuice Potion]
In the magical wizarding world of Harry Potter, where everyday items carry ancient curses and it only takes a few ingredients to make a sweet treat that can turn someone into a canary (Canary Creams), there’s no shortage of body-altering substances. That said, by far the most useful of the lot was introduced in Potter’s second year – polyjuice potion. Despite its wretched taste, the concoction allows a person to physically take the form of another human – assuming the brewer can supply a sample (hair, etc) of the person they intend to impersonate.
The potion doesn’t have universal utility as it will not work on half-breeds, such as Hagrid, and only allows subtle alterations to the human form (i.e. no full-on animal transformations). Though, for some reason, it does allow for gender-switching – and hybrid animal forms.
The Tooth Fairy [Shrinking Paste & Invisibility Spray]
At first, shrinking paste might sound like just another mass-altering substance but coupled with the Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in a blue tutu and fairy wings, we can only assume that the magic paste also has some significantly psychotropic properties as well.
That said, the bizarre visual mix of Samoan muscle, hockey pads, and pixie dust could just be a side effect of The Tooth Fairy’s other list entry - Stephen Merchant brand invisibility spray.
Limitless opens in theaters this Friday, March 18th.