Bumping this because "Willy Wonka" has been the worst HD-DVD title in terms of playability in my experience, and I have almost every US HD-DVD title released. As I've already posted I've found lots of problems with Warner dual-layer discs being either defective or getting 'laser rot' after just a couple years. Those who posted in this thread before, are your discs still playing now?
I've gone through SEVEN copies of Wonka now- most of them won't load at all. I recently got 2 however which are behaving very strangely. On my A1, A2, A3 and A30, they play the FBI warning and Warner Home Video intro, then display an error message and won't play any further. Just for the helluvit, I got out an A20 player I have which does not put out any sound (also posted a separate thread about that) and amazingly both of these copies play on this machine! Only problem is I don't get any sound because of the problem with this player. Tried them a few more times on the A2 which uses the same drive and they still won't play past the Warner intro. Oddly I have 2 copies of "Gods and Generals" which behaved the same way on my A30 but played on my A2, and last time I tried one of them on the A30 it worked.
Too late right now, but this weekend I will try swapping the drive from the soundless A20 into the A2 and see if it will play that way. (And yes, I DID notice the seriously flawed picture with this title- have also seen it on The Fugitive, Enter The Dragon and Lethal Weapon.)