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Posts from the ‘Film’ Category

They don’t make characters like this any more…do they?

original clanger and bagpuss

So it was date night last week, and we chose to spend it doing something a bit different. We went to see a talk by Peter Firmin, the co-creator of some of the most loved characters that have ever appeared on British television.

Peter drew and/or made the puppets for, and animated all of the following: Ivor the Engine, Noggin the Nog, the Clangers, Bagpuss and Basil Brush. Wow! Isn’t that amazing? And that’s the original Bagpuss in the photo, by the way!

Peter was charming, and he seemed just like Father Christmas’s little brother. He was so inspiring and passionate about his work. As I listened to him, I was struck again and again how DIY his approach was. He made so many things using whatever he had laying around his studio, and I wondered if some of that warm, homemade feeling was what had rubbed off and helped to create the massive charm of his programmes.

I was also chatting to someone beforehand, and he asked me if I was of the school of thought that they don’t make characters like Peter’s any more. It was a great question and it stayed with me. I didn’t really come to a conclusion by the end of the evening. On the one hand, I don’t see anything that feels as charming, and certainly there’s nothing that feels as “physical” and homemade on TV.

But then on the other hand I’m hardly the bullseye target audience am I? And if you think about the gentleness of Waybuloo or In the Night Garden, maybe there is some kind of direct line from Peter’s characters through to those programmes?

What do you think?


Ramona Quimby?

Okay, so I really don’t spend all of my time reading Meg Cabot’s blog. No, really I don’t. But while I was just quickly glancing over her latest post last night I discovered this! There is to be a Ramona and Beezus movie. Did everyone know about this except me? It’s already out I think in the US.

Do you remember Ramona?

There was a TV series based on the books by Beverly Cleary. I don’t think I ever read the books as a kid, I’m not sure whether they were published in the UK or widly known about over here which is a shame, but anyway, I watched the TV series. Always on a Sunday morning with an assortment of sweets and chocolate if my parent’s had had friends over the night before (left over peanuts and twiglets and After Eight mints), before anyone else got up. Just me, the TV, food I shouldn’t eat before I’ve brushed my teeth and American/Canadian TV shows… oh how I loved anything from America. I watched it all. Knightrider, The A-Team, The Waltons, Little House on the Prairie, Saved by the Bell, Fresh Prince of Bell Air, Mr Cooper – okay, carried away now… but I did love Ramona Quimby. Here’s a picture of her incase you’ve forgotten:

I’m excited about the movie, though a little concerned about how cute the children look in it. Selena Gomez plays Beezus and she just looks too nice.

See what I mean? Beezus was always mean to Ramona and irritated by her. Lori Chodos who played her in the TV series had that down perfect. But, I shall wait until I’ve actually seen the film before I cast any further judgement! I don’t think I know anyone who would want to go with me but that’s okay, films on your own can be fun. You don’t have to share the minstrels.

It’s ridiculous also how very much I love Meg Cabot and her blog because never, ever would I have considered going to see a movie called Eat, Pray, Love. Even with Julia Roberts in it (I still have a lot of respect for Sleeping with the Enemy – it gives me the jitters, I like that. It’s the towel scene I think.). Honestly ridiculous, but now I am considering it. I’ll probably be watching that one on my own too!

Where’s Wally film?

Since a previous post on the subject, a fair few of you have asked if I know anymore details of the Where’s Wally (or Where’s Waldo if you are in America) film. I’m sorry, I don’t have any information on it at all. I still can’t imagine what it will be like.

This article though from SlashFilm website has the idea that the movie would take its starting point from the idea the Whitebeard would send Wally off on quests in some of the books and episodes of the TV series which would make sense.

In the meantime you can search for Wally on Google Earth’s Google Street Viewapparently he’s in there somewhere!

Thinking I should probably read Twilight

I know – it’s shocking that I haven’t read it yet, so I’m thinking I better had. Apparently Twilight has reached the 2 million sales mark in the UK. Only the 13th (how appropriate) book to do so since the turn of the century and Stephanie Meyer is only one of four authors (Rowling, Haddon, Dan Brown) to reach the two million in the 21st century mark.

Everyone’s talking about it. Everyone’s obsessed with it. I love vampire movies, always have done and I’ve always found vampires a little bit sexy (no Jason Patrick not you, hello Kiefer Sutherland!) – so why have I not read this yet? Not sure.

The blurb sounds great. The black cover with splash of red is exactly what should be on this book, though I am not keen on apples but that’s no reason to not read a book. I really just don’t know.

I shall ask for a copy for my birthday (next month). And then I will rent the movie. Someone called Robert Pattinson is in it and apparently he is quite fanciable!

Where the Wild Things Are, tattoos, pumpkins, Spike Jonze and Absolut

I have come across this website and their blogs and while I am not completely familiar with what Abduzeedo do exactly (they are a group of creative people with a passion for all kinds of art), this post on Amanda’s blog is a lovely tribute to Where the Wild Things Are.

It’s fascinating to look through. The Wild Thing tattoos are quite special and I love the fan art. the pumpkin carvings are seriously impressive and are making me rethink all my usual Halloween traditions (I really like Halloween, it’s an E.T. thing). I had no idea that Spike Jonze was the co-owner of Girl skate co. and knowing this makes me very happy for some reason.

If you were in any doubt about the beautiful work that Spike Jonze creates, take a look at his “I’m Here” video for Absolut.

Steven Spielberg to direct War Horse

For his next project Steven Spielberg has chosen to adapt War Horse by Michael Morpurgo to film. It feels comforting to know that Spielberg will be at the helm of this story and I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out. For more information on the project take a look here at IMDB and here for the original story on Entertainment Weekly.

Revisiting Beatrix Potter

I watched Miss Potter on BBC iplayer over Christmas as I hadn’t seen it before and we were hunting for something good to sit and eat Quality Streets in front of (Christmas telly seemed to be somewhat lacking this year). I really enjoyed it. Usually I find Renee Zellwegger a touch irritating to watch, but she was manageable in this and Emily Watson and Ewan McGregor played Millie and Norman Warne well. It flowed nicely along and was a very pleasant hour and a half of my life!

I think what I loved most about the film, (aside from the drawings of course, the insight and the wonderful part where she realises that she is wealthy and has made enough money to move to the countryside under her own steam), were the stunning set designs and locations. Particularly her room she used whilst living with her parents. Everything about it was wonderful.

I used to have a lot of Beatrix Potter books when I was young, but I can’t find them. They must be up in my parent’s loft with an awful lot of my other childhood books. I wanted to revisit her work after watching the film so we went to the library and got out The Tailor of Gloucester and The Tale of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle.

I particularly wanted to read The Tailor of Gloucester as this was my favourite as a child. I loved the idea of the scampering mice, helping the tailor out and doing such fine, detailed work. It didn’t disappoint and her illustrations are as intricate and charming as ever.

The film mentions the size of the books and how Beatrix Potter insisted that the cost be kept down and therefore how her publisher came to use just one sheet of paper to print etc… They are lovely books to hold. The smallness of them reflecting the small, delicate illustrations inside. Very much a little treat, much like the film was (and all the Quality Streets).

How did I miss this?

They’ve made a movie of The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold! I have no idea how this passed me by?

I’ve just watched the trailer about a dozen times – it looks amazing. Am now very much wanting to see it. There’s a lot out in the cinema at the moment that I want to see and that is always a reassuring thought for me.


Check out the trailer here.

I LOVE Meg Cabot

I am not in the slightest bit ashamed to say that I have loved and enjoyed all ten of the books in the Princess Diaries series. Sometimes I do feel that I should be a little embarassed by that and keep my stash hidden away, but I am not. They’ve made me laugh, cringe, blush, giggle and feel as awkward as a 15 year old girl again and I am super sad that I have now read Ten Out of Ten and that is it. No more hijinks with Princess Mia and her friends. I now know what happens with her and Michael Moscovitz and I can safely say that the ending was very satisfying – yay!

So, when I did finish that final book in the series it left something of a hole in my life. That feeling that you are never going to have that special kind of escapism that a really great book has given you, ever again. I have read Meg Cabot’s blog on and off for quite some time now and so I turned to it once again in my time of need. For the gossip and to dream about her life; adventures in Brazil, book signings, her cats, her ability to know everything going on in Hollywood etc…

And so to today. I thought I couldn’t love Meg Cabot anymore than I already did as she gave me ten books of pure cheesy, teen pleasure, until I read this post.


I too am completely obsessed with disaster movies. I have also seen all of the disaster movies made for TV including the really, really bad ones. I totally agree that there was no need for the CGI wolves in Day After Tomorrow (I don’t though agree that we should feel sad for them – I have a very big phobia of wolves stemming from some childhood traumas and The Box of Delights… shudder), I too found the lake of acid scene in Dante’s Peak hilarious – though I thought it was two teenagers who fried? Maybe this was just at the beginning. Either way – brilliant! I’m looking forward to seeing 2012 very much.

So I love Meg Cabot because of her obsession with disaster movies. But that’s not it. Nope. I am now so completely in agreement with her for this one line:

2012 stars John Cusack, who gave us Lloyd Dobler, arguably the greatest romantic hero ever created!”

SO VERY TRUE. (Turn away now relatives who read my blog). Lloyd Dobler is everything, EVERYTHING I ever wanted in a man. And that scene in Say Anything is probably the most lovely, wonderful and romantic one of its kind in all of cinema. Ever.

So I’ll leave you with this, and that’s all that needs to be said.

I know I’m a little late in saying this…

I am absolutely thrilled that Neil Gaiman has won the Booktrust Teenage Prize for The Graveyard Book.

I was first given one of Gaiman’s graphic novels as a present from a friend when I was 16. I still have my battered copy of Death on our bookshelves and a lot more Gaiman books have gathered around it, but I particularly love The Graveyard Book.

It’s the type of read that makes me laugh out loud when I try and think how the author came up with the idea behind it and thank my lucky stars that some people do just think of these things and go with them!

There’s an interesting article in the Telegraph that talks of Rudyard Kipling’s obvious influence on Gaiman when writing The Graveyard Book.

And of course there are lots more articles and news snippets around all toasting his success:

The Guardian
The Bookseller

The big question is, which version did you get? Illustrated by Chris Riddell or David McKean? A fan of both but I went for McKean. I loved his work on David Almond’s The Savage and something about his artwork for this cover reminded me of Stephen King and as its all a little bit Stephen King at the moment, I went for that version.

And just because I love it so, here’s a picture from the Coraline movie.

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