Disney

This is the TruffleShuffle blog, quiet, peaceful, serene… that is until our new The Raccoons TShirts and COMPETITION wakes up! Yaaaahoooooo!

Luckily, we have a good friend to help us out in the form of The Raccoons creator Kevin Gillis!

Like busy little Raccoons ourselves, we’ve been hard at work with Kevin to create some all new and exclusive Raccoons T-Shirts which are now on the site! We have one new design which has been lovingly screen printed onto four styles and colours including grey & white tees, blue vest and a grey baseball raglan TShirt!

To celebrate our latest arrivals in style and give you guys a little glimpse into the world behind The Raccoons, we stole Kevin away and threw some questions at him (don’t worry we were gentle). Take a look below to see what we found out from the man himself….

Hi Kevin, thanks for taking to time to chat with us! So… we hear you’re currently working on a reboot of The Raccoons which we’re very excited about! What made you decide to do this and how will it differ to the classic 1980s series?

A lot of the Raccoons fans are now having kids of their own. Many of them were reaching out and suggesting that we should think about doing a re-launch and aim it towards them and their new families – sort of a co-viewing opportunity. It was a very difficult process trying to decide which direction to go. Do you keep the ‘classic’ animation style – updating it from the original, or do you create a brand new modern approach to the characters’ style? Further, do you stay 2D as the original was – or do you go CGI – which many of the pre-school shows are produced in? We have opted to update the original designs but kept much of the traditional classic tone and look that The Raccoons were known for.
Stay tuned – as the jury is still out!

Not that we’re biased, but the 80s and 90s produced some of the best cartoons ever, of course including The Raccoons. What do you think made this such a special and iconic time for the entertainment biz?

Up to this time, most of the animation we had known came from large US animation studios who had created their own iconic styles: Hanna-Barbera; Disney; Warner Bros; etc. Suddenly there was an appetite – mostly driven by broadcasters and young upstart studios and producers, to reach beyond the US fare and create new characters and styles of their own. It was a time when promoting independent creativity was cultivated. It was before the accountants ran the broadcasting systems – and original untested ideas from young writers, producers and directors had an opportunity to reach an audience.

Although we’re sure there are many, if there was just one lesson you would like us 80s kids to have taken away from the years growing up with The Raccoons, what would it be?

Hah! Well, seeding an interest in our fragile environment would have to be near the top of my list. That — and enjoying the characters and their stories.

Which other classic cartoon show would you most have liked to have been a part of and why?

I’ve always been a fan of The Simpsons. I guess I like dysfunctional family comedies. They seem so real!  And The Simpsons was ground-breaking, giving rise to a burgeoning field of adult animation. And let’s not forget some of the great pioneer shows of animated comedy: The Flintstones, The Bugs Bunny Hour!

Who were your favourite characters from the series and why?

Writing for a villain is always fun. Cyril Sneer was no cookie-cutter villain. He was much more grey than black-hearted. He had a very soft spot for his son Cedric and was vulnerable to early childhood emotional scars – his obsessive need to constantly prove himself to Mr. Knox and Mr. Mammoth come to mind, as does his all-encompassing distaste for anything that the Raccoons were up to – especially Bert!
I think Cyril’s complexity made him a favourite of mine. Can’t decide between the Pigs or Bert after that. They were both fun. Interestingly, the actor who played both Bert and Pig #2 (the “sycophantic, slow” one) brought both characters to life and made my job worth getting up for every single day. He was Bert Raccoon incarnate! Sadly, Len Carlson has moved on to the Evergreen Forest in the sky, where I am sure he is dreaming up new-fangled adventures just as Bert Raccoon would!

If you could go back and do it all over again, what one thing would you most like to change about The Raccoons? Perhaps a character trait? Storyline? Or maybe something about how it was made?

That’s easy: in hindsight, I would not have had Cyril with a cigar. We of course wanted to make Cyril the anti-hero and gave him character traits that you would not aspire to emulate as a child: how he treated his underlings (employees), his rants, his paranoia, his unending quest for wealth over anything else, his destruction of the environment, even his control over his son’s friends. We thought a cigar would just add to the persona. Regrettably, it has become a bit of an albatross as today’s broadcasters are concerned that it is politically incorrect and are reluctant to broadcast the series.

We’ve always imagined working on one of our childhood favourite shows to be an absolute dream job (apart from creating amazing tees with them on that is!). Were there any funny stories or goings on in the making of The Raccoons you can share?

I’m afraid if I did my life would be in danger.

Did you ever slip any ‘Easter eggs’ or hidden gems into any of the episodes? We’d love to look out for them if so!

We did our best to seek them out and destroy them. The animators, being the “paragons of virtue” that they are, would occasionally try to create, shall we say, visual “double-entendres”. I will leave it to your imagination what we were able to find. I’m sure we didn’t get them all – so if you find one, keep it to yourself. Check the Pigs scenes – they were notoriously risqué. Also the backgrounds in Cyril’s mansion – you never know what you are going to find in those dark recesses.

With huge changes in how shows are made these days, how do you feel kid’s cartoons have changed since The Raccoons first came out? Are there any new series that you’ve seen and are a fan of?

I am fortunate to have worked on a number of animated shows since The Raccoons with many talented young writers, animators, directors, actors, designers, etc. I have always been a fan of original designs and unique story-telling that pushes the accepted boundaries. I think what we did on Atomic Betty set game rules.  Computer assisted animation has made a huge difference. In many cases you don’t even have to know how to draw to work as an animator on a series. Creating and colouring fabulous backgrounds has become quicker and easier. The time to deliver a series is much faster – so the relevancy of subject matter can be a very powerful tool in the hands of writers.

I think the biggest change for young demos is the ubiquitous focus on 2 eleven minute episodes instead of a 22 minute “half-hour”. The format change has created quicker pacing, gag-oriented stories as opposed to more character based animated drama. Granted, we still have 22 minute stories for prime-time (The Simpsons, South Park, Family Guy, etc.), but I think we have created an audience that demands instant-plotlines with a preference for gags over depth of character.

Animating back in the 80s and 90s was such an intensive and manual process, do you think modern methods can still offer the same magic?

Absolutely! If anything, the ability to instantaneously see your work as opposed to waiting for the film “dailies” to come back from the lab gives the creative team a multitude of options to pivot, polish, re-work, fine-tune — and still deliver on time. Control over your work has improved immeasurably. The digitization of the creative realm has offered all of the creative team the ability to react, reflect and make choices in real time.

What do you think the animation industry will look like in ten years’ time? Do you think we’re likely to see more retro classics make a comeback?

I think that low cost animation tools will be ubiquitous – anyone that wants to create a professional product will have the technical ability to do so. We will still be interested in great stories and characters that we care for but the distribution channels will be full of UGC – User Generated Content. Having a network determine whether your creativity is seen or not will no longer be relevant – if it is today. Retro versions of today’s hits will undoubtedly be part of the creative landscape – it’s the stories and characters that make your memories happy and worth revisiting.   Regardless of method of delivery and/or technological advances, great content will always prevail.

We would like to say a huuuuge thank you to Kevin Gillis for taking the time to talk with us and providing us with some amazing signed goodies which you can now win below. Such an honour.

WIN! WIN! WIN!

That’s right folks! Celebrating the release of our exclusive new The Raccoons Clothing which is now available to buy (go take a look!), we’ve managed to get our hands on some simply amazing The Raccoons goodies which have been signed by creator Kevin Gillis himself! A true treat for any fan of this hit retro show for sure. Let’s take a look…

The Prize

Up for grabs we have have a signed exclusive The Raccoons TShirt, a signed copy of season one and two of the Raccoons on DVD and a handful of The Raccoons badges to sweeten the collection!

How To Enter

To keep things as easy, fair and as accessible as possible, we’re running the comp through our usual little system called Gleam. This will allow you to enter a number of times and in a number of different ways via Twitter, our blog, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and more. The more ways you enter, the more chances you have of winning. Nice n’ easy!

Just follow the directions below after securely logging in via one of the options to begin completing your entries.

WIN Signed The Racoons Goodies

How Long Do I Have?

The competition will close at 11:59pm on Monday 29th May (29/05/17). Entries made any time before then will be counted. After this time the system will not accept any further entries.

How Will The Winner Be Chosen?

In the interest of fun and fairness… totally at random! The nifty Gleam system will hop, skip and jump into all your entries and pick out our lucky winner at random. Don’t forget! The more ways you enter, the more chance the plucky Gleam bots will pick you.

Good luck!

Ts&Cs
Only one winner will be chosen at random
There will be no cash alternative of prizes offered
If we do not hear back from the winner within one week, another will be chosen at random and contacted
We reserve the right to cancel the competition at any time without warning
Questions? Email competitions@truffleshuffle.co.uk and we’ll get back to you pronto!

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What’s that sound? Must be the huge buzz that is the amazing new live-action remake of Disney’s classic take Beauty and the Beast! Hitting the big screens all over the world, this new instalment promised to bring this animated classic which was first released way back in 1991 (26 years ago! Eeeep) into the modern movie scene and audience.

This got us thinking though…. what did we learn from the original? What life gems did we take away from all those VHS (magic video tape things for you youngns) screenings at home on the telly?

To find out we had a little think and have come up with our 10 Things We Learned From Beauty and the Beast….The Original. Enjoy!

You’re never too short-tempered, rich or… hairy to learn.

Okay we’re going to let you into a little secret here, us TruffleShuffler’s are not all the baby-faced teenagers we used to be (I know… the 80s was a long time ago now apparently), this means we’re constantly learning about the latest app, social media profile live chat profile thingy we have to be amazing at suddenly. If you ever think you’re done learning and you’ve got things covered, you couldn’t be more wrong! Be the beast of learning!

Not fitting in, is awesome!

We don’t know about you, but the people we look up to and admire the most are the people who are just out there being themselves and not afraid to be different! We’re pretty sure Belle’s father Maurice isn’t ready from the same chapter as everyone else, but he isn’t afraid to show it! To be weird you need to be brave, and if you’ve brave you can do anything.

Never judge a book by it’s cover.

The Beast is…. well a beast! Horns, mad scary teeth, covered in more hair than a busy salon floor but hey, he’s also kind, brave and you could say has been through a lot in his days. Mr Disney sure taught us that how someone may appear isn’t always the full story. Looking at someone, you’ve never know their achievements, ambitions, struggles, and fears. Why just guess when you can find out for yourself. They might just surprise you.

Stick up fo yo self!

Why is Belle so gosh-darn awesome?! She’s kind, brave, funny and she knows what she wants and goes for it! Is there much cooler than that? She taught us to stick up for what we believe in, what we think and what we want. She didn’t let a whole village bring her down for Pete’s sake!

Nobody likes an angry Beast

If you pay suuuuper close attention to the classic, you might find a few odd moments where the Beast isn’t the happiest camper. Ultimately, this gets him absolutely nowhere. Things only start to go well and him and his relationships when he learns to control his anger and hate which is certainly something we took away from this Disney gem. Keep calm, keep cool and keep moving forward. Thanks Beast!

Good mates always there for you.

Never a truer world said! For us, some of the most iconic and memorable characters in a lot of stories are the supporting roles. In B&TB, Mrs. Potts, Cogsworth, Chip, Lumière, Babette and… the Wardrobe offer some of the best scenes, moments and songs and you could say this is true for life in general. They’re there in times of need, they offer advice, guidance and can always help spread some cheer.

Sometimes popular people aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

Remember those popular kids at school? How many of them do you really look up to now? Chances are you just don’t care and are probably wondering why you ever did. The case in point here is Gaston, he can wow the crowds, can lay on the charm and get people to do what he wants, however ultimately he is the villain. Smoke and mirrors people, smoke and mirrors.

Relationship problems happen, and it doesn’t mean you should give up.

This one is sad, but possibly true for a lot of us. Belle and the Beast obviously didn’t always get along, but hey sometimes you’ve just got to look through the messy eating and temper tantrums and see the greater good in any situation. You may fall out, argue but you will also compromise and make up if you both know it’s worth the fight.

People who care will offer good advice, try not to ignore them.

We’re sure there’s a little of Belle and a little of the Beast in all of us right? If there’s one thing this absolute childhood classic taught us it’s that it’s the people around us who really help make things happen, transform situations and help us through almost anything. It’s hard to admit you don’t always know what’s best, but perhaps someone else does.

Everyone is (probably) weird AF in their own homes too!

If anyone ever tells you they’re not, they lying! From dancing around the house to your new favourite song like a total goon, to cupping water in your hands from the shower then dumping it all out like a giant waterfall (come on you’ve done it!), people like to get weird at home and that’s okay, they are not alone!

So there you have them folks! These are just a few of the life-long lessons to be taken away from this total Disney classic.

Are there any that you think we missed? What things did YOU personally learn from the movie gem? Let us know by popping a comment below.

Thinking of going to see this new release? Why not look the part with something from our huge range of Beauty and the Beast Merchandise including Beauty and the Beast TShirts, Beauty and the Beast Jewellery, mugs and so much more!

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Great balls of fire! Another weekend, another retro movie rundown.

With great gusts and great gales, the wild weather beats and howls at the windows. Hearing the thrashing of the branches and the hollow scrapes of the bins, we’ll tuck ourselves in for another night amongst the safety of the sofa and warm glow of the box. Peeping out the window only to observe the chaos and fury of the outside world, before heading back to view the retro movie wonders that will once again be beaming their way into our little world.

Have a happy retro weekend!

SATURDAY 25th FEBRUARY

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Muppets from Space
(1999) Sony Channel 9:00am-10:50am (1 hour 50 minutes)
Gonzo hits the road with pal Rizzo in tow and goes in search of his roots – only to make the amazing discovery that his parents belonged to a race of aliens. He then has to choose whether to board a UFO and return to his family, or stay with the friends he knows and loves. Family comedy, with F Murray Abraham, David Arquette, Ray Liotta, Andie MacDowell and Rob Schneider alongside the puppets.

The Muppets Merchandise

Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home (1995) ITV 12:00pm-1:50pm (1 hour 50 minutes)
The friendly whale is reunited with Jesse, the boy who saved him from captivity. Jesse and his younger half-brother Elvis take time out from a family holiday to help save Willy and his pod from the danger posed by oil spilling from a crippled tanker. Family adventure, starring Jason James Richter, Michael Madsen, August Schellenberg and Francis Capra.

Harry and the Hendersons (1987) 5STAR 2:55pm-5:05pm
A hapless family’s camping holiday in the mountains is brought to a sudden end when they accidentally hit the legendary Bigfoot with their car. They decide to adopt the endearing creature, but have more trouble than expected trying to keep him concealed and to avoid arousing their neighbours’ suspicions. Comedy, starring John Lithgow, Melinda Dillon, David Suchet, Don Ameche and Kevin Peter Hall.

Cutthroat Island (1995) 12:55pm-3:15pm (2 hours 20 minutes)
A tough female pirate enlists the help of an educated slave in finding the three parts of a map leading to buried treasure. However, one of the pieces is in the hands of her cruel uncle, and she also has to find the loot before her crew mutinies or the British Navy catches up with her. Swashbuckling adventure, starring Geena Davis, Matthew Modine, Frank Langella and Maury Chaykin.

Dirty Dancing (1987) 5STAR 5:05pm-7:10pm
A dance instructor at a 1960s resort hotel fears his career will be jeopardised when his regular partner is forced to pull out of an important show in which they are due to perform. Luckily, a naive teenager is happy to step in, and is treated to a whirlwind holiday education in life, love and expressing herself. Romantic drama, starring Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey and Jerry Orbach.

American Pie (1999) ITV2 9:00pm-11:00pm
Four teenage boys make a solemn pact to lose their virginity before the high-school prom, and though their antics cause them huge embarrassment and public humiliation, the friends also learn about love and affection in their relations with the opposite sex. Coming-of-age comedy, starring Jason Biggs, Shannon Elizabeth, Chris Klein, Alyson Hannigan, Mena Suvari, Seann William Scott and Eugene Levy.

Red Heat (1988) ITV4 11:00pm-1:05am
A Russian detective travels to America to oversee the extradition of a Georgian drug baron responsible for supplying cocaine in Moscow. He is teamed up with a hostile Chicago cop, but when their prisoner kills an officer and escapes, they put aside their mutual mistrust to bring him to justice. Action thriller, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Belushi, Peter Boyle, Laurence Fishburne and Ed O’Ross.

SUNDAY 26th FEBRUARY

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Matilda
(1996) Sony Movie Channel 11:30am-1:40pm (2 hours 10 minutes)
A gifted youngster is packed off by her selfish parents to the prison-like Crunchem Hall School. Once there, she befriends a sweet-natured teacher who convinces her that not all grown-ups are bad – and urges her to use her special powers to turn the tables on the nasty headmistress. Fantasy comedy, adapted from the children’s book by Roald Dahl, with Mara Wilson, Pam Ferris, Embeth Davidtz, Rhea Perlman and Danny DeVito, who also directed.

Roald Dahl Clothing

Dragnet (1987) Dave 2:50pm-5:00pm (2 hours 10 minutes)
A by-the-book Los Angeles cop is paired with a laidback new partner to investigate the nefarious activities of a TV evangelist and a pornographic-magazine baron suspected of operating a criminal cult. Comedy spoof of the 1950s TV series, starring Dan Aykroyd, Tom Hanks, Christopher Plummer and the original show’s star Harry Morgan.

Jumanji (1995) Sony Movie Channel 3:55pm-6:05pm (2 hours 10 minutes)
A man who has been trapped inside a mysterious jungle board game for 26 years is eventually freed when two children start to play it. Unfortunately, he arrives with a rampaging horde of animals on his heels, leaving only one solution – to finish the game he started all those years ago. Fantasy adventure, starring Robin Williams, Kirsten Dunst and Bonnie Hunt.

101 Dalmatians (1996) Channel 4 4:30pm-6:30pm (2 hours)
Wicked fashion designer Cruella De Vil steals a huge litter of newborn Dalmatian puppies to turn into a magnificent coat – but the lucky pups have many four-legged friends who are determined the evil woman and her cronies will get their just deserts. Disney’s live-action remake of the animated comedy adventure, starring Glenn Close, Jeff Daniels, Joely Richardson, Hugh Laurie and Mark Williams.

Disney Merchandise

The Fifth Element (1997) Channel 5 6:00pm-8:15pm (2 hours 15 minutes)
In the 23rd century, the world faces destruction from a seemingly unstoppable force of pure evil. Meanwhile, a New York cab driver encounters a mysterious woman destined to save the Earth from its fate, and has to protect her from a scheming arms dealer and a horde of alien mercenaries. Luc Besson’s sci-fi adventure, starring Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich and Gary Oldman.

Kindergarten Cop (1990) ITV2 6:45pm-9:00pm
A tough detective is forced to pose as a preschool teacher in a bid to capture a drug dealer whose son is one of the pupils. However, his biggest challenge turns out to be controlling a class full of five-year-olds. Comedy, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Penelope Ann Miller, Linda Hunt, Pamela Reed and Richard Tyson.

Braveheart (1995) Sony Movie Channel 9:00pm-12:45am (3 hours 45 minutes)
Account of the life of medieval Scottish hero William Wallace. After the slaughter of his father and brother, young Wallace is taken in by his uncle, who teaches him how to use not only his brawn but his brain – which he employs to great effect years later when he resolves to drive the English out of Scotland. Oscar-winning historical epic, directed by and starring Mel Gibson. With Patrick McGoohan, Sophie Marceau and Catherine McCormack.

Total Recall (1990) ITV4 10:00pm-12:15am
A construction worker pays to have fake memories of a dream holiday implanted into his brain, but discovers his mind has already been tampered with – apparently to erase his true identity as a secret agent from a colony on Mars. He journeys to the planet in search of the truth, but is drawn into a conflict between the tyrannical ruler and a rebel faction. Paul Verhoeven’s sci-fi thriller, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin and Michael Ironside.

Clear and Present Danger (1994) Channel 4 11:00pm-1:30am (2 hours 30 minutes)
A CIA analyst gets caught up in the Colombian drug trade while trying to track down terrorists responsible for the murder of a close friend of the US president – but his investigations point to illegal activity and corruption at the very top of government. Action thriller, based on Tom Clancy’s novel, with Harrison Ford reprising his role from Patriot Games alongside Willem Dafoe, Anne Archer and James Earl Jones.

The Terminator (1984) Channel 5 11:15pm-1:15am (2 hours)
A cyborg assassin is sent on a murderous mission back in time to the 20th century, where he wreaks havoc while searching for his intended victim – a woman whose unborn son is destined to lead the human race in a war against machines. However, a soldier has also been sent from the future to protect her. James Cameron’s sci-fi thriller, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn.

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) ITV4 12:15am-2:15am
A crook and his unhinged brother take a preacher’s family hostage and cross the border into Mexico. They head to a rough strip club to make a planned rendezvous with a third party – but they soon have to live on their wits when they realise that the establishment’s staff are vampires. Horror, starring George Clooney, Harvey Keitel, Quentin Tarantino, Juliette Lewis and Salma Hayek.

Whatever you’re up to this weekend, remember it’s better to buy more before you run and that sometimes even the smallest changes can make the biggest difference.

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Sweet honey and pancakes! Must be time for another retro movie weekend!

With a swish and a swoosh, we’re making quick work of the almost herculean task of freshly painting a black canvas of a room (we said almost). Starting at one corner, we’ll watch the fresh, bright new colour explode outwards with each new stroke of the brush as we breathe a whole new character to a once tired and uninspiring space. With the smell of newness and change in the air, we’ll step back from our work to admire our new creation before taking a moment to capture our achievements onto celluloid wonder.

Have a happy retro weekend!

SATURDAY 28th JANUARY

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Gold
(1974) Channel 5 11:25am-1:50pm (2 hours 25 minutes)
A South African engineer is appointed general manager of a gold mine, and exposes a conspiracy to boost the price of the ore by drilling into an underground lake beneath where the company is digging, causing a devastating flood. Action adventure based on a novel by Wilbur Smith, starring Roger Moore, Susannah York, Ray Milland, Bradford Dillman and John Gielgud.

101 Dalmatians (1996) 5STAR 2:50pm-5:00pm
Wicked fashion designer Cruella De Vil steals a huge litter of newborn Dalmatian puppies to turn into a magnificent coat – but the lucky pups have many four-legged friends who are determined the evil woman and her cronies will get their just deserts. Disney’s live-action remake of the animated comedy adventure, starring Glenn Close, Jeff Daniels, Joely Richardson, Hugh Laurie and Mark Williams.

Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003) ITV2 4:05pm-5:50pm
Daffy Duck tires of playing second fiddle to Bugs Bunny, so sets off to seek his fortune. He ends up helping a would-be stuntman rescue his screen idol father, in reality a secret agent, who has been kidnapped by the deranged chairman of the Acme Corporation. Live action and animated comedy, with Brendan Fraser, Steve Martin, Timothy Dalton and Jenna Elfman.

Clueless (1995) Film4 5:05pm-6:55pm (1 hour 50 minutes)
A rich high-school student uses all her charm and financial clout to boost an awkward new pupil’s image, but soon finds she has created a monster – while her own popularity suffers in the process. Comedy inspired by Jane Austen’s Emma, starring Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy and Paul Rudd.

Clueless Merchandise

Big Momma’s House (2000) 5STAR 8:30pm-10:35pm
A dedicated FBI agent will stop at nothing to catch a dangerous escaped convict, even if it means donning a fat suit and drag to pose as the obese old woman who lives across the road from the felon’s girlfriend. Comedy, with Martin Lawrence, Nia Long, Paul Giamatti, Jascha Washington, Terrence Dashon Howard and Ella Mitchell.

SUNDAY 29th JANUARY

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The Love Bug
(1968) Film4 1:00pm-3:10pm (2 hours 10 minutes)
Herbie, an irrepressible Beetle car with a mind of its own, takes a shine to a struggling racing driver and leads him to victory on the track. However, his success attracts the attention of an unscrupulous rival competitor, who will go to any lengths to win the most important race of all. Disney comedy, starring Dean Jones, Michele Lee, Buddy Hackett and David Tomlinson.

The Borrowers (1997) Film4 3:10pm-4:50pm (1 hour 40 minutes)
A family of four-inch-high people living beneath the floorboards of an ordinary human home help the owner’s son fight back when a dastardly lawyer plans to demolish the house and make way for a luxury apartment block. Children’s fantasy, starring John Goodman, Jim Broadbent, Celia Imrie, Flora Newbigin and Tom Felton.

Inspector Gadget (1999) ITV2 3:00pm-4:35pm (1 hour 35 minutes)
A clumsy security guard is critically injured during a run-in with a thief, so his cybernetics-expert employer transforms him into the ultimate crime-fighting machine – a bionic officer with an array of gadgets and weaponry cunningly concealed inside his body. Disney comedy adventure based on the 1980s cartoon series, starring Matthew Broderick, Rupert Everett and Joely Fishe.

The River Wild (1994) Film4 6:50pm-9:00pm (2 hours 10 minutes)
A headstrong white-water rafting expert embarks on a holiday with her family, but their fun comes to an abrupt end when two killers show up. The fugitives’ only escape route from the law is down a raging river, so they take the woman and her son hostage to act as guides. Meanwhile, her husband desperately tries to keep track from the riverbank, waiting for his opportunity to launch a rescue attempt. Action thriller directed by the late Curtis Hanson, with Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon, David Strathairn and Joseph Mazzello.

X-Men (2000) E4 7:00pm-9:00pm (2 hours)
Super-powered outsiders Rogue and Wolverine find themselves at a school for mutants which is run by a benevolent psychic professor. While there, they agree to join others with similar gifts to take on a superhuman mutant terrorist faction intent on establishing dominance over mankind. Sci-fi comic-book adventure, starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Anna Paquin and Halle Berry.

Superhero Merchandise

Cliffhanger (1993) ITV 10:45pm-12:45am (2 hours)
A retired mountain rescue expert is drawn into a battle of wits with a psychopathic criminal searching for a $100million fortune lost in the Rockies – and puts his life on the line as he negotiates the treacherous mountains in a bid to stay one step ahead of the crook. Action thriller, starring Sylvester Stallone, John Lithgow, Janine Turner and Michael Rooker.

Sleepy Hollow (1999) Channel 4 11:00pm-1:00am (2 hours)
A sceptical 18th-century detective is sent to a small hamlet supposedly terrorised by a demonic headless horseman who decapitates his victims. The investigator refuses to believe in the supernatural, convinced a human killer is behind the murders – but the legend proves to be all too true. Tim Burton’s gothic horror, starring Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson and Christopher Walken.

The Cider House Rules (1999) BBC2 11:30pm-1:30am (2 hours)
An orphan grows up under the wing of the doctor running the home where he lives, and helps him deliver babies to unmarried mothers and perform abortions. However, he is eager to see more of life and joins a pilot and his girlfriend on the road – but unforeseen events present him with a host of difficult personal and moral decisions. Drama, starring Michael Caine in an Oscar-winning role, with Tobey Maguire, Charlize Theron and Paul Rudd.

Whatever you’re up to this weekend, always remember to hit save and don’t forget to always have spare batteries around….just in case.

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In the words of Noddy Holder from Slade….it’s CHRIIIIIIISTMAAAAAAAAS! Well… almost.

With the shopping done (at last!), the family all organised and the tree nicely glistening in the corner, it seems Christmas is here again for another year. What joy! With nothing to do but eat, drink and be merry (what washing up?), we’ll spread our Christmas cheer for all to see as we welcome one and all to tuck into our festive feast. With a clinking of glass, a scraping or knife and the snap of a cracker, another year will float past into the night as we ready ourselves for another year ahead. Merry Christmas!

Have a happy retro weekend!

Christmas Eve

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Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
(1971) ITV3 9:50am-11:55am
An eccentric confectionery king announces that five children will be given a tour of his wondrous factory. The winners turn out to be a kind-hearted boy from a penniless family and four obnoxious brats, who face a terrible fate when they misbehave. Musical fantasy, based on Roald Dahl’s classic book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum and Roy Kinnear.

Roald Dahl Clothing

Miracle on 34th Street (1994) Film4 11:00am-1:15pm (2 hours 15 minutes)
A woman raises her six-year-old daughter to believe that Santa Claus does not exist, but they both have a change of heart after meeting a department store Father Christmas who claims to be the man himself. When the kindly fellow is accused of being a charlatan, his new friends engage a lawyer to prove his true identity. Remake of the 1947 family drama, with Richard Attenborough, Elizabeth Perkins, Mara Wilson and Dylan McDermott.

Despicable Me (2010) ITV 11:20am-1:20pm (2 hours)
A criminal mastermind hopes to seal his reputation as the greatest villain of them all by stealing the moon. First he needs to get his hands on a shrinking ray owned by a rival evil genius, and adopts three orphan girls to help him – but finds that fatherhood brings out his long-buried caring side. Animated comedy, with the voices of Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand and Julie Andrews.

Minion Merchandise

A Christmas Carol (2009) BBC1 11:30am-1:00pm (1 hour 30 minutes)
A foul-tempered Victorian miser who hates the festive season is visited on Christmas Eve by a series of ghosts. The spirits intend to make him mend his wicked ways by showing him visions of the past, the present and what the future will hold for him if he does not change for the better. Animated fantasy based on Charles Dickens’ novel, featuring motion-captured performances by Jim Carrey and Gary Oldman.

Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever (2014) 5STAR 1:00pm-2:50pm
A bad-tempered cat in a pet shop grows more and more cynical as customers refuse to buy her. Over the course of a busy Christmas shopping day, she befriends a cheerful 12-year-old girl and reluctantly rescues a dog whom she hates from kidnappers. Comedy, starring Megan Charpentier and Daniel Roebuck, with the voice of Aubrey Plaza.

Grumpy Cat Merchandise

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001) ITV 1:30pm-4:20pm (2 hours 50 minutes)
An orphaned boy endures a miserable childhood, until he discovers he has magical powers and enrols at a special school for young wizards. However, his suspicions are aroused by a sinister teacher who seems to be up to no good. Fantasy adventure, adapted from the first of JK Rowling’s books, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Robbie Coltrane, Alan Rickman and Richard Harris.

Harry Potter Merchandise

Scrooged (1988) Channel 4 2:45pm-4:40pm (1 hour 55 minutes)
A heartless TV executive is cruel to his employees and just sees the festive season as an opportunity to make money. However, on Christmas Eve, three ghosts arrive in the night and challenge him to change his cynical ways by showing him his past, present and future. Comedy based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, starring Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe, David Johansen and Carol Kane.

One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961) ITV 4:20pm-6:00pm (1 hour 40 minutes)
A fashion-mad woman longs to make a coat out of dalmatian skin, and resorts to kidnapping her friend’s litter of puppies, along with several other dogs. However, the captive pups’ devoted parents come to the rescue, aided by an assortment of other animals. Disney animated adventure based on Dodie Smith’s novel, with the voices of Betty Lou Gerson and Rod Taylor.

Disney Merchandise

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) Channel 4 5:50pm-7:30pm (1 hour 40 minutes)
An embittered Victorian miser hates the festive season and people in general, but on Christmas Eve, the ghosts of his former business partners, the Marley brothers, visit him in the night. They warn him three spirits are coming to make him change his ways by showing him visions of the past, the present and what the future may hold. Comedy, with Michael Caine and Steven Mackintosh alongside the puppet characters.

The Muppets Merchandise

Christmas Day!

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Santa Claus: The Movie
(1985) 9:15am-11:30am
An impulsive elf walks out on Father Christmas during the hectic preparations for the festive season, and heads for New York determined to make a name for himself. However, he falls into the clutches of an evil toy manufacturer, who has a devilish money-making plan up his sleeve. Family fantasy adventure, starring Dudley Moore, John Lithgow, David Huddleston, Burgess Meredith and Judy Cornwell.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) ITV 11:55am-3:00pm
The young wizard and his friends return for their second term at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to discover a strange serpentine power is petrifying the other students. Meanwhile, Harry is haunted by a sinister voice in his head urging him to uncover the dark force that is stalking the corridors of the school. Fantasy adventure sequel, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and Kenneth Branagh.

Harry Potter Gifts

Scrooge (1970) Channel 5 11:55am-2:10pm (2 hours 15 minutes)
Hard-hearted Victorian miser Ebenezer Scrooge refuses to join in with the spirit of the festive season – until a succession of spectral visitors turn up to teach him the error of his ways. Musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol, starring Albert Finney, Alec Guinness, Kenneth More, Edith Evans and Paddy Stone.

The Wizard of Oz (1939) Channel 5 2:10pm-4:15pm (2 hours 5 minutes)
Youngster Dorothy Gale is whisked over the rainbow by a tornado into the magical land of Oz, where she inadvertently kills a wicked witch – incurring the wrath of another. Setting out to find the wizard who can show her a way home, she is joined on her journey by a scarecrow, a tin man and a cowardly lion, who all hope their own wishes will be granted. Musical fantasy, with Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr and Frank Morgan.

The Lion King (1994) ITV 3:10pm-4:55pm (1 hour 45 minutes)
A lion prince blames himself for his father’s death and flees into the wilderness, leaving his wicked uncle to take over. As the cub grows to adulthood, he receives a vision of the dead king, who inspires him to seek revenge and reclaim his rightful throne. Disney animated musical, featuring the voices of Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, Rowan Atkinson, Whoopi Goldberg and James Earl Jones.

Lion King Merchandise

Home Alone (1990) Channel 4 6:00pm-8:00pm (2 hours)
A boy has to fend for himself when he is accidentally left behind after his family jets off to Paris for Christmas. The youngster initially enjoys his freedom, but is soon forced to resort to ingenious booby traps to defend the family home from two dim-witted burglars. Comedy, starring Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard, Catherine O’Hara and John Candy.

Home Alone Merchandise

Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995) 6:10pm-8:00pm
The eccentric pet detective is coaxed out of self-imposed exile in a Buddhist monastery to visit Africa and help search for a sacred white bat. However, his unique investigative talents are tested to the limits as he faces a race against time to find the missing creature and prevent a tribal war. Comedy sequel, starring Jim Carrey, Simon Callow and Bob Gunton.

Mr Bean’s Holiday (2007) ITV2 7:15pm-9:00pm
The bumbling fool wins first prize in the church raffle – a trip to France and a video camera. His travels cause chaos as he disrupts a film shoot in Cannes, to the fury of its megalomaniac director, and is then accused of kidnapping a youngster. Comedy, starring Rowan Atkinson, Willem Dafoe, Emma de Caunes and Max Baldry.

Love Actually (2003) ITV 11:00pm-1:30am (2 hours 30 minutes)
Ten interlinked stories of people searching for and finding love. While the newly elected, bachelor British prime minister is smitten by a junior staff member at 10 Downing Street, a heartbroken writer heads for France to get over a failed relationship, and a faded rock star aims to reinvent himself in time for Christmas. Richard Curtis’s romantic comedy, with Hugh Grant, Martine McCutcheon, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Colin Firth, Bill Nighy and Liam Neeson.

Whatever you’re up this this Christmas weekend, keep it festive, keep it jolly and don’t forget to check the microwave.

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Grilled cheese sandwich! Another retro movie filled weekend is here and boy is it a treat!

With chips stacked high and the smell of anticipation in the air, we find ourselves at the mercy of lady luck as we roll the dice so see if our big moment it here. We’ll watch with eager eyes as the sacred little white ball that holds all our hopes and dreams at that moment starts to spin and flicks it’s way around the roulette wheel.

Have a happy retro weekend!

SATURDAY 19th NOVEMBER

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Scrooged
(1988) E4 2:30pm-4:30pm (2 hours)
A heartless TV executive is cruel to his employees and just sees the festive season as an opportunity to make money. However, on Christmas Eve, three ghosts arrive in the night and challenge him to change his cynical ways by showing him his past, present and future. Comedy based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, starring Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe, David Johansen and Carol Kane.

Short Circuit 2 (1988) Film4 2:50pm-5:05pm (2 hours 15 minutes)
Manic mechanoid Johnny Five meets an old friend in New York City and embarks on a fact-finding tour – but ends up entangled in a series of escapades culminating in a bank robbery. Sci-fi comedy sequel, starring Fisher Stevens, Michael McKean, Cynthia Gibb and Jack Weston, with the voice of Tim Blaney.

Fun Fact: While it is usually accepted the city in the movie is New York, Oscar gives Number 5 a tourism guide with St. Louis on the cover and it was actually filmed in Canada.

Harry and the Hendersons (1987) 5STAR 2:55pm-5:05pm
A hapless family’s camping holiday in the mountains is brought to a sudden end when they accidentally hit the legendary Bigfoot with their car. They decide to adopt the endearing creature, but have more trouble than expected trying to keep him concealed and to avoid arousing their neighbours’ suspicions. Comedy, starring John Lithgow, Melinda Dillon, David Suchet, Don Ameche and Kevin Peter Hall.

Every Which Way But Loose (1978) ITV4 3:00pm-5:15pm
A truck driver travels across America with his faithful orang-utan competing in bare-knuckle fights for extra cash. He becomes smitten with a country singer who subsequently vanishes without a trace, so man and ape set off in search of her – with an enraged gang of bikers in pursuit. Action comedy, starring Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Geoffrey Lewis and Beverly D’Angelo.

Beethoven’s 2nd (1993) 3:10pm-5:00pm
The slobbering St Bernard is now grown up and in love with his beautiful sweetheart Missy. Together they bring a litter of puppies into the world – but have to go on the defensive when Missy’s owner, the evil Regina, sets out to steal them for herself. Comedy sequel, starring Charles Grodin, Bonnie Hunt, Chris Penn, Nicholle Tom and Christopher Castle.

Big (1988) Film4 5:05pm-7:10pm (2 hours 5 minutes)
A boy ridiculed for his size makes a wish on a fairground machine to become bigger – only to wake up as a 30-year-old man. Driven from his home by his terrified mother, the bewildered youngster trapped in a grown-up body makes his way to New York, where he rises high in the ranks of a toy manufacturing company and applies his youthful enthusiasm to the complexities of adult life. Comedy, starring Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins and Robert Loggia.

Boyz N the Hood (1991) BBC2 10:45pm-12:30am (1 hour 45 minutes)
A bright but underachieving teenager with a domineering single father strikes up a friendship with two brothers, and over time, the three young men each follow their own path – but a tragedy eventually leaves them facing a dangerous choice. Drama, starring Cuba Gooding Jr, Laurence Fishburne, Morris Chestnut and Ice Cube.

First Blood (1982) ITV4 11:35pm-1:40am
Vietnam veteran John Rambo is wrongfully arrested in a backwoods town and tested to the limits of his endurance by a brutal deputy. Rambo escapes from his cell and heads out to the woods, and with the forces of the law in hot pursuit he finally has the chance to fight them on his own terms. Action thriller, starring Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna and David Caruso.

SUNDAY 20th NOVEMBER

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Inspector Gadget
(1999) Channel 4 7:55am-9:30am (1 hour 35 minutes)
A clumsy security guard is critically injured during a run-in with a thief, so his cybernetics-expert employer transforms him into the ultimate crime-fighting machine – a bionic officer with an array of gadgets and weaponry cunningly concealed inside his body. Disney comedy adventure based on the 1980s cartoon series, starring Matthew Broderick, Rupert Everett and Joely Fisher.

The Aristocats (1970) Channel 4 5:05pm-6:35pm (1 hour 30 minutes)
A jealous butler is outraged when his employer leaves a vast fortune to her cat and kittens instead of to him, so he drives the pets to the French countryside and dumps them. However, a streetwise alley cat steps in to help the pampered felines find their way home and claim their rightful inheritance. Animated Disney adventure, with the voices of Eva Gabor, Phil Harris and Scatman Crothers.

The Mummy (1999) ITV2 6:40pm-9:00pm
A soldier of fortune joins an academic and her conniving brother on an expedition to an ancient Egyptian lost city. The explorers accidentally cause the spirit of a vengeful priest with awe-inspiring supernatural powers to rise from his tomb, leading to a desperate battle for survival. Fantasy action adventure, starring Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo and Oded Fehr.

Predator (1987) Movie Mix 9:00pm-11:15pm (2 hours 15 minutes)
An elite military team takes on a top-secret mission in the jungles of Central America, but the soldiers realise they have been deceived by their CIA employers. A greater danger presents itself when they are stalked by a lethal alien big-game hunter with the power to become invisible, that has come to Earth to stalk human prey. Sci-fi thriller, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers and Bill Duke.

Whatever you’re up to this weekend, keep, dry, keep moving forward and keep bees. Bees optional.

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