I loved Clifford the Big Red Dog as a little girl. Not only was it because I was as animal mad then as I am now, but more importantly, the main human character had a double-barrelled first name like me. As a child of the 80s when such things were last "cool", my parents not only gave me a hyphenated first name they insisted everyone use it - family, school teachers, friends - right up until I went to university. I hated it, and since I'm being truthful, still do. It's long and cumbersome, not terribly pretty and I remember it taking ages to learn how to write it. And then I had a middle name to content with and a truly hideous surname as well. Yep, I totally lucked out in the name stakes.
So the kind hearted and sweet heroine of the Clifford books, Emily Elizabeth, became someone I could identify with. Plus I always secretly knew that if my parents could just give me a dog of my very own, I could love it so much it would grow ginormous just like Clifford and I could ride around on him as well. (It didn't happen, I got rabbits instead and so began a life-long-love affair with bunnies...but that's a story for another day).
ANYWAY... I say all this by way of introduction to the fact that I was more than a little chuffed to see The Hollywood Reporter announce Clifford is coming to the big screen in a live action/CGI hybrid. The company behind the recent (lovely) adaptation of Dr Seuss' The Lorax will also work on Clifford. I know I'm about 25 years to old to be the target market but I can't wait!
And then I just about BURST when a SECOND childhood favourite was announced as getting the silver screen treatment. The beloved Paddington Bear from darkest Peru - I love that line! - created by Michael Bond will get the same live action/CGI treatment as Clifford. It will be produced by David Heyman, famed for his work on the Harry Potter movies franchise. I love Paddington Bear so much it was the only name I would consider for my first furchild, a handsome ginger and white SPCA cat who I call Paddy for short. He doesn't like marmalade sandwiches though :P
As a random aside, the first Paddington Bear stuffed toy was created by Shirley and Eddie Clarkson and the prototype given to their children Joanna and Jeremy......Yes that's *that* Jeremy Clarkson - Top Gear host/motoring journalist/author/purveyor of fine foot-in-mouth moments.
***virtual chocolate fish to the first person who can correctly say which movie this reference comes from. Actually this whole blog post could be renamed "totally showing my age here..." Sigh.