Break out the chocolate, Easter is here! Whether you celebrate or not, no one can resist a fluffy Easter bunny. Unless of course, the Easter Bunny looks like this:
Yes, that’s me, circa 1986. Surprisingly enough, I am not terrified of all things that hop. In fact, I have a soft spot for rabbits…and no, it isn’t in my stomach. I like rabbits so much, I can’t even eat them, despite hearing how delicious they are.
In honour of the Easter Bunny’s hard work this weekend, hiding Easter eggs and posing for pictures in the mall with endless lines of screaming children, here is a list of my favourite movie & TV bunnies:
Technically, Harvey isn’t a rabbit: he’s a Pooka…but that’s close enough. He’s my favourite giant, invisible bunny. Companion of Elwood P. Dowd, Harvey proves that Elwood is perhaps the sanest man to ever be committed to a mental institution.
2. Roger Rabbit
Who Framed Roger Rabbit is the first movie I remember being excited for. I begged my parents to take me, clad in a Roger Rabbit sweatshirt with stuffed Roger toy in tow, to the theatre to see it. The movie was great when I was 6 years old, and it’s just as good now. Plus, now I’m old enough to get all the jokes.
3. The White Rabbit
He’s what introduces us to the wondrous world of Wonderland in Alice in Wonderland. Perpetually late for a very important date, The White Rabbit is a nervous court official next to the hare-brained mad March Hare. Plus he looks ever-so-smart with a waistcoat and pocket watch.
4. Watership Down Rabbits
My all-time favourite book is Watership Down by Richard Adams, so of course, I have a soft spot for Bigwig, Dandelion, Hazel and Strawberry. The rabbits in this heroic fantasy are timeless characters.
Definitely the creepiest character on this list of bunnies, Frank the Rabbit is both intriguing and menacing in the film Donnie Darko. Frank lets Donnie Darko in on a little secret: the world will end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds. One thing’s for sure: you won’t catch Frank hiding Easter treats in your house.
6. The Were-Rabbit
That fluffy bunny stops being cute when she and her dozen offspring start eating all your vegetables in the garden right before the town’s Golden Vegetable Competition. It’s even less cute when that little bunny becomes a giant Wererabbit, eating the vegetables in sight and terrorizing the town during the full moon in the great family claymation film Wallace & Gromit and the Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
Bambi’s best friend Thumper was created in the 1942 film to add some fun to the movie’s serious-tone and make it more appealing to kids.
8. The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog
Who or what is The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog you might ask? Why he’s the most deadly creature to ever face King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. He has “nasty, big, pointy teeth” and a “vicious streak a mile wide.” Let this beast be a lesson to you: not all rabbits will readily give up their Easter loot.
9. Bugs Bunny
What’s up doc? He’s been on a basketball team with Michael Jordan to face off against a group of aliens in Space Jam. He’s outsmarted Yosemite Sam, Marvin the Martian, and Elmer Fudd to earn his star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.
Winne the Pooh’s long-suffering friend Rabbit may complain about his bear pal’s forgetful nature, but he’s a tried and true friend.
It is an exciting year for French-Canadian children’s writer Mélanie Watt, author of the bestselling Scaredy Squirrel and Chester picture books. In February, she published, You’re Finally Here and Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday; this weekend, our favourite neurotic squirrel comes to the small screen with his very own cartoon on YTV. Scaredy Squirrel will premiere on Sunday, April 3 at 9:30 a.m. ET/PT on YTV; with a special sneak peek on Friday, April 1 at 4:30 p.m. ET/PT.
From the clips that I’ve seen on YTV, the show promises to be as funny and quirky as the books themselves. My particular favourite is Richard, Scaredy’s best friend, who is a plant that is also a great listener.
Curious as to what Melanie was thinking about bringing him to TV, Scaredy had a few questions for her. Check out the interview here:
To complete your collection, be sure to check out our Melanie Watt Book Shop!
Nobody loves a picnic basket as much as Yogi Bear! To celebrate the DVD & Blu-ray release for the brand new movie, Yogi Bear on March 22 we're giving away some awesome Yogi Bear and Hanna-Barbera prizes for kids.
Yogi, Boo Boo and Ranger Smith first appeared in 1961 and he hasn't aged a bit. With a new computer-animated makeover Yogi hit the big screen with his pals for a whole new fun-filled adventure in this live-action movie. Voiced by comedian Dan Akyroyd, Yogi Bear and Booboo (the voice of Justin Timberlake) team up with Ranger Smith (Tom Cavanaugh) intrepid reporter Rachel (Anna Faris) to save their beloved Jellystone Park from becoming a new logging site.
Whether you loved Yogi as a kid or you're trying to introduce a whole new generation to the world of Hanna-Barbera, Yogi Bear is a smash hit for the whole family.
Want the chance to win some cool Hanna-Barbera prizes including kid-size Yogi Bear t-shits or hoodies and cool kids' DVDs featuring the original Yogi cartoon and his Hanna-Barbera friends? Follow @IndigoTVMovies on Twitter on Tuesday, March 22 and retweet the contest phrase and hashtag between 10am and 6pm EST to be entered into our random draw for you chance to win one (1) of our great prizes. See official rules and regulations for full contest details. Open to Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) over the age of majority only.
Check out the theatrical trailer for Yogi Bear.
Feeling overrun with vampires lately? Why not check out this week’s DVD Pick of the Week, the zombie-infested The Walking Dead.
AMC trades in the suits and glamour of their hit series Mad Men in favour of blood and the undead in The Walking Dead, the latest TV craze. Based on the popular series of graphic novels by Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead is an edge-of-your-seat thriller which packs guns, blood, terror, and even a bit of romance into its riveting first season. Just six episodes long, Golden Globe nominated series is a prime example of survival of the fittest.
Bearing some similarity to the Danny Boyle horror film 28 Days Later, The Walking Dead follows Rick Grimes, sheriff of a small Georgian town who wakes up seemingly abandoned in a hospital. He seems to be the last man alive—literally. A zombie apocalypse has ravaged North America, leaving small pockets of survivors scattered around the United States…I’m still holding out hope for some Canadian survivors on the belief that even zombies wouldn’t want to brave a winter in Montreal. Society has collapsed and all rules are off as survivors battle the undead and each other, facing unspeakable terror and risk at every turn in a no guts, no glory showdown.
A riveting show with compelling writing, The Walking Dead plays out more like a collection of horror films...but unlike Friday the 13th Part 4, each hour of the show gets progressively better, building on the tension of the previous episode. Characters are fully rounded and developed, not the cartoon-like action heroes often found in horror movies.
Not for the faint-of-heart, The Walking Dead will thrill and surprise even the most jaded of horror film buffs . Available now on DVD & Blu-ray, season 1 of The Walking Dead is must-see TV. I can’t wait to see what season 2 has in store!
Check out The Walking Dead Shop for DVDs & graphic novels.
Everyone has their favourite holiday traditions: the must-watch movies, Christmas songs you have to sing along to while you are decorating a tree. Or maybe it’s taking in your local Santa Claus Parade, or baking gingerbread men. In my house, it’s all about The Muppets.
Once Santa parades around the streets of Toronto, at the end of November, it is officially Christmas in my house and the first thing I grab is an old VHS copy of Muppet Family Christmas. Sadly, the DVD is hard to come by and long out of print, due to music copyright issues, so my scratchy VHS tape will have to do for now…and the VHS quality adds to the nostalgia of growing up before HD and wide screen TVs.
Muppet Family Christmas is great because it includes all my favourite Jim Henson creations: the Muppet Show gang, Doc, Sprocket and the Fraggles from Fraggle Rock, Muppet Babies, and the Sesame Street crew. Not to mention some token Muppet humour and Christmas carolling as all the Muppets gather to spend the holidays together in the midst of a snowstorm, and makes the perfect film to haul out the holly to.
Next on the Muppet Christmas must-watch list is The Christmas Toy, a one-hour special featuring a stuffed tiger named Rugby and his best friend, Mew the catnip-filled cat toy as the toys come to life when their young owners are sleeping. The Christmas Toy doesn’t feature the usual Muppet cast of characters, but you’ll recognize all the old familiar voices including Dave Goelz, the voice of Gonzo, as Rugby.
An honourable mention also goes out to 1977’s Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas which is available in a 2-pack DVD with The Christmas Toy. Because who doesn’t like a musical otter Muppet family?
After 2 hours of Muppet Christmas specials, it’s time for the main event: The Muppet Christmas Carol. This is a film that will get multiple viewings in the month leading up to Christmas because, well, it’s just that festive and fun! Filled with a fantastic performance by Michael Caine as Scrooge and countless Muppets as characters from Charles Dickens’ classic story, the movie is full of songs that will get stuck in your head all season. My favourite part: the anonymous Muppet background characters including singing horses, scurrying rabbits, and a family of mice.
During last night’s airing of Boardwalk Empire, HBO gave viewers another peek at the imminent Game Of Thrones TV series (which many are calling the most anticipated show ever… take that, M*A*S*H* series finale). The trailer is the third that HBO has released to date, and it’s also the longest. Try to get past the fact that Eddard Stark looks like Boromir 2.0:
If that only whets your appetite for Stark-goodness, try popping over to the HBO website and check out the hi-res stills that Entertainment Weekly released last week: Making Game Of Thrones.
The show premieres on Sunday, April 17th at 9PM ET/MT. Which would mean that as one winter ends, another begins…
Any of these behaviours are the mark of a true Simpsons fan, a category that I am not only proud to be a part of, but also includes several people I’m buying gifts for this holiday season.
Since debuting back in 1989 as a primetime series on Fox, The Simpsons has remained my favourite TV show…which indicates my sense of humour hasn’t evolved much since the age of 7. And it looks like The Simpsons are going to be around for a while longer.
It was announced last week that The Simpsons would be renewed for a 23rd season next year. Season 23’s line-up of guest stars include Halle Berry, Paul Rudd, Ricky Gervais, Jon Hamm, and Katy Perry, just to name a few of the celebrities who will add their voices to the already long list of the who’s who of Hollywood guests on the show. The Simpsons now holds the records as not only the longest-running animated show, besting The Flintstones in 1997, but also currently holds the records for the longest-running American primetime scripted show, beating out other live-action contenders .
For The Simpsons or pop culture lover in your life, check out these great Simpsons-related gift ideas:
No Simpsons fan’s collection would be complete without The Simpsons World: The Ultimate Episode Guide for season s1 through 20. Compiled by Simpsons creator Matt Groening himself, the book weighs in at 8.8 pounds of pure Simpsons knowledge, quotes, facts, and photos. Want a list of every “D’oh!” ever uttered by Homer? It’s in here. Was that really Michael Jackson as a guest star, or just an impersonator? Check out the list of guest stars in the book. Need a complete filmography of Itchy & Scratchy cartoons? That’s in here too.
Homer Simpson: genius or fool? An introduction to philosophy dissects the show and discovers parallels between Marx, Aristotle, Camus and more in The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D’oh of Homer. Is your New Year’s resolution to stay on the right side of the law in 2011? Check out Chief Wiggum’s Book of Crime and Punishment. Want to give your favourite bartender a holiday tip? Try The Book of Moe for a look at the man behind the apron strings.
Celebrate the holidays in style with Christmas with The Simpsons, and for extra holiday cheer, pick up The Simpsons Christmas part 2. Of course, nothing beats DVD sets of The Simpsons by season. And if you've seen all the episodes The Simpsons have to offer, don't forget The Simpsons Movie.
I’m crossing my fingers in the hopes that I’ll find one of those Simpsons gifts under my tree this holiday season.
To avoid burnout, we have to recharge our creative batteries. It’s often called among writers (or maybe just the ones I know) “filling the well.” The idea is that as you pour out creativity, you need to take time to pour inspiration back in. For many of us, that means reading. You want to be a writer? You probably started as a voracious reader.
But I don’t believe that novels are the only, or something even the best, way to fill the well. Stories are stories, and your stories will be stronger by studying the different ways that you can tell them. Movies, poetry, paintings, comics… Learn from everything. Find out what you like, and tell the stories only you can tell.
I feed my creativity with comics. I don’t read as many American ones as I probably should, but when I need something comforting I’ll pick up Nobuhiro Watsuki’s Rurouni Kenshin or CLAMP's Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle (I’d like to get into their new series, Kobato, but I haven’t had a chance yet).
Also, I watch a lot of television, because I enjoy the way TV stories are told. A season is like a book and each episode is a chapter. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, for example, taught a lot of my generation how to tell good tales. Doctor Who and Supernatural remain two of my biggest sources for inspiration, because I get an entire story in less than an hour (seriously, watch the fifth series of Doctor Who if you want an example of what TV can do well).
It’s also why I stress to people who want to write that they ought to travel. Get out of the house. Do things. Because writing is story telling, and story telling is relating experiences. Without an ever-expanding collection of experiences at your disposal to draw from, it’s harder to make your writing read as authentic.
That’s what we want from a story, right? We want to believe in it. We want to get lost in its world and befriend its characters. We want to think about it long after we read the last page. That’s true whether you’re the reader or the writer.
You can try sitting with a laptop and waiting for inspiration to come to you. It can work. But most of the time, you’ve got a better chance of finding a muse if you actually look for one.
The big news on the Hollywood interwebs this week is the Warner Bros. announcement that they have approved a movie reboot of Buffy The Vampire Slayer – but without any involvement from Buffy creator Joss Whedon, instead giving the writing job to Whit Anderson. It’s unclear at this time whether Sarah Michelle Gellar or any of her TV show cohorts will be taking part, but judging from a release from Charles Roven (one of the new movie’s producers), it seems unlikely:
“Generally, I wouldn’t have said, ‘Let’s revive this,’ but Whit’s take is pretty compelling and a lot of fun, and it’s interesting to see all of this re-imagined. This is a completely new reboot. Tone is extremely important, and you want the audience to realize what is at stake and the peril is real, but at the same time what’s going on should be fun and inviting and keep everyone engaged. It needs to be relevant to today too, and that is what Whit has found a way to do.”
E!News made contact with Whedon to ask him his thoughts on the announcement, and his statement reminds us of why we loved Buffy so much:
“This is a sad, sad reflection on our times, when people must feed off the carcasses of beloved stories from their youths—just because they can't think of an original idea of their own, like I did with my Avengers idea that I made up myself.
Obviously I have strong, mixed emotions about something like this. My first reaction upon hearing who was writing it was, "Whit Stillman AND Wes Anderson? This is gonna be the most sardonically adorable movie EVER." Apparently I was misinformed. Then I thought, "I'll make a mint! This is worth more than all my Toy Story residuals combined!" Apparently I am seldom informed of anything. And possibly a little slow. But seriously, are vampires even popular anymore?
I always hoped that Buffy would live on even after my death. But, you know, AFTER. I don't love the idea of my creation in other hands, but I'm also well aware that many more hands than mine went into making that show what it was. And there are no legal grounds for doing anything other than sighing audibly. I can't wish people who are passionate about my little myth ill. I can, however, take this time to announce that I'm making a Batman movie. Because there's a franchise that truly needs updating. So look for The Dark Knight Rises Way Earlier Than That Other One And Also More Cheaply And In Toronto, rebooting into a theatre near you.
Leave me to my pain! Sincerely, Joss Whedon”
Luckily, fans of the TV series will still be able to follow the “classic” version of the Slayer in the pages of the Dark Horse graphic novel series, nearing the end of season 8 and in stores now.
Okay, so it's confession time.
Last weekend, I caught up with a very good friend of mine: the CBC dramedy, Being Erica.
I love this show, and I’m not even a little bit ashamed to say it. I’ll be the first to admit; when I first heard the premise, I shrugged it off, dismissing it as the next Canadian one-season-wonder. Admittedly, the show has a bit of a far-fetched hook: wannabe book editor Erica Strange is given the ultimate gift—the ability to time-travel to the regrettable moments of her past in order to make positive differences within the present. Now in its third season on CBC, this show has really found its groove, thanks to an incredibly talented team of writers and a breakout performance from lead Erin Karpluk. What should have been the next TV casualty has quickly become one of TV’s biggest hidden gems. Being Erica is an addictive, smart, sexy, comedic, heart-warming, and sometimes heart-breaking (too many adjectives?) series that consistently delivers solid episodes week after week. If you’re a Torontonian, Being Erica is also an incredible love letter to this great city, not to mention the book publishing industry. So yeah, maybe I’m just a little bit biased.
Give this one a chance; it will surprise you.
Check out the trailer: