- We've barely started and already there's an Aardman reference
of Piccadilly Circus. It's a big neon advert featuring a stylised
for Gromit , as in "Wallace & Gromit" Aardman's stop-motion
what it's advertising is hard to pin down, but it's there (1),
we've spied it...
a "Flushed" sign there too (2).
And a Katzenburger Lager ad
DreamWorks' Jeffrey Katzenburg (3).
It's expanded upon
so we'll leave it for now.
that Chunky Choc middle-top pre-empts Roddy's
snickering encounter with a chocolate bar en route through
to Ratropolis, in a wee while...
we're in Tabitha's bedroom. And Tabitha's quite the cartoon fan,
characters from several Aardman and DreamWorks productions
on show in her room. How many, exactly? Well...
This is a good widescreen shot, so we'll add them all up...
There's a large Gromit soft toy on the floor for starters, and
Cuddlepuss plush toys from "Creature Comforts"(2003), two Alex
toys from "Madagascar"(2005) and an amazing twelve plush
bunnies, straight out Curse of
the Were-Rabbit (2005)...
a bunny in a pink dress on her bedside stand, left of frame.
previously spied four more in a storage box beneath the window.
Bunny is on the floor, to the left of the shelving unit.
seven is on the first main shelf, to the right of the books.
more are in another storage box on the shelf above.
one last dress-wearing bunny resides at the top...
different Aardman/DreamWorks plushies. We see
or more of them throughout these bedroom scenes...
- When Roddy is rummaging through his penthouse wardrobe, he
pulls out a spotty shirt, a sailor suit ('ello, sailor!),
and then, a clothes
hanger sporting a green tank top and red tie, made famous
inventor friend Wallace of Wallace & Gromit fame...
there's a little sleight of hand. Most folks see the Caveman
follows on and they think it's a Fred Flintstone reference.
But there's no famous blue tie. This viewer reckons it's part of a
Mr Benn reference. When he's in
his famous Costume Shop
Benn dresses up as a Caveman, Wizard and Deep Sea Diver,
he holds them up to his person when he's transformed, just
concludes his search with a choice between a Wolverine
costume and an Elvis costume, and the in-joke is rather more
Hugh Jackman, who voices Roddy St. James, is perhaps most
for his role as the former character in those live-action
- Oh, look! - Roddy sits on a Jack in his car, moments before Hugh
Jackman's credit appears on screen. Jack - Jackman -
- There's a photo of Shaun the Sheep on the living room bookshelf...
- And now it's DVD
time, and that shelf really is stuffed-to-busting
material to savour. The
lineup includes a number of previous
animated and live-action releases (1), some
referencing folks associated with the "Flushed Away" production
crew and their production babies (2),
and a slew of titles spoofing
classic films (3).
work from right to left, with Roddy. Legitimate film titles have
release date in brackets:
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)
Sinbad, Legend of the Seven Seas (2003)
Road to El Dorado ( 2000)
Prince of Egypt (1998)
Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
The Last Castle (2001)
Shark Tale (2004)
Over the Hedge (2006)
Shrek 2 (2004)
Red Eye (2005)
School (unrated) (2003)
The Love Letter (1999)
Just Like Heaven (2005)
- Queen of the Schedule*
Z is for Zaneta
Macy & Owen's Day Out
The Chaos of Charis
Nicky & Dylan
The Weisberg Chronicles*
The Adventures of Courtney & Brendon
The Julianos of Boca
Kira Shea Smithson and Larry Weisberg were
Production Office Co-ordinators on the film!
A Fistfull of Dullards
My Big Fat Greek Bottom
the Heat of the Fridge
Goon With the Wind
Piddler on the Roof
Puckered Lips Now
Ratman Returns (Again)
the Presidents Own Teeth
The Mancunian Candidate
Death in Venice II - Zombie
Once Upon a Time in a Vest
You Only Live 9 Times
The Maltese Budgie (a Dicky Bird film)
The Curse of the Daddy
Few Good Puns
12 Angry Folks
Die Again Tomorrow
A Clockwork Potato
Chicken Run (2000)
cap things off the
DVD shelf is completed with a framed photograph
of Wendolene, the stop-motion heroine from Aardman's Academy
Award-winning short film A Close Shave.
of course, in the end, Roddy chooses the James Bond spoof
spy film "Die Again Tomorrow" for his movie premiere...
We're in the kitchen now, and when Roddy first meets Sid we catch
glimpse of a wall calendar in the background, featuring some familiar
Aardman penguins. It looks like they're playing draughts
- a take on
those famous images of dogs playing poker, painted by CM Coolidge
- The TV broadcast features pitch-side adverts for Lord's Bank (1)
"The Official Lager of English Blokes" (2).
to the UK's famous High Street bank, Lloyd's Bank,
to Carlsberg, a renowned Danish brewery. They've been
up to poke fun at Aardman cofounder and producer
Peter Lord, and DreamWorks' Jeffrey Katzenburg...
- Really, if you don't get this one, you must have been living under
all your life. The goldfish asks if Roddy has seen his Dad. That's a
reference to Pixar's blockbuster "Finding Nemo" (2003),
the titular character (a young clown fish) searches for a way back
to his father...
- The slugs in the film are practically carbon copies of Gary and Nigel,
slugs from Aardman's "Creature Comforts" TV series...
- Roddy tumbles into Ratropolis, and lands upon a chalk sketch of
From the Sky" by Rodint = Rodent = Augste Rodin, the
French sculptor (1840-1917)...
- Here's our first glimpse of a fab advert for Melvin Grime underpants,
as sported by a sullen male rodent, spoofing Calvin Kleine, of course...
- And one brief pause away, as Roddy flies through the
air, there's a
top on the washing line with a Aardman's doggy star Rex
emblazoned upon it...
That's Aardman's infamous diamond thief Feathers McGraw and robot
dog Preston you can see dueling
on a console screen, behind Roddy and
Harold the toast-wearing Prophet...
- This one may be a bit tenuous, but Whitey's brass jacket
button is very
to the stylised "V" on Viktor's tomb, in the film "Underworld"
you know your monster movies, you'll know that actor Bill Nighy, who
Whitey, also plays Viktor the vampire lord...
- Here's another great spoof billboard ad. It's promoting a rap
40 pence called "Fur-vent Ro-dent". 40 pence = 50 cent...
- Hmm. Toad has a strange porcelain statue with a face resembling
most famous inventor Wallace. It's labelled as "Bower's",
presumably means it's an in-joke, mocking director
- Take a look at that portrait in Toad's abode, hanging left of
of the dogs looks suspiciously like Trixie from Aardman's
"Creature Comforts" series...
- Oh, the joys of Toad's Royal Collection. In the heart of all those
is a tin of Slade's Caramel Toffy. Now Slade are in fact
UK glam-pop band from the 70's. Their stacked soles and mad shiny
kicked up the charts, back in the day, and they and their front
Noddy Holder are revered as quintessential Britpop rockers...
- And what's this? - A tin of Lord's Blend Tea? - That must
be referring to
Peter Lord again!
- Toad's camp cry of "Shut that door!" is a
very particular British
television in-joke. This was the favourite catchphrase of
comedian and game show host Larry Grayson who was hugely
popular back in the late 'seventies/early 'eighties, presenting
BBC's peak-time ratings hit "The Generation Game"...
- That rat in ice behind Roddy and Rita is obviously supposed to
Solo from the original "Star Wars" trilogy, frozen in carbonite!...
We've seen Toad's freezer before, but this is our first good look
at the door where we can see there's a fridge magnet of Aardman's
inventor Wallace in his football kit (1),
from the "Soccerama" episode
Wallace & Gromit's "Cracking Contraptions" short film
There's also a head shot of that big green DreamWorks Animation
- Yoiks. The sweetcorn on that fruit 'n' veg stall is "Hardly
- We're below decks on the Jammy Dodger, and that's Shaun the Sheep
frollicking on Rita's big tin...
Time for another Gromit appearance. He's presented as a pencil-topper
of Rita's big yellow pencil, on board the Jammy Dodger...
Now here's a sly bit of detail. Amongst the newspaper headlines
plastered to the Malone family houseboat is a headline and
a "Mysterious Veggie Monster". That's our old friend, the vegetarian
from Aardman/DreamWorks' "Curse of the Were-Rabbit"...
- Inside the house boat now, and one of Rita's bouncing brothers
wearing a Gromit T-shirt...
32.52 - And
here's Rita's brother Shocky wearing his own Rex
the Runt t-shirt...
- That roach is reading a copy of "La Metamorphose" by
- The family's dinner table is actually made up of three books.
blue one has been stamped by Southwark Public Library. The title? -
- If you look closely at that anatomical diagram of a squirrel
the wall behind Toad's henchmen, you'll see it's labelled with the
Latin name Squirrellious Aardmanoius...
- And that book in the background is "Chilling Tale" by
I C Chambers...
- It doesn't get more obvious than this nod to the original live-action
"Batman" television series, starring Adam West...
- The pencils on the electric whisk that gets swamped with Instant
are stamped with Peter Lord's name...
- Toad's bookshelf includes "A Brief History of Slime",
by Long Tung, "Wart & Peace" by Leo Toadstoy, "Hop
and Glory" and
"The Tragic History of the Great Great Toad - Vol. I" followed by
Volumes II through VI...
first illustration in Toad's book features a line-up of royal pets,
of whom have a "Creature Comforts" feel to them. But more
specifically, that's Bunty the hen from Chicken
Run (2003) on the
of the line-up...
And here's our last discovery for now. When Roddy returns to Tabitha's
bedroom in Kensington, we can at last get a good look at the titles on
bookshelf behind the Were-Rabbit bunny, and we can see it includes a
Wallace & Gromit book next to a copy of Aardman's popular studio
history "Cracking Animation"...
Phew-ee! - That's a lot of detail, and
no doubt it's not everything. If you spy a
great in-joke that's missing from this rundown
get in touch and share it with
world. Meanwhile, this viewer is waiting eagerly
for the film to get a big bright
release, which will enable us to get an even better look!...
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