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Invisible Ink: No 207 - the Disney authors, part 2

Walt Disney’s main concern was to fill cinemas with entranced anklebiters and their parents, but to do this he had to bowdlerise the original source material of his films to suit American tastes, so Bambi’s species was altered to one that could be recognised by home audiences. However, until the late 1960s he continued to search Europe for novels that he could adapt. Lottie and Lisa was the second most famous novel by the German author and satirist Erich Kästner (his first was Emil and the Detectives). It told of two reunited identical twins who switch places to help their parents’ respective marriages, and was filmed by Disney as The Parent Trap, starring Hayley Mills. It managed three sequels and a remake with Lindsay Lohan, as well as Hindi and Tamil versions.

Despicable Me 2 grossed £47.4 million at the UK 2013 box office

Despicable Me 3 confirmed for 2017

Threequel' comes after huge success of 'Despicable Me 2'

From left to right, top row: Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, Mother Gothel, Tiana, Charlotte La Bouff, Esmeralda, Frollo, Quasimodo; second row: Giselle, Jane, Tarzan, Cinderella, Belle, Prince Adam, Gaston, Jafar; third row: Mulan, Alice, Jasmine, Aladdin, Aurora, Prince Philip, Maleficent, Cruella de Vil; fourth row: Meg, Hercules, Pocahontas, Snow White, The Evil Queen, Ariel, Prince Eric, Ursula

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Computer-generated faces show cartoons as they might look if they came to life (click 'i' to find out who's who)

Walt Disney’s grandniece backs up Meryl Streep’s racism claims: ‘Anti-Semite? Check. Misogynist? OF COURSE!!!’

Those who read about Streep’s explosive speech at National Board of Review last week might have wondered what the Disney family made of it

Winston Watts pictured competing at the 1992 Olympics

Winters Olympics 2014: Jamaican bobsleigh team on verge of qualifying for Sochi Games, conjuring memories of Cool Runnings

Winston Watts and Marvin Dixon are hoping to take part in the two-man sleds

Frozen becomes highest-grossing Disney animated film of all time

The success of the film's soundtrack has been key

Invisible Ink: No 206 - the Disney authors

As we know from Saving Mr Banks, Walt Disney was good at persuading authors that he could turn their treasured works into films, but Pamela Travers was not his only conquest. Nobody now remembers the Swiss beekeeping pastor Johann David Wyss, but in the late 18th century he was so impressed by Robinson Crusoe that he wrote a book for his children which would act as an adventure and a series of life lessons.

Emma Thompson arriving for the National Board of Review Awards in New York

Emma Thompson fancies playing Sherlock Holmes: Actor in favour of gender-blind casting

The actor Emma Thompson has spoken out this week in favour of gender-blind casting, admitting her particular desire to play the role of Sherlock Holmes.

The Baftas red carpet – and the best actress award – belonged to Meryl Streep, who won for her role as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady

Meryl Streep calls Walt Disney 'anti-Semitic' 'gender bigot' during Disney celebration

Meryl Streep shocked diners attending an event for the National Board of Review earlier this week

The fake team: Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle

American Hustle knocks The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug off top of UK box office

David O Russell's crime drama grossed £3.4m in ticket sales in its first week

Damien Hirst,

Damien Hirst unveils new artwork 'Mickey'

Damien Hirst has today unveiled a new spot painting based on Disney character Mickey Mouse.

Between The Sheets: What’s really going on in the world of books

Just to make you feel old, 2014 is the 25th anniversary of Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury’s classic children’s book, We’re Going On A Bear Hunt. “Swishy Swashy! Squelch Squelch! Hooo wooo!” and all the rest. The book has sold more than 8 million copies in 18 languages, but initially Rosen didn’t think that it would work: “The story seems to have originally been a folk song,” he says. “David Lloyd at Walker Books saw me perform it and asked me to write it down. So I added to the story and, 18 months later, I was stunned to see the beautiful pictures that Helen had created – the family adventure is from Helen’s imagination and I enjoy and admire the book almost as an outsider – but back then I couldn’t quite figure out how it would work as a book!” To celebrate, Walker will publish an anniversary edition in January and an interactive sound book in the summer, and in February the Royal Festival Hall in London will host a “promenade performance”, where children will be invited to dress up and take home a pair of bear ears. Oxenbury recalls illustrating the book: “Michael and I never met until after the book was finished, but what was wonderful about it was there was nothing described in a way that restricted me. I modelled the children and the dog on my own. The bear’s posture I modelled on a friend who had depression, with his dropped shoulders – I felt the bear was probably lonely and wanted company rather than eat the children!” So now we know. We’re not scared!

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