Puffins shall go to the premiere . . .

Much excitement at Puffin HQ today – last night a lucky group of Editorial and Marketing Puffins found ourselves at the world premiere of Fantastic Mr Fox. With George Clooney. And Bill Murray. Okay, we weren’t actually with them, but they were there, and we were there, and it was AMAZING!

It was exciting enough when we found out, many months ago, that Wes Anderson was making a stop motion animation of Roald Dahl’s classic book. Then there were the inevitable shrieks of excitement when we discovered George Clooney, Meryl Streep and Bill Murray would be just some of the stars of the film. And it was honestly beyond my wildest dreams that I would find myself sitting five rows from George Clooney himself at the actual premiere in Leicester Square last night.

Hmmm, I was warned (hi Dad!!) not to go on and on about Mr Clooney in this blog and oh look, I’ve mentioned him four times already. Am I allowed to say it once more, just to try and give a sense of our experience of last night . . .

Leicester Square  Emily Kirsten Red carpet! 
Imagine your most favourite film star and then think of your absolute favourite, best-loved author, then picture yourself walking down a red carpet with your friends, the bright lights of cameras and people screaming in the crowd for the stars of the show, an enormous cinema packed with expectant fans and that will give you an idea of what happened to us last night. Personally I don’t know if I’ll ever recover from the excitement.

Film poster   Cast on stage 
And amidst all the glitz and glamour there was – of course – a truly fantastic film. It’s brilliant – funny, captivating and wildly inventive. It’s THE must-see film for this half term and if you see it and love it then head to your nearest bookshop because the fun doesn’t stop there

Cast applauding    George and Bill
Hannah and Emily will now tell you about their evening as I come back down to earth with a great big fantastic bump . . .

Sarah Kettle
Starstruck Puffin

ps excuse the quality of the photos but they were taken on a camera phone and I may have been shaking slightly at the time!

Over to Hannah . . .

I honestly thought I wasn’t going to get to go to the Fantastic Mr Fox premiere. The night before, I was tidying my bedroom, unpacking my posh shoes (I just moved house), painting my nails a nice shade of dark purple (I hardly ever bother) and thinking of other things ( . . . chocolate and video games). Well, I must have been PSYCHIC because all the posh-shoe-organising and nail-painting paid off – we had a spare ticket!

It was so exciting to walk down the red carpet, past all the press and actually over a bridge through a crowd into the Empire cinema. I’d like to apologise to all the people who stared up at us as we passed by; no matter how fabulous we looked we obv weren’t Bill Murray or George Clooney, unfortunately. Still.

I managed to get a seat right down at the front, amazing! Sarah Kettle and I were prattling on and on about the big GC (as we like to call him) when a short film about the making of FMF came up and there were our books, big as you like on the screen! We cheered wholeheartedly, but two Puffins don’t make much of a dent on a cinema FULL of people talking (never mind).

It was only a few minutes before Wes Anderson bounded up to introduce the producers and cast. It was amazing to see George, Bill, Jason Schwartzman and Jarvis Cocker (!!) in the flesh! Bill Murray was very funny and had on a very fetching pink bow tie. The funniest thing about it all is realising how short/tall everyone is (Jason Schwartzman = the shortest, Bill and Jarvis vying it out for the tallest).

But then, the film. It was brilliant. So funny, sharp, beautiful and full of Wes Andersonisms that felt like additions to the original story rather than deviations. The voice acting was spot-on, the figures of the foxes, badgers, rats, opossums, rabbits, weasels and mice were so cleverly made and intricate, I could have watched it five times and spotted different things every time.

All in all, it was a wonderful, joyful evening, and a film very much worth seeing, about a book very much worth reading. Five stars!

Hannah Flynn
Puffin Marketing and Publicity

Activity book    Sticker Book   Story book

And now here's Emily . . .

Play it cool, very cool.  That's what everyone said to me in an attempt to curb my enthusiasm about last night's Fantastic Mr Fox premiere. But how could I not be SO excited?  As Sarah and Hannah have already told you, the stars and the glitz were out last night and if watching the best film I've seen all year in the presence of some serious A-listers wasn't reason enough for this to be the best night of my life, I was then lucky enough to go along to the even more exclusive and glamorous VIP after show party.
Some of my friends seem to think that working in publishing means that we get to go to these kinds of things all the time, but it certainly hasn't meant that for me.  Until last night…  So we turned up at the Saatchi Gallery with our lovely friends at the Roald Dahl Estate, and were whisked into special VIP room at the party to meet the incredible brains behind the film, Wes Anderson, as well as George Clooney, Bill Murray and even Cindy Crawford! 

But the most important person in the room was Liccy Dahl, Roald's wife, without whom this film would never have happened. She was joined by her family, including Sophie, to celebrate this fantastic occasion for such a fantastic story written by such a fantastic storyteller.
The premiere of Fantastic Mr Fox also marked the first night of the BFI London Film Festival (the British version of the Cannes Festival) and it is the first time ever that an animated film has opened the festival.  The film opens in cinemas nationwide on 23 October, and I would thoroughly recommend making a trip to your local cinema to see this quirky and unique masterpiece – oh, and to listen to George as the lovely voice of Mr Fox too of course!!

Emily Cox
Marketing Manager