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Famous Five film lined up

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In further proof that there is not a single original concept left in the universe, another dusty retro classic is to be reheated in various media for today's ungrateful slack-jawed youth. The Times is jolly thrilled to report that Enid Blyton's venerable Famous Five, now 66 years old, are to return in a Disney Channel film.

The enormously popular Famous Five books followed George, Julian, Dick, Anne and Timmy the dog as they got into adventures, japes and scrapes galore. The stories were appropriately wholesome, or were full of entrenched sexism, snobbery and rampant prejudice, depending on your views on the British Empire. Naturally, the new Five 2.0 are much more PC.

The animated kids of the Famous Five: On The Case feature are the offspring of the mid-20th century originals, who apparently all settled down and procreated like good citizens. In accordance with The Rules, one of the girls is now an Anglo-Indian - Jo (short for Jyoti) is the daughter of tomboy George, now Aunt George, who will watch over the bunch in the new incarnation.

Naturally the plucky chaps and chapesses are fully kitted out with cell phones, laptops and the like, and will be suitably self-aware if not Generation Y-cynical. However, there will be nods aplenty to the values of the original stories, with the outdoorsy kids defiant of modern nannying attitudes.

Along with the forthcoming film, there will be some all new user-generated stories - publisher Hodder is soliciting fresh tales from eager children, the best of which will be turned into a podcast. Super! ®

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