2012 has been all about Queen Elizabeth II and her Diamond Jubilee festivities, but her grandson the Duke of Cambridge is also marking a milestone year as he turns the big 3-0.
Charles, Prince of Wales and Princess Diana's firstborn has been groomed for a life in the spotlight, and he's gone on to make his country proud by becoming a loyal serviceman and marrying his true love Catherine in the wedding of the century last year (11).
In honour of the Prince's birthday, WENN has dug up 10 fascinating facts about the man who will be king.
- He made royal history as the first heir to the throne to attend a public kindergarten. He earned the nickname Basher Wills after scrapping with classmates at Mrs Mynor's Nursery School.
- William quickly learned there's no escaping the cameras when at age five he was caught relieving himself in a bush. The snap was printed in a British newspaper under the headline 'The Royal Wee'.
- Just days before his ninth birthday, the Prince's forehead was fractured when a pal accidentally struck him with a golf club. He underwent surgery and later dubbed the mark left behind his "Harry Potter scar".
- According to reports, William was undecided about walking in the cortege behind his mum Diana's coffin during her televised funeral on 6 September, 1997, but he agreed when his grandfather, Prince Philip, told him, "If I walk, will you?"
- Admissions officers at Scotland's University of St Andrews received an influx of applications from prospective American female students desperate to study with the royal after he enrolled under the name William Wales. His fellow students called him Steve to prevent journalists from picking up stories.
- St Andrews lived up to its title as Britain's top match-making university when William fell for future bride Catherine Middleton after she modelled a see-through dress in a student fashion show. They shared a modest student home in Edinburgh in their first years as a couple.
- A third of the world's population tuned in to see William and Kate tie the knot at Westminster Abbey on 29 April (11), an event that cost an estimated $32 million (£20 million).
- The couple has set up home in Wales' Isle of Anglesey, where they live with their Cocker Spaniel, Lupo - who is so popular, fans have dedicated a Twitter.com page to tracking his every move.
- The well-travelled royal speaks French fluently, has studied Welsh and even knows some Swahili.
- He may be a royal, but William's taste is decidedly unstuffy - his favourite food is cottage pie, he prefers Diet Pepsi to beer and his must-see TV show is motoring series Top Gear.
Looney Tunes: Back in Action revisits an age-old Tunes question: Why does the affable Bugs reap all the fame and glory while the egocentric Daffy gets shafted again and again? Our duck friend quite frankly has had it up to his skinny neck playing second fiddle to the carrot muncher. All Daffy wants is a little recognition from the studio but the brothers Warner (actual twin brothers as we come to find out) decide instead to let Daffy out of his contract on the advice of their no-nonsense VP of comedy Kate Houghton (Jenna Elfman). Bugs however knows they're making a mistake. Even though Daff bears the brunt of the abuse Looney Tunes would fail without him and Bugs convinces the powers that be they need the nutty mallard. If the plot had only followed this thread--perhaps showing Daffy on the skids--then maybe the film wouldn't have spiraled into Looneyville. Unfortunately Daffy ends up hooking up with the hunky D.J. Drake (Brendan Fraser) a studio security guard who finds out that his famous movie star father Damian Drake (Timothy Dalton) is really a secret agent hunting for a mysterious diamond known as the Blue Monkey a supernatural gem that can turn the planet's population into monkeys. The evil head of the Acme Corporation Mr. Chairman (Steve Martin) wants the diamond for his own diabolical plans and he's kidnapped D.J.'s dad in an effort to get it. Now the gang has to get the diamond save D.J.'s dad and of course save the world.
It might be a little hard to act subtly around cartoon characters but these aren't your ordinary cutesy Mickey Mouse types. Bugs Daffy Porky Yosemite Sam and Foghorn Leghorn are pros at comic timing able to spar with the best of them throw out zingers without a second thought and slay you with a droll glance at the camera. It isn't really necessary for the human actors to match their madcap-ness; just reacting would have sufficed. Fraser comes off the best of the human bunch; since he's had practice (Monkeybone) he easily interacts with his animated co-stars and deftly handles the doubletakes and jabs at pop culture. Elfman on the other hand sputters and goes bug-eyed every time she encounters silliness. She looks uncomfortable doing the green screen thing especially when she's trying to look natural when peeling a distraught duck from around her waist. Martin's highly anticipated turn as Mr. Chairman turns out to be the biggest disappointment. The over-the-top character is reminiscent of Martin's hysterically funny Rupert the Monkeyboy in 1988's Dirty Rotten Scoundrels but Martin turns Mr. Chairman--an angry schoolboy with knee socks and matted-down hair who never grew up--into a caricature of ridiculous proportions and unlike Rupert who came in small hilarious doses Mr. Chairman gets very tiresome very quickly.
Back in Action's animation is well done more engaging and ambitious than its 1996 predecessor Space Jam in which the action mostly took place in Looney Tunes land; here animated characters go the Who Framed Roger Rabbit? route and Bugs Daffy and the rest coexist harmoniously with humans in the real world. But despite its aspirations Back in Action leaves out vital elements that made Space Jam appealing. While the earlier film stuck to a simple plot Back in Action guided by director Joe Dante (Small Soldiers The 'Burbs) tries too hard to keep things wild and wacky while incorporating elements of '60s heist pics and action-adventure scenes and in the process loses sight of the most important ingredient in any kids movie: the story. Tykes may have limited attention spans but if the story's good they will watch. Granted some individual bits are laugh-out-loud funny particularly the scene in the Warner Bros. commissary where a stuttering Porky Pig complains about being politically incorrect with Speedy Gonzales while an animated Shaggy and Scooby-Doo berate actor Matthew Lillard for playing Shaggy as such a bonehead in the live-action Scooby-Doo. These scenes prove that if any cartoon characters could pass themselves off as real celebrities in the entertainment industry the gang from Looney Tunes could but moments like these simply can't overcome a contrived plot and juvenile antics.