By Stephen Radford
Wide Open Panel One quarter the height of the page – All of the RUGRATS are sitting on and around GRANDPA who is supposed to be watching his antiques auction show, but he is asleep, snoring away. PHIL and LIL are sitting upon his lap. CHUCKIE and TOMMY are sitting on cushions on the floor just be Grandpa’s feet. All four babies (with exception to Angelica) are clutching a bag of sweets tightly in their tiny hands. They hold them tightly throughout the story. ANGELICA is sitting on a bean bag, and looks bored. The other babies are however transfixed with the auction programme which is on the television in the far right hand side of the panel. The man with a gavel speaks enthusiastically to his audience. He is gesturing to his latest item: a rocking horse.
AUCTIONEER: THE LINES ARE STILL OPEN FOR ANOTHER FIFTEEN MINUTES. YOU KNOW THIS ROCKING HORSE WILL LOOK JUST GREAT IN YOUR NEWBORN’S BEDROOM. THE BEST BARGAINS ARE HERE AT AUCTION’S PLUS: BID AND BUY!
LIL: I WANT THAT WOCKING HORSY!
ANGELICA: IT’S ONLY FOR TELEVISION, BABIES! YOU CAN’T BUY STUFF FROM A TELEVISION.
One third width panel – ANGELICA goes over to switch the television off. Standing in the way of the screen, TOMMY reaches for her cardigan, trying to pull her back.
TOMMY: YOU CAN’T TURN IT OFF, IT’S MY TV TIME.
ANGELICA: GRANDPA’S TV TIME! AND HE’S ASLEEP, SO I’M THE ELDEREST.
One third width panel – TOMMY turns to the other babies who all lean in to hear him speak. Angelica stays in the panel, listening intently to the babies talk.
TOMMY: DON’T WORRY GUYS, I HAVE THE BESTEST IDEA. WHY DON’T WE PUT ON OUR OWN ORK-SHUM?
LIL: WE DON’T HAVE A WOCKING HORSY!
PHIL: OR MONEY.
One third width panel – TOMMY holds his bag of sweets in the air.
TOMMY: SURE WE DO. I CAN FIND SOME OLD TOYS AND USE THEM AS SELLING ITEMS.
Two thirds in width – ANGELICA barges in front of TOMMY, assuming control over the situation. In the background, we can see into the kitchen. Spike is sitting patiently waiting for STU PICKLES to give him a treat. Stu is facing the other way, we can only see up to his waist.
ANGELICA: GREAT IDEA, COUSIN. YOU GO AND GET YOU’RE ITEMS. I’LL SET UP THE ORK-SHUM DESK.
TOMMY: WAIT, I DIDN’T SAY…
ANGELICA: YOU WILL NEED SOMEBODY TO HOLD THE ITEMS FOR THE BUYERS RIGHT?
TOMMY: WELL, SURE.
ANGELICA: THEN YOU HAVE THE JOB. I’M GOING TO BE THE ORK-SHUM SPEAKER.
One third width panel – Angelica leans into Tommy, and she whispers secretly in his ear.
ANGELICA: I KNOW WHERE I CAN GET A SPECIAL SURPRISE ITEM.
TOMMY: I DON’T KNOW IF WE SHOULD PLAY THIS.
ANGELICA: TRUST ME; BESIDES, I’M ADULT ENOUGH TO KNOW WHAT TO DO, RIGHT?
One third in width panel – TOMMY ‘totters’ off to his room while in the background, the other babies settle on the ground, looking into each other’s bag of sweets. ANGELICA is walking towards the kitchen where SPIKE can be seen in the very near foreground catching a biscuit bone.
TOMMY: I SUPPOSE.
ANGELICA: TOMMY, YO GO AND GET SOME REALLY GOOD STUFF. (THEN LOUDLY) I PROMISE BABIES, THE BEST BARDENS ARE RIGHT HERE. BID AND BUY FOR BABIES…
One third in width panel – Low angle shot from ANGELICA’S POV, as she watches STU PICKLES place a biscuit tin on the high counter next to another tin that carries - very definite – singular markings. We know the Dog biscuits are in the tin on the left. We do not know what is in the tin on the right.
ANGELICA: …IS (SMALL LETTERS) SNEAKY.
* * *
One third width panel – ANGELICA’S little hand is reaching up and over the kitchen top, feeling for the Dog’s treat tin.
Open panel, One third width panel – ANGELICA taps her hand on the tin that is far left of the panel.
SFX: (TAP) CLANK CLANK.
One third width panel – Reverse angle on TOMMY who has rejoined the babies in the living room. The babies are curious as to what Tommy is holding. He has three items, and cannot see Tommy’s face because the items are stacked within his small arms above in head. We can see a REPTAR paper bin which appears very hand made and slightly out of shape. A multi coloured flashing drinking bottle with a straw and finally, a used sticker book. ANGELICA tip toes from the back of the panel, dragging her small infant dining chair with one hand and holding her surprise behind her back with the other.
CHUCKIE: DON’T YOU WANT THAT CUP ANYMORE TOMMY?
TOMMY: NO, THE FLASHING MAKES ME FEEL SWEEPY.
Three panel’s tall and one third in width - We see ANGELICA and TOMMY standing perfectly framed in front of the television at the top of the panel. ANGELICA is climbing up onto her small chair. The babies at the bottom of the panel are silhouetted.
ANGELICA: OKAY LETS GET ON WITH IT. TOMMY, YOU STAND HERE.
TOMMY: WHAT’S WITH THE SPOON?
Two panels tall and one third in width (centered on the page) - A reversed the shot sees that from the point of view, just behind ANGELICA and TOMMY. Angelica having climbed onto her stool is high enough that we can only see her waist in relation to Tommy. The babies at the top of the panel watch with their candy bags tightly held as before.
ANGELICA: IT’S NOT A SPOON! I WILL TAP THE TABLE WITH THE... THING... WHEN THE BIDDING STOPS. JUST LIKE THE MAN ON THE T.V.
Open reverse “L” shaped panel. The stem is on the right hand side and is three panels tall. The base of the “L” is the height of a regular panel – Angle from beside ANGELICA (she faces into the open panel from the right hand side) as she bursts into vocal action, leaning gently against her chair. We can see a pair of baby hands holding up the empty REPTAR Paper bin at the bottom right hand side of the panel. It wavers as it is still heavy for a baby to hold for long.
Lil, Phil and Chuckie sit with their candy bags tightly in their grasps, watching on the left hand side at the feet of the sleeping Grandpa.
ANGELICA: I’M SUPPOSE TO SAY THAT! ITEM ONE IS THIS HOME MADE REPTAR PAPER BIN, WITH SNAPPING ACTION LID.
PHIL: IT’S REPTAR. WE GOTTA HAVE THAT, LILLIAN!
TOMMY: CAN YOU BE QUICK, MY ARMS ARE HURTED.
LIL: WE CAN PUT OUR LEAVES, AND MUD IN IT, PHILIP.
ANGELICA: AND THE BIDDING STARTS AT…
* * *
One third width panel – CHUCKIE is sitting, looking into his bag with a look of worry. ANGELICA leans in with a sales woman’s look of menace.
ANGELICA: FOUR PIECES OF CANDY!
CHUCKIE: I DON’T THINK I CAN GIVE ALL THAT MUCH.
One third width panel – Same as panel 1, but CHUCKIE is looking up at the scary face of ANGELICA as she taunts him, making him nervous.
ANGELICA: THEN MAKE ME AN OFFER
One third width panel – CHUCKIE remains as the previous two panels, but the panel opens up behind Angelica where we see PHIL and LIL surround ANGELICA with their candy bags clenched in their tiny hands. ANGELICA regards the other two babies from over her shoulder, maintaining eye contact with Chuckie at all times.
LIL: ONE PIECE OF CANDY!
ANGELICA: TOO LOW!
PHIL: TWO PIECES?
ANGELICA: NOPE! SO CHUCKIE, WHAT’S IT TO BE?
One third width panel – TOMMY has taken four pieces of candy out of his bag and is passing them to ANGELICA. Angelica is stunned with this latest development. CHUCKIE is pleased with the outcome.
TOMMY: ANGELICA, I’LL BUY IT FOR YOU CHUCKIE. FOUR.
CHUCKIE: ARE YOU SURE TOMMY?
One third width panel – TOMMY passes the REPTAR bin to Chuckie, ANGELICA is looking frustrated in the sidelines, even though she has getting a few sweets which she puts straight into her blouse pocket.
TOMMY: SURE, WHAT ARE FRIENDS FOR?
CHUCKIE: PHIL? LIL? YOU CAN COME PLAY WITH IT ANY TIME YOU WANT.
ANGELICA: (ANGRY) OOOOH BABIES. FINE… NEXT ITEM PLEASE!
One third width panel – ANGELICA is now parading in front of GRANDPA who is still asleep. She has the colourful flashing juice bottle with the straw and is trying to put it into the sleeping Grandpa’s limp hand. CHUCKIE and TOMMY are sitting just below and are cricking their neck to watch the demonstration.
ANGELICA: WE HAVE THE COLOUFUL, USEFUL FLASHING JUICE CUP… HOLD THIS GRANDPA.
Half the width of the page and two panels tall – The juice bottle starts to slip slowly from GRANDPA’S loosening grip. TOMMY starts to yawn from looking at the flashing lights that surround the bottle.
ANGELICA: THIS ONE OF A KIND DRINKING CUP HAS IS SIGNED BY TOMMY PICKLES. RIGHT ON THE BOTTOM.
TOMMY: (PROGRESSIVELY SMALLER FONT SIZE) SEE CHUCKIE, I TOLD YOU… IT MAKES ME SWEEPY…
As panel 7 - but the bottle falls out of the sleeping GRANDPA’S hand and clunks CHUCKIE on the head -- waking the weary TOMMY from his moment’s cat nap.
ANGELICA: IT COMES COMPLETE WITH A BENDY STRAW. A BOTTLE FOR BABIES ON THE MOVE.
TOMMY: YAWN! DID I MISS ANYTHING?
* * *
One third width panel – ANGELICA grabs a hold of the flashing juice bottle away from the babies.
ANGELICA: I SUPPOSE I BETTER HOLD THIS MYSELF.
Two thirds in width – ANGELICA then wanders back in front of the television on the far right hand side of the panel. The babies sit together as before with their candy filled bags still tightly held within their hands. PHIL and LIL are competing with each other over this latest item.
We see that ANGELICA has left her wooden spoon on the small chair. SPIKE wanders around from the back of the television set.
ANGELICA: OKAY, LETS START THE BIDDING AT THREE PIECES OF CANDY!
LIL: I LIKE IT. THREE!
PHIL: WILL YOU SHARE IT?
Normal width panel – ANGELICA reaches for the spoon on the chair, but it isn’t there. Her hand motions the search, but her attention is still facing the babies, we can see SPIKE is walking away towards the kitchen. We can see he has the spoon in his mouth. It protrudes sideways so we can see it from this angle.
PHIL: I’LL BET FOUR PIECES OF CANDY!
ANGELICA: THAT’S THE SPIRIT. KEEP EM COMING! WHAT ABOUT YOU CHUCKIE?
Normal panel width – Mid shot showing CHUCKIE, PHIL and LIL.
CHUCKIE: I ALREADY HAVE ONE OF THOSE BOTTLES WITH THE BENDY STRAW.
PHIL: CAN I BORROW YOURS? CHUCKIE?
CHUCKIE: SURE, ANYBODY CAN!
One third in width panel – This over head shot shows CHUCKIE, LIL, PHIL, and TOMMY sitting together all talking over one another, still clutching their candy bags tightly.
LIL: I WANTED TO BUY THAT WOCKING HORSY.
TOMMY: THAT WAS ON THE TELEVISION, LIL.
CHUCKIE: CAN’T WE WATCH TO SEE WHO BUYED IT?
PLEASE NOTE: Panel 6 joined up with panel 5 from its top edge so as to follow on. This means that the box is set on the third row, far right of the page, above the “L” shaped panel 7. The speech from ANGELICA intrudes through into panel 5.
As panel five but we have moved over to ANGELICA’S position in front of the television. She stands on her chair once again and is holding the biscuit tin behind her back now. ANGELICA is shouting to us as if yelling at the ceiling.
ANGELICA: QUIET! BABIES!
Two panel’s tall and one third in width - ANGELICA stands facing the babies who are off panel left. Spike is entering down from the kitchen yet again. He still has the spoon in his mouth.
ANGELICA: LISTEN UP: I HAVE SOMETHING EVEN BETTERER THAN ANY ROCKING HORSE. I HAVE THE BESTEST SURPRISE ITEM EVER.
A regular “L” shaped panel of equal stem and base. It curls evenly around panel 6 - As panel 7, but ANGELICA (when noticing SPIKE who is now at the bottom right hand side of the panel) turns and pulls at the spoon. Spike makes an effort to keep it and appears happy to be playing (with his tail wagging) a game of tug-o-war.
ANGELICA: GIVE ME THAT…
SFX: (SPIKE) PANTING
SFX: (SPIKE) WAGGING HIS TAIL
ANGELICA: I CAN’T BID WITHOUT MY SPOON! LET GO!
* * *
Two panel’s tall, one third width - Angelica stands proud and mischievous at the same time. The babies are fascinated and are etching closer on their knees to see the tin as ANGELICA reveals it, keeping it close to her chest. TOMMY looks at Angelica with a little bit of suspicion.
CHUCKIE: WHAT IS IT, ANGELICA?
ANGELICA: CAN’T SAY. IT’S A SURPRISE.
TOMMY: WHERE DID YOU GET IT, ANGELICA?
Two panel’s tall, one third width - Close up on Angelica as she coyly plays with the babies emotions. The look in her eye is so mindful yet innocent at this moment.
ANGELICA: IT’S MINE. BUT IT CAN BE YOURS… UNLESS YOU WANT ME TO JUST WALK AWAY AND HAVE IT ALL TO MYSELF.
Two panel’s tall, one third width - As the babies etch even closer, Angelica has had to step behind the small chair as the babies become overwhelmed with the selling pitch that ANGELICA has cleverly laid out. LIL leans ahead with curiosity.
LIL: IT’S A REALLY GOOD SURPRISE.
ANGELICA: OH, YOU BABIES HAVEN’T LIVED. IT’S THAT AND MORE!
Two thirds in width - ANGELICA now looks the prominent figure of authority once again as she steps onto the chair with her “drooled upon” spoon and her surprise item. Holding the item in her hand, she taps her spoon on the back rest of the chair.
PHIL: ALL WE HAVE TO DO IS BID FOR IT?
SFX: TAP, TAP, TAP!
ANGELICA: BID AND BUY. AS EASY AS… TAKING JUICE FROM A BABY.
One third in width - Close up on both TOMMY and CHUCKIE.
TOMMY: I JUST WANT TO KNOW WHAT IT IS!
CHUCKIE: I GUESS I’M IN TOO.
One third in width - ANGELICA yells out her commanding offer. CHUCKIE leans forward while TOMMY, LIL and PHIL all sit huddled close with excitement.
ANGELICA: BIDDING STARTS WITH TWENTY THREE PIECES OF CANDY.
CHUCKIE: I CAN ONLY COUNT TO TWENTY.
ANGELICA: GIVE ME AN OFFER THEN!
One third in width – We close in tightly on CHUCKIE’S eyes as he thinks about it for a moment. We can tell he is thinking very hard.
CHUCKIE: WELL …
One third in width – We pull back on CHUCKIE as he launching is tightly gripped bag of candy forward with extraordinary confidence.
CHUCKIE: THIS ENTIRE BAG OF CANDY!
* * *
One third in width - Before ANGELICA can say sold, CHUCKIE has offered his bag of sweets and gets a hold of the surprise tin. TOMMY is off panel left.
TOMMY: CHUCKIE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
ANGELICA: OKAY. YOU GOT IT. SOLD. I’LL TAKE YOU PAYMENT NOW.
Two thirds in width - ANGELICA watches from the background as the babies all group together around CHUCKIE. We can’t see their point of view yet, but all we see is the lid of the tin raise up, and the divine glow shines from the tin’s source. Angelica’s expression is not one of delight as her plan appears to have backfired. Her jaw drops with shock, terrible shock. The babies smile as if they’ve found gold.
One third in width – ANGELICA hears something from behind, in the kitchen that immediately gets her attention. DREW PICKLES stands off panel left.
DREW PICKLES: STU, HAVE YOU SEEN ANGELICA’S PRESENT FOR BEING GOOD? I LEFT IT RIGHT ON THE COUNTER!
Two thirds in width – As ANGELICA turns to face the kitchen and stays at the right of the panel. We watch through the wall break of the divide between kitchen and living room, as STU PICKLES stands with the other tin and throws a treat to the expectant SPIKE who sits wagging his tale. DREW PICKLES stands scratching his head, leaning against the counter.
STU PICKLES: THE ONLY TIN HERE IS THE ONE WITH ALL THE DOG TREATS IN IT. HERE YOU GO SPIKE! GOOD BOY!
Half page width panel – ANGELICA reaches into her bag of candy. The only thing she managed to get out of this game.
ANGELICA: OH WELL. I’M SURE THIS CANDY IS JUST AS GOOD, IF NOT BETTER.
SFX: (MELTED CANDY) SQUELCH!
As panel 5 but now, ANGELICA retrieves her hand from the bag. Her fingers are all stuck together with strands of melted candy that has obviously been turning to ‘goo’ all this time.
ANGELICA: THE DUMB BABIES HELD THEM ALL THE TIME IN THEIR HOT LITTLE HANDS. THEY’VE ALL MELTED INTO GLOOP!
Wide panel. The other babies muse excitedly over their amazing winning item. The candy inside is so amazing that it looks as though it was made in “Willy Wonka’s” factory itself. Curled candy sticks, marshmallow balls wrapped in coloured wrappers. Soft nougat fudge and many other impressive candy assortments lay open before them. It glows at the bottom of the panel like a treasure beyond the imagination.
ANGELICA: UH, BABIES. I HAVE ANOTHER IDEA FOR A GAME!