Mr. Men

Little Miss Chatterbox, 1984

Mr. Men is a series of 49 children's books by Roger Hargreaves commencing in 1971. Two of these books were not published in English. The series features characters with names such as Mr. Tickle and Mr. Happy who have personalities based on their names. From 1981, an accompanying series of 42 Little Miss books by the same author, but with female characters, were published, although nine of them were not published in English. After Hargreaves's death in 1988, his son Adam Hargreaves began writing and illustrating new stories, including four characters that R. Hargreaves had developed before his death.

Contents

History

Mr. Tickle, 1971

The first six Mr. Men books were published in United Kingdom in 1971, priced at 20 pence each. Mr. Tickle was the first Mr. Men character created by Hargreaves, inspired by his son, Adam, who had asked him what a tickle looked like. Hargreaves responded with a round, orange figure with long, bendy arms. Each book in the original Mr. Men and Little Miss series introduced a different title character and his/her single dominant personality to convey a simple moral lesson. The Mr. Men and Little Miss characters frequently reappeared in other characters books. The books' simple stories, with brightly-coloured, boldly-drawn illustrations, made them very popular with children, delivering sales of over 100 million worldwide across 28 countries.[citation needed]

A competition was held in the British Sunday Times newspaper for children to submit their own Mr. Men character for inclusion in a limited edition celebrating the 30th anniversary of the series. Mr. Cheeky, submitted by then eight year old Gemma Almond, was selected as the winning entry. Gemma's creation led to a book featuring her character being published; it was sold only in W H Smith branches, with a portion of the proceeds going to a charity supporting children with leukemia.

In April 2004, Hargreaves' widow Christine sold the rights to the Mr. Men and Little Miss characters to UK entertainment group Chorion for ₤28 million.[1] In 2006, to celebrate 35 years of Mr. Men and 25 years of Little Miss, Mr. Birthday and Little Miss Birthday were published. There was also an art exhibition at the Animation Art Gallery[2] in central London. In October 2006, Adam Hargreaves created the first Little Miss character based on a real person, Stella McCartney, which he named Little Miss Stella. This was published as a limited edition of 1,000 copies for use as fashion show invitations.[3]

The typeface for the original books from Little Miss Bossy to Little Miss Star is Univers, with the books from Little Miss Busy to Little Miss Somersault using Helvetica. All the other books in the series use Optima.

Setting

The stories are set in a fictional universe called "Misterland", which is inhabited by the Mr. Men and Little Misses themselves, as well as some ordinary human characters. Misterland is connected to the real world, as referenced in the story Mr. Fussy: "'I'm your cousin,' replied Mr. Clumsy. 'Your long lost cousin from Australia.'"

Product range

There are 80 licensees selling Mr. Men and Little Miss products, including:

  • A Mr. Men Colorforms Playset
  • Beanies / Plush Toys
  • Catch-It-All Wipe Clean Bib
  • Little Miss and Mr Men Dominos
  • Little Miss and Mr Men T-shirts
  • Mr. Bump Make-a-Match Game
  • Mr. Bump Plasters
  • Mr. Cool Bags
  • Mr. Cool Toilet Seat Covers
  • Mr. Funny's Runny Honey
  • Mr. Greedy Doughnuts
  • Mr. Lazy Slippers
  • Mr. Men 4-in-a-Row Game
  • Mr. Men & Little Miss: Little Miss Helpful Gel Pack
  • Mr. Men and Little Miss toys
  • Mr. Men Mobile Products by Airborne Mobile
  • Mr. Men Pop n Race Game
  • Mr. Men Puzzle Clock
  • Mr. Men Snakes and Ladders
  • Mr. Men Switchplate Switch Plate
  • Mr. Messy Baby Bibs
  • The Mr. Men Show
  • Which Little Miss Are You? Game

List of books

The following is a list of published book titles with date of first release and associated ISBNs. There are many more titles published as translations including works in Mandarin, French, Spanish, Dutch, Greek, Icelandic, Hebrew, German, Portuguese, Gaeilge, and others.

"Mr. Men" series

  • Mr. Tickle, released 1971
  • Mr. Greedy, released 1971
  • Mr. Happy, released 1971
  • Mr. Nosey, released 1971
  • Mr. Sneeze, released 1971
  • Mr. Bump, released 1971
  • Mr. Snow, released 1972
  • Mr. Messy, released 1972
  • Mr. Topsy-Turvy, released 1972
  • Mr. Silly, released 1972
  • Mr. Uppity, released 1972
  • Mr. Small, released 1972
  • Mr. Daydream, released 1972
  • Mr. Forgetful, released 1976
  • Mr. Jelly, released 1976, also published as Mr. Nervous
  • Mr. Noisy, released 1976
  • Mr. Lazy, released 1976
  • Mr. Funny, released 1976
  • Mr. Mean, released 1976, also published as Mr. Stingy
  • Mr. Chatterbox, released 1976
  • Mr. Fussy, released 1976
  • Mr. Bounce, released 1976
  • Mr. Muddle, released 1976
  • Mr. Dizzy, released 1976
  • Mr. Impossible, released 1976
  • Mr. Strong, released 1976
  • Mr. Grumpy, released 1978, this, along with Mr Worry, was the last Mr. Men book to be turned into a 1970s cartoon.
  • Mr. Clumsy, released 1978,
  • Mr. Quiet, released 1978
  • Mr. Rush, released 1978
  • Mr. Tall, released 1978
  • Mr. Worry, released 1978
  • Mr. Nonsense, released 1978
  • Mr. Wrong, released 1978
  • Mr. Skinny, released 1978
  • Mr. Mischief, released 1978
  • Mr. Clever, released 1978
  • Mr. Busy, released 1978
  • Mr. Slow, released 1978
  • Mr. Brave, released 1990
  • Mr. Grumble, released 1990
  • Mr. Perfect, released 1990
  • Mr. Cheerful, released 1990
  • Mr. Cool, released 2003
  • Mr. Rude, released 2003
  • Mr. Good, released 2003
  • Mr. Nobody, released 1985/2010 (March)

"Little Miss" series

  • Little Miss Bossy, released 1981
  • Little Miss Naughty, released 1981
  • Little Miss Neat, released 1981
  • Little Miss Sunshine, released 1981
  • Little Miss Tiny, released 1981
  • Little Miss Trouble, released 1981
  • Little Miss Helpful, released 1981
  • Little Miss Magic, released 1981
  • Little Miss Shy, released 1981
  • Little Miss Splendid, released 1981
  • Little Miss Late, released 1981
  • Little Miss Scatterbrain, released 1981
  • Little Miss Greedy, released 1981, also published as Little Miss Plump
  • Little Miss Giggles, released 1984
  • Little Miss Twins, released 1984
  • Little Miss Chatterbox, released 1984
  • Little Miss Dotty, released 1984, also published as Little Miss Ditzy
  • Little Miss Lucky, released 1984
  • Little Miss Star, released 1984
  • Little Miss Fickle, released 1984
  • Little Miss Contrary, released 1984
  • Little Miss Busy, released 1990
  • Little Miss Quick, released 1990
  • Little Miss Wise, released 1990
  • Little Miss Tidy, released 1990
  • Little Miss Brainy, released 1990
  • Little Miss Stubborn, released 1990
  • Little Miss Curious, released 1990
  • Little Miss Fun, released 1990
  • Little Miss Somersault, released 1990
  • Little Miss Scary, released 2003
  • Little Miss Bad, released 2003
  • Little Miss Whoops, released 2003
  • Little Miss Princess, released 2011

Special editions

"Mr. Men" New Library

"Little Miss" New Library

Promotional editions (free with L'Oreal Kids shampoo)

"Be My" series

  • Be My Little Miss Sunshine
  • Be My Mr. Happy

Little Owl

These stories were published as Little Owl Storytime - The Children's Choice.

Guides

  • Mr. Bump's Guide to DIY, released 7 September 2000, ISBN 0-7498-4892-8
  • Mr. Lazy's Guide to Fitness, released 7 September 2000, ISBN 0-7498-4891-X
  • Mr. Mean's Guide to Management, released 7 September 2000, ISBN 0-7498-4893-6
  • Little Miss Chatterbox's Guide to Text Messages, released 1 August 2001, ISBN 0-7497-4791-9
  • Little Miss Naughty's Guide To Love, released 2 December 2001, ISBN 0-7497-4792-7
  • Little Miss Trouble's Guide to Men, released 1 August 2002, ISBN 1-4052-0191-6
  • Little Miss Chatterbox's Guide to Gossip, released 7 August 2003, ISBN 1-4052-0754-X
  • Mr. Greedy's Guide to Food
  • Mr. Messy's Guide to Student Life
  • Mr. Tickle's Guide to Women

Chunkies

"Start to" series

Board books

Miscellaneous

  • Mr. Men & Little Miss: Bumper Activity Book, released 2 September 2002, ISBN 0-7214-8439-5
  • Mr. Men & Little Miss: Colouring Book, released 2 September 2002, ISBN 0-7214-8436-0
  • Mr. Men & Little Miss: Fun & Games, released 2 September 2002, ISBN 0-7214-8440-9
  • Mr. Men & Little Miss: Picture Dictionary
  • Mr. Men & Little Miss: Stencil Activity Book
  • Mr. Men & Little Miss: The Adventure's of Mr. Tickle
  • Mr. Men Story Treasury

TV series

The Mr. Men characters were adapted into four animated television series, consisting of a total of 28 episodes. The first was produced in 1975 by Terry Ward's company, Flicks Films (formerly known as 101 Film Productions) and broadcast by the BBC. The voices and narration were provided by Arthur Lowe, who was well known for his role as Captain Mainwaring in the sitcom Dad's Army. The 28 episodes were:

  • Mr. Happy
  • Mr. Silly
  • Mr. Jelly
  • Mr. Snow
  • Mr. Bounce
  • Mr. Forgetful
  • Mr. Funny
  • Mr. Bump
  • Mr. Tickle
  • Mr. Small
  • Mr. Messy
  • Mr. Greedy
  • Mr. Sneeze
  • Mr. Strong
  • Mr. Daydream
  • Mr. Fussy
  • Mr. Worry
  • Mr. Uppity
  • Mr. Dizzy
  • Mr. Topsy-Turvy
  • Mr. Muddle
  • Mr. Mean
  • Mr. Nosey
  • Mr. Chatterbox
  • Mr. Noisy
  • Mr. Impossible
  • Mr. Lazy
  • Mr. Grumpy

During 1983, a series featuring the Little Miss characters was produced by Flicks Films. This was narrated by John and Pauline Alderton (credited as Pauline Collins). The 13 Little Miss episodes were:

  • Little Miss Splendid
  • Little Miss Late
  • Little Miss Plump
  • Little Miss Helpful
  • Little Miss Tiny
  • Little Miss Bossy
  • Little Miss Naughty
  • Little Miss Trouble
  • Little Miss Magic
  • Little Miss Neat
  • Little Miss Scatterbrain
  • Little Miss Sunshine
  • Little Miss Shy

A third series, Mr. Men and Little Miss, was produced by Marina Productions in 1995 and aired on television from 1995 to 1997; these stories were narrated by Geoffrey Palmer aired on Nick Jr and Channel 5's Milkshake!.

In 2006, Renegade Animation produced a fourth series, The Mr. Men Show, a new American animated series which debuted on the Cartoon Network (US) and on Channel 5's Milkshake! (UK) program in February 2008. There were only 25 characters featured in the first season, and most had their names or appearances altered. The Mr. Men Show was written and produced by Eryk Casemiro and Kate Boutilier, and directed by Mark Risley. The creative team was a combined effort of personnel from Nickelodeon's Rugrats, The Wild Thornberrys, and As Told by Ginger. The opening and closing narration was voiced by actor Simon Callow in the UK version and Joseph J. Terry in the US version.

UK releases

See also

References

Further reading

  • Sheridan, Simon: The A to Z of Classic Children's Television, Reynolds & Hearn books, 2004, reprinted 2007. ISBN 1-903111-27-7

External links


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