a lot of Mr Men there are.
I wonder which one we'll be meeting next.
Can you guess...?"
Roger Hargreaves' Mister Men characters have been
with us for more than
30 years. Their design is elegantly simple;
bright geometric shapes with little
hands and feet. Sometimes there are boots and maybe
a simple hat as well.
But most importantly, there is a quirk, an
oddity or speciality about each
individual that gives rise to their name.
And it's not just limited to the men.
In 1981, the Little
Misses were born to accompany them, and there is
now a Mister Man or Little Miss for every facet
of human nature. Everyone
has their own particular favourite - be it Mr Bounce,
Mr Messy, Mr Noisy,
little Miss Trouble or Scattterbrain, Mr Lazy, Mr
Greedy, Mr Silly or any
other members of the 80+ gang of characters.
In the beginning, however, there were just
7 Mr Men. They were "born"
in 1971 when Roger's young son Adam asked him what
a Tickle looked like.
Joining Mr Tickle in the original line-up were
Mr Bump, Mr Sneeze, Mr Happy,
Mr Nosey, Mr Greedy and Mr Snow. The small
14x12.5cm books were an
instant collectible hit and the format has
remained the same ever since.
Sadly, Roger Hargreaves passed away in 1988, but
the characters remain
in the hands of the Hargreaves estate with Adam
himself now holding
Over the years we've a lot more introductions,
further books based on the
existing Mr Men and Little Misses, regular
annuals and large format editions
and even special new arrivals and stories, like
the seasonal Mr Christmas,
a Little Miss Sunshine hair care promotion
book and Mr Cheeky, who was
inspired by a Mr Men 30th anniversary competition
winner. Over 100m
Mister Men books have been sold to date, making
the late Roger Hargreaves
the second most successful author in the UK,
after J K Rowling.
As for the tv Mister Men, well, they first
appeared on UK screens four
years after their initial publication, in
1975. The animated series was produced
by Terry Ward's Flicks Films and it stuck faithfully
to the original format, both
in look and story. The films were narrated by
Dad's Army star, Mr Uppity
himself Arthur Lowe, and his unique indignant
jollity suited the tone of
the series perfectly. So perfectly, in
fact, that many folks still consider
this to be the definitive adaptation...
Initially the BBC aired seven individual Mr
Men stories as standalone
episodes. But this latterly gave way to a
doublebill format in which two
Mr Men stories were told, back-to-back, with
a memorable interlude
sandwiched between them. Arthur Lowe would ask
us which Mr Man
we might care to meet next, and he would thrump
and bumble through
the theme tune casually as we waited.
Incidentally, the BBC released at least two
collections of Lowe's Mr Men
recordings in the late 1970s and they're well
worth tracking down.
Over the years, the 28 films have been repeated
ad-infinitum by the
BBC. A bunch have also been separated again
and attached to the Little
Miss films. So, for the record:
The single episodes premiered with "Mr
Happy" on 31st December 1974,
They were then followed by the doublebill
broadcasts, which started
their run on 4th July 1976, again on BBC1.
You'll notice that the previously
aired episodes were included in the new line-up...
Time has seen lots of developments with the Mister
Men. Most notably,
their appearance has changed. Originally they were
very neat, felt pen
creations. You could even see the in-fill marks
where Roger Hargreaves
had worked the colours around the page. When Adam
took over he brought
a looser style with him. He added additional
'smiling' eye lines, mouth lines
and movement strokes on the characters, and
each is now filled with bright
blocks of colour.
The other major change has involved the stories.
The gang have moved
on from their introductory tales and have
now been granted lots more
adventures abroad, around their Misterland home.
It's these further
adventures which formed the backbone to a second
tv series. "Mr
Little Miss" was produced in 1995 by Darguad-Marina.
It ran to 104
episodes and lead on to a 1999 Christmas
Special called "The
And in 2008 we got a whole bunch more, thanks to yet another
animated outing. The currents rights holders, Chorion
Mr Men Show with Renegade Animation, and alongside
all their even newer new stories are some radical
a number of our stars...
Here are all the Mister Men who've
appeared in the UK over the years,
together with the date of their arrival. Officially
- that is, as of March 2010 -
we are told there are 47 Mister Men. But as
you can see, the list below
gives us a tally of 50. Plus we mustn't forget
Mr GOSH, created as a
special promotional character for The Great
Ormond Street Wishing
Well appeal, back in the late '80s. So, technically,
it might be argued
there are 51 misters to track down, in various
Those Mr Men are currently all over
the news, as their brand-new series
screens around the world. And their
latest incarnation has caused quite
a stirr amongst fans. But if you're hankering for
those fat, felt-tipped
Roger Hargeeaves originals, you'll surely
be transformed into Mr Delighted
when you see this fantastic series of
giclee prints from FL!P and London's
Animation Art Gallery.
There are 10 prints in this particular
range, each depicting a doublepage
spread that's lifted straight from the
original Mr Men stories, so you have
the text on one side, and an illustration
on t'other. The prints measure
20"x12", and they're restricted
to just 200 editions... and they're fab...
and choosing between them all is bloomin'
And just to make matters worse, The
Animation Art Gallery have also
brought us 3 Little
Misses, a big selection of miniature
etchings, and a
special signed anniversary
edition, which have transformed this particular
fan into Mr Completely Spoilt For Choice!...
Mister Men on DVD
All 28 original episodes are available
on UK DVD.
Here they are in a standalone edition:
Men & Little Miss Complete DVD Collection
again, completists may go for this eyepopping twelve disc
collection. This features all 28 original Flicks Films,
all 13 original Little Misses, plus the 1999 Christmas
Special and all 104 episodes of the 1995 series from
series created and written
by Mr Roger hargreaves
director: Mr Terry
Ward producer: Mr Trevor
Bond music: Mr
Joe Campbell, Mr Tony Hymas animation: Flicks Films editor:
Mrs Jean Morrice rostrum camera: Mr
Doug Weymouth, Mr Bob Cheesman storyteller: Mr Arthur Lowe