World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Mr. Men


Mr. Men

For other uses, see Mr. Man.

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 and physical attributes 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 his father had developed before his death. In February 2011, 20th Century Fox and 21 Laps Entertainment announced the animated film. On 7 December 2011, the Japanese company Sanrio announced that they have agreed to acquire the rights to the Mr. Men and Little Miss characters.[1]

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 sales of over 100 million worldwide across 28 countries.


The first six Mr Men books were published in United Kingdom in 1971, priced at 20p 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.

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 leukaemia.

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.[2] 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[3] 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.[4]

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.

In 2011, Sanrio, the Japanese firm best known for its creation of Hello Kitty, announced that they have reached an agreement to acquire the rights to the Mr. Men and Little Miss characters from Chorion.[5] This marks the first time that Sanrio has licensed a third-party character not created in-house since owning the rights to Osamu Tezuka's Unico character until Tezuka's death in 1989.


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.'" Although multi-coloured and often oddly shaped, the Mr. Men are human in their behaviours and attributes.

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. Sneeze Tissues
  • 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 the book titles with year of first publication and associated ISBNs given in parenthesis. 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

"Little Miss" series

Special Editions

Mr Men (Celebrations)

"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.



"Start to" series

Board books


  • Mr. Men & Little Miss: Bumper Activity Book (2002, ISBN 0-7214-8439-5)
  • Mr. Men & Little Miss: Colouring Book (2002, ISBN 0-7214-8436-0)
  • Mr. Men & Little Miss: Fun & Games (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 two animated television series in 1974 that consisted of a total of 28 episodes.[7] They were produced by Terry Ward's company, Flicks Films (formerly known as 101 Film Productions) in partnership with Trevor Bond[8] and broadcast by the BBC. The voices and narration were provided by Arthur Lowe, well known from his role as Captain Mainwaring in the sitcom Dad's Army, who used regional accents for some of the characters.[8] The musical theme was composed by Tony Hymas.[9]

The 28 episodes were:

Series 1

  • 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

Series 2

  • 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 further series featuring the Little Miss characters was produced by Flicks Films. This was narrated by husband and wife John Alderton and 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

Another 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 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 video and DVD releases


In 2011, it was reported that 20th Century Fox will produce an animated feature film based on the Mr. Men book series, with Shawn Levy and his company 21 Laps Entertainment producing the film.[10]

See also

Children's literature portal


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

  • Mr. Men official site
  • Mr. Men classic official UK site
  • Mr. Men classic official US site
  • Mr. Men classic official JP site
  • Mr. Men & Little Miss from Penguin Books (Australia)
  • The Original Mr Men on DVD

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.