The half century celebrations for the iconic Mr Men and Little Miss children’s books just keep on being rolled out, as Channel 4 commissions a new documentary to take a look into the rich 50 year history of the beloved brand.
Created in 1971 by Roger Hargreaves, prompted to answer the question posed by his then eight year old son ‘what does a tickle look like?’ the Mr Men Little Miss books have become some of the most culturally significant titles of all time, as a cast of characters to have changed the face of global publishing forever.
Channel 4 will take a dive into the history of Mr Men and Little Miss in a special feature presented by super fan, writer, actor, and comedian Matt Lucas as 50 Years of the Mr Men charts rise and rise of the colourful characters.
Meanwhile, to celebrate the milestone 50th birthday, the books now author and illustrator Adam Hargreaves – no longer inquisitive eight year old – will be creating five prototype characters to be put to a public vote. The two most popular will be announced when the programme airs, before becoming the latest members of the Mr Men Little Miss universe this September.
The film will celebrate 50 years of one of the best loved children’s characters of all time. A story that started with a ‘tickle’ in 1971 and became a family dynasty, and one of Britain’s most pioneering, successful and enduring brands globally. It will showcase the evolution of the colourful characters and their role in pioneering a new world of inclusivity and openness.
The feature will also explore significant moments in the Hargreaves’ family story, and the many artists and collaborators, child psychologists, marketing gurus, collectors and super-fans from the worlds of fashion, music and the arts that have each played their role in the global appeal of the Mr Men Little Miss brand.
In parallel, behind the scenes, Matt Lucas will reveal the secret world of the artistic process; what it takes to brainstorm, draw, write and animate new Mr Men and Little Miss characters for today’s world, as well as help launch the global competition to find the two newest characters, introducing them to new generations of children and parents across the world.
“I grew up on these books and considered the Mister Men and Little Miss characters my friends,” said Lucas. “I am delighted to be meeting them all again and look forward to finding out the story behind this much-loved, iconic series.”
For the first time ever, the general public will be able to decide the next characters to join the iconic family and be turned into classic Mr. Men Little Miss books. Whether you have an inner sense of zen like Mr. Calm, are always putting others first like Little Miss Kind, have the heart of a lion like Little Miss Brave, have a can-do attitude like Mr. Brilliant or are full of zest like little Miss Energy, there’s a part of a character inside everyone.
Voting is now open globally for fans to have their say via the mrmen.com
50 Years of Mr Men was commissioned by Channel 4 Specialist Factual commissioning editor Shaminder Nahal and will be made by Tern TV with executive producer Harry Bell and director Kelly Close.
Nahal said: “There can’t be many families who’ve lived without a few Mr Men books at home; who’ve spent a bit a bit of time immersed in that funny, colourful, charming world. From the endless eggs for breakfasts, the crazy houses and the simple stories with their satisfying endings – the world created by Roger Hargreaves feels like an essential part of popular culture.
“I can’t wait to discover the secrets of how this much-loved universe was created – and to find out who the public choose to be the characters of the future.”