Wow it really seems like all of my childhood favorites are making a return this year. First we had the exciting news that Danger Mouse is returning to the small screen, and now the stories of the Mr Men books are set to make a return.
According to the BBC, Fox Animation have secured the rights to bring the stories of Roger Hargreaves to the big screen. The studio, who brought us Ice Age and Rio have secured Shawn Levy, who produced the highly successful Night at the Museum movies, as producer for the project.
I am torn at this news, I really am. Mr Men books were an essential part of my childhood, especially Mr Tickle and Mr Mischief; to the point that those were the only two books I took on a family holiday. My father thought he packed more but I only wanted those two, he still tells me this over 30 years later. On the other hand, I don’t want my childhood totally modernized and made all shiny and 3D, the old school hand drawn photos were part of the book’s charm.
The Fox animation deal will also include the characters of the Little Miss books which went alongside the Mr Men, however, I was a firm Mr Men fan.
The books which were first written and published in 1971 started with Mr Tickle because Hargreaves son Adam, wanted to know what a tickle looked like. The Mr Men and Little Miss series, which runs to 85 books, has sold over 120 million copies, and have been translated into 15 different languages.
This will not be the first time that the Mr Men series has been brought to life, as from 1974 – 1985 there was a BBC series created which was narrated by Dad’s Army star Arthur Lowe. The rights to the series are currently owned by Sanrio Inc, who also brought the world Hello Kitty. Head of Sanrio Inc Janet Hsu said of the deal; “I loved reading these books as a kid, and now I love reading them to my own kids. Their humour, wit and uniquely specific tone make this a truly classic series. I can’t wait to help shepherd them to the big screen.”
It appears that Fox Animation are just as excited for this deal, and I hope this means they will keep the soul of these iconic childhood books. Vanessa Morrison, president of Fox Animation said; “The Mr Men and Little Miss characters have delighted readers from around the world for decades.”
There is no news as to who will write or direct the movie, but I really hope that Adam Hargreaves will have some input, as he is the one that has continued the work of his father, and he has helped to create new books such as Mr Christmas, and Little Miss Princess which was created in 2011 just in time for the wedding of Prince William.