Friday, October 23, 2009

Flashback- Mr Men

For a while now, Big Bro has been dipping into Roger Hargreave's Mr Men books. Having been a moderate fan myself, I'm happy to encourage this; some are copies I owned as a child (with the occasional scribble or missing cover), whilst others I bought recently when lured by 3-for-$10 type bargains. They're great little books to take out and about (I consider the mini-size books to be the genuine type and don't go in for the larger editions). Big Bro goes through phases of obsession with a particular character- Mr Happy and Mr Small are particular favourites- and there are times that I pick particular characters to illustrate a point I've made recently (like answering the question "Mama, what's fussy?") The felt pen illustrations
are just great; to be honest, some of the stories aren't terribly exciting, but the bright simple pictures make the stories an enjoyable read. That being said, a few of the stories could stand without the illustrations: I always enjoy reading the pages about Mr Funny's glass of toast, while the resolution of Mr Small's dilemmas is clever.

Aside from the books, most Mr Men merchandise I see seems to be dominated by The Mr Men Show a
nimations, which neither Big Bro nor I are really "into". Its stories are bit beyond Big Bro in complexity and require a familiarity with the whole suite of characters to understand an episode; I also have an aversion to them because of their redrawing of certain characters, in particular, Mr Strong.

As usual, however, the internet is a great place to find everything for free, and we have come across some good Mr Men resources.

Big Bro's favourite is the Mr Men papercraft. I print them out on coloured paper to match the character, and make multiple copies to satiate the "I wanna do please may I do pasting?" requests.

YouTube has animations from a 1983 Mr Men series. Unfortunately there are also a lot of parodies of Mr Men that I would prefer Big Bro avoided, so I need to keep a close eye on his clicking of "related videos". "MeestaHappy" is a favourite.

The Unofficial Mr Men website has a number of Flash games and animated stories. I only came across this recently (and some parts are still under construction, but what I've seen looks quite fun.

For adults like me who enjoyed Mr Men, there is an interesting interview with Adam Hargreaves, son of Roger Hargreaves (and author of the more recent books) on YouTube:

There's something about Mr Happy wandering in the background that I find hilarious!

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