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Toonhound presents...






British TV series

      What-a-Mess - in a mess again!

    What-a-Mess     (1990)
    producers: Bevanfield Films Ltd
                      for Central TV
cel animation
      episodes: 13 x 10mins

    "A tangled heap of unpleasantness,
     Good grief, What-a-Mess!"


    Prince Amir of Kinjan is a mischievous muddled-up pedigree Afghan puppy,
    whois simply referred to as What-a-Mess, and has grown up believing that
    really is his name. What-a-Mess means well, he really does, but somehow
    every trail he explores, every good deed or dalliance he diverts towards
    ends up creating chaos all around him. And creating chaos can make
    one so very tired. Most adventures finish with our filthy tangled mutt
    collapsed in his basket and ready for a deep puppy sleep...

    The What-a-Mess stories were created and written by that so-eloquent gent
    Frank Muir. The first, "What-a-Mess", was published by Ernest Benn LTD
    in 1977. The puppy's tales were illustrated by Joseph Wright who imbued
    extra scruffy charm upon the fellow, and dotted the scenery with little people
    and beasties of various household, garden and indeed alien variety.
    What-a-Mess himself had a little yellow bird in the hand, or rather, in his
    hair throughout his adventures. And there was a second blue-feathered
    friend often nearby - quite similar, actually, to Woodstock in Schulz'
    "Peanuts" strips.


'What-a-Mess' by Frank Muir

  "The puppy's name was Prince
   Amir of Kinjan. But he had never
   heard anybody call him that..."

from 'What-a-Mess' 1977

    This adaptation was directed by Timothy Forder and produced by Mary
    Swindale. Bevanfield Films stuck faithfully to the Joseph Wright look, and Frank
    Muir himself brought his lisping, lustrous tones to the narration. It's a fine
    package, with the busy background world regularly brought to the fore. Thus
    we have miniature gnomes and animals scurrying about, teasing one another
    and causing much merry mischief whilst Prince Amir of Kinjan musses his
    way through each tale.

    Trivia Hounds should take another look at the episodes entitled "What-a-Mess
    goes to the Seaside" and "What-a-Mess goes t
o School", both of which
    feature two tiny insectoid versions of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy getting into
    a fine old mess!

       Oliver Hardy?   Stan Laurel?

    Small Mess

    Frank Muir had previously brought his mischievious puppy to the SmallFilms
    duo of Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin, and they made six What-a-Mess
    films in 1979-1980. But alas, these really have slipped under the cartoon
    radar, and have yet to be rebroadcast or released on DVD in the UK...

    DIC Mess

    In 1995 Canada's DIC Animation stepped up to the plate. The whole
    What-a-Mess concept was rejigged  and Americanized for the show,
    with storylines extended to fill the 20 minute format of Saturday Morning
    cartoon schedules. Prince Amir was given a walking, talking human family
    and even a karate-kicking sidekick. Frank Muir meanwhile, was charged
    with providing the voice of a sheepdog called Frank(!).


    What-a-Mess episodes

   What-a-Mess goes to the Seaside
   What-a-Mess goes to School
   Prince What-a-Mess
   Super What-a-Mess

   What-a-Mess Keeps Cool
   What-a-Mess goes to Town
   What-a-Mess goes to the Vet
What-a-Mess & Little Poppet
   What-a-Mess goes Camping
   What-a-Mess the Beautiful

   What-a-Mess & The Cat Next Door
   What-a-Mess has a Brain Wave!

   What-a-Mess & Cynthia Hedgehog


      Bevanfield Films in association with Link Licensing
      for Central Independent Television

      created by Frank Muir
      adapted by Timothy Forder
      based on the illustrations by Joseph Wright

     director:                Timothy Forder
     producer:              Mary Swindale
     exec producers:    Claire Derry, David Hamilton
     music:                   Barrie Guard
     dir of animation:    Roger McIntosh
     backgrounds:        Ian Henderson
     animation:            Malcom Bourne, Peter Hale, Charlie Macrae,
                                Steve Roberts, Neil Salmon, Tim Webb
     asst animators:     Terry Dormer, Dominic Griffiths, Amanda Talbot
     paint & trace
            Martin Dray
     rostrum camera:   Lyndon Pickersgill
     narrator:               Frank Muir


      On the web

      None right now...

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© Bevanfield Films Ltd / Central TV / F2011