Entertainment & Arts

Mr Men and Little Miss in Fox Animation film deal

Mr Men and Little Miss Image copyright Thoip
Image caption The Mr Men and Little Miss characters are still enduringly popular

Film rights for the Mr Men and Little Miss characters have been secured by Fox Animation, the studio behind the Ice Age and Rio franchises.

Shawn Levy, who produced and directed the Night at the Museum films starring Ben Stiller, will produce a movie.

No director or writer has been announced as yet.

The iconic children's books were the creation of Roger Hargreaves, who came up with Mr Tickle when his young son Adam asked what a tickle looked like.

'Humour and wit'

He wrote and illustrated his first book in 1971 and the series went on to feature 85 characters. More than 120 million copies have been sold, with translations in 15 different languages.

In 2011, the rights to Mr Men and Little Miss were acquired by Sanrio Co, Ltd in 2011, the creators of Hello Kitty.

Janet Hsu, head of Sanrio, Inc said: "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."

Fox Animation president Vanessa Morrison added: "The Mr Men and Little Miss characters have delighted readers from around the world for decades."

The books were previously turned into a children's BBC TV animation between 1974-1985, which was narrated by Dad's Army actor Arthur Lowe

When Hargreaves died aged 53 in 1988 following a stroke, his son Adam took over the running of the multi-million pound business.

The Mr Men and Little Miss book titles were sold to entertainment group Chorion in 2004 in a £28m deal. Adam joined the company as a part-time creative consultant.

In 2011 he created a new character called Little Miss Princess in time for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

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