Created by Frank Muir
Written by Frank Muir
Timothy Forder (Version 2)
Cliff Ruby
Elana Lesser (Version 3)
Directed by Timothy Forder (Version 2)
Kent Butterworth (Version 3)
Voices of Frank Muir (Versions 1, 2, & 3)
Ryan O'Donohue
Jo Ann Harris Belson
Joe Nipote
Charity James
Miriam Flynn
Michael Bell
Debi Derryberry
Adam Hendershott
Theme music composer Andrew Lloyd Webber (Version 1)
Barrie Guard (Version 2)
Country of origin United Kingdom (Versions 1 & 2)
United States (Version 3)
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 45
Executive producer(s) Claire Derry
David Hamilton (Version 2)
Andy Heyward
Robby London
Mike Maliani (Version 3)
Producer(s) Mary Swindale (Version 2)
Cliff Ruby
Elana Lesser
Kent Butterworth (Version 3)
Running time 5 minutes (Version 1)
10 minutes (Version 2)
30 minutes (Version 3)
Production company(s) Smallfilms (Version 1)
Bevanfield Films (Version 2)
DIC Entertainment (Version 3)
Neuroplanet/CinéGroupe/CINAR (Version 4)
Original network BBC (Version 1)
ITV (Version 2)
ABC (Version 3)
Original release December 24, 1979 (1979-12-24) – April 4, 2000 (2000-04-04)

What-a-Mess is a series of children's books written by British comedy writer Frank Muir and illustrated by Joseph Wright.[1] The title character is a disheveled (hence his nickname), accident-prone Afghan Hound puppy, whose real name is Prince Amir of Kinjan.

It was later made into three animated series, all narrated by Frank Muir.

Character list

Additional voices

Books list

Large Books

  1. What-a-Mess = What-a-Mess is sure he can't be the same creature as his slim, clean mother, so what is he?
  2. What-a-Mess The Good = What-a-Mess tries to be well-behaved, but he doesn't think things through.
  3. What-a-Mess at the Seaside
  4. What-a-Mess Goes to School
  5. Prince What-a-Mess
  6. Super What-a-Mess = When the adorable but cruel Poppet comes to stay, it seems only a super dog can put things right.
  7. What-a-Mess and the Cat Next Door
  8. What-a-Mess Goes on Television
  9. What-a-Mess and the Hairy Monster

Small Books

Four Seasons

  1. What-a-Mess in Spring
  2. What-a-Mess in Summer
  3. What-a-Mess in Autumn
  4. What-a-Mess in Winter

Four Square Meals

  1. What-a-Mess has Breakfast
  2. What-a-Mess has Lunch
  3. What-a-Mess has Tea
  4. What-a-Mess has Supper

Mini Books

  1. What-a-Mess has a Brain Wave
  2. What-a-Mess and Little Poppet
  3. What-a-Mess and a trip to the Vet
  4. What-a-Mess the Beautiful
  5. What-a-Mess Goes to Town
  6. What-a-Mess Goes Camping

Animated series

An animated series was made in the UK in 1979 by Smallfilms. A second version was made in the UK in 1990 by Central Independent Television, the Independent Television contractor for the Midlands, created following the restructuring of ATV which commenced broadcast on 1 January 1982, Link Licensing & Bevanfield Films. A third version, this time American, was made in 1995 by DIC Entertainment[2] and aired on ABC in the United States. It aired on YTV from 1995 to 1999 in Canada. All three versions were narrated by Frank Muir.[2] Two out of the three animated series aired on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Australia.

Episode list

Version 1 (Smallfilms / UK series)

  1. A Bee? / 1979.12.24
  2. A Hat? / 1979.12.26
  3. A Fish? / 1979.12.27
  4. A Mole? / 1979.12.28
  5. A Hound / 1979.12.30
  6. Mighty Hunter / 1980.01.01
  7. Enough for One Day / 1980.01.02
  8. A Very Good Dog Indeed / 1980.01.03
  9. A Prince / 1980.01.04

Version 2 (Bevanfield Films / UK series)

  1. What-a-Mess at the Seaside / 1990.03.26 (Adapted from What-a-Mess at the Seaside)
  2. What-a-Mess Goes to School / 1990.04.02 (Adapted from What-a-Mess Goes to School)
  3. Prince What-a-Mess / 1990.04.09 (Adapted from Prince What-a-Mess and What-a-Mess in Winter)
  4. Super What-a-Mess / 1990.04.16 (Adapted from Super What-a-Mess)
  5. What-a-Mess Keeps Cool / 1990.04.30 (Adapted from What-a-Mess in Spring and What-a-Mess in Summer)
  6. What-a-Mess and Cynthia the Hedgehog / 1990.05.14 (Adapted from What-a-Mess has Supper and What-a-Mess in Autumn)
  7. What-a-Mess Has a Brain Wave! / 1990.05.21 (Adapted from What-a-Mess has Breakfast and What-a-Mess Had a Brain Wave)
  8. What-a-Mess and the Cat Next Door / 1990.06.04 (Adapted from What-a-Mess and the Cat Next Door)
  9. What-a-Mess and Little Poppet / 1990.06.18 (Adapted from What-a-Mess and Little Poppet)
  10. What-a-Mess Goes Camping / 1990.07.02 (Adapted from What-a-Mess Goes Camping)
  11. What-a-Mess The Beautiful / 1990.07.09 (Adapted from What-a-Mess The Beautiful)
  12. What-a-Mess Goes to Town / 1990.07.16 (Adapted from What-a-Mess Goes to Town)
  13. What-a-Mess Goes to the Vet / 1990.07.23 (Adapted from What-a-Mess Goes to the Vet)[4]

Version 3 (DIC Entertainment / US series)

  1. Talkin' Trash: What-a-Mess is forced to be a servant for Trash, Who just moved in the neighborhood. (September 16, 1995)
  2. A Bone to Pick: What-a-Mess unintentionally cause chaos at a Museum, while avoiding a hotheaded curator.
  3. Midnight Snack: What-a-Mess wakes in the middle of the night to look for food.
  4. Schoolin' Around: What-a-Mess comes to a puppy academy to make the grade, and face against Bully Dog, Buzz Jr.
  5. The Legend of Junkyard Jones: What-a-Mess and Norton go to the Junkyard to see the ghost of Junkyard Jones, of course, Felicia will scare the pups to death with Her tricks.
  6. It's Raining Cats and Dogs: What-a-Mess believes Felicia's fiction that a Storm will rain down cats and dogs.
  7. Home Alone...Almost: What-a-Mess watches over the house while the family was away for two days.
  8. Super What-A-Mess: What-a-Mess is forced to endure the ordeal of Poppet's mean personality.
  9. The Recliner
  10. Afghan Holiday: What-a-Mess is put to a kennel while the Family goes on vacation.
  11. The Bone Tree: Felicia tricks What-a-Mess into thinking He could grow bones trees.
  12. Just Four More Left: What-a-Mess turns to the Buyer's Bargain Network to get a Birthday gift for His Mom. Though when Felicia found out about it, it quickly made her into a shopaholic.
  13. The Ropes: Trash shows What-a-Mess the ropes which involves stealing food.
  14. What-A-Mess Has Breakfast
  15. Prize Puppy
  16. The Great Escape
  17. The Scarecrow and Prince Amir
  18. Shampooed What-a-Mess runs scared when He thinks a Groomer has come to take Him away and replace Him.
  19. Show and Tail What-a-Mess tries to get the Daughter's Science Project to Her School.
  20. I Spy, I Cry, I Try: The Mail Carrier tries unsuccessfully to get past What-a-Mess and deliver the mail.
  21. What-A-Mess and the Hairy Monster: What-a-Mess runs scared of what He thinks is a monster in the house.
  22. Trick Or Treat: What-a-Mess has a Halloween adventure with the Children.
  23. My Teatime with Frank: What-a-Mess has some tea time with Frank.
  24. Out With the Garbage: After He goes into a garbage truck, What-a-Mess is lost in another city.
  25. Dr. What-A-Mess: What-a-Mess and Felicia feed Trash some food with fertilizer, making Him stiff as a board.
  26. Ultimate What-A-Mess What-a-Mess competes in a freebee catching competition, but can only catch flying pizzas.
  27. This Hydrant Is Mine What-a-Mess and His pals must defend their corner fire hydrant from a rival gang.
  28. His Majesty, Prince What-A-Mess What-a-Mess ends up in Afghanistan after He is mistakenly put on the wrong plane.
  29. Trash's Wonderful Life: Trash goes through His history and learns what would happen if He never existed.
  30. Snowbound: What-a-Mess has an adventure at a ski resort while keeping a snowman safe.
  31. The Thanksgiving Turkey What-a-Mess, Felicia, and Trash re-enact the first Thanksgiving.
  32. Santa What-A-Mess What-a-Mess questions the truth about Santa and Christmas.
  33. Here Comes Santa Paws
  34. All Around the Mallberry Bush What-a-Mess gets lost in the Mall.
  35. What-A-Mess At the Movies What-a-Mess goes to a movie theater in hopes of watching the Wonder Pup Movie.
  36. His Royal Highness, Prince What-A-Mess: After getting on the wrong Plane in the baggage, What-a-Mess encounters His relatives in Afghanistan.
  37. Party at Poppet's
  38. Take Me Out to the Dog Park
  39. The Watch Out Dog
  40. Molenapped!
  41. Pound Pals
  42. Taste Test
  43. Slobber on a Stick
  44. Scout's Honor
  45. Seein' Double
  46. Luck on His Side
  47. What-A-Mess Keeps the Doctor Away
  48. There's No Business like Shoe Business
  49. Joy Rider
  50. Baldwin's Family Reunion
  51. Do the Mess Around
  52. On Vacation
  53. Messy Encounters
  54. Dog Days of Summer
  55. Fetch!
  56. Real Puppies Don't Meow
  57. Invasion of the Puppy Snatchers
  58. The Ballad of El Pero
  59. What-a-Mess Has Lunch
  60. Walking the Boy

VHS/DVD releases

UK series

US series

My tea time with Frank


  1. Russell Williams, Imogen (4 July 2007). "Whatever happened to What-a-mess?". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
  2. 1 2 "IMDB What-a-mess". Retrieved 3 January 2011.
  3. 1979 series episodes at the BBC Genome
  4. 1990 series episode guide at the Big Cartoon DataBase
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