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Created by Frank Muir
Written by Timothy Forder
Frank Muir
Directed by Timothy Forder
Voices of Frank Muir
Ryan O'Donohue
Dana Hill
Jo Ann Harris Belson
Joe Nipote
Theme music composer Barrie Guard
Country of origin United Kingdom
United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 36
Executive producer(s) Claire Derry
David Hamilton
Producer(s) Mary Swindale
Running time 10 minutes (Season 1)
30 minutes (Season 2)
Production company(s) Bevanfield Films (Season 1)
DIC Entertainment (Season 2)
Original channel ABC
Original run March 26, 1990 (1990-03-26) – August 31, 1996 (1996-08-31)

What-a-Mess is a series of children's books written by British comedy writer Frank Muir and illustrated by Joseph Wright.[1] It was later made into an animated series in the UK in 1990 and again in 1995 by DIC Entertainment[2] and aired on ABC in the United States. It aired on YTV from 1995 to 1999 in Canada. The title character is a disheveled (hence his nickname), accident-prone Afghan Hound puppy, whose real name was Prince Amir of Kinjan. Central Independent Television, the Independent Television contractor for the Midlands, created following the restructuring of ATV and commencing broadcast on 1 January 1982, Link Licensing & Bevanfield Films produced the first series and DIC Entertainment produced the second series. Both of them were narrated by Frank Muir.[2]

Character list[edit]

  • What-a-Mess - A scruffy Afghan puppy in which is the main character of the entire franchise. His Breed name is Prince Amir of Kinjan, and has a yellow duck sitting on top of his head. In the US animated version, the duck was coloured blue, as if his character was merged with the blue bird in the UK animated version and books, and was also given a name by What-A-Mess called Baldwin. In the US animated version, What-A-Mess is voiced by Ryan O'Donohue.
  • What-a-Mess's Mother - Also known as The Duchess of Kinjan is a beautiful pedigree Afghan Hound mother to What-a-Mess, and is voiced by Miriam Flynn in the US version.
  • Archbishop of Canterbury - A scruffy dark blue dog with brown patches which What-A-Mess met and befriended in What-A-Mess Goes to the Seaside. He's named this way because when What-A-Mess introduces himself with his breed name he sarcastically replies "Sure, and I'm the Archbishop of Canterbury!", which the naive pup takes as his actual name. His name was changed to Norton in the US Animated Version, and he was voiced by Dana Hill.
  • The Cat Next Door - Also known as Felicia in the US animated version, is a brown Siamese Cat that loves to tease What-A-Mess at times. In the US animated version, she was coloured blue and she was voiced by Jo Ann Harris Belson.
  • Cynthia - A Hedgehog which What-A-Mess befriended in What-A-Mess Goes to School. Her character was redesigned to become a mole named Ramona in the US animated version, due to the fact that Hedgehogs aren't native to America. In the US animated version, she is voiced by Candi Milo.
  • Trash - Only in the US animated version, Trash is a Bull Terrier who is a real trouble maker to What-A-Mess. His real name is actually Francis He is voiced by Joe Nipote.

Books list[edit]

Large Books[edit]

  1. What-a-Mess
  2. What-a-Mess The Good
  3. What-a-Mess at the Seaside
  4. What-a-Mess Goes to School
  5. Prince What-a-Mess
  6. Super What-a-Mess
  7. What-a-Mess and the Cat Next Door
  8. What-a-Mess and the Hairy Monster

Small Books[edit]

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 on Television
  7. What-a-Mess Goes Camping

Episode list[edit]

Season 1 (Bevanfield Films / UK series)[edit]

  1. What-a-Mess Goes to the Seaside / 1990.03.26
  2. What-a-Mess Goes to School / 1990.04.02
  3. Prince What-a-Mess / 1990.04.09
  4. Super What-a-Mess / 1990.04.16
  5. What-a-Mess Keeps Cool / 1990.04.30
  6. What-a-Mess and Cynthia the Hedgehog / 1990.05.14
  7. What-a-Mess Has a Brain Wave! / 1990.05.21
  8. What-a-Mess and the Cat Next Door / 1990.06.04
  9. What-a-Mess and Little Poppet / 1990.06.18
  10. What-a-Mess Goes Camping / 1990.07.02
  11. What-a-Mess The Beautiful / 1990.07.09
  12. What-a-Mess Goes to Town / 1990.07.16
  13. What-a-Mess Goes to the Vet / 1990.07.23


Season 2 (DIC Entertainment / US series)[edit]

  1. Talkin' Trash (September 16, 1995)
  2. A Bone to Pick
  3. Midnight Snack
  4. Schoolin' Around
  5. The Legend of Junkyard Jones
  6. It's Raining Cats and Dogs
  7. Home Alone...Almost
  8. Super What-A-Mess
  9. The Recliner
  10. Afghan Holiday
  11. The Bone Tree
  12. Just Four More Left
  13. The Ropes
  14. What-A-Mess Has Breakfast
  15. Prize Puppy
  16. The Great Eascape
  17. The Scarecrow and Prince Amir
  18. Shampooed
  19. Show and Tail
  20. I Spy, I Cry, I Try
  21. What-A-Mess and the Hairy Monster
  22. Trick Or Treat
  23. My Teatime with Frank
  24. Out With the Garbage
  25. Dr. What-A-Mess
  26. Ultimate What-A-Mess
  27. This Hydrant Is Mine
  28. His Majesty, Prince What-A-Mess
  29. Trash's Wonderful Life
  30. Snowbound
  31. The Thanksgiving Turkey
  32. Santa What-A-Mess
  33. Here Comes Santa Paws
  34. All Around the Mallberry Bush
  35. What-A-Mess At the Movies
  36. His Royal Highness, Prince What-A-Mess
  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


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