Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom
Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom is a British animated children's television series. The show was created by Neville Astley and Mark Baker, and produced by Astley Baker Davies and Entertainment One (the companies responsible for Peppa Pig). Many of the actors who lend their vocal skills to characters in Peppa Pig also work on Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom. These include John Sparkes, Sarah Ann Kennedy, David Rintoul and David Graham.
The show is set in the Little Kingdom which is hidden among thorny brambles. The Little Kingdom is ruled by King and Queen Thistle mainly from the Little Castle, where they live with their three daughters Holly and younger twins Daisy and Poppy. Elves live at the Great Elf Tree, which plays the role of a school, library, mission control service, apartment block and factory for toys and wands. Elves hold the belief that they should never arrive late to anything. Civil fairies live in the Fairy Village, which consists of toadstools which have no food or comfort.
Fairies use magic and most of the fairies are named after flowers and plants. Elves have their own catchphrase, "...and I'm an Elf!" (or "We're Elves!"), and fairies also have their own catchphrase, commonly "I'm a fairy". Elves tell the time with wrist watches and/or clocks, while fairies tell the time in very unconventional ways. The Elves operate Elf Rescue, the Elf Farm and the Elf Windmill. King Thistle likes to play golf and crazy golf at the Royal Course. Ben and Holly have a ladybird friend called Gaston. Nanny Plum and the Wise Old Elf are characters too, and they have important jobs to do in the context of the show. Mr and Mrs Elf are Ben's parents. The Wise Old Elf is not married anymore but has three sons.
Why It Rocks
- It teaches morals better than what Peppa Pig would've taught children.
- The animation, although it's what you'd expect from Astley Baker Davies, is even better than in Peppa Pig and appeals to kids.
- Ben and Holly are entertaining and cute characters, along with other likable characters such as King Thistle and the Wise Old Elf.
- It doesn't get repetitive.
- The introduction of Lucy and her being friends with the elves and fairies.
- The finale (sadly) was amazing, and the kids singing "Oompa Loompa" in the credits makes it even better.
- Funny moments here and there.
- The intro is very nostalgic.
- Julian Nott, who is known for scoring music for Wallace and Gromit (and sadly Peppa Pig) had worked on this series.
- The character designs are interesting.
- The adult characters are very humourous, Nanny Plum being one example.
- It has some depictions of British roots and culture. One episode, "The Elf Rocket" reveals the series is set somewhere in England/the UK because when it showed a screen that had a map of the Little Kingdom, it zoomed out to the world out from the UK where the dot pointing to the location is shown.
- Unlike Peppa Pig, it's an imaginative fantasy with more fun and creative plots and scenarios.
- It ended after 2 seasons.
- Daisy & Poppy, while playful and cute characters, can kind of be annoying at times.
- The "We're elves!" catchphrase can get boring for a while.
- Since Flash Player shut down, you can't go on their website anymore. Fortunately they do still have merch.
- Some of the minor elves and fairies are recolors of each other.
- The episode "Miss Jolly's Riding Club" was a bit mean-spirited because of the scene where nobody wanted to ride Samson the Slug because of what he is, resulting to him crying like a baby and just enough to make viewers feel sorry for him. In fact, even Miss Jolly didn't seem to care. It would have made viewers think it was going to be an episode teaching children to accept people of who they are and have a scene where someone has the mind to have sympathy for Samson when its the one way around.
- The 2 episodes that focus around King Thistle's birthday not only show that King Thistle hates his birthday just because it means he's getting older, but the other characters were calling him old on his birthday, especially in their songs. Since calling a person "old" could be considered rude sometimes, this could be the true reason why King Thistle hates his birthday, and it's just like how Daddy Pig from Peppa Pig gets fat-shamed (people calling him fat).
- Mrs Fig was a bit of an ironical character. Although she is the teacher of the Magic School in the Little Kingdom, she loathes magic because, like the Wise Old Elf, she claims it always leads to trouble. If she dislikes, or supposedly hates magic, then why is she the teacher of the Magic School anyways?
- Granny and Grandpapa Thistle were a bit of a bad influence on Daisy and Poppy as well as being the example of grandparents who spoil their grandchildren.
- The official channel is a bit like the ones for Peppa Pig because of the clickbait thumbnails. One example is the video titled "The Ice King", where King Thistle is icy-blue coloured and blows freeze breath at Ben and Holly, when there was never an episode about that (in fact, it kind of copied the Ice King from Adventure Time, so if Astley Baker Davies did make an episode about it, it would steal copyright from Cartoon Network and Frederator Studios and supposedly get sued), and there was the compilation video that had a scene from "Granny and Grandpapa" where Daisy and Poppy find Grandpapa Thistle hiding in a chest, it added a cutout of a scared and surprised Holly in front, making it look like she found Grandpapa as he peeks out of the chest and is frightened when it never happened in the story.
Common Sense Media gave the show a 4 out of 5, calling it "charming" and saying it promoted friendship and perseverance. The Toy Insider also gave the show positive review, saying it was entertaining and also taught positive values.