Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom
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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 music is produced by Julian Nott, who is noted for his Wallace and Gromit and Peppa Pig scores.
|Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom|
|Created by||Mark Baker & Neville Astley|
|Written by||Neville Astley|
|Directed by||Mark Baker|
Phillip Hall (2012)
Joris van Hulzen (2012)
|Opening theme||Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom opening theme|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||2|
|No. of episodes||104 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||104 x 11 minutes|
|Production companies||Astley Baker Davies|
The Elf Factory
Rubber Duck Entertainment (2008)
E1 Kids/Entertainment One Family (2009–2012)
|Distributor||Contender Entertainment Group (2009)|
Entertainment One (2009-present)
|Original network||Channel 5|
|First shown in||United Kingdom|
|Original release||6 April 2008 –|
24 December 2013
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.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||52||6 April 2008||7 February 2011|
|2||52||2 July 2012||24 December 2013|
- Ben Elf is one of the main characters alongside Princess Holly. He lives with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Elf. He lives in the Great Elf Tree, number 4. He can be quite tentative when it comes to using magic, as Ben is a young elf. He does not have any siblings, but has many friends, and his best friend is Princess Holly. Ben is voiced by Preston Nyman.
- Holly Thistle is a fairy and one of the main characters alongside Ben Elf. She lives with her parents, King and Queen Thistle, and with her little sisters, Daisy and Poppy. She likes to use magic despite the risk of things going wrong. Her best friend is Ben Elf. Holly is voiced by Sian Taylor
- Lucy is a human girl (one of the 'big people' to the citizens of the Little Kingdom) and one of Ben and Holly's friends. She wears an orange dress and has pale skin and brown hair. She lives with her parents. She befriends Ben and Holly when they accompany Nanny Plum while she is on the job as the tooth fairy and was woken up by them, but keeps their existence a secret. Lucy is voiced by Abigail Daniels.
- King Thistle rules over the Little Kingdom. He is the husband of Queen Thistle and Princess Holly, Daisy, and Poppy's father. He is often hungry and grumpy, and sometimes hates having a bath. He dislikes celebrating his birthday because it reminds him he is getting older. When he was Holly's age, he was known as Prince Thistle. King Thistle is voiced by Ian Puleston-Davies.
- Queen Thistle is the Queen in the Little Kingdom and the wife of King Thistle. She is Princess Holly, Daisy, and Poppy's mother. Queen Thistle is Queen Marigold's younger sister. She is one of the few people who can handle looking after Daisy and Poppy, though at times even she can be overwhelmed by the trouble they cause with their magic. Queen Thistle is voiced by Sara Crowe.
- Daisy and Poppy are Holly's little twin sisters. They are not very good at magic as they are only toddlers, but this does not stop them from trying. They are quite cheeky and usually end up causing trouble with magic. As Daisy and Poppy can be very naughty, Holly sometimes dislikes her sisters. Due to the trouble they cause with their magic, most of the adult characters are wary of them, though Queen Thistle seems to be able to deal with them for the most part. Daisy and Poppy are voiced by Zoe Baker.
- Nanny Plum is Holly, Daisy, and Poppy's nanny, and a general housekeeper for the King and Queen. She is very good at magic and capable of speaking many animal languages (including ones which she claims to be a bit difficult such as Mole, Aardvark, Ant, Centipede and Alien). She often ends up in all kinds of trouble when trying to help Holly and friends. She is also a tooth fairy. Although being quite bossy and savage, she is very good at cleaning with magic. She rivals the Wise Old Elf mainly due to their differing opinions over the use of magic. She is a teacher at the Fairy School and also works as a maid. Nanny Plum is voiced by Sarah Ann Kennedy.
- The Wise Old Elf lives in the same tree as Ben at the top in room 98. Since he is the series' "Jack of all trades", he also is the Wise Old Tailor, the elf doctor and the librarian. He also runs the Elf School and The Elf factory. He rivals Nanny Plum and strongly disapproves of magic, but used to admire magic and enjoyed himself when he was briefly given the ability to use magic. He also secretly used magic to fuel the Elf Engine that runs the Elf Factory, as it is clean energy ("a very small Carbon Footprint") and never runs out except on No Magic Day that occurs every blue moon. He had three sons, two of which are pirates, Redbeard the Elf Pirate and Captain Squid, and a sensible son who later decided to be a Viking, as shown in the episode 'Fathers Day'. The Wise Old Elf's real name is Cedric. He went to college with Granny and Granpapa Thistle. He has a twin brother, an Arctic Elf named The Wiser Older Elf. The Wise Old Elf is voiced by David Graham.A running gag is that Elf Rescue is a parody of International Rescue in the 1960s television series Thunderbirds, with comparable rocket-powered rescue vehicles and similar strident accompanying music. David Graham, who voices the Wise Old Elf, also voiced Parker the chauffeur in Thunderbirds.
- Gaston Ladybird is a male ladybird who lives in a small cave. He likes his house being messy as well as food that is "smelly and foul". He does not mind giving Ben rides when Ben needs to fly. Nanny Plum, who understands Ladybird language, translates for him quite often. He acts quite similarly to a dog, making a barking sound when he "speaks", and fetching sticks. Gaston has a brother, Tony, a sister-in-law, Pam, two nieces, Amber and Emerald, and a nephew, Keith. Gaston is voiced by Taig McNab, who is also credited as Editor for Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom. Gaston also has a production company named after the character, "Gaston's Cave Limited" and it is currently credited for season 6 of Peppa Pig.
- Ms. Jolly is a snail riding teacher and a pet trainer. She also has a snail called Trigger.
- Redbeard the Elf Pirate (Nigel) is the pirate uncle of Barnaby Elf, and brother of Fred Elf. He is introduced in series 1, episode 31, where it is also revealed that his real name is Nigel. He sails the oceans in a pirate ship named Pedro, though his size prevents him from engaging in acts of actual piracy, and he is more of a treasure hunter and explorer. He is quite smitten with Nanny Plum whom he considers to be his sweetheart, although Nanny seems to have little interest in him romantically. He has a pet parrot, Polly, although she is normal sized and barely fits inside Redbeard's ship. Redbeard is voiced by David Rintoul.
- Sally (Credited as "Lucy's Mum") is Lucy's mother, who lives near the little kingdom with Lucy and her husband. Unlike her husband, Sally is aware of the existence of elves and fairies as she has been friends with Nanny Plum, Prince Thistle (subsequently King Thistle), and the Wise Old Elf, since she was a little girl, and like her daughter, keeps their existence a secret. Sally is voiced by Sara Crowe.
- Lucy's Father lives near the little kingdom with Lucy and his wife. Whilst initially unaware of the existence of the little kingdom, he discovered their existence as a result of the attempts of the citizens of the little kingdom to prevent him building a place for his cows in the meadow where the little kingdom is located. He keeps their existence a secret, though he does so as he seems to think that other people would think he was crazy if he told them. Lucy's father is voiced by Alexander Armstrong.
- Mrs. Fig is the teacher of the Magic School who notably speaks with a Scottish accent. Nanny Plum used to go there and Holly and her friends went there when they were old enough. Despite being a fairy, she detests magic and says the most important rules of magic are "Don't use magic" and "Magic should only be used for serious things". As a result, the Wise Old Elf likes her as they have similar views on magic. Mrs. Fig loathes Nanny Plum, who is implied to have been her worst student as she does not adhere to Mrs. Fig's ideas on magic. Mrs. Fig is voiced by Morwenna Banks.
- Mrs. Fotheringill is Daisy and Poppy's playgroup teacher. She was at one point sent back in time to the age of the dinosaurs by Daisy, Poppy, and the other fairy children in her playgroup. She seems to be American due to her accent and when she called Gaston a "ladybug" (not to mention mistaking his gender). Mrs. Fotheringill is voiced by Morwenna Banks.
- Mr. Elf is Ben Elf's dad and Mrs. Elf's husband. He is very serious and often likes hard work. Despite his serious behaviour, he can be a good character and is also the deliverer for food to the fairies and elves and presents to Father Christmas. He once enjoyed being a sailor, but because of the fish, "Big Bad Barry", who ate most of his boats, he once decided to retire from doing those stuff.
- Mrs. Elf is Ben Elf's mum and Mr. Elf's wife. She is a very caring and cheerful female adult elf who enjoys taking holidays (although it was her desire thanks to Mr. Elf's hard-working attitude which probably kept them from doing so). Whenever referring to something that often repeats, she says the mentioned verb multiple times, such as when she explained how the dwarfs dig non-stop, she said "They dig and dig and dig and dig and dig....." until she is politely cut off by a character. She is voiced by Judy Flynn.
- Mr. Gnome is a gnome that often wanders around the Little Kingdom ever since Nanny Plum magicked him into the Kingdom to keep moles out of the golf course. But then he later turned out to be a lazy, talkative, and glutenous annoyance to the entire kingdom. And after his debut appearance, whenever the characters find him, they scream in fear "Ah! The Gnome!!" with a bass drum soundtrack representing the characters' fear.
- Gloria Gnome is Mr. Gnome's "girlfriend". She was introduced in the episode, "Springtime". Gloria is voiced by Judy Flynn.
- King and Queen Marigold are the king and queen of a far-away kingdom far from the Little Kingdom. They are often described as "snooty" characters who tease and laugh at the Thistle's misfortunes, such as judging the Little Castle, calling it a "shady-old" castle. But when the Thistle family get into a mess for preparing things, the Marigolds come and unfortunately find it interesting instead of teasing them as Queen Thistle predicted. Queen Marigold is the sister of Queen Thistle, making the Marigolds part of the Thistle family and the uncle and aunt of Holly, Daisy, and Poppy. Queen Marigold is voiced by Morwenna Banks.
- Milicent "Granny/Grandmama" Thistle is King Thistle's mother. She often believes in using strong and dangerous magic and became a bad influence to Daisy and Poppy by teaching them how to do it and giving them the wands of their great-grandparents (which is a reference to how some grandparents spoil their grandchildren). It was she who revealed that The Wise Old Elf used to love magic, right before the Monkey's Kittens incident.
- Victor "Grandpapa" Thistle is the father of King Thistle and the husband of Milicent. He is "extremely bonkers" and also believes in using wacky and dangerous magic. He, Milicent, and the Wise Old Elf (who they referred to by his real name, Cedric), attended the same college, and like Milicent, he too also spoiled Daisy and Poppy in his last appearance, "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" (not to be confused with the theatrical film of the same name) by expecting to take them to a volcano.
- Mrs. Witch is a witch who lives in a small cottage in the Little Kingdom. Although there was a time Holly wanted to know if she was evil, she turned out to be a nice witch who only gets angry or does something bad (like when she turned Nanny Plum into stone) when she is insulted, especially the fact that she is touchy about her private cat, Moggy.
- Strawberry is a little fairy who is best friends with Holly and often attends lessons with her. She is very cute and silly, and has her hair styled in a small tulip-bun. Her mum is the vet of the Little Kingdom. Strawberry is voiced by Zara Siddiqi.
- Fleur is a friend of Holly and attends school with the other fairy children (most of them were female for an unspecified reason). She sometimes got turned into a cat by Daisy and Poppy and when she played a game where she was the antagonist, Holly was the "damsel in distress/victim", and Ben was the hero by being a "knight in shining armour", she forgot to magic away the tower and her witch's outfit when her mum called her for dinner. Fleur is voiced by Alice May.
- Fairy Mayor is a character based on Boris Johnson, the former Mayor of London, Current Prime Minister. He is Strawberry's dad and the vet's husband. He does not like "big people" because they always step on fairies and elves. Fairy Mayor is voiced by Alexander Armstrong.
- Zyros is an alien that lives on Planet Bong, he gets offended when he is called a baby. As seen from the episode shooting star. He likes magic jelly, he has a fear of big people. Zyros's last appearance was brief at Lucy's house on Christmas Day. The character was voiced by Bram Karek.
- Yasmin is a human girl. Yasmin is voiced by Yasmin Shaboo.
- Katy is a human girl. Katy is voiced by Zoë Baker.
In the United Kingdom and Ireland the show was broadcast on Channel 5 kids programming block, Milkshake. It was also broadcast on Nick Jr. UK and Ireland . In Canada the show was broadcast on Treehouse TV. In the United States, the show was broadcast on Nick Jr. The series also airs on Baraem in Qatar. The series also airs on Baraem in Qatar. On March 15, 2020, the first season of show became available on Netflix.
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.
- Moody, Annemarie (27 March 2009). "Nick Jr. Welcomes Preschoolers to Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom". Animation World Network. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
- Crump, William D. (2019). Happy Holidays—Animated! A Worldwide Encyclopedia of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year's Cartoons on Television and Film. McFarland & Co. pp. 26–27. ISBN 9781476672939.
- "index". www.theelffactory.co.uk. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
- "Julian Nott – Film Music Composer". www.juliannottmusic.com. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
- Buchanan, Kirsty (2 December 2012). "Boris Johnson has new role in Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom". www.express.co.uk. Northern and Shell Media Publications. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- "Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom - TV Review". Commonsensemedia.org. 8 October 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
- "Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom is Full of Big Adventures". The Toy Insider. 17 August 2017. Retrieved 30 June 2019.