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Western Animation / Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom

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Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom is a British fantasy animated television series created and directed by Mark Baker and Neville Astley and produced by Phil Davies (who also make Peppa Pig). It follows the adventures of Princess Holly and Ben Elf and their caretakers, Nanny Plum and The Wise Old Elf.

Tropes seen in Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom:

  • Alliterative Name: Played with in an episode which features Betty Caterpillar... who of course turns into Betty Butterfly by the end of the story.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Gaston the ladybird is Ben Elf's dog. (Except when he's Ben's motorbike.)
  • Almighty Janitor: Nanny Plum's magic is the most powerful (apart from maybe Granny Thistle and the twins), she can talk to animals and she moonlights as THE Tooth Fairy. She's also the cleaning lady for the Thistles and Holly's childminder.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Since everyone in the Little Kingdom is small, the humans (or what the Little Kingdom refers them to: "Big People") are giants compared to them. In the episode "Big Ben and Holly", both Ben and Holly accidentally grow to human size and are giants compared to the Little Kingdom.
    • Even dwarves and gnomes, while much smaller than humans, are much bigger than elves and fairies.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Ben Elf often finds opportunities to explain to the fairies why elves do certain things, which he usually finishes with:
      "And I'm an elf!" (blows horn)
    • Also "Magic always leads to trouble!" Unintentionally amusing to fans of Once Upon a Time which has the similar catchphrase "All magic comes with a price".
    • Nanny Plum's "Whaaat-eever" when someone warns her of something she shouldn't do.
    • Like with Peppa Pig, characters often like to say "Hooray!".
  • Calling the Old Man Out: In "Gaston to the Rescue", when they're trapped in a dwarf mine, Mr. Elf and King Thistle wonder where Gaston is, and Ben and Holly rightfully scold their dads for telling Gaston to go away the night before.
  • Company Cross References: In Lucy's room, there's a Peppa Pig toy. One of the crayon drawings in Daisy and Poppy's room also resembles George's "Mr Dinosaur".
  • Contrived Coincidence: Several of them, usually as a Deus ex Machina. For example by halfway through the Christmas Two-Part Episode, King Thistle is stuck in a cracker, the little castle is wrapped up as a Christmas present and the Great Elf Tree is being sold as a Christmas tree. Fortunately it works out that that cracker, that present and that tree all just happen to go to Lucy, the one human girl who already knows about elves and fairies - whose house also happens to be the very last one on Santa's rounds, so he falls asleep in her living room.
  • Elves Versus Dwarves: Confusingly, the elves are the "dwarves" of this setting (skilled with their hands, hostile to magic, relatively down-to-earth), while the fairies are the "elves" (magical aristocrats). They duly display quite a lot of Fantastic Racism towards each other (and towards actual dwarves, who also exist).
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • The fairies are nothing short of patronizing to the elves (particularly the royals and more specifically Nanny Plum, who can be vocally disdainful of the non-magical using elves). On the other side, most elves (but particularly the Wise Old Elf and sometimes Mr. Elf) seem to scoff at the fairies' lack of manual abilities. This sometimes causes friction between both races and their most... vocal leaders, like Nanny Plum and the Wise Old Elf, who frequently scuffle.
    • In one episode, Mrs. Elf learns that Mr. Elf has been "sentenced". She immediately starts calling for revolution and shouting slogans like "Down with the King!", before learning that he's been "sentenced"... to take a vacation.
  • Friendly Pirate: Red Beard the Elf chose to be a pirate as a career but otherwise is very kind. He's also the son of the Wise Old Elf who humorously is ashamed of his son for becoming a pirate.
  • Literal Genie: The Magic Basket is capable of creating any kind of food if you ask it, but often you have to specify how much you want, such as jelly (the wobbly pudding kind), which often leads into the Jelly Flood unless you specifically ask for a tiny bit which creates sensible servings.
  • Magic Vs Science: Often it's the magic-wielding faries against the more hands-on elves who build machines.
  • Name and Name: Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Granny Thistle gives the twins wands which belonged to their great grandparents: Vlad the Powerful and Sharon the Totally Insane.
  • Noodle Incident: Whatever happened during the "Monkey Kittens" incident several years ago was horrific enough to have the Wise Old Elf completely abandon his love and use of magic.
  • Ocular Gushers: Some characters cry a shower of tears a lot in the show.
  • Parental Bonus: In the episode "Daisy and Poppy go to the Museum", when the characters see a display about Vikings, Nanny Plum says that she knows that Vikings only ever ate Spam.
    Nanny Plum: It's true! Vikings ate Spam. It was on the telly.
  • Picnic Episode: The first episode "The Royal Fairy Picnic".
  • Platonic Boy/Girl Heroes: Ben and Holly.
  • Running Gag: Jelly Flood
  • Species Surname: The Elf family consists of Ben Elf, Mr. Elf and Mrs. Elf.
  • Stealth Insult: Mrs Fig has made it clear that she has "never had a student quite like [Nanny Plum]". Nanny Plum, however, doesn't get it.
  • Take Our Word for It: There's a monster in the dungeons of the Little Castle. When Redbeard the Pirate sees it, he looks straight at the viewer and says that in all his years of piracy he has never, never, never seen something so horrifying. Then the Queen unceremoniously closes the door after him.
  • Theme Naming: All the fairies are named after plants (Holly, Daisy, Poppy, King Thistle, Nanny Plum...) and the elves are not.
    • Lampshaded in the episode "Spies": Strawberry, pretending to be an elf, gives her name as "Strawberry - I mean Alice" and Barnaby, pretending to be a fairy, gives his as "Barnaby - I mean Bamboo."
    • Tarquin the fairy and Nettle the elf seem to be the only exceptions.
      • Tarquin will have a problem if he needs a new wand, since the Wise Old Elf says fairies' wands come from the plant they're named after.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: King Thistle and Mr. and Mrs. Elf in "Gaston to the Rescue" when they tell Gaston to get lost just because he tracks mud around both the Little Castle and Great Elf Tree and eats Mrs. Elf's freshly-baked pies.
  • Witch with a Capital "B": In "Mrs Witch", Nanny Plum calls her a "grumpy old witch". Nanny is turned to stone at the time and talking without moving her lips.
  • Wham Line: In "No Magic Day", the Elf Engine has broken down for some reason. Ben offers to fix it, but the Wise Old Elf says it cannot be fixed because it's out of fuel. He refuses to tell the others what fuel it uses, because "it's a secret!"
    Queen Thistle: Wise. Old. Elf. What fuel does the engine use!?
    Wise Old Elf: Oh... It's... M... Muh...
    Ben: Mud?
    Wise Old Elf: No, it's... Mmmmmuh… Mmmmmmuh...
    Elf: Mustard?
    Holly: Marshmallow?
    Wise Old Elf: Muh-muh…
    Nanny Plum: Melted cheese!
    Wise Old Elf: Muh-muhmuhuhmuhmuh MMMMMMMMMAGIC!


Video Example(s):


Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom

Nice job giving Daisy and Poppy a bad idea, King Thistle.

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