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Western Animation / Bill & Ben, The Flowerpot Men

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Flower Pot Men is a British children's program, produced by The BBC, first transmitted in 1952, and repeated regularly for more than twenty years. Originally, the program was part of a BBC children's television series titled Watch with Mother, with a different program each weekday, most of them involving string puppets. Flower Pot Men was the story of Bill and Ben, two little men made of flower pots who lived at the bottom of an English suburban garden. A new version of the show titled Bill & Ben was produced in 2001, this time involving stop-motion animation, 35mm film style and full color, and made by Cosgrove Hall Films with a team of ten animators.

This show provides examples of:

  • British Brevity: The original puppet series made only 26 episodes that were rerun for years. Downplayed for the stop motion series that made twice as many episodes.
  • Catchphrase: "Flobbalop" for the Flower Pot Men, "Which of those two flower pot men, was it Bill or was it Ben?" for Weed.
  • Grumpy Bear: Slowcoach the tortoise.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: Bill and Ben have their names written on their backs. In the remake, they also have colored scarves (orange for Bill, green for Ben).
  • Jerkass: Thistle in the remake. Rose is a downplayed example, as she's more of a snob.
  • Jerks With Hearts of Gold: Well, Bill and Ben aren't jerks per se, but they love playing pranks and can be somewhat insensitive. That being said, they're willing to apologize when they need to, and are perfectly happy to help anyone who needs it.
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  • The Kiddie Ride: One featuring Bill and Ben riding a wheelbarrow, made by Mitchells Children's Rides.
  • Pokémon Speak: In the original, Little Weed could only repeat her own name. Averted in the remake, where she speaks proper English.
  • Strictly Formula: Every episode of the original series was pretty much the same - while the gardener is away having his dinner, Bill and Ben emerge from their flowerpots and have a little adventure. A minor mishap occurs and Weed says her catchphrase, then the villain confesses. The adventure continues for a bit, then the gardener's footsteps are heard coming up the garden path, so the Flower Pot Men vanish into their pots and the closing credits roll. Averted in the remake.
  • Talking Animal: Slowcoach the tortoise, and in the remake we have Pry the magpie, Boo the hedgehog, Tad the frog, Scamper the squirrel, Whimsy the spider and Whoops the worm.
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  • Trilling Rs: Rose in the remake.
  • The Unintelligible: Bill and Ben. Also, Weed in the original version.

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