Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Budgie the Little Helicopter

Go To

Budgie the Little Helicopter is an animated TV series based on books written by Sarah, Duchess of York. It focuses on the adventures of Budgie and his friends Pippa, Chuck and Lionel, all sentient aircraft, at and around the fictional Harefield Airfield.

Budgie the Little Helicopter provides examples of:

  • The Big Race: The first episode centers on a race between Budgie and Pippa.
  • Bragging Theme Tune: The theme is (mostly) about how brave and hardworking Budgie is.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Rocketing Rotors!" for Budgie.
    • "Juddering Joysticks!" for Lionel.
  • Disappeared Dad: Mr. Kitchen is never seen nor mentioned.
  • Don't Call Me "Sir": Lionel doesn't take too kindly to being called "Captain", a title Chuck habitually calls him, even when Lionel tells him this is not his name. Budgie even called Lionel this once.
  • Expository Theme Song: "Budgie is a little helicopter..."
  • Glad I Thought of It: In the second episode, Chuck wants to take part in the fete but Lionel shoots down all of his ideas because of the downdraft his rotors would cause. Then Budgie pitches in an idea:
    Budgie: He could fly around the outside of the field Lionel, then the, uh, folks could see him?
    Pippa: Yes, good idea!
    Lionel: Yes, thank you Budgie, I'll decide what he can do: you can... you can, uh, fly around the outside of the field.
  • Help, I'm Stuck!: In one episode, Pippa gets stuck in a snow drift when delivering fuel to Budgie.
  • I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: In one episode, Dell is complaining about the snow. Smokey says that it's more like icing sugar than snow, to which Dell replies "I don't want to be covered in icing sugar either. I'm a baggage truck, not a Christmas cake.".
  • Just Plane Wrong: A number episodes have played with aircraft physics throughout the show's run, but a common example is Budgie being able to move while on the ground... despite having skids instead of wheels like Lionel or Chuck.
  • The Kiddie Ride: Mitchells spawned a ride in 1995 based on Budgie, the titular helicopter himself. The ride also featured lights inside the cockpit, that flash along to the theme tune. There is also the Black Rock Lighthouse with an interactive memory game, also made by Mitchells and introduced in 1996. This ride is very rare, although Elias Flinter found a Black Rock Lighthouse ride in Olympia Leisure, Scarborough, UK. Kidzstuff (the company that bought out OMC Electronics) have spawned one-seater and two-seater versions of Budgie in 1997. There does exist a ripoff Budgie ride called "Buzzie the Little Helicopter" which is actually a repainted Twirlybird ride by Kiddie Rides America with the Budgie theme tune.
  • Last-Minute Baby Naming: Mrs. Fairweather's baby gets named Jack B (Budgie) Fairweather.
  • The Movie: One was released in 1996 on VHS.
  • Panicky Expectant Father: One episode features the Fairweathers, who are trapped by a blizzard waiting for rescue from Budgie so he can take them to the hospital, where Mrs. Fairweather will give birth. Mr. Fairweather is portrayed as extremely nervous and constantly worried.
  • Railroad Tracks of Doom: In one episode, Budgie is following a railway to find his destination. He decides to go through a tunnel... just as a train is coming through. Luckily he manages to dodge the train.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Lionel.
  • Sentient Vehicle: Many of the main cast:
    • Budgie is a little blue helicopter. Lionel, the "aircraft in charge", is a slightly larger brown helicopter with a four-blade rotor.
    • Pippa is a green "single-engined monoplane"note , although it's not evident where her engine is.
    • Chuck is a large twin-engined helicopter (a Boeing CH-47 Chinook, to be precise).
    • There's also Dell, a baggage truck, and Smokey, a fire-engine.
  • Shown Their Work: Sarah, Duchess of York is a registered pilot herself and served in the Royal Navy, and a number of episodes incorporate obscure historical aircraft.
  • Sergeant Rock: Lionel is often stern to the other aircraft, but he does care about them.
  • Theme Tune Roll Call: Though the theme song is mainly about Budgie, it briefly goes over the other main characters.