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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom is a British animated series that centers on a sweet friendship between a fairy princess and her elf neighbor. The show's vibrant animation is a big draw, and preschoolers will love the young characters' comical adventures. But the stories offer kids much more than entertainment; they're brimming with illustrations of friendship, kindness, and teamwork. The characters' experiences also remind kids of the value of learning from the mistakes you make.
What's the story?
BEN & HOLLY'S LITTLE KINGDOM follows Princess Holly (voiced by Sian Taylor) and Ben Elf (Preston Nyman), best friends who live in a quaint tiny kingdom nestled in the grass and thorny brambles and who share all kinds of adventures. Holly, a fairy princess, is learning how to do magic, but she's not very good at it yet. Since elves aren't magical, Ben has to help out by building and fixing things, and he's very good at that. Holly, Ben, and their ladybug friend, Gaston, always find something to do -- and something to learn -- as they explore the Little Kingdom.
Is it any good?
Darling Ben and Holly are a charming duo whose adventures teach wonderful lessons about being a good friend, working together, and sticking with a problem until it's solved. It's always refreshing to see a TV show that favors reality in its content (minus the fairies, elves, and talking critters, that is), showing characters making mistakes, attempting to fix them, and sometimes making even bigger messes on the second try. Unlike the characters in many shows, it's not only the kids who aren't perfect. Despite her best intentions, Holly's nanny in particular has her share of snafus, which gives the characters many opportunities to test their perseverance. Even better, the fact that Holly is magical and Ben is a fixer doesn't cause envy or other bad feelings; instead, it provides opportunities for them to combine their talents for common goals.
Set in a world where everything is tiny, Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom appeals to preschoolers' sense of make-believe with animation that looks like it was taken right out of a picture book. Kids will love the visual effect, and the content is so enjoyable that parents may not even want to leave the room.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the characters in Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom solve problems. What special skills does each one bring to the group effort? Could magic alone have done the job? How might you have handled it differently?
What makes Holly and Ben such good friends? Does the fact that they're so different ever complicate matters? What do you and your friends like to do together?
Kids: Do you like the illustrations in this show? What other objects would you like to see as part of Ben and Holly's world? If you could choose to be tiny or gigantic for a day, which would you pick, and why?
- Premiere date: October 5, 2015
- Cast: Sian Taylor, Preston Nyman, Sarah Ann Kennedy
- Network: Nick Jr.
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies, Friendship, Great boy role models, Great girl role models
- Character strengths: Empathy, Perseverance, Teamwork
- TV rating: TV-Y
- Available on: DVD, Streaming
- Award: Common Sense Seal
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.