Top 10 Iconic British Children's Media
If there's anything that my home country of the UK knows what to do, it's make people's childhoods.
In the world of media, there's all sorts of iconic children's media coming from the world over, and a lot of the most iconic pieces of children's media just happen to come from the UK. I guarantee that for these pieces of media, it's not just us Brits that grew up with them as children. Some countries outside of the UK have experienced a TV show, a book or a film that was made in Britain and in some cases, British children's media can be just as popular in other countries as it is in its home country.
And I'm here to count them down today. Not only is this a celebration of my country's most well-known children's media, but it's also a nostalgic reflection on my own childhood, and maybe yours as well.
For this list, I'll be including children's media from ANY field. If it's a book, a movie, a TV series or whatever, it can make this list. Also it has to be a media that's MOSTLY aimed at children or mostly popular with children so family-friendly medias like Doctor Who, Harry Potter and Alex Rider won't be making it here. They belong on their own list. Oh and I'm going with British children's media that is remembered or looked back on very fondly and isn't infamous for having a lot of backlash and hate, so don't expect Peppa Pig to appear on this list. Besides, we don't talk about Peppa Pig... X(
So sit back, relax and enjoy this nostalgic trip through childhood as I count down the Top 10 Iconic British Children's Medias...
Number 10: Horrid Henry
I'm sure every kid in the UK has read at least one Horrid Henry book at some point in their lives. I know I was one of those kids. I could never get enough of this guy back then and even now I still have a sizeable collection of Horrid Henry books that I like to read on occasion. Horrid Henry is one of the most popular children's book series that the UK has produced and is still pretty popular to this day.
Having sold 21 million copies worldwide and produced over 24 books with a one-off 25th anniversary special in 2019 and several spin-off books over the years, Horrid Henry has had his fair share of written works that have made him a recognisable figure in children's pop culture. His books have even been award winners too! But that's just the books. Henry has also managed to worm his way into other media that has further expanded his popularity. He's also the star of his own TV series that was also a smash hit that broadcasted in over 90 countries around the world. It produced over 5 seasons with 250 episodes plus 4 specials and has ranked among CiTV's most popular shows they've aired and the show is also a regular hit for children who watch it via Netflix too. It also produced its own live show, a podcast series and even its own movie...that nobody liked. XD Goes to show Horrid Henry isn't meant for everything out there.
So yeah, Horrid Henry is a popular figure in UK pop culture. So why is he at the bottom of the list whining about how "IT'S NOT FAAAAAAAAAAIR!!!"that he's so low down? Simple: Horrid Henry is more popular in the UK than he is in other countries with the TV series especially being pretty hated over in the US and when it comes to other UK media, I don't think Henry's as readily recognisable as the other entries on this list. When you think "iconic British children's media", I doubt Horrid Henry would be your first, second or even tenth example to give. The other nine though are more widely known by comparison so as unfair as it may seem, Horrid Henry takes the bottom spot.
Regardless, this mischievous little brat is still a popular figure in children's media and I guarantee that his horrid antics will continue to be a part of childhood for future generations too come...
Number 9: The Beano and The Dandy
I guarantee that every child in the UK has read at least one comic featuring either of these characters.
First published in 1937 (The Dandy) and 1938 (The Beano), these two comics have gone on to be a staple of many a British kid's childhood. With their casts of colourful characters and wacky stories featuring lots of slapstick cartoon violence and pun-filled dialogue, these comics have left many decades worth of enjoyment for the UK populace as time has gone by and everyone has read at least one of these comics at some point in their life. Even I have had more than my fair share of reading these comics. One of the few fond memories I have of school back in the day was sitting in the school library by myself to read the Beano and Dandy annuals that they would have on offer. And like many a comics reader, I've enjoyed immensely the mischievous antics of Dennis the Menace, Minnie the Minx, the Bash Street Kids and the wacky adventures of Desperate Dan, Bananaman and so much more. If you're curious to know, The Bash Street Kids are my favourite Beano characters and Bananaman is my favourite Dandy character (although oddly enough, he's migrated over to The Beano now so I guess that doesn't really count anymore...)
So how much of a pop-culture icon are these comics? The Beano and Dandy stand as some of the longest running comics in history, even running longer than most superhero comics and The Beano currently holds the record for the longest running weekly-issued comic of all time, a title ironically held by The Dandy before it ended publications back in 2012. They have been featured on a great amount of merchandise over the years like toys, games, videos and even stamps with one stamp being made in particular back in 2012 to celebrate its long running history. Many comic artists working on the Beano today were fans growing up and some famous names like Chris Tarrant and Paul Rudd have even cited characters like Dennis the Menace and Roger the Dodger as their favourites growing up. Yes people, Ant-Man himself is a fan of Roger the Dodger. That's pretty awesome! And let's not forget how these comics are so popular that America even has its own Dennis the Menace which while looking different to the UK's Dennis, is also a popular comic character in his own right and even went on to have his own movie. I think that should tell you how popular these comics can be. XD
While The Dandy hasn't had much media outside of comics, The Beano is a different story. I already reviewed its interactive DVD game back in my DVD games essay but it's also had a few animated shorts grouped together in The Beano Videostars and Dennis the Menace has even had at least THREE animated series all about him. That alone should tell you how much of a pop-culture icon the red-and-black striped jersey wearing troublemaker is, both in the UK and outside of it. Oh and to also show off how famous these characters are, what you're about to see below is an actual statue made of Desperate Dan and Minnie the Minx that you can find in Dundee, Scotland:
You know you're an iconic cartoon character when you get your own statue made!
In spite of the popularity of The Beano and The Dandy, I put them at the bottom of the list because while they are British pop-culture giants, I don't think they're as iconic outside of the UK and that there are more recognizable UK creations in the world at large by comparison. I'm not saying these comics don't have international fans as that would be wrong of me. Just that when people think popular children's media from the UK, I don't think these comics will come up as often as the other entries on the list, especially The Dandy which has always kinda lived in The Beano's shadow despite being created first. Also there's some STIFF competition as you'll see later!
Nevertheless, these comic superstars are as big in the UK as Superman, Batman and Spider-Man are in the US and it's easy to see how they've been a part of British pop-culture for many decades. Dennis didn't need to menace anyone to get The Beano and The Dandy on this countdown...
Number 8: Mr. Bean
Can't talk about popular UK children's media and not mention Mr. Bean at some point.
Now some may argue "But Media Man, Mr. Bean isn't strictly a children's show so why is he on the list?" I agree I am kinda breaking my own rules here as Mr. Bean is arguably more aimed at adults than children with some of the humour it has, but you can't deny that Mr. Bean is just as, if not more popular with children than he is with adults and over time has become more associated as being a children's icon than anything else. Nevertheless, Mr. Bean is iconic in more ways than one. He's Rowan Atkinson's most famous character he's created alongside Blackadder (no duh), he's Rowan Atkinson's most famous and recognizable role out of his entire filmography and he's hailed even to this day as one of the biggest icons of comedy. I guarantee that everyone at some point around the world has laughed at this man's crazy antics at least once in their lives and I'm sure many can even list some of their favourite Mr. Bean moments.
Not only is the character easily recognizable thanks to his tweed jacket and red tie combo, Rowan's distinctive appearance or even his iconic green and black Mini, but Mr. Bean has had worldwide appeal in more places than just the UK. Due to the show using little to no dialogue, it's made the show easy to air and translate in other countries that don't speak English so that gives it international appeal and thus, allows Mr. Bean to have more fans outside of the UK and the character has gone on to be featured in many medias. There's his original live-action show of course but he's also a cartoon star in the animated series that once aired from 2002 to 2004 and then surprisingly came back for more from 2015 to 2019, finishing with a total of 130 episodes. He's also had at least two feature films with Bean and Mr. Bean's Holiday and Rowan would even play the character again in a skit created for the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games. Yes people, this guy is such an icon he got to participate in the opening ceremony to the freaking OLYMPIC GAMES!!! That is a big deal for many, many reasons and shows just how much we Brits love this guy! Oh and like Desperate Dan and Minnie the Minx above, he too has his own statue you can find in Leicester Square in London:
No joke, I had no idea as I was writing this and just stumbled across that fact on Mr. Ban's Wikipedia page! XD
And finally, I'd be amiss if I didn't mention that this show actually became the subject of an episode of Mythbusters when they tested Mr. Bean's paint trick. The myth was busted in case you're wondering. Goes to show what a big deal you are when the Mythbusters want to test something from your show to se if it's possible. XD
Whether he's a comedy icon, a cartoon superstar or an icon for being annoying (as some people might say), Mr. Bean is easily one of the most famous faces to come out of the UK and I'd say he deserves a spot on this list. Who knew someone as bumbling as him could stumble his way onto the countdown? XD
Number 7: Shaun the Sheep
Bleating his way into the Number 7 spot is none other than probably the most popular side-character created in the Wallace and Gromit franchise, Shaun the Sheep. No other character who's debuted in Wallace and Gromit has gone on to the kind of fame and success that Shaun the Sheep has had. Heck, I'm sure many people might even debate if Shaun's more popular than Wallace and Gromit themselves.
Let's count the ways shall we, and I'm not talking about counting sheep in your sleep. Shaun first debuted in Wallace and Gromit's 1995 short, A Close Shave and despite only being a side-character in that short, he went on to become easily the most popular thing to come out of it. He got a wodge of merchandise alongside Wallace and Gromit (I even remember having a cuddly Shaun the Sheep toy back in the day) but that was just the start for the little sheep. He would also appear in one of the Cracking Contraptions shorts and then go on to be the star of his own TV series. The TV series itself has been running since 2007 and as I'm writing this list, it has 6 seasons, 170 episodes, 36 shorts and 2 specials. The show even had its own spin-off with Timmy Time, though that only lasted from 2009 to 2012 with 80 episodes while Shaun the Sheep still carries on today. Imagine being popular enough to spin-off from Wallace and Gromit and generate your own spin-off as a result? XD And of course, the series was such a hit that it's even managed to generate not one, but TWO movies with Shaun the Sheep Movie and A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon. It's even had its own video-game and theatre show! Who knew a single greedy sheep that ate too much could spawn a franchise of his own so easily? Talk about moving to a bigger flock. XD
Shaun the Sheep has ben a staple of many children's childhoods throughout the late 2000's and 2010's and is notorious as being one of the most popular children's shows still running to this day. It's won numerous awards and has been broadcasted in 180 countries. Like Mr. Bean before it, its wide appeal comes from the series having no dialogue and thus it's easy to show off in other countries that don't speak English or have it as their first language, which gives the show massive international appeal. Shaun is recognizable amongst many, not just children, and it stands as among Aardman Animation's most profitable and popular franchises thanks to its simple nature and charming characters that have entertained many over the years. In spite of this, I only put him at Number 7 as I feel these next six entries are a little more iconic. But of course, Shaun is still more than worthy of this countdown for his worldwide appeal and how much merchandise he's spawned over the years.
Shaun the Sheep certainly stood out from the flock and earned himself an easy spot on this countdown...
Number 6: Wallace & Gromit
It's only fitting I move from Shaun the Sheep over to the franchise that created him in the first place. How could I not put Wallace and Gromit on this countdown?
Created by Aardman founder Nick Park in 1989, Wallace and Gromit have had quite a cracking life as pop-culture icons. They started out with a single short titled A Grand Day Out that ended up being a surprise hit for Aardman and received an Academy Award nomination (which it ironically lost to Creature Comforts, another Aardman creation). Then it got another short in 1993 with The Wrong Trousers which ended up being an even bigger hit and increased the popularity of the duo while also winning an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, and then it got ANOTHER short in 1995 with A Close Shave that was also an Academy Award winner! And then it got itself its own movie in 2005 with The Curse of the Were-Rabbit which was a box office hit (it's even the second highest-grossing stop-motion movie behind Chicken Run) and also won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature! And then in 2008 it got another short with A Mattr of Loaf and Death...which wasn't quit as popular as the other shorts and won no Academy Award but it did win other awards and was the most watched programme on Christmas Day in the UK that year. Not even Doctor Who could top that with its own Christmas special that year! XD
So bottom line, Wallace and Gromit have quite a legacy behind them as critical darlings and big award winners despite only creating four shorts and a movie. That's not a lot compared to most franchises, and yet those five pieces of media are enough for Wallace and Gromit to be as big as they are and become some of the UK's most popular fictional characters. They've spawned a series of shorts called Cracking Contraptions, some video-games and comics and they even have their own theme park ride at the Blackpool Pleasure Beach amusement park! Also to REALLY tell you how popular these two are, it's thanks to Wallace and Gromit that the sales of Wensleydale cheese went back up after they went down for so long. When's the last time you could say a fictional pair of characters saved the sales of a real-life product? XD
And it's not just the UK that loves them too as they're also very popular in other parts of Europe, the USA and ESPECIALLY Japan. On the subject of Japan, Hayao Miyazaki is a fan of Wallace and Gromit. Yes people, THE Hayo Miyazaki! The very same man who gave us Studio Ghibli and all the films they produced! You're know you're iconic when even an animation legend like him is a fan of your work!
Oh and get ready for this people for this is yet ANOTHER example of something being so iconic that it got its own statue:
What is it with us Brits and making statues of our popular characters? Who else has a statue in the UK may I ask? Captain Pugwash?! XD
Bing award-winning pop-culture giants with beloved shorts, a beloved movie and being popular in multiple countries outside of the UK, Wallace and Gromit are hailed as icons of British pop culture and it didn't need a wacky invention of Wallace's in order to achieve that status...
Number 5: Mr. Men and Little Miss
One day Adam Hargreaves asked his father, Roger Hargreaves, one question that would change his life forever: "What does a tickle look like?" What followed is the Mr. Men and Little Miss series, a franchise consisting of a pair of children's books, titled Mr. Men and Little Miss respectively, that has gone on to become one of the UK's most popular series of children's books ever written.
If you've never heard of Mr. Men and Little Miss then you likely have no childhood. Just about every kid on this planet has read at least ONE Mr. Men and Little Miss book throughout their lives and I'm sure many of them will have a favourite of the bunch such as the long-armed Mr. Tickle, the always smiling Mr. Happy, the clumsy Mr. Bump, the powerful Mr. Strong and so much more. The series has created over 92 Mr. Men and Little Miss characters as of 2021 and have sold over 250 million copies in over 30 countries from Britain to China and have been translated into over 17 languages. That already tells you that the Mr. Men and Little Miss series have proven to be quite the hit by being beloved not just in the UK, but in other countries around the world as well.
But it's not just the books that have featured the characters. Mr. Men and Little Miss have also spawned numerous animated shows with the most notable ones being a series from 1983 that was narrated by John Alderton (who also narrated Fireman Sam) and his wife Pauline Collins and the show Mr. Men and Little Miss that ran from 1995 to 1997 and was aired on Nick Jr. throughout the 2000's decade. If you haven't read the books then chances are you grew up watching at least one of these cartoons featuring the characters. Mr. Men and Little Miss has such wide appeal amongst children thanks to their simplistic character designs where they all look like walking colourful shapes wearing hats, shoes or whatever kind of clothing the artists might draw on them and of course, their so-named personalities that makes each and every one of them distinctive and memorable in their own way be they happy, grumpy, noisy, mischievous, late, greedy, cool, slow, tall or whatever. I like to think that these guys are the closest the UK has to Pokémon what with it being a franchise full of colourful and collectible characters that is also massively popular in the world.
The Mr. Men and Little Miss series has been a staple of many childhoods and continues to be ever popular with children and nostalgia-seeking adults even to this day and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Heck, there's currently talks of a Mr. Men and Little Miss movie being in the works! As I'm writing this, it's not out yet but still, the fact they're planning to make a movie of the two types of adjective named characters shows there's still huge appeal from this franchise. The Mr. Men and Little Miss easily deserve a spot on this list for being Mr. Popular and Little Miss Iconic amongst children the world over...
Number 4: Bob the Builder
Most of you probably remember Keith Chapman as the creator of PAW Patrol. That show is currently one of the biggest pop-culture giants of the modern era and is one of the most popular children's shows ever created. Well let's take a trip back in time to when Keith Chapman first found success with another franchise he created. Before there was PAW Patrol...he created Bob the Builder.
I imagine many people who got into construction work were probably inspired by this show. Bob the Builder became a cultural hit due to its theme of building, teamwork and colourful cast of characters which range from the humans to the machines and also having endearingly simplistic stories that children of any ages could enjoy. Any kid growing up during the 2000's has had at least some kind of exposure to Bob the Builder as he was one of the big icons of that time. You couldn't go ANYWHRE in the UK without seeing Bob the Builder in some shape or form as he not only had a successful TV show, but he spawned a wodge of merchandise that you could find from toys to household items (I even once owned a Bob the Builder alarm clock), a live show, kiddie rides and even video-games. The show's signature phrase "Can We Fix It" even became one of the biggest catchphrases of the decade and is still used in pop-culture to this day. It would gain worldwide appeal and attention due to airing in 30 countries outside of the UK and being dubbed in languages such as English, French, Spanish, Serbian, Swedish, Slovenian, German, Italian, Dutch, Hebrew, Hindi, Croatian, and Bengali. The show even got aired in Japan too and would also gain a US dub when airing in that country with American accented voices for the cast and American slang to make it more appealing to Americans. Who knew a show about a friendly guy with a gang of working machines building stuff would have such wide appeal?
The show was such a big hit in the UK that some of the movies would even get famous UK celebrities to do guest voices such as Noddy Holder, Chris Evans and even ELTON FREAKING JOHN of all people! Yes people, I'm not pulling your leg here! They got the guy who did a song for The Lion King to appear in a Bob the Builder movie! Nothing says "iconic" like getting an iconic rockstar to appear in your franchise! And I'd be amiss if I didn't mention that this show also made Men Behaving Badly star Neil Morrissey a household name and is still viewed as his most iconic role to this day. Oh and let's not forget that this show also released a hit single with "Can We Fix It?", a song that became a Number 1 hit in th UK back in 2000. You can listen for yourself here. They even got ANOTHER Number 1 hit in 2001 with their own version of Lou Bega's "Mambo No. 5". Fancy getting two hit singles in a row? That's pretty impressive! They also did a song called "Big Fish Little Fish" which while it didn't become a Number 1 single, it's still one banger of a song and also funny as hell to listen to. Listen for yourself!
With a highly popular TV show that got rebooted during the 2010's, a wodge of merchandise, worldwide appeal and two Number 1 singles in the music world, Bob the Builder is easily among the most iconic franchises to come out of the UK as detailed here and has been a staple of many childhoods during the 200's decade. Easily recognisable and highly beloved, Bob has built himself a franchise that will be cherished for years to come. Did he build it? Yes he did!
Number 3: Roald Dahl's Library
Nothing says "iconic British children's media" like the works of Roald Dahl.
Born in Wales to a Norwegian family back in 1916, Roald Dahl enjoyed a successful writing carer that has seen him produce some of literature's most timeless and iconic titles that have been passed down from generation to generation and are still massively enjoyed to this day. Oh and he even wrote the screenplay to James Bond's You Only Live Twice and also Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Yes really! This guy's so iconic that he wrote screenplays for two famous movies, go figure! Although he sadly lost his life to cancer at the age of 74 in 1990, Roald's works live on and continue to be icons of children's media everywhere. EVERYONE knows at least one title that Roald Dahl wrote. You name it, they're all iconic or well-known in some way be it Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, Matilda, The Witches, James and the Giant Peach, we know them all and we all have at least one Roald Dahl book that we can name as our favourite. I myself love Matilda and consider that my favourite of his works. Not only are his books famous, but he also has his two part auto-biography Boy and Going Solo which are also popular reads in their own right. Roald himself did live one very interesting life so who can blame those that enjoy reading them?
Roald's books have gone on to sell over 250 million copies worldwide and has been hailed by literacy enthusiasts and historians as among the greatest storytellers of the 20th century. In 2021, Forbes Magazine even listed him as the highest earning dead celebrity with a total of $513 million dollars to his name! Not bad for a dead guy, eh? XD Roald also has his own plaque that you can find at Cardiff Bay over in Wales:
But all that doesn't begin to cover how much of a cultural impact this guy has left on the world. Not only are his books still super popular to this day, but British schools often host a "Roald Dahl Day" on September the 13th to celebrate his birthday and of course, I have to talk about the BIG stuff...the movie adaptations. Nearly every Roald Dahl children's story has had a film adaptation and most of them are some of cinema's most beloved features from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to Matilda to The BFG to Fantastic Mr. Fox and James and the Giant Peach. Many of them such as Matilda are cult favourites while Willy Wonka remains one of the most iconic pieces of cinema to come from the 70's and is even one of the late Gene Wilder's most recognisable movie roles. It was so popular it even got a remake directed by Hollywood superstar Tim Burton in 2005. And let's not forget that Matilda even has its own musical adaptation that is now as I'm writing this post getting a movie adaptation for Netflix later this year! How did a simple children's author leave behind a legacy this gigantic?!
Roald Dahl has more than earned himself a Scrumdiddlyumptious spot on the list for the impact he's had on the world with just a few children's stories. Still enjoyed to this day and still the subject of many film adaptations, this is a man who is truly an icon of British children's media and one whose works will continue to entertain for years to come...
Number 2: Winnie the Pooh
It's a series of children's books that has become one of Disney's most prominent franchises. How could Winnie the Pooh NOT be on the list?! That'd be like having a list of popular Disney shows and missing out Gravity Falls, it would just look stupid wouldn't it?
Created by British author A. A. Milne and illustrated by E. H. Shepard, Winni the Pooh didn't take long to become a hit amongst young readers due to its simplistic story-telling and innocent childlike charm that only increased its appeal among that target demographic. The books would even overshadow and eclipse all of A. A. Milne's other works he did before then and easily remains his most popular creation of all time. While A. A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin Milne are no longer with us, the original toys that Christopher owned that inspired the characters of Winnie the Pooh are on display even to this day at the New York Public Library Main Branch in where 750,000 people visit them a year.
Now imagine THAT as the plot of a Toy Story movie!
But the books were only the beginning. Oh yes...Winnie the Pooh would grow much bigger than that as we all know. The willy-nilly-silly old bear would later find himself being purchased by Disney and would be the star of a short film in 1966 called Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree. What would follow would be a franchise bigger than I think even A. A. Milne himself could never have anticipated. The Disney incarnation of the franchise has spawned a WODGE of merchandise that you can find pretty much anywhere you go from toys to clothes to books to video-games and so much more, several other movies would also be made including a live-action adaptation titled Christopher Robin in 2018, the Disney theme parks would have themed rides and meet-and-greet versions of the characters everywhere and as of today, it ranks as the fourth highest grossing media franchise of all time behind only Mickey Mouse and Friends, Hello Kitty and Pokémon! Yes, not even Star Wars can compete with the honey-loving bear in that regard! XD Disney's Winnie the Pooh is inescapable and you're always going to find at least something with Pooh's face on it no matter where you go. The characters are among some of the most recognisable faces among the Disney family and they remain popular amongst not just children, but adults too.
It boggles the mind to think a simple story about a bear searching for honey would lead to on of the UK's most popular children's stories that could also become one of Disney's most successful franchises! With everything that came from this franchise, It goes to show that even a bear of very little brain can become a pop-culture icon....
And the Number 1 Iconic British Children's Media is...Thomas the Tank Engine
How funny that the Number 1 engine takes the Number 1 spot on this list? XD
Of all the UK medias created, I truly do believe that Thomas the Tank Engine, or Thomas & Friends as it's also called, belongs at the top spot. Some may argue that Winnie the Pooh deserves the Number 1 spot more, but I think Thomas deserves it by a hair or so.
Let's face it, we all know why Thomas belongs on this list. He started off as a highly beloved series of books by Rev. W Awdry that then went on to become a highly beloved TV series that ran from 1984 - 2021, got a reboot in 2021 and has spawned a franchise consisting of a BOATLOAD of stuff! You name it, Thomas has had his face on it! Toys, books, gadgets, household items, kiddie rides, lunchboxes, food products, video-games and so much more! He's also had his own movies with most of them direct-to-video but commercially successful enough to keep making more of them and last but certainly not least, Thomas is such an icon of children's media that he even has his own themed days out in places like the UK, US and the Netherlands that have roughly life-sized representations of the characters that you can go and ride on. And naturally, I have to bring up the fact that Thomas also has his own theme park. None of the other franchises on this list can really say they have their own theme park, can they? Even Winnie the Pooh only really shares a theme park with the rest of the Disney library. Thomas on the other hand has themed attractions in Six Flags amusement parks over in America and an entire land themed after him at the UK's Drayton Manner park simply named "Thomas Land" while also having his own theme park over in Japan too, a theme park that attracts over 1.7 million fans a year. I'd say that's a sign of what a really useful engine Thomas is, wouldn't you?
But that's just what the franchise has spawned. Let's dive into Thomas's impact on the real world around us. Thomas is such an iconic character that he remains very popular amongst many groups of people out there. He's popular and beloved amongst the autistic community and he's also popular among railway enthusiasts. I imagine a majority of train fans over the years became fans because of Thomas and might have inspired a lot of persevering of steam trains over the years, be they ones that have ended up in museums or ones that still run on railway lines to this day. We also have the Talyllyn Railway in Wales where it acknowledges much of Rev. Awdry's work on the Thomas franchise being inspired by the railway and as a result, makes the railway a popular tourist attraction for those that visit Wales. If anyone has made trains a popular mode of transport, I guarantee that Thomas has played a huge part in that. And in terms of celebrities, Thomas has also made well-known figures like Ringo Starr, Michael Angelis and Alec Baldwin household names for many years with all of them still being heavily associated with the franchise even years later.
With the kind of impact Thomas has had with its franchise and how special it is to so many people around the world, especially the autistic and railway communities, Thomas the Tank Engine is a testament of how even a simple concept can b a worldwide phenomenon that remains one of the UK's most recognisable figures and faces in pop culture that is enjoyed all over, not just in the UK. He's a really useful engine that easily deserves the top spot as the Number 1 iconic British Children's Media...
And that's all I have for this post. I hope you enjoyed this list and found it interesting to hear just some of what British pop culture has to offer. Maybe I might interest you further in what my country has to offer. Which iconic British children's media do you enjoy? Feel free to share down below in the comments. Next week I'll be sharing an essay my brother wrote about Thomas the Tank Engine and why the character means so much to him. Alongside that, I'll be counting down something else...we go to the land of Disney my friends as we countdown towards Halloween with The Top 10 Disney Villains...see you then media fans!
Thomas the Tank Engine and Bob the Builder belong to Mattel
Mr. Men and Little Miss belong to Adam Hargreaves
Horrid Henry belongs Orion Publishing Group
Winnie the Pooh belongs to Disney
Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep belong to Aardman Animation
The works of Roald Dahl belong Netflix
Mr. Bean belongs to Rowan Atkinson
The Beano and The Dandy belong to D.C. Thomson and Co.