kids encyclopedia robot

The Magic Key facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
For the 2002 song, see The Magic Key (song).


The Magic Key is a series of books published for children as part of the Oxford Reading Tree, from Oxford University Press. The books are written by Roderick Hunt, illustrated by Alex Brychta, and primarily follow the lives of three children, Biff, Chip and Kipper Robinson, their parents, their grandmother, their friends, Wilf and Wilma Page, Nadim Shah, Anneena Patel and the Robinson's dog, Floppy. The series was first published in 1985 with a set of 30 stories, and there are now over 300. It is used by more than 80% of schools in the United Kingdom, and has been translated into numerous languages in over 120 countries. In 2000, it was made into a television series, produced by Collingwood O'Hare Entertainment and HIT Entertainment in association with the BBC.

Audience

The books are aimed at children aged four to nine, and could form part of an English language syllabus in line with the National curriculum, designed to help children learn to speak and read Standard English.

Adaptations

The books were developed into a television series consisting of 26 episodes, each featuring a different story, plus helpful hints towards teaching children good use of English.

It ran on the BBC Schools strand on BBC Two from 2000 to 2008 and it was also on the CBeebies on BBC Two strand from September to October 2003, then it moved to the main channel on 2004. It also aired on CBBC Channel's Class TV strand in 2003 and again in 2007. It also ran during the BBC Learning Zone late night strand between August and September 2006. It was also sold on DVD as a whole series which came out in 2006.

Characters

  • Christopher "Kipper" Robinson
  • Elizabeth "Biff" Robinson
  • David "Chip" Robinson
  • Margaret "Mum" Robinson
  • Nick "Dad" Robinson
  • Floppy the dog
  • Eleanor "Gran" Robinson
  • Wilf Page
  • Wilma Page
  • Anneena Patel
  • Nadim Shah
  • Mrs. May

TV tie-in book titles

  • The Rook King
  • The Patchworker
  • Troll Talk
  • Tumbleweed Desert
  • The Flying Circus
  • Fabulous Fancy Foods
  • Underwater World
  • The Demon Drill
  • Lug & the Giant Storks

Television series

Quick facts for kids
The Magic Key
Genre Adventure
Children's
Educational
Written by Diane Redmond
Jan Page
Mellie Buse
James Mason
Jocelyn Stevenson
Lucy Daniel Raby
Julie Middleton
Joe Boyle
Directed by Tony Collingwood
Voices of Sophie Aldred
Maria Darling
David de Keyser
Kate Harbour
Adam Henderson
David Holt
Gary Martin
Richard Pearce
Emma Tate
Composer(s) Roger Jackson
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 26
Production
Producer(s) Christopher O'Hare
Running time 15 minutes
Production company(s) Collingwood O'Hare
HIT Entertainment
BBC
Distributor HIT Entertainment
Release
Original network BBC Two
CBeebies
Original release 4 September 2000 (2000-09-04) – 19 March 2001 (2001-03-19)

In the television series, Floppy wears a collar around his neck with a golden key upon it. The key is magic, as the title suggests, and seems to do some strange things whenever one of the children asks a question and Floppy wishes for something. It starts to glow and transports the children, Floppy and sometimes their grandmother through a vortex to other worlds, where they have exciting adventures, such as dealing with trolls in a cavern, being characters inside of a computer game, or finding the Fountain of Youth and when the adventure is done, they get a gift and the key glows and they all go home. In the books the key is kept in a box which opens the door to a dollhouse and Floppy does not go on all the adventures.

As well as Biff, Chip and Kipper Robinson, four other children also appear in the stories and occasionally find themselves in the adventures caused by the Magic Key, namely Wilf and Wilma Page, Nadim Shah (whose mother and father own the local corner shop which features in a couple of the stories), and Anneena Patel.

Episodes

Number Name Air date Plot summary
1 HMS Sweet Tooth 4 September 2000 Biff, unable to suppress her chocoholic tendencies, opens the cargo hold of HMS Sweet Tooth, alerting the pirates' chocolate radar to the ship's location.
2 Lug & the Giant Storks 11 September 2000 Kipper, Wilma and Floppy meet Lug, a lonely Space Elf, and some giant Space Storks.
3 The Rook King 18 September 2000 Kipper, Chip and Wilma are turned into a scarecrow, an invisible boy and a cat by the wicked Rook King.
4 Clutterland Band 25 September 2000 Nadim, Biff and Floppy are taken to Clutterland, where they must persuade Old Mother Clutter to feed some of her possessions to the Great Green Garbage Gobbler before the island sinks.
5 Troll Talk 2 October 2000 Biff and Gran are captured by trolls who want to use them in a people stew. But when Wilf tries to reason with the trolls, they think he's being rude. How can he make the trolls release them?
6 The Patchworker 9 October 2000 Anneena, Chip and Floppy arrive in a patchwork world that needs rearranging.
7 Code Calling 16 October 2000 Wilma, Wilf and Floppy are transported to an ancient world, where coded messages are used. Wilma misreads a coded message and mistakenly announces an impending battle. There is then a race against time to find out the true meaning of the message before it is too late.
8 Zandoodle & the Wheezlebang 23 October 2000 Zandoodle the wizard creates a monster vacuum cleaner.
9 Biff of the Jungle 30 October 2000 Nora Lockmeup has captured a selection of rare animals with the intent of selling them. Wilma sets about releasing the animals - and is promptly captured herself.
10 Nadim's Machine 6 November 2000 Wilf and Floppy are captured by the evil Grabber Lotterdosh and turned into robots. Can Nadim de-robotise them?
11 The Flying Circus 13 November 2000 Chip, Biff and Floppy are whisked into a world where planes fly themselves, and chaos ensues when Chip finds himself at the flight controller's desk.
12 Fraser the Eraser 20 November 2000 Kipper, Gran and Floppy spin into Crayon World, where Fraser the Eraser is intent on rubbing everything out.
13 The Anneena Academy 27 November 2000 Anneena, Wilf and Floppy find themselves in a nightmare world - where everyone looks and sounds like Anneena.
14 Dragon Land 4 December 2000 Wilma, Nadim and Floppy end up inside the Dragon Land computer game - and if their opponents win, they'll be trapped there for ever.
15 The Queen of Hearts 11 December 2000 The bad-tempered Queen of Hearts throws Biff and Kipper into a dungeon after a mix-up over some washing.
16 Floppy & the Puppies 8 January 2001 Floppy is tricked by a couple of scheming puppies.
17 The Giant & the Knee Nibblers 15 January 2001 The gang are doomed to take part in a never-ending story.
18 The Cream Cake Mystery 22 January 2001 Chip, Nadim and Floppy become embroiled in a crime mystery - someone is stealing the baker's cakes.
19 Mister Hansel & Miss Gretel 29 January 2001 Anneena, Kipper and Floppy meet Hansel and Gretel and find that they have starring roles in the Grimm Brothers' most famous fairy tale. The question is, does this unique version of the story have a happy ending? It's up to Kipper to confound the wicked witch and save Anneena and Floppy from being oven roasted...if only he could remember what happens next!
20 The Sound Monster 5 February 2001 Wilma and Floppy find themselves on an island where the sounds made by the animals are all mixed up.
21 Tumbleweed Desert 12 February 2001 The Moochacha family are so cold that they can no longer dance or play their instruments. It all started when Mickey Gringone, the Weather Man, stopped smiling.
22 The Stone of Contentment 19 February 2001 Wilf, Chip and Floppy help a distraught Queen Sharon recover the Magic Stone of Contentment from the evil Sir Vile. The trouble is, Sir Wilf has an unhelpful habit of breaking rules, which means Sir Chip is captured and forced to feed coal to Sir Vile's fire-breathing Dragon, Toast. Can Sir Wilf distract Toast, rescue Sir Chip and retrieve the Magic Stone?
23 The Demon Drill 26 February 2001 Nadim must persuade all members of the Tool World to pool their resources and work together before their land begins to literally fall apart.
24 Fabulous Fancy Foods 5 March 2001 Kipper has to choose which new product Fabulous Fancy Foods should promote. The answer is obvious to Floppy, but Kipper isn't very good at making decisions.
25 The Fountain of Youth 12 March 2001 Wilf and Floppy take a drink from the Fountain of Youth, in spite of protests from wary Wilma.
26 Underwater World 19 March 2001 The gang get trapped underwater with 3 fruits, a trapeze artist, an alien and a dangerous shark.
kids search engine
The Magic Key Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.