"But let’s be honest, no one seems to give a fuck about the two hedgehogs in the British animated series. Although none of the other animals bat them around, or wear them as a slipper, they certainly don’t lift a finger to save the hedgehog couple before they’re run over by a semi."
Presumably because there was nothing that they actually could have done, given the circumstances. Any animal who chose to rush out there in an effort to help them would only have gotten themselves killed in the process. It was also established earlier on in the episode that the birds would have been unable to carry the hedgehogs, as they did some of the other smaller creatures, owing to their spiny physiques.
As I've previously stated, the only death from Series 1 which truly irritates me, in terms of how easily and obviously avoided it could have been, is that of Mr. Pheasant. There, a really poor leadership decision by Fox did result in the death of one of the party (Fox knowingly allowed the incompetent Pheasant to return to a location that was of particular danger to him - at least with the newts the danger in question could not have been foreseen). The hedgehogs were a sad loss, but I've certainly never begrudged the other animals for it, as it's quite clear that they did everything within their power here.
"Later, some bullfrog drops some bullshit about instinct getting the better of them, and the rest of the animals shed a tear or two. But then they charge ahead and an ass of an owl says, “Those cowering hedgehogs just curled up and died.” Harsh. Way harsh."
Owl's rather callous comment aside (I've stated myself that this line has always irked me), this was certainly nothing unusual in terms of how the animals generally responded to the deaths of comrades within the series. In fact, compared to some of the other animals who died en route to White Deer Park, the hedgehogs received a full-blown outpouring of grief. The only tears shed when Mrs. Pheasant died came from Mr. Pheasant, and when he died in the following episode, only Mrs. Hare, who felt guilty for having snapped at Pheasant earlier, expressed any kind of sorrow. The baby rabbit's death prompted a heartfelt exchange between his grief-stricken parents and a sombre observation from Badger, but the animals largely seemed to shrug it off and he was never mentioned again. And, besides Badger and Mole, nobody within the party seemed particularly concerned about the fate of the Newts. It was extremely common for the animals to have a brief "well, that's unfortunate" moment, and then to move on and typically never reference the events in question again. The only real exceptions in Series 1 were the baby field-mice, in that their parents were shown to still be in mourning for them a couple of episodes later. Badger mentions the newts when debating whether or not to let the mice and voles stay behind, and Mrs. Hare does bring up the pheasants a little later down the road, but on the whole the animals were very accepting of loss. This is understandable, in a way - the task at hand was to make it to White Deer Park as quickly as possible (before the winter set in), and they didn't exactly have time to sit around and mourn for the departed.
I'll concede that Owl's remark to Adder was still highly unpleasant. But even then, it's hardly the last that the animals have to say about the hedgehogs. At the very end of the episode, Fox expresses regret about their fate, indicating that he feels responsible for having put them up to it in the first place, to which Owl responds that the hedgehogs certainly would not have survived if they had remained in Farthing Wood. Additionally, in the final episode of Series 1, Fox's very last lines are in remembrance of the animals who didn't make it to White Deer Park (even if he doesn't reference any of them individually). So I think it's inaccurate to suggest that the animals basically didn't care.
Finally, if you still feel that the series had it in for the hedgehogs, then you'd have to take it up with the original Farthing Wood author, Colin Dann. Because their deaths were lifted directly from his novel.
A handful of additional points:
- Toad is a toad (appropriately enough), and not a bullfrog (the series is set in the UK, which has no native species of bullfrog). I'm also not sure why the A.V. Club article thinks that his comments about the hedgehogs' instincts getting the better of them were "bullshit", because that's exactly what happened.
- It would probably be more accurate to describe The Animals of Farthing Wood as a European animated series rather than a British one (even if it was based upon a series of British novels), as multiple countries had a hand in its production. (Fun fact - there's actually some inconsistency across the series as to which side of the road the humans drive upon.)
- An omission from the list as a whole that truly surprised me would have to be the "I Like Truckin'" sequence from the 1980s BBC sketch show Not The Nine O'Clock News. Hedgehog abuse in popular culture seldom gets more appallingly, notoriously gruesome than that.