CBeebies controller Kay Benbow has commissioned a brand new multi-platform action adventure animation series from CBeebies In House Production and Fremantle Media Enterprises (FME), designed to help children’s movement development, it was announced today. Tree Fu Tom (26 x 22mins) follows the adventures of a boy with magical powers as he takes viewers to an enchanted world in a tree and encourages them to help him cast magic spells with gentle, fun physical movements.
Eight-year-old Tom Powers may look like a normal boy but he has quite extraordinary abilities. With the help of a magic belt, Tom is able to transform into a magical superhero and embark on amazing adventures in Treetopolis, an epic majestic world in miniature, infused throughout an ancient tree. As Tom explores this fantastical playground with his magical friends, he interacts with viewers through the screen, inviting them on his action-packed journey of exploration and encouraging them to interact physically with his movement magic — called Tree Fu — to help him save the day.
“Tree Fu Tom is an incredibly exciting new project; visually stunning and quite unlike anything we’ve done before,” says Kay Benbow. “The physical actions have all been devised and approved by movement development specialists and are designed to help all children — but particularly those with Dyspraxia. It is hoped that by regularly practising some of these simple movements we can actively assist in the development of all children, teaching them valuable movement skills at a crucial time in their lives.”
As Tom casts a magical spell and enters the world of Treetopolis, viewers join him on a series of adventures alongside the sprites, bugs and naughty fungi, known as Mushas, who inhabit this world. Alongside his faithful sidekick Twigs, Tom must harness the spectacular power of Tree Fu and, with the assistance of the audience at home, create Big World Magic to help his friends avert disaster and overcome the epic challenges of the magical and natural world.
Bob Higgins, SVP Children & Family Entertainment, FME commented: “We’re tremendously proud of our involvement with this exciting new show and can’t wait to introduce Tom to the UK and the world. This is a programme with strong, funny characters, adventurous story-telling and a unique integral component which, at its heart, promotes exercise and good health. We can’t wait for kids around the globe — and maybe some of their parents! — to begin mastering their tree-fu technique.”
Head of CBeebies Production Alison Stewart says: “We are thrilled to be in production with this show, which was created in-house, and delighted to be partnering FME. With its themes of magic, adventure and friendship, a host of engaging characters and plenty of humour, Tree Fu Tom is sure to become a favourite with our young viewers.”
With animation by Blue Zoo Animation, Tree Fu Tom is a co-production between CBeebies In-House Production and FME. The executive producers for the BBC are Jackie Edwards and Alison Stewart and Bob Higgins for FME. It will air on CBeebies early in 2012. Tree Fu Tom was created and is being produced by Daniel Bays.