Published on March 6th, 2012 | by Andrew Reynolds
Tennant on Tree Fu Tom
Coming across as a rural Lazytown or an Xbox Kinect version Ferngully: The Last Rainforest, – Tree Fu Tom, the brand new kid’s show featuring the voice talents of David Tennant and Sophia Aldred, actively encouraging kids to take part in Tom’s magical adventures.
The show follows the exploits of Tom as he darts about his Sylvan world of Treetopolis solving problems along with sidekicks such as Twigs – where you the audience will be called upon to help Tom perform ‘spells’ – a sequence of movements designed to be mimicked by the audience at home.
The Radio Times recently sat down with Tree Fu Tom’s Producer and Editor Daniel Bays who hopes the physical participation will have positive effects on the young audiences self esteem:
“The core thing is we want kids to feel like they are heroes too.”
Bays interest in helping to encourage physical development in children was first piqued by an article he read on Dyspraxia, a developmental condition that affects an estimated six to 15 per cent of children.
Show consultant Dr. Lynda Foulder-Hughes of the Dyspraxia Foundation and In the Night Garden‘s Iggle Piggle himself, choreographer Nick Kellington, helped Bay devise the ‘spells’ into a series of foundation movements – the building blocks towards more complex movements – to aid children suffering from this condition which can make developmental stages like learning to write or eating with a knife and fork all the more difficult.
David Tennant, who voices Tree Fu Tom’s companion Twigs, is certainly interested in the results:
“I could never have imagined that a programme like this could be used in this way to help combat Dyspraxia. It will be fascinating to see if it does have a positive effect. The children will certainly have a good time trying!”
Tree Fu Tom is on Monday to Friday at 5:25pm on the Cbeebies channel.
For more information on the condition head over to the Dyspraxia Foundation website.