Tree Fu Tom

Monday 20 February 2012, 12:00

Dan Producer Dan Producer

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Tom and Twigs

I'm Dan - Producer working in CBeebies and proud dad of a five-year-old daughter who watches CBeebies even when I'm not testing new programme ideas on her - so I hope that means we're doing something right!

I'm very pleased and proud to be able to say that Tree Fu Tom, the show I have been working on for the best part of five years, is soon to launch on the CBeebies channel.

We think Tree Fu Tom will be unlike anything you've ever seen before on CBeebies or anywhere on Children's TV.

Tree Fu Tom is a fun fast-paced adventure show which is packed with amazing roller-coaster action sequences, so will probably be most enjoyed by the older end of the CBeebies audience.

The show may surprise little ones - so if you do have younger children, you may want to watch the first episodes with them to talk about how exciting it is.

It's different but of course embodies everything you've come to expect and trust from a CBeebies show; everything always works out in the end and every episode has a strong emotional theme and a moral lesson.

In a nutshell, Tree Fu Tom is an epic, comedy, fantasy, action-adventure series following the amazing adventures of a young boy from our world called Tom.

Tom is able to create magic by doing sequences of cool-looking, simple, fun movements called 'Tree Fu'. Using Tree Fu, Tom is able to transform into a magical superhero, travelling to 'Treetopolis' - an enchanted, miniature world nestled in an ancient tree at the bottom of his garden.

In every adventure there are critical moments when Tom's normal action and magic skills are not enough to overcome the challenges that he and his friends face.

At these times the audience is encouraged to get up and copy Tom's Tree Fu moves to help create 'Big World Magic'. In this way, the audience can help Tom to save the day, and be heroes too!

Tree Fu Tom

What the children won't know is that the 'Tree Fu' spell moves they're copying have all been designed by Child Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists from the movements that experts use to help children with conditions like Dyspraxia to assist and enhance the development of all participating children (whether they have movement challenges or not).

The movements are designed to teach children new skills and help them improve their abilities in foundation movements essential for all complex movement - anything from learning to write to playing football.

I was inspired to create Tree Fu Tom because I found out that many children today are not being exposed to or experiencing the full range of movements they need to develop typically.

I felt that we should use the power of TV and the web to do something to support movement development at this critical time in their lives.

Tree Fu Tom is also a fully multiplatform production which means it comes with an amazing online experience through which children can enter the magical world of Treetopolis.

Using Webcam technology children can move to make Tree Fu magic and become the hero in amazing interactive action adventure stories with Tom and his friends.

So, as Tom says, "Come on, join in, time for Tree Fu!". I hope you enjoy the show!

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    Comment number 21.

    My 8 year old son loves Tree Fu Tom! We live in France and there is nothing like this on French TV. He is currently having tests for Dyspraxia so this has come at exactly the right time for him. I like the way the programme has been written...It seems to tap into his way of thinking and he totally gets the concept. It reminds me of Arthur and the Minimoys where the boy becomes a superhero...which my son loves! My son is easily bored but this holds his attention extremely well. The movements are just right...complicated enough to give him a challenge yet easy enough for him to learn with practice. Well written and using words in the order and sequence he understands. I am sure the French TV companies would be interested in this as Dyspraxia is taken quite seriously over here. Brilliant...we will continue to watch.

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    Comment number 22.

    I have 2 boys, 4yrs & nearly 3yrs - both are transfixed when Tree Fu is on and join in without hesitation. Fantastic. Thank you.

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    Comment number 23.

    My grandson loves tree fu tom and would like to know if he can buy a belt like toms

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    Comment number 24.

    Hi BBC and readers. My first ever blog as I feel a need to post this comment that could just be a matter of coincidence. Three years ago I sent a large body of unsolicited material to several production companies containing a woodland based programme idea for children. I had some good interest, and was even picked up and dropped due to cutbacks nearly a year later (ho, hum). What am I stunned by is how similar Tree fu tom is to what my idea was which was an educational woodland based programme. The coincidence is the the characters which are very similar, not all of them but my characters had one large beetle, a tall winged characer, a short person, and a large spider not to mention highly inventive homes and wooden contraptions. This was months of work and many detailed illustrations which sat on a lot of desks. Who knows, but felt the need to voice this. P.s A great show, my kids love it.

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    Comment number 25.

    My 3 1/2 year old son is crazy about this program!! He absolutely loves it! He's been wearing fingerless gloves from morning to bed time, so that he can be like Tom!! I love the way that he stands in front of the TV copying all of the moves - just brilliant!! Only problem is - he's now desperate for a magic belt of his own!!!

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    Comment number 26.

    My 4 year old son is obsessed with this program! He is insisting we call him Tom and is learning all of the moves! Thank you Dan, your hard work is paying off!

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    Comment number 27.

    Hello everyone - Dan has sent me this response to your comments:

    Thanks very much for all of your comments; it’s very interesting and exciting to hear what you think about the show (good and bad!) and how you and your children are engaging with Tree Fu Tom.

    I’m so pleased that so many of you and your children seem to like it so much.

    Best of all is to hear that children are copying the movements! Better still if they are practicing the moves and incorporating them in to their play as repetition is key to getting maximum developmental benefit.

    To help further with this, all of the spells from the TV shows are put in to Spell School in the Tree Fu Tom Adventures game environment via here:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/tree-fu-tom/games/tree-fu-tom-adventures/

    There is further reading about dyspraxia and the benefits of Tree Fu Tom here too:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/grownups/article?picks=true

    Take a look at our ‘Behind the spells’ film to see how we made the Big World Magic spell movement sequences:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/grownups/article/tree-fu-tom-behind-the-scenes

    The experts always say that repetition is one of the most important things, so keep watching and encouraging your children to do Tree Fu with Tom and beyond!

    Do keep letting us know what you think too. Thanks and best wishes

    Dan

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    Comment number 28.

    My two year-old son absolutely loves Tree Fu Tom. To the extent that I am half way through making him a Tom costume, and he now refers to himself as Tree Fu Tom!! (I am Ariela) We record each episode and he'll watch it repeatedly, where he even chants along with parts of the script. (I'll worry about his autistic tendendies later!!)
    I was worried initially that it was going to be more like the poorer quality cartoons on other childrens' channels, and not the high standard I expect from CBeebies, but I was pleasantly surprised. He LOVES it.

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    Comment number 29.

    Me and my 3 1/2 year old daughter love this programme. She has only seen it a few times and is jumping around helping Tom by sending the 'majic' and chanting the rap already. We both like the interactive webcam games. She wants a tree fu tom birthday party, mmm could be a bit tricky! Well done cbeebies, great programme and really pleased to hear practicing the moves and incorporating them in to their play as repetition is key to getting maximum developmental benefit. she is certainly practising the moves......

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    Comment number 30.

    magical!... my 6year old son is autistic and he has no focus... but he is officaly addicted 2 this cartoon... he sit's(which he never does) and watches it right up untill hes up jumping about following tom's moves (move for move focused on making it perfect)!! never seen my son so focused on anything and the giggles from start 2 finish make my day!! :D great work!!

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    Comment number 31.

    This show has been a big hit with both my 2 year old and 7 year old. The house rings with 'Tree Fu Tom' whenever it starts and then there is peace and quiet... Thank you.

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    Comment number 32.

    Our 3 year old son was starting to shun Cbeebies, demanding Ben 10, Spiderman, Scooby Doo and other older kids cartoons, but then Tree Fu Tom came on and now he's totally obsessed! He wears a belt, a Ben 10 omnitrix toy to make the "Holopax", and gloves with a blue tee-shirt! To top it off, he spends all day acting out scenes from his favorite episodes! Best of all, his 5 month old brother loves watching it too! Well done on creating a new phenomenon that actually helps kids!

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    Comment number 33.

    My 4 year old son absolutely loves this program. Dan you are amazing. I don't get a word out of him from start to finish apart from "we've got to do Big World Magic" and then he copies everything Tom says and does. I love watching him as he does all the moves. He adores this program.

    The funny thing is if we are in the supermarket and there's a queue, he shouts out "we've got to do Big World Magic to take the queue away" and he stands in the queue doing all the moves. It makes me laugh.

    I do need to know when the toys are going to be released and also when the belt will become available because he keeps moaning that he wants one.

    This is one of the best programmes on CBeebies. Well Done

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    Comment number 34.

    I have two sets of twin boys aged 3 and almost 5. All four of them absolutely love Tree Fu Tom. It's the only children's programme that they all agree on.
    They all enjoy doing the movements and feeling like they've been part of the story and helped their hero.
    Well done for creating a new children's programme that uses action without violence and which portrays good messages without being cheesy.

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    Comment number 35.

    Just regsitered to let you know that My 5yr old AND my 2yrs old son love this show! its there new favourite adn they both get up and join in the moves!. Fantastic idea and its great to see both my kids joining in!. When will there be Tree Fu Tom toys and Tom outfit? my oldest keeps asking me! he looks scarely like Tom and now he wants a Tom hair cut so off to barbers with him tonight!

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    Comment number 36.

    My 2 year old daughter absolutely loves this! Well done Dan - a great addition to CBeebies. Any plans to bring out the characters as toys by Christmas '12?

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    Comment number 37.

    My three year old drives me crazy over this show. He cracks us all up the way he tries to copy the moves and wants us to join along. Two thumbs up!!

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    Comment number 38.

    Hi my little boy is 2 at end of June and he loves this programme, he goes around the houses trying to do the moves and shouting "Tree Fu Go". Brilliant show x

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    Comment number 39.

    I never thought I'd beg a TV channel for merchandising... But here goes... Please, please, please give us the TFT outfit/ books/ belt/ figurines... Everything and anything! My 3 year old boy is TFT bananas and never stops role playing. He doesn't have dyspraxia but the movement sequences are brilliant as I suspect he believes it really works! He is completely transfixed by the magic effects in the TFT website using the webcam. TFT has sent his imagination into orbit like nothing else before! More please!!!

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    Comment number 40.

    My sentiments are the same as Charlotte and many other parents. My 23 month old boy loves TFT! Having checked with other friends their nearly 2's(girls and boys) enjoy it too (and so do I). Aside from the actions, characters and music it's really helpful to use as examples when trying to advocate good behaviour like sharing, as in the busy bee episode.
    Ditto for outfits - currently using daddy's watch as a magic one, and now wants to make his own belt! I think you may be surpassing Roary and Lightening McQueen as favourite character! Keep it up and more please!!!

 

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