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Tree Fu Tom

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Dan - Producer, Tree Fu Tom | 12:00 UK time, Monday, 20 February 2012

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!

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    I am a Paediatric OT, and one of my parents has just e-mailed to say she saw you on the BBC this morning talking about this new children's program.... I will watch with interest - a very good concept to incorporate developmental movements into a TV character show! I will definitely be one of your viewers :)

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    Interesting -sounds good. Any plans in producing multilingual versions?

  • Comment number 4.

    hello my 10 yr old daughter and I will be watching this tonight together as she has dyspraxia and we are really interested in this programme even though it is on CBeebies.
    if it goes well would you think about expanding something for the older children with dyspraxia on cbbc?

  • Comment number 5.

    My 5 year old loved it! My Mum told me all about it because we are on a waiting list to see specialists regarding Dyspraxia for him and she had heard about it on Breakfast. He really liked joining in with Tom to make the magic work. I could see he struggled with some of the movements but over time I am sure that will improve as he gets used to it.

  • Comment number 6.

    I really didn't feel this was appropriate for my 3yr old - i like cbeebies because I know I can switch it on and whatever is showing will be suitable. Unfortunately neither she nor I liked this program and I certainly won't be letting her watch it again.
    It felt very much like something one would find on a satellite kids channel - very disappointed bbc!

  • Comment number 7.

    Wow, we LOVE this. Hooked already! Love the quality - it's brilliantly done. My 3 year old son (who spends most of every day being a superhero) really got into the character of Tree Fu Tom, and has been role playing him ever since. When watching, he loves joining in with the actions. My 6 year old daughter is similarly impressed with the programme. We will look forward to new episodes daily : D

  • Comment number 8.

    Congratulations on Tree Fu Tom - my three-year-old son is in love with "Treacle Tom" and enjoys trying to copy the moves. Sorry Octonauts you are history in this house...(sniff sniff...I shall miss Kwazi and Co).

  • Comment number 9.

    Well done BBC for providing Tree Fu Tom.
    My almost 4 year old has grown out of many of the CBeebies programmes and seems to think he's a 10 yr old already. He would be extremely happy if he was allowed to watch programmes like Ben 10, Spiderman etc... on other channels, which at his age are just not appropriate. He loves anything with superheroes and fighting which just seems to be innate inside little boys - we have certainly done nothing at all to encourage it!
    Tree Fu Tom, Mike the Knight and Andy's Wild Adventures all seem to have captured his interest, so thank you. I had no idea of the ideology behind Tree Fu Tom's moves until logging onto here either - what a clever idea. Rachel

  • Comment number 10.

    Are there plans to air this program in the US? I am sure my nieces would love it. My child won't be ready for this for a few years but I hope this will be on the air in the US when he/she is old enough to enjoy it.

  • Comment number 11.

    What a great program. My boy has just turned 4 and was getting bored with cbeebies and only liked Mike The Knight. Now he can't wait till Tree Fu Tom is on and does all the actions and waves goodbye at the end, plus he makes me do it! Great program!!

  • Comment number 12.

    My 2 year old son and I love this new show. He really enjoys copying Tom in doing the moves. We love watching this each day. Lovely show.

  • Comment number 13.

    My little boy is nearly 5 & his little brother is nearly 3. It is fantastic that a programme has come along which they both want to watch. I'm not sure it will become the favourite over Octonauts but they both do the actions. Mike the Knight is great too! Keep up the good work!

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    My children aged 1 & 3 LOVE this programme. I had no idea that the moves were so carefully thought out. My 3yr old wonders how the boy has the magic to become a cartoon character. As a parent I love interactive programmes and think its great that the children get up out of their seats and concentrate on the moves! ..... and then look for their own magic land at the bottom of the garden. Great Cbeebies proogramme thanks!

  • Comment number 16.

    Fantastic programme, my 3yr old is completely enthralled by Tree Fu Tom. He now knows the moves to the spells and says 'it's not scary'! Well done on a great imaginative show. I hope it lasts as long as Mr Tumble!! Looking forward to the live shows as we will definitely have tickets! Ps where can u get the costume??

  • Comment number 17.

    My 6 and 2 year old have been hooked in with this one, to be honest I was a bit worried that it was based on the now discredited 'brain gym' nonsense. I was glad to come on here and see that it had been developed by physio's etc.

  • Comment number 18.

    I appreciate the idea behind Tree Fu Tom. However, I think you may have overestimated the attention span of your target audience! I feel the opening credits are far too long and that the 'moves' take too long to explain. It just doesn't 'flow' which spoils the storyline. (if you can find it...)
    Having said that, I can see what it's trying to achieve. Disappointed with this one I'm afraid.

  • Comment number 19.

    Both my daughters age 4 and 7 rush home to watch Tree Foo, they love it and jump off the sofa to stand side by side and make magic! My 7 year old has dyspraxia and recently started to shun programs on CBB's, she previously loved. I think this may be partly due to her age and partly because she has worked out how to use the remote! Thanks for thinking outside the box and providing something that is for the general population, which, includes children with extra developmental needs.

  • Comment number 20.

    I love this show on two levels--firstly I'm a mum of 3 young boys (3yrs - 8 yrs) and they all really enjoyed helping Tom with his magic spells. They were up and moving in no time. Secondly I'm a childrens OT and I'm delighted to see something like this which is designed to meet the needs of children with coordination difficulties. I frequently train teachers on this topic and I will make sure to mention this new programme as a means for them to engage more specific movement techniques in class. I especially like the interactive web site and think the magic dust is just that---magic!!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Comment number 23.

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

  • 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.

  • 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!!!

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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......

  • 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!!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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?

  • 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!!

  • 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

  • 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!!!

  • 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!!!

  • Comment number 41.

    my 3 year old and my 5 year old loves tree fu tom they get up and do the moves.Do any one know where you can buy the toys as i have bin looking and cant find anything

  • Comment number 42.

    I have just registered so I can post about how much my kids *love* this show. I have a 6 year old girl, a 4.5 year old boy and a just about to turn 2 year old toddler. They all adore the characters and the stories. My 4.5 yr old has fashioned a belt that he wears all the time he isn't in school (even in bed one night!). They all do the moves, even the toddler has a go, and I'm really impressed the movements are so well thought out.

    I quite like that David Tennant does one of the voices. Something for the mums .

    Great show. Thank you.

  • Comment number 43.

    I'm mum to an autistic almost-6 yr old who absolutely adores Tree Fu Tom and has since he first saw it. From about 18m old his obsession has been Bob the Builder but now he's definitely changing his focus to Tom (though Bob is still very special to him!!). He joins in all the moves (or tries to), recites along with the script (echolalic) and replies when Tom 'talks to the audience'. Well done on a fantastic show - please make many more and I think the merchandise will be in demand this xmas!! Thank you once again Cbeebies! x

  • Comment number 44.

    I have never watched an episode myself, but my 4.5 year old daughter loves Tree Fu Tom, she does the moves all the time. I have just had to make her a costume, of which the belt is now a constant fixture. Now I have a request for a twigs costume for her one year old sister! Grandpa in my pocket is now long forgotten!

  • Comment number 45.

    My 3yr old absolutely loves Tree Fu Tom. Thomas the Tank Engine and Lightning McQueen have all been forgotten in place on Tom and his friends. When will be able to get the merchandise to go with this series? As with others on here Harry is desperate to be like Tom, cape, belt, watch and all! Please help!

  • Comment number 46.

    My 3 year old loves CBeebies, but never joins in with the actions - until this. Thank you for making Tree Fu Tom - it's really captured his imagination, he moves, jumps, makes magic, and the stories and characters are engaging and interesting and so we make up stories and talk about it all - and it's CBeebies so there isn't inappropriate language or anything :) WELL DONE!!!

  • Comment number 47.

    My 2 year son absolutely loves this show and just cannot get enough of it! He wakes up in the morning and immediately becomes tree fu tom doing his big world magic spells including making up some of his own! Would love to know if there are any plans to release any DVD's or official merchandise? He would love to have a proper tree fu tom belt or a costume. Fingers crossed for more episodes to be made as it would be a real shame not to. Well done to the production team keep up the good work!

  • Comment number 48.

    Tree fu Tom is brilliant. My 3 yr old is ecstatic when it comes on... Bring out the costume and more importantly the belt... I'm sick of looking for mine which he wanders around the house "super lifto..ing" me out the way! Brilliant way of encouraging hand & eye co-ordination for my boy (who's like bambi). Well done, I find most of the programmes annoying, but I can actually stomach this.

  • Comment number 49.

    Any plans for a Tree Fu Tom dvd?

  • Comment number 50.

    Our daughter, 2 next week, loves this and knows all the moves, the names of the characters, sings along and interacts generally with the programme. It is one of the firm favourites I enjoy her watching it. Very disappointed now finished and look forward to it returning - also a dvd hopefully????
    There are many programmes I am not keen on her watching but this is great fun - big thumbs up for cbeebies!

  • Comment number 51.

    my grandson who is four loves tree fu tom and I had to make him a watch in cardboard so he could send the magic, we rushed home from a day out on Tuesday because Tree Fu Tom was on and he was very sad it had been replaced with chugginton, please ,please bring it back SOON.

  • Comment number 52.

    hello i was just wondering when the dvd for this will be out as my 2 year old loves getting me up to help him do all the moves and is so happy once he has 'passed' the powers to tom.

  • Comment number 53.

    Hi i just wanted to say my little boy is 2 nearly 3 & absoloutly loves tree fu tom its his bday soon & im wondering when theyl be a range of toys out my son does all the moves he loves him its his favourite programe on cbeebies..the moves to send the magic is ingenius hes believes hes doing it ive some fab videos of him doing them!! Just want to say welldone & please can we have some dvds & toys of tree fu tom etc!!!..sara x

  • Comment number 54.

    Me and my son absolutly love Tree Fu Tom, he has just turned 4, he knows all the words and moves to the songs, very impressed, does any one know when they toys. dvds etc are due out? H xx

  • Comment number 55.

    My son loves Tree Fu Tom too, and I was hoping there would be a range of merchandise available for this christmas - however from what I can gather elsewhere on the web, these are planned for release in the spring of 2013??
    Hope this is not the case - surely such a huge marketing opportunity won't be missed, particularly considering the show is probably at the height of its popularity?
    There are DVDs available now, lets hope toys etc soon follow!
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 56.

    I do not let my children watching this as it encourages them to copy the character to cast spells. Putting it under the heading of helping them exercise actually is tricking young children to do spells.

  • Comment number 57.

    my four and a half year old son just LOVES Tree Fu Tom. its so cute to see him doing the spells. well done on this one! fantastic show that really gets the kids up and moving. they love being part of the show. very clever. please dont stop making it.

  • Comment number 58.

    We are visiting my parents for the holidays, and my 8 year old son came across Tree Fu Tom while exploring the kids programmes available on their SkyTv (NZ paid tv provider which they have, but we don't). He loves it, and has been practicing the movements. Doing an internet search to find out more information about the programme (& to see if there were Tree Fu Tom colouring or activity sheets available), I have discovered how Tree Fu helps with dyspraxia. (He has both dyspraxia and dyslexia.) So Dan, a big thank your for creating this programme. It's great that a programme such as this is pitched for boys, with the magic, the movement (-fu), the action, and the adventure. Tree Fu Tom has effortlessly accomplished something I've struggled with - getting my son to do & repeat certain exercises (such as crossing left-right midpoints etc). I've discovered the games on bbc.co.uk, which I will show him in the morning. I love that to unlock the games certain movements, such as crossing left/right and figure of 8s, need to be made. A big thank you. Your work is certainly appreciated and I hope it will be available for a long while.

 

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