Tree Fu Tom
Sophie Aldred and David Tennant voice new CBeebies series
Samantha Dakin plays Ariela
I love the fact that the show has a bigger ambition than just to entertain kids because I think the thought that it can really help with development is so important.Samantha Dakin
Could you tell us about Tree Fu Tom?
Tree Fu Tom invites children into a place where anything can happen, it’s full of magic and full of adventure. There are lots of problems to solve, but they are always solved in a really creative and imaginative way.
So tell us a bit more about your character, who do you play and what is she like?
I play Ariela and she is a cowgirl butterfly and she runs the ranch in Treetopolis where she raises lots of different critters and magical crops. She’s really feisty and hardworking and strong and she’s always in charge so she’s a great friend for Tom. She’s a tomboy. She’s strong and she’s no-nonsense.
Can you tell us about the Tree Fu magic and how does it get children moving?
Tree Fu is a kind of magic that is found in movement. So when there’s a problem to solve that’s getting too big, Tom can call on the Big World Magic that you can only do with the help from children at home. The children then do the moves and can really feel like they’re helping send powers and magic to Tom.
How do you feel about being involved with a show that’s not just stories and adventure, its actually got an aim to help child development as well?
I love the fact that the show has a bigger ambition than just to entertain kids because I think the thought that it can really help with development is so important. I’m just so happy to be a part of something I feel can really have a positive impact.
If you could use Tree Fu magic in the real world, what spell would you cast?
If I could use Tree Fu in the real world, I would have a Tree Fu spell to stop time or to slow down time.
How did you find Ariela’s voice?
The director said he wanted me to be like a young Dolly Parton so that was my inspiration. Then a lot of it is based on my mom who grew up in Wyoming and was a cowgirl. It’s a mix of all those different things and a bit of me in there as well.
Is there a favourite line or scene or saying that Ariela’s got?
She has some great cowgirl phrases like ‘Yee haw’ or ’I feel as guilty as a fox in a chicken run!’
Why did you decide to take the role of Ariela?
Being the voice of a cartoon is something that I always hoped I would end up doing and it’s just been more fun than I ever imagined.
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