AUSTRALIA: David Tennant Stars In Tree Fu Tom On ABC2

David Tennant's first ever starring role for pre-schoolers has just arrived on ABC2 in Australia. David plays Twigs, an anarchic acorn sprite in the BBC animated series Tree Fu Tom which airs on ABC4Kids at 8.30am. 

The series, created by Dan Bays is produced by FreemantleMedia and CBeebies and follows the adventures of a young boy called Tom (voiced by another ex-Doctor Who star, Sophie Aldred) who, with the power 'Tree Fu' magic, can transform into a tiny magical super hero and travel to the enchanted kingdom Treetopolis that exists in a tree is his back garden. There, with his best friend Twigc and the rest of the gang - Ariela, Squirmtum and Zigzoo - he uses Big World Magic to keep Treetopolis safe from danger. Tree Fu Tom encourages its young audience to join in with the movements required to make the magic and the moves and exercises have been specially created by therapists to benefit children with mobility disorders such as dyspraxia. 

David spoke to the BBC at the original launch of the show in the UK back in 2012

Why did you decide to take the role?
DT: Animation is a fascinating area from an acting point of view because it’s not really like anything else because you are only providing a portion of the performance. That’s very inspiring and it forces you to do things in a different way – to tell stories through your voice. As an acting challenge it was very appealing.

I think you always want to tell good stories and when you are doing something for children you are always so aware of how formative those stories will be. I was hugely formed by stories I was told as a child whether that was in a book, the cinema, theatre or television and probably television more than any medium is what influenced me as a child and formed my response to literature, story-telling and, therefore, the world around me.

How did you arrive at Twigs’ voice?
DT: It’s sort of my voice but up an octave really. He’s smaller and lighter so the voice had to be higher. Also there’s a thought that for pre-school audiences you want to use higher registers in your voices. I believe that the young audience hears higher voices better.

How do you gauge your performance for the audience?
DT: I feel very un-practiced in performing to an audience this young so I am very happy to be led by other people working on the show. Like getting the level of jeopardy right, what is enough to be exciting but not too much to be alarming. When you’re older you want to be scared because you understand more where the boundaries between fantasy and reality are and I suppose they aremore blurred the younger you are. It’s fascinating to work with people who completely understand that audience. I’ve really enjoyed trying to understand that world.

I don’t think I have ever done anything for this age of children before, a pre-school audience. Generally speaking we don’t have vivid memories of that age and what influenced us yet clearly they are hugely formative years and it’s really important that we can create television of a high quality for that audience.

Find out when David Tennant is appearing on TV on our listings page

Source: TV Tonight