Tumble Leaf Trick-or-Treat Trek
Tumble Leaf is a stunningly animated children’s series that uses stop-motion photography to promote discovery through imagination and play. A cheery fox named Fig uses treasures he finds in the hull of a shipwreck (which he refers to reverently as “The Finding Place”) as inspiration for adventure. In the spirit of the Maker Movement, Fig and friends use that item as a springboard to “look around and use what’s found” to invent, play, and learn.
The series usually offers two separate stories in each episode but this special Halloween-themed program devotes the full half-hour to following Fig and his friends as they celebrate. Costumes are donned for the Spider Queen’s ball and trick-or-“treeing” (they aretraveling through a forest, after all), but one of Fig’s friends is determined to scare people en route to the gala. Alas, his get-up isn’t as “fearsome” as he had hoped, leading to a series of delightful and escalating sight gags. Clever wordplay ensures the script is as creative as the visuals. Party invitations come from a “spider inviter” and friends dressed as vegetables are commended on their “costume cuisine.”
As we’ve often noted, Tumble Leaf’s art direction is superb. Somehow, this Halloween episode shines brighter; perhaps in part because the subject matter provides so much latitude for creativity. The party scene, especially, is a high-water mark for animation of this kind. Tumble Leaf Trick-or-Treat Trek is sweet, celebratory, and has all the makings of an annual classic.
Gina Catanzarite ©2018 Parents’ Choice
Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster’s Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.