On “Tumbleaf,” Inventiveness, and a World Where Kids Can Explore and Learn

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Fig the fox is a dreamer and inventor in a world full of surprises and adventures. And kids can join him in Tumbleaf, one of 14 Amazon original pilots now playing for free at Amazon Instant Video and LOVEFiLM. Viewer response will help determine which of these shows return with full seasons.

We asked Tumbleaf producer Kelli Bixler about the show (created by Drew Hodges and Bix Pix Entertainment), what Bixler would want every parent and child to know about Fig and his world, and their inspirations.

Describe Tumbleaf:  

Tumbleaf is a world in nature, where Fig the fox lives and plays.  Fig is a dreamer, a thinker, an inventor of new solutions, solutions no one else has ever thought of, not because he has a magic wand, but because he is an inventor of new solutions inspired by his unique experiences and surroundings. Fig figures things out, he earns his knowledge; thus what he learns is unique to him but also a universal truth. 

Why did you want to tell this story, with these characters, this world? 

We wanted to create a world that is beautiful and surprising, to create characters that are real, like your nutty but lovable aunt, the odd shy kid down the block, or the mailman who’s never at a loss for words. Fig (like all of us) needs to know how to deal with different people and situations, because the world does not revolve around you, you need a certain amount of independence and resourcefulness, a confidence of knowing “I can figure this out!” to be a purposeful human being – we wanted to create something of value.   

What do you want every parent to know about the show? Every kid?  

For parents … we love and respect kids for the intelligent, creative and fun-loving souls they are!

For kids … Fig is going to surprise you and give you new ideas that you can explore and play with on your own – hopefully he’s a kindred spirit – an interesting friend.

Tell us something about yourself, your influences, and what inspires you: 

Bix Pix is a nimble company blessed with creative individuals. We love teeny tiny buttons, nubby fabric, the shape of a cloud, home-made cookies right out of the oven …

Influences range from Billy Wilder to Tim Burton, Andrew Bird to Earth, Wind & Fire, hot dogs to polenta, modern museums to garage sales … 

Inspiration comes from the unexpected – an act of kindness to a solar powered air plane, poems to YouTube, a bath tub or bread basket …

- Stephanie Reid-Simons

Hear more from Kelli Bixler and learn about all of the kids’ pilots from Amazon Studios.