Under the Umbrella Tree
Under the Umbrella Tree is a 1986 Canadian live-action television series. It was created by Noreen Young (who also performed one of the puppets, Gloria Gopher) and co-produced by her company, Noreen Young Productions and CBC Television. It ran for six seasons, consisting of 270, 15-minute episodes and ten, half-hour specials, totaling 280 episodes.
Three anthropomorphic animals named Jacob Bluejay, Iggy Iguana, and Gloria Gopher are roommates with a young woman named Holly Higgins. They live in a large, two-story house where the titular umbrella tree is. Each of the episodes finds the animal characters experiencing a wide variety of topics and life lessons, such as the use of imagination, having respect for others' space, and responsibility, among others.
Why It Rocks
- The unforgettable theme song is not only upbeat but smooth at the same time.
- The episodes' stories are written well and do a bang-up job in teaching the lessons provided.
- Many of the main characters, as well as many others, are not only memorable but lovable as well.
- Performances by not only the human actors, but also the puppeteers and puppets are believable and convincing enough.
- The specials are an extra special treat and just as good as the shorter episodes.
- The puppets' designs look well-constructed.
- The set design of the interior of the main characters' house looks professionally and plentifully built.
- In 2020, Holly and the animals made a surprise comeback in the 5-minute short, "The Mask Special", about the importance of wearing masks for protection from COVID-19.
- It is among the most enjoyable kids' shows ever made, appealing enough not only for kids, but adults as well.
- It is less predictable in its structure.
- Plenty of funny moments.
- Overall, it's plain wholesome.
- Some may find the chatty Chuck Chickadee and his family annoying at times.