My daughter has been watching Tumble Leaf as one of the few shows we allow her to watch since we started letting her watch small amounts of TV a few months ago. Not only does she find the show fascinating (even though she probably doesn't really grasp all that is going on yet), but so do I. It is by far one of the most beautifully produced pieces of animation out there, and the stories presented are creative, interesting and unique. Each time my daughter watches it, I see her understanding more and more. I especially enjoy watching her pause with suspense as Fig slowly opens the door to "The Finding Place" and just this last time caught her whispering something to herself when she watched him do it. It was adorable.
I enjoy all the themes of the show - discovery, curiosity, adventure, experimentation, kindness, friendship, and most of all the independent nature of the friendship between Fig and Maple. Maple is not Fig's "sidekick" or tag-along. She is a friend who pops in when she feels like it, and leaves when she wants. She doesn't "need" to be around Fig to have fun, and Fig isn't playing some "hero" trope to try to save Maple, rescue Maple, help Maple, or whatever. I think this is something the creators must have thought about carefully, because sometimes even I am surprised by Maple's flippancy. Also the pace of the show is very nice - slow and deliberate. There is none of the hyperactive wackiness, with "thrilling" manic background music you find in most of modern cartoons and kid's shows. I simply cannot deal with that kind of thing, and think it is terribly overstimulating for children. Tumble Leaf is a win all around. I think it is all truly spectacular, and something I will proudly allow my daughter to watch with confidence.