SMC Rewind: Under the Umbrella Tree

Posted 11 years ago by Television


The 90s had more than its fair share of puppet shows on TV, from Eureka’s Castle, to Allegra’s Window, and Today’s Special (Ok, so that was the 80s, but close enough). One show that I always find myself trying to remember is Under the Umbrella Tree.

Under the Umbrella Tree followed the adventures of Holly Higgins, Iggy Iguana, Jacob Bluejay, Gloria Gopher, Louis Bird, and Mitzi the Dog. There’s no main premise, just a bunch of puppets living under a huge indoor umbrella tree. It originally aired on CBC in Canada, but if you’re like me, you caught it in syndication on the Disney Channel.

The show was created by Noreen Young who, according to her website, makes some really cool and creepy looking puppets.


I don’t imagine any of these puppet shows would have done well without cool puppet designs. Under the Umbrella Tree has always been foggy in my memory, but one thing I always remember is the design of Jacob the Bluejay. It seems a lot of puppet shows in the 90s had a tropical or rain forest theme, with puppets that looked like they could have come right off the wall at the Rainforest Cafe, or off of a Trapper Keeper design.

photo by <a href="">rkelland</a>

Photo by rkelland

The show has been off the air for a few years now, but now you can buy DVD sets online. I wouldn’t mind getting the first volume to see what the show is like. If nothing else, I could hang on to it for a few years until I have some kiddoes that I can make watch shows from my childhood rather than theirs.

What was your favorite puppet show of the 90s?

  • I absolutely loved this show. I felt like I was the only one that remembered it! There was another show that aired around the exact same time, that I’ve been trying to think of for years. It was almost “Toy Story” like, where the toys in the play room all came to life when the family went away. Maybe you know?

  • Was it “Today’s Special”? It took place in a toy store or department store and took place after hours. You might look it up, not sure if thats what you’re thinking about or not.

  • wow, this is something I may have never thought about again, until seeing this.

  • Shannon, I think that show you were referring to was “The Secret Life of Toys”. There was a tiger and a big teddy bear was the leader, right?
    Loved “Umbrella Tree!” Chuck Chickadee was always my favorite, along with Mrs. MacMurtrey.