Shape Island
ShapeIslandTitle.png
Title card
Genre
Based on
Triangle, Square, and Circle
by
Directed byDrew Hodges
Voices of
Narrated byYvette Nicole Brown[1]
ComposerAndrew Carroll
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes8
Production
Executive producers
  • Mac Barnett
  • Kelli Bixler
  • Drew Hodges
  • Jon Klassen[2]
Producers
  • Matthew Cuny
  • Jodi Downs
CinematographyEric Adkins
EditorGuy Handelman
Running time22-24 minutes (roughly 11 minutes per segment)
Production companyBix Pix Entertainment
DistributorApple Studios
Release
Original networkApple TV+
Picture formatUltra HD 4K Dolby Vision
Audio formatDolby Atmos
Original releaseJanuary 20, 2023 (2023-01-20) –
present (present)

Shape Island is an American animated children's television family comedy series based on a children's book series written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen.[3] It features Harvey Guillén as the voice of Square, Gideon Adlon as the voice of Circle, and Scott Adsit as the voice of Triangle. The show premiered on Apple TV+ on January 20, 2023, where it is available to stream.

Shape Island is a production of Bix Pix Entertainment. Each episode has two animated segments per half hour episode.

Premise

Set on a fictional island, the series follows the story of three anthropomorphic shapes: Square, Circle, and Triangle. Each shape has a unique personality that often tests each other's patience, but their friendship is maintained throughout the series.

Cast

Episodes

Episode
No.
Segment
No.
Title Directed by Written by Release date
1a1"Square's Very Kind Gesture"Drew HodgesToby JonesJanuary 20, 2023 (2023-01-20)
Square makes a mistake of sharing rare bananas.
1b2"The Eclipse"Drew HodgesNiki YangJanuary 20, 2023 (2023-01-20)
Triangle and Square attempt to keep a secret from Circle.
2a3"Square's Big Prank"Drew HodgesRyan PequinJanuary 20, 2023 (2023-01-20)
Eager to outwit Triangle, Square plans a sneaky surprise.
2b4"Circle's Plan Falls Apart"Drew HodgesMac Barnett & Jon KlassenJanuary 20, 2023 (2023-01-20)
Circle searches for answers when a critter kidnaps her prized plant.
3a5"Triangle Gets Carried Away"Drew HodgesMac Barnett & Jon KlassenJanuary 20, 2023 (2023-01-20)
A simple plan leads to an enormous project for Triangle.
3b6"Square's Different Day"Drew HodgesMac Barnett & Jon KlassenJanuary 20, 2023 (2023-01-20)
Square works on a sculpture of Circle.
4a7"Triangle Day"Drew HodgesMamoudou N'DiayeJanuary 20, 2023 (2023-01-20)
Circle and Square learn how to celebrate a unique holiday.
4b8"The Storm"Drew HodgesMaddie QueripelJanuary 20, 2023 (2023-01-20)
An approaching storm excites Triangle and worries his friends.
5a9"Message in a Bottle"Drew HodgesSam SpinaJanuary 20, 2023 (2023-01-20)
Triangle and Square find mysterious bottles on the beach.
5b10"Square's Special Place"Drew HodgesTony JonesJanuary 20, 2023 (2023-01-20)
While playing hide-and-seek, Square discovers a peaceful spot.
6a11"Triangle Goes Solo"Drew HodgesLouise RozettJanuary 20, 2023 (2023-01-20)
The fearless Triangle sets out on his own.
6b12"Circle Makes a Mistake"Drew HodgesRyan PequinJanuary 20, 2023 (2023-01-20)
Circle leads a journey to ancient ruins and unexpectedly runs into trouble.
7a13"Square's Sleepover"Drew HodgesSam SpinaJanuary 20, 2023 (2023-01-20)
A change of plans test Square's patience.
7b14"Growing Pains"Drew HodgesAlex HorabJanuary 20, 2023 (2023-01-20)
Circle helps Square start a garden, but she struggles with his instant success.
8a15"Triangle and Square's Big Game"Drew HodgesMamoudou N'DiayeJanuary 20, 2023 (2023-01-20)
When Circle brushes off their game, Triangle and Square feel insecure.
8b16"The Shooting Star"Drew HodgesAmanda GoteraJanuary 20, 2023 (2023-01-20)
A mysterious meteor crash inspires a trek across the island.

Production

The show is directed by Drew Hodges and is executive produced by Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen, Kelli Bixler, and Hodges. Barnett and Klassen always envisioned their children's book trilogy as a children's television series. Emmy and Annie award-winning animation studio Bix Pix Entertainment joined the series, syncing with the authors' vision and executing their ideas with the help of head writer Ryan Pequin. The characters in the series, like in the books, are complex and driven by their personalities instead of plot or themes, while the stop-motion animation was chosen to give the show a three-dimensional feel that is simple, not out of reach, and recognizable to children.[4]

The writers faced challenges in adapting the books to screen, but they were able to overcome these difficulties by working closely with the production team at Bix Pix Entertainment. Barnett described the voice actors as "gifted comedians" and the experience of working with them was enjoyable to him.[5] Harvey Guillen explained how he developed the voice of Square: "We knew that we wanted Square to be very empathetic, very endearing and sweet, and not causing too much trouble, always playing by the rules, but also to show that we could relate to him. We could be on his side. So, even though he goes through challenges, we relate to him as well."[6]

Release

The show premiered on Apple TV+ internationally in 2023.

Reception

Common Sense Media wrote, "Aesthetically, the show has gorgeous visuals, stop-motion animation, and music. Grown-ups may also appreciate the slower pace and lower-key dialogue compared to many preschool series."[7] Cult of Mac praised the show, specifically the writing, animation, and the voice cast: "Shape Island is marvelously animated, hysterically performed, carefully written and beautifully directed. It’s a stop-motion home run for Apple TV+."[8] The show was also recommended by the New York Times: "The show’s sense of warmth extends beyond its attitude to its enchanting design; its sun-dappled beaches and glowing forest groves could bring Instagram to its knees, and Square could give an Architectural Digest tour of his Scandi-Bohemian minimalist kitchen."[9]

References

  1. ^ Rubin, Sam and Christine Samra. "Yvette Nicole Brown explains the lessons learned from 'Shape Island.'" KTLA. 2 February 2023. 2 February 2023.
  2. ^ Lang, Jamie. "Scene Breakdown: The Creative Process Behind Apple’s Stop-Motion Series ‘Shape Island.’" Cartoon Brew. 20 January 2023. 2 February 2023.
  3. ^ Zahed, Ramin. "A Visit to the Charming Stop-Motion World of ‘Shape Island.’" Animation Magazine. 20 January 2023. 1 February 2023.
  4. ^ Diamond Sarto, "Bix Pix Brings Great ‘Form’ to Apple TV+’s ‘Shape Island’ Kids’ Series." Animation World Network. 23 January 2023. 3 February 2023.
  5. ^ Aquino, Gilcy. "TV Alert: 'Shape Island.'" Publishers Weekly. 19 January 2023. 2 February 2023.
  6. ^ Andrew, Stephen. "Harvey Guillen Talks Positive Inspiration of Apple TV+ Series 'Shape Island,' Finding 'Empathic' Voice for Square Character (Exclusive)." PopCulture.com. 2 February 2023. 2 February 2023.
  7. ^ Moulton, Ashley. "Shape Island TV Review." Common Sense Media. 2023. 2 February 2023.
  8. ^ Tafoya, Scout. "Shape Island squares the circle: It’s stop-motion perfection for kids and parents." Cult of Mac. 20 January 2023. 2 February 2023.
  9. ^ Lyons, Margaret. "How Much Watching Time Do ...." New York Times. 20 January 2023. 2 February 2023.