George Shrinks

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George Shrinks
Also known asWilliam Joyce's George Shrinks
GenreAnimated series
Created byWilliam Joyce
Written byKen Cuperus
Dave Dias
Hugh Duffy
Richard Elliott
Ben Joseph
Voices ofTracey Moore
Bryn McAuley
Robbi Jay Thuet
Paul O'Sullivan
Kathleen Laskey
Theme music composerColin James
ComposerRoberto Occhipinti
Country of origin
  • Canada
  • China
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes40
Executive producers
ProducerMichelle Melanson (season 2–3)
Running time26 minutes
Production companies[1]
Original networkPBS Kids (U.S.)
CBC/TVOKids/YTV (Canada)
Original releaseSeptember 30, 2000 (2000-09-30) –
January 23, 2004 (2004-01-23)

George Shrinks is a children's animated television series. It is based on the children's book by the well-known author William Joyce, produced in China by Jade Animation and Canadian studio Nelvana, in association with PBS.[2] The show premiered as part of the "Bookworm Bunch" block on September 30, 2000, and ended with the final episode on January 23, 2004.


The show tells the story of a ten-year-old boy named George Shrinks who is only three inches tall. George lives with his musician father Harold, his artist mother Perdita, and his baby brother Harold Jr. ("Junior" for short), finding adventure with them and his friends (primarily his best bud and neighbor Becky Lopez) in mundane situations - something that comes naturally as a result of his diminutive size. But through a mixture of his own ingenuity and imagination, as well as a variety of highly adaptable mini machines built by him and his dad,[3] George proves that being tiny is no obstacle to solving problems and having fun.


George's tiny size turns mundane activities, such as working around the house or playing outside, into dramatic adventures. His primary mode of transportation is his Zoopercar, a multi-purpose miniature vehicle he built with his father that can do things like transform into a submarine, an airplane or a helicopter. George often has interesting encounters with animals who, although they don't talk, seem to be able to communicate with George throughout the series. On one occasion, he encountered a robotic alien that was his own size and helped it get back home.

The show affects a retro-1950s look, with simple animation and colours, similar to Warner Bros. Animation's Superman: The Animated Series. Primarily jazz is used for background music and music cues, reflecting both his father's occupation as a musician who tinkers with inventing new musical instruments and his mother's style as an avant-garde artist. However, statements made in the characters' dialogue indicate that events take place in the present, or the year that the showing episode was produced and animated.

The theme song, composed by Roberto Occhipinti, in a jumping blues style, is sung by Canadian musician Colin James.

One main difference from the book and the show is that in the book, George turns back to normal size by the end-his small stature lasting only a day while his parents are out (it could've all been a dream as well, as it is not explained how he turns back). In the show, George appears to be permanently small with no statement, appearing big in one episode (which was a dream).



  • George Bernard Shrinks (voiced by Tracey Moore) is the 10-year-old titular protagonist of the series, who wakes up from a dream to discover he is small;[4] his golden plated baby shoes were completely tiny seen in "Round Up the Usual Insects". Because of his small stature, George has had to invent his own adaptive devices, most notably the Zoopercar (a small vehicle which George built with his father, and which can be automatically transformed into an airplane, a helicopter, or a submarine). Another invention is a system of pneumatic tubes, which George also uses for transportation.
  • Harold Shrinks Jr. (referred to as "Junior" in the show) (voiced by Robbi Jay Thuet) is George's little brother, who often accompanies George in his adventures around the house. Junior is George's "sidekick" and "gofer", doing the tasks that are too difficult for George because of the latter's stature. However, his playfulness and his size sometimes lead to accidents, though Junior's sincere "Sowwy, George", always gets his brother to forgive him.
  • Rebecca "Becky" Lopez (voiced by Bryn McAuley) is George's Latina best friend who lives next door. She and George go on many exploits and adventures. Becky is the captain for a Little League ice hockey team called, "The Storks", whose poorly bad-scoring drought was the focus of one of the later episodes.
  • Perdita Shrinks (voiced by Kathleen Laskey) is George and Harold Junior's mother, a freelance artist by trade who builds, sculpts and welds with a very abstract style. She is a member of the town's art committee and is into healthy foods. She is also very supportive of the projects that the family and kids work on, and enjoys helping out in the community. She also used to be a Radio City Rockette which George reveals his father told him in the episode "If It Ain't Broke".
  • Harold Shrinks Sr. (voiced by Paul O'Sullivan) is George and Junior's father, a musician in a jazz band who is constantly building and trying out new instruments (most of which resemble oversized and distorted tubas and saxophones) in the search for the "perfect sound". Harold is a little eccentric, but still loves his family and is a good father.

Others and one-time characters[edit]

  • Aunt Eunice (voiced by Catherine Gallant) is George and Junior's great-aunt (but whom the whole family calls 'aunt'), who sometimes serves them as their babysitter. The first time she saw the boys, she was very patronizing toward George, treating him as though his size were a handicap and "assisting" him. However Aunt Eunice's ways have changed when George fixes her prized plant, a Bonsai tree "Maurice", which seemingly been damaged beyond repair. In "Return to Sender", she expresses complete confidence in that George will handle himself just fine when he was mailed to different locations across the planet, and that he could mail himself back home safely. She has travelled all over the world; as such, she knows a great deal about different places as well as people. The boys' mother, Perdita Shrinks, is Eunice's niece.
  • Sparkle Tangerine is a furry, bright orange stray cat that roams George's neighborhood, also the main antagonist. She often tries to eat George or anyone his size. A similar cat, though unnamed, appeared in the original book by William Joyce. Seen in some episodes: Can We Keep Him?, Close Encounters of the Bird Kind, Zoopercar Caper, King Kongo, George vs. the Space Invaders, Journey to the Centre of the Garden, Dog-Sitting Miss Daisy, The George-Lo-Phone, Return of the Space Invaders, Small of the Wild, Hound of the Bath-ervilles, George Unshrinks, If I Ran the Circus, Becky in Wonderland, and The Lost World of George Shrinks.
  • Russell Copeland (voiced by Sean McCann) is a kindhearted senior that used to live in George's house as a boy. He is also a retired veterinarian.
  • Ellen (voiced by Lisa Yamanaka) is a kind-hearted girl next door of Chinese heritage. Despite only appearing in three episodes, Ellen plays a major role in two of them. Ellen is a fan of vintage horror movies and enjoys playing harmless practical jokes. She has an older brother, Matt, who is an owner of an anole lizard named Ting-Ting (which, as Ellen describes, has a literal meaning of "Gracefully Graceful" in the Chinese language). She is left-handed and a member of the Storks, Becky's hockey team, as a forward on the left wing.
  • Timmy and Jimmy Fortevoce are identical twins, members of Becky's hockey team- Jimmy plays centre and Timmy plays defence. Despite appearing in just two episodes, they still play an important role as supporting members of the cast. In Italian, their last name means "Loud Voice".
  • Hilda and Henry are two blonde-haired, glasses wearing dizygotic fraternal twins/sororal twins. They almost say anything in unison and only appeared in two episodes. They enjoy playing tricks on one another, such as during a scary movies night at the Shrinks' residence. They are somewhat competitive but are good friends with George and Becky.
  • Helga (voiced by Maryke Hendrikse) is the goaltender for the Storks, Becky's Little League hockey team. Coach Shrinks is the only episode she appears in, which she plays a major role. She usually wears glasses, except on the ice because the lenses fog up.
  • Lizzy is right-wing forward for the Storks, Becky's Little League hockey team. She's skilled at turning on the spot because of her past experience figure skating; she joined the hockey team because she thought it was kind of lonely and wanted to join the team. She only appears in the episode, Coach Shrinks.
  • The Cadwells appear only in the episode, "Speed Shrinks". These kids are two twins similar to Hilda and Henry, but are somewhat villainous. They build a craft similar to the SR-71 Blackbird and use its special features to destroy and unfairly halt the other racers in order to win. The boy is voiced by Michael Cera and the girl is voiced by Annick Obonsawin.
  • Skyler is George and Junior's first cousin once removed (so it is believed, but her father Tyler is the first cousin of Harold Sr., which would actually have made Skyler the boys' second cousin). Seen only in "Toy George". She is about the same age as Junior and has similar personalities to him. She attended the school play which George was putting on, "Pinocchio".


Series overview[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
113September 9, 2000 (2000-09-09)December 2, 2000 (2000-12-02)
213September 8, 2001 (2001-09-08)December 1, 2001 (2001-12-01)
314January 6, 2003 (2003-01-06)January 23, 2003 (2003-01-23)

Season 1 (2000)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
11"If It Ain't Broke"Doug ThomsPete SauderSeptember 9, 2000 (2000-09-09)101

George and Junior sneak a peek at their mother's surprise to their father, which she didn't want them to do.

  • First episode in the Shrinks' house.
22"Can We Keep Him?"Doug ThomsPete SauderSeptember 16, 2000 (2000-09-16)102
George finds an injured mouse and decides to help it, which makes Junior jealous.
33"Close Encounters of the Bird Kind"Doug ThomsRichard Elliott and Simon RacioppaSeptember 23, 2000 (2000-09-23)103

A new kid named Becky arrives, and a bird is unable to get to its home.

  • First appearance of Becky.
44"Ants in the Pantry"Doug ThomsRichard Elliott and Simon RacioppaSeptember 30, 2000 (2000-09-30)104
An army of ants threatens to attack the family's picnic and George tries to stop them by himself.
55"Round Up the Usual Insects"Doug ThomsTerry SaltsmanOctober 7, 2000 (2000-10-07)105
The insects from George and Becky's science project escape.
66"From Bad to Worse"Doug ThomsRichard Elliott and Simon RacioppaOctober 14, 2000 (2000-10-14)106
When Aunt Eunice is left to babysit George and Junior, George sets out to prove he can do all the things a regular ten year old boy can do – but not without various mishaps.
77"Sunken Treasures"Doug ThomsJ.D. SmithOctober 21, 2000 (2000-10-21)107

George searches the pond for a toy that was lost 70 years ago.

  • The first use of the Zoopersub.
88"Snowman's Land"Doug ThomsRichard Elliott and Simon RacioppaOctober 28, 2000 (2000-10-28)108
After a huge snowfall, everyone is having fun but a disappointed Becky, who has the measles and won't be able to make her annual snowman from the first snowfall. George decides to make one for her, but risks being lost in a terrible blizzard.
99"Zoopercar Caper"Doug ThomsJennifer PertschNovember 4, 2000 (2000-11-04)109

After the Zoopercar goes missing, George tells the story of how he made it with his father.

  • This episode includes a flashback in which George remembers how he and his dad built the Zoopercar.
1010"Down the Drain"Doug ThomsRichard Elliott and Simon RacioppaNovember 11, 2000 (2000-11-11)110
George must venture into the drain pipes to find a ring he was helping his father hide.
1111"A Day at the Beach"Doug ThomsJennifer PertschNovember 18, 2000 (2000-11-18)111
The Shrinks family spends the day at the beach.
1212"King Kongo"Doug ThomsRichard Elliott, Simon Racioppa, and J.D. SmithNovember 25, 2000 (2000-11-25)112
A monkey has escaped from the circus. George and Becky decide to cast it in the latter's monster movie after Junior kept getting distracted by cookies, but the monkey might be a bit much for them to handle.
1313"George vs. the Space Invaders"Doug ThomsJ.D. SmithDecember 2, 2000 (2000-12-02)113
George becomes traumatized after watching scary movies, unfortunately some aliens decide to visit, but everyone else doubt their realism.

Season 2 (2001)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
141"The Ghost of Shrinks Manor"Doug ThomsKen CuperusSeptember 8, 2001 (2001-09-08)201
Delbert tells a scary story to George and Becky, but strange things begin happening one night and they're convinced a real ghost is about.
152"Journey to the Centre of the Garden"Doug ThomsRichard Elliott and Simon RacioppaSeptember 15, 2001 (2001-09-15)202
George and Becky are doing a project on beans, but there appears to be something wrong with said project.
163"Dog-Sitting Miss Daisy"Doug ThomsJennifer PertschSeptember 22, 2001 (2001-09-22)203
George gets a dog as a birthday present for Becky, but the dog is mischievous.
174"Return to Sender"Doug ThomsDave Dias and Kim ThompsonSeptember 29, 2001 (2001-09-29)204
George is inadvertently mailed around the world.
185"The More Things Change"Doug ThomsRichard Elliott and Simon RacioppaOctober 6, 2001 (2001-10-06)205
George and Becky found half a treasure-map that belonged to Russell Copeland, and Russell's friend Edna has the other half. All three set out to find the treasure.
196"The George-Lo-Phone"Doug ThomsBen JosephOctober 13, 2001 (2001-10-13)206
George desperately wants to be part of the local talent showcase, but Mr. Schnultz won’t let him in the band because he is too small. George doesn’t give up, and along with Harold, he builds the best instrument ever — the George-lo-phone. Also, George and the rest of the talented Shrinks family give performances no one will soon forget.
207"Down on the Bayou"Doug ThomsJennifer PertschOctober 20, 2001 (2001-10-20)207
The family is going camping, and Harold passes down his special compass (which he says was his father's) to George.
218"Tankful of Trouble"Doug ThomsMatthew CopeOctober 27, 2001 (2001-10-27)208
George and Becky are raising a frog for a science project; unfortunately the frog was pregnant, then lays eggs, then the kids end up with a frog family.
229"All Along the Clock Tower"Doug ThomsKen CuperusNovember 3, 2001 (2001-11-03)209
The town-hall's clock-tower is scheduled to be repaired for the town's anniversary, but it's rumored to be cursed. Could it?
2310"Return of the Space Invaders"Doug ThomsRichard Elliott and Simon RacioppaNovember 10, 2001 (2001-11-10)210
An alien named Manigishi (or Manny for short) crashes on earth and asks George, Junior and their aunt Eunice to help fix it.
2411"Small of the Wild"Brian LeeDave DiasNovember 17, 2001 (2001-11-17)211
A snowstorm is approaching, and George and Becky worry that the animals living in their neighborhood won't survive.
2512"Speed Shrinks"Doug ThomsScott KraftNovember 24, 2001 (2001-11-24)212

George races the Zoopercar in an R/C Race.

  • First appearance of the Fortevoce twins.
2613"Hound of the Bath-ervilles"Brian LeeKen CuperusDecember 1, 2001 (2001-12-01)213
George and Becky decide to be pet-groomers to raise money for an animal-shelter, but one of the dogs they have is a lost one.

Season 3 (2003)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
271"On the Road"Brian LeeJennifer PertschJanuary 6, 2003 (2003-01-06)301—
Harold’s band is going on the road and George and the family are tagging along to the snazzy big-city hotel. When a stray pet upsets the chef’s dinner plans — and sauce — it’s up to George to whip up a solution.
282"A Star is Shrunk"Doug Thoms and Karen LessmannScott KraftJanuary 7, 2003 (2003-01-07)302
The Shrinks family help make a movie that is filming in their town.
293"George Unshrinks"Brian LeeKen CuperusJanuary 8, 2003 (2003-01-08)303

George, Junior and their father each dream about being a different sizes, only for the dreams to become reality. How will they cope?

  • Only appearance of George as a normally sized boy (albeit this occurs in a dream).
  • This is the only episode in which the Zoopercar is driven by someone other than George (Harold).
304"Monster Mash"Doug Thoms and Karen LessmannJennifer PertschJanuary 9, 2003 (2003-01-09)304
A new neighbor comes, but most seem to dislike her, despite how helpful she is with George's monster movie marathon.
315"In the Duck Soup"Brian LeeDave DiasJanuary 10, 2003 (2003-01-10)305
Junior's toy duck "Wiggy" has broken, but the local toy inventor has his hands full with faulty toy robots who wish to destroy the duck.
326"Friends and Anemones"Doug Thoms and Karen LessmannKen CuperusJanuary 13, 2003 (2003-01-13)306

During a trip to the aquarium, George must save a family of "Sea Symies."

  • The title is a pun on the phrase "Friends and Enemies".
337"Coach Shrinks"Brian LeeJennifer PertschJanuary 14, 2003 (2003-01-14)307

George coaches Becky's hockey team, which has yet to win a single game.

  • Only appearances of Lizzy, Helga, and the Storks.
348"Migrate-est Adventure"Karen LessmannKen CuperusJanuary 15, 2003 (2003-01-15)308
The Shrinks family follows a migrating butterfly, participating in a scientific study.
359"George's Apprentice"Brian LeeDave DiasJanuary 16, 2003 (2003-01-16)309
George gets a toy robot, but this robot is mischievous.
3610"If I Ran the Circus"Karen LessmannMatthew CopeJanuary 17, 2003 (2003-01-17)310
The family plan to visit a circus, but a chickenpox infection in Junior might thwart it.
3711"Becky in Wonderland"Brian LeeKen CuperusJanuary 20, 2003 (2003-01-20)311
George and Becky read "Alice in Wonderland" and find themselves in a place just like it.
3812"Toy George"Karen LessmannScott KraftJanuary 21, 2003 (2003-01-21)312
George does a play on Pinocchio.
3913"The Lost World of George Shrinks"Brian LeeKen CuperusJanuary 22, 2003 (2003-01-22)313
The lizard Ting-Ting, who belongs to Ellen's brother has been accidentally set loose by Ellen and George and has fled to a zoo.
4014"Lost and Found Art"Karen LessmannAlice ProdanouJanuary 23, 2003 (2003-01-23)314

Perdita loses an art sculpture, which scatter into pieces in the process, George and Becky must save them all before they're recycled.


In Canada, the show aired on CBC, TVO, and YTV. The show premiered on PBS Kids in the United States on September 30, 2000, as a segment on the Bookworm Bunch block. The block was dropped altogether at the end of 2004, but the show was given an individual PBS debut on January 6, 2003, along with The Berenstain Bears and Maurice Sendak's Seven Little Monsters.

Internationally, the show aired on ABC Kids in Australia, and on Milkshake! in the United Kingdom.

Home media[edit]

DVD title Episode count Release date Episodes
Down the Drain 3 February 28, 2006 "Coach Shrinks", "In the Duck Soup", and "The Lost World of George Shrinks"
Ghost Grabber Machine May 9, 2006 "Ghost of Shrinks Manor", "All Along the Clock Tower", and "Journey to the Center of the Garden"
George Vs Space Invaders 2 "George vs Space Invaders", and "Close Encounters of the Bird Kind"
Speed Shrinks 3 "Speed Shrinks", "Hound of the Bath-Ervilles", and "George-Lo-Phone"
King Kongo 2 "King Kongo", and "Ants in the Pantry"
Toy George 3 "Toy George", "Dog-Sitting Miss Daisy", and "Down on the Bayou"
Snowman's Land 2 November 10, 2009 "Snowman's Land", and "From Bad to Worse"
Zoopercar Caper January 26, 2010 "Zoopercar Caper", and "If If Ain't Broke"
Sunken Treasures March 9, 2010 "Sunken Treasres", and "Can We Keep Him?"
The Lost World of George Shrinks 4 "If I Ran the Circus", "Becky in Wonderland", "Toy George" and "Lost and Found Art"

Treehouse Direct also released the series on YouTube.


  1. ^ "Dog Sitting Miss Daisy". George Shrinks. Season 1. Episode 15. Event occurs at 25:30.
  2. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 369–370. ISBN 978-1-4766-6599-3.
  3. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 238–239. ISBN 978-1-5381-0373-9.
  4. ^ "Based on William Joyce's book, George Shrinks is an animated series about a boy who wakes up and discovers he's the size of a mouse". PBS. Archived from the original on April 9, 2014. Retrieved May 17, 2014.

External links[edit]