|Also known as||William Joyce's George Shrinks|
|Created by||William Joyce|
|Written by||Ken Cuperus|
|Voices of||Tracey Moore|
Robbi Jay Thuet
|Theme music composer||Colin James|
|Country of origin|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||40|
|Producer||Michelle Melanson (season 2–3)|
|Running time||26 minutes|
|Original network||PBS Kids (U.S.)|
|Original release||September 30, 2000 –|
January 23, 2004
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. 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, 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.
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; 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
- 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".
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||13||September 9, 2000||December 2, 2000|
|2||13||September 8, 2001||December 1, 2001|
|3||14||January 6, 2003||January 23, 2003|
Season 1 (2000)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|1||1||"If It Ain't Broke"||Doug Thoms||Pete Sauder||September 9, 2000||101|
George and Junior sneak a peek at their mother's surprise to their father, which she didn't want them to do.
|2||2||"Can We Keep Him?"||Doug Thoms||Pete Sauder||September 16, 2000||102|
|George finds an injured mouse and decides to help it, which makes Junior jealous.|
|3||3||"Close Encounters of the Bird Kind"||Doug Thoms||Richard Elliott and Simon Racioppa||September 23, 2000||103|
A new kid named Becky arrives, and a bird is unable to get to its home.
|4||4||"Ants in the Pantry"||Doug Thoms||Richard Elliott and Simon Racioppa||September 30, 2000||104|
|An army of ants threatens to attack the family's picnic and George tries to stop them by himself.|
|5||5||"Round Up the Usual Insects"||Doug Thoms||Terry Saltsman||October 7, 2000||105|
|The insects from George and Becky's science project escape.|
|6||6||"From Bad to Worse"||Doug Thoms||Richard Elliott and Simon Racioppa||October 14, 2000||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.|
|7||7||"Sunken Treasures"||Doug Thoms||J.D. Smith||October 21, 2000||107|
George searches the pond for a toy that was lost 70 years ago.
|8||8||"Snowman's Land"||Doug Thoms||Richard Elliott and Simon Racioppa||October 28, 2000||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.|
|9||9||"Zoopercar Caper"||Doug Thoms||Jennifer Pertsch||November 4, 2000||109|
After the Zoopercar goes missing, George tells the story of how he made it with his father.
|10||10||"Down the Drain"||Doug Thoms||Richard Elliott and Simon Racioppa||November 11, 2000||110|
|George must venture into the drain pipes to find a ring he was helping his father hide.|
|11||11||"A Day at the Beach"||Doug Thoms||Jennifer Pertsch||November 18, 2000||111|
|The Shrinks family spends the day at the beach.|
|12||12||"King Kongo"||Doug Thoms||Richard Elliott, Simon Racioppa, and J.D. Smith||November 25, 2000||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.|
|13||13||"George vs. the Space Invaders"||Doug Thoms||J.D. Smith||December 2, 2000||113|
|George becomes traumatized after watching scary movies, unfortunately some aliens decide to visit, but everyone else doubt their realism.|
Season 2 (2001)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|14||1||"The Ghost of Shrinks Manor"||Doug Thoms||Ken Cuperus||September 8, 2001||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.|
|15||2||"Journey to the Centre of the Garden"||Doug Thoms||Richard Elliott and Simon Racioppa||September 15, 2001||202|
|George and Becky are doing a project on beans, but there appears to be something wrong with said project.|
|16||3||"Dog-Sitting Miss Daisy"||Doug Thoms||Jennifer Pertsch||September 22, 2001||203|
|George gets a dog as a birthday present for Becky, but the dog is mischievous.|
|17||4||"Return to Sender"||Doug Thoms||Dave Dias and Kim Thompson||September 29, 2001||204|
|George is inadvertently mailed around the world.|
|18||5||"The More Things Change"||Doug Thoms||Richard Elliott and Simon Racioppa||October 6, 2001||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.|
|19||6||"The George-Lo-Phone"||Doug Thoms||Ben Joseph||October 13, 2001||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.|
|20||7||"Down on the Bayou"||Doug Thoms||Jennifer Pertsch||October 20, 2001||207|
|The family is going camping, and Harold passes down his special compass (which he says was his father's) to George.|
|21||8||"Tankful of Trouble"||Doug Thoms||Matthew Cope||October 27, 2001||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.|
|22||9||"All Along the Clock Tower"||Doug Thoms||Ken Cuperus||November 3, 2001||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?|
|23||10||"Return of the Space Invaders"||Doug Thoms||Richard Elliott and Simon Racioppa||November 10, 2001||210|
|An alien named Manigishi (or Manny for short) crashes on earth and asks George, Junior and their aunt Eunice to help fix it.|
|24||11||"Small of the Wild"||Brian Lee||Dave Dias||November 17, 2001||211|
|A snowstorm is approaching, and George and Becky worry that the animals living in their neighborhood won't survive.|
|25||12||"Speed Shrinks"||Doug Thoms||Scott Kraft||November 24, 2001||212|
George races the Zoopercar in an R/C Race.
|26||13||"Hound of the Bath-ervilles"||Brian Lee||Ken Cuperus||December 1, 2001||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)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|27||1||"On the Road"||Brian Lee||Jennifer Pertsch||January 6, 2003||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.|
|28||2||"A Star is Shrunk"||Doug Thoms and Karen Lessmann||Scott Kraft||January 7, 2003||302|
|The Shrinks family help make a movie that is filming in their town.|
|29||3||"George Unshrinks"||Brian Lee||Ken Cuperus||January 8, 2003||303|
George, Junior and their father each dream about being a different sizes, only for the dreams to become reality. How will they cope?
|30||4||"Monster Mash"||Doug Thoms and Karen Lessmann||Jennifer Pertsch||January 9, 2003||304|
|A new neighbor comes, but most seem to dislike her, despite how helpful she is with George's monster movie marathon.|
|31||5||"In the Duck Soup"||Brian Lee||Dave Dias||January 10, 2003||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.|
|32||6||"Friends and Anemones"||Doug Thoms and Karen Lessmann||Ken Cuperus||January 13, 2003||306|
During a trip to the aquarium, George must save a family of "Sea Symies."
|33||7||"Coach Shrinks"||Brian Lee||Jennifer Pertsch||January 14, 2003||307|
George coaches Becky's hockey team, which has yet to win a single game.
|34||8||"Migrate-est Adventure"||Karen Lessmann||Ken Cuperus||January 15, 2003||308|
|The Shrinks family follows a migrating butterfly, participating in a scientific study.|
|35||9||"George's Apprentice"||Brian Lee||Dave Dias||January 16, 2003||309|
|George gets a toy robot, but this robot is mischievous.|
|36||10||"If I Ran the Circus"||Karen Lessmann||Matthew Cope||January 17, 2003||310|
|The family plan to visit a circus, but a chickenpox infection in Junior might thwart it.|
|37||11||"Becky in Wonderland"||Brian Lee||Ken Cuperus||January 20, 2003||311|
|George and Becky read "Alice in Wonderland" and find themselves in a place just like it.|
|38||12||"Toy George"||Karen Lessmann||Scott Kraft||January 21, 2003||312|
|George does a play on Pinocchio.|
|39||13||"The Lost World of George Shrinks"||Brian Lee||Ken Cuperus||January 22, 2003||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.|
|40||14||"Lost and Found Art"||Karen Lessmann||Alice Prodanou||January 23, 2003||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.
|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"|
- "Dog Sitting Miss Daisy". George Shrinks. Season 1. Episode 15. Event occurs at 25:30.
- 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.
- Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 238–239. ISBN 978-1-5381-0373-9.
- "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.