TV Alert: 'Shape Island'

Jun 27, 2023
Dimitris Passas

NOTE: This article is a republication- Source: Publishers Weekly (by Gilcy Aquino).

The new year is quickly shaping up to include a new array of book and TV titles to look forward to. Leading the pack is a gang of geometric buddies. The new television show Shape Island is based on the Shapes trilogy of picture books by frequent collaborators Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen. The show features eight episodes, which will premiere globally and exclusively on Apple TV+ on January 20.

The stop-motion animated series follows a trio of best friends living on a fictional island: Square (voiced by Harvey Guillen; Puss in Boots: The Last Wish), Triangle (voiced by Scott Adsit; Big Hero 6), and Circle (voiced by Gideon Adlon; Blockers) as they go about their daily lives and navigate the differences in each other’s personalities. Yvette Nicole Brown (Disenchanted) serves as the narrator. The series is directed by Drew Hodges (Tumble Leaf) and executive produced by Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen, Kelli Bixler (Tumble Leaf), and Hodges. Ryan Pequin (Regular Show) is the head writer.

Barnett and Klassen were heavily involved in the page to screen adaptation, beginning with the early stages of development, from establishing how they wanted their characters to be portrayed to getting the series greenlit and casting the voices for their characters. “These books are important to us and we wanted this series to land a certain way,” Barnett told PW. “At the heart of it, it’s just Jon and me wrestling with the story trying to get it just right.”

Toying with a new storytelling medium proved to be a welcome challenge for the duo. “With a picture book you have a known quantity of what you're dealing with, and your problems are ‘this page doesn't relate to this page’; it’s very specific to the end product,” Klassen said. “With a show, especially in the early stages, when you’re setting it up, you don't even know the places you want it to go, but you kind of have an idea of the places you don’t want it to go.”

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