Shape Island

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Shape Island
Title card
Created by
Based on
Triangle, Square, and Circle
  • Mac Barnett
  • illustrated by Jon Klassen
Directed byDrew Hodges
Voices of
Narrated byYvette Nicole Brown[1]
ComposerAndrew Carroll
Country of origin
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes10
Executive producers
  • Mac Barnett
  • Kelli Bixler
  • Drew Hodges
  • Jon Klassen[2]
  • Matthew Cuny
  • Jodi Downs
CinematographyEric Adkins
EditorGuy Handelman
Running time22–24 minutes (roughly 11 minutes per segment)
Production companies
Original release
NetworkApple TV+
ReleaseJanuary 20, 2023 (2023-01-20) –
present (present)

Shape Island is an American animated children's television series based on the children's books Triangle, Circle, and Square 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. A Halloween special was released on October 20, 2023 and a Winter special was released on December 1, 2023.[4][5]

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


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.


The three main characters in Shape Island.
  • Square (voiced by Harvey Guillén) is a cube. He is the most fastidious of the shapes, but always rises to the occasion when called upon for action. He pushes blocks around for a living and likes order and routine.
  • Circle (voiced by Gideon Adlon) is a sphere. She is the oldest, most powerful, and wisest shape on the island. Unlike the other two shapes, Circle has magic powers. For example, she can fly, grow very large, and has telekinesis.
  • Triangle (voiced by Scott Adsit) is a pyramid. He is the messiest, silliest, and most disorganized of the shapes. These personality traits often put him in conflict with Square.

The show is narrated by Yvette Nicole Brown.


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. The characters in the series, like in the books, are complex and driven by their personalities instead of plot or themes, while stop-motion animation was chosen to give the show a three-dimensional feel that is simple, not out of reach, and recognizable to children. 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.[6] 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. It took two and a half years to produce the first season of the show plus an additional four to five years of developing and pitching the show. Due to the laborious process of stop motion animation, the production schedule was about 20 months.[7]

Barnett described the voice actors as "gifted comedians" and the experience of working with them was enjoyable to him.[8] 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."[9] Due to their busy schedules, the actors often recorded their parts separately from each other.[10]


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"Square's Very Kind Gesture"Drew HodgesToby JonesJanuary 20, 2023 (2023-01-20)
"The Eclipse"Niki Yang
Square makes a mistake of sharing rare bananas.
Triangle and Square attempt to keep a secret from Circle.
2"Square's Big Prank"Drew HodgesRyan PequinJanuary 20, 2023 (2023-01-20)
"Circle's Plan Falls Apart"Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen
Eager to outwit Triangle, Square plans a sneaky surprise.
Circle searches for answers when a critter kidnaps her prized plant.
3"Triangle Gets Carried Away"Drew HodgesMac Barnett & Jon KlassenJanuary 20, 2023 (2023-01-20)
"Square's Different Day"
A simple plan leads to an enormous project for Triangle.
Square works on a sculpture of Circle.
4"Triangle Day"Drew HodgesMamoudou N'DiayeJanuary 20, 2023 (2023-01-20)
"The Storm"Maddie Queripel
Circle and Square learn how to celebrate a unique holiday.
An approaching storm excites Triangle and worries his friends.
5"Message in a Bottle"Drew HodgesSam SpinaJanuary 20, 2023 (2023-01-20)
"Square's Special Place"Toby Jones
Triangle and Square find mysterious bottles on the beach.
While playing hide-and-seek, Square discovers a peaceful spot.
6"Triangle Goes Solo"Drew HodgesLouise RozettJanuary 20, 2023 (2023-01-20)
"Circle Makes a Mistake"Ryan Pequin
The fearless Triangle sets out on his own.
Circle leads a journey to ancient ruins and unexpectedly runs into trouble.
7"Square's Sleepover"Drew HodgesSam SpinaJanuary 20, 2023 (2023-01-20)
"Growing Pains"Alex Horab
A change of plans test Square's patience.
Circle helps Square start a garden, but she struggles with his instant success.
8"Triangle and Square's Big Game"Drew HodgesMamoudou N'DiayeJanuary 20, 2023 (2023-01-20)
"The Shooting Star"Amanda Gotera
When Circle brushes off their game, Triangle and Square feel insecure.
A mysterious meteor crash inspires a trek across the island.
9"Creepy Cave Crawl"Drew HodgesRyan PequinOctober 20, 2023 (2023-10-20)
After Triangle pranks them, Circle and Square celebrate Halloween on their own with all treats and no tricks.
10"The Winter Blues"Drew HodgesAmanda GoteraDecember 1, 2023 (2023-12-01)
The chilly season leaves Square feeling sad, so Circle and Triangle try to cheer him up by creating a new holiday: Yeti Night.


The show premiered on Apple TV+ internationally in 2023.


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."[11] 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+."[12] 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."[13] The Times also recommended the show's holiday special "The Winter Blues."[14]


Year Award Category Recipients Result
2023 Annecy International Animated Film Festival[15] Jury Award for a TV Series Drew Hodges Won
2nd Children's and Family Emmy Awards Visual Effects for a Live Action Program[16] Andrew Babick Nominated
Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation[17] Ellen Coons (animator) Won
2024 51st Annie Awards[18] Best Special Production "The Winter Blues" Nominated
Best TV/Media - Children "Square's Special Place" Nominated


  1. ^ Sam Rubin; Christine Samra (2023-02-02). "Yvette Nicole Brown explains the lessons learned from 'Shape Island'". KTLA. Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  2. ^ Lang, Jamie (2023-01-20). "Scene Breakdown: The Creative Process Behind Apple's Stop-Motion Series 'Shape Island'". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  3. ^ Zahed, Ramin (2023-01-20). "A Visit to the Charming Stop-Motion World of 'Shape Island'". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  4. ^ Otterson, Joe (September 14, 2023). "Apple TV+ Orders DreamWorks Animation Series 'Curses'; Sets 'Interrupting Chicken' Season 2 Premiere & 'Shape Island' Halloween Special (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved September 14, 2023.
  5. ^ "Apple TV+ decks the halls with all-new kids and family live-action animated hybrid special, "The Velveteen Rabbit," launching globally November 22". Apple TV+. Retrieved 2023-10-03.
  6. ^ Debbie Diamond Sarto (23 January 2023). "Bix Pix Brings Great 'Form' to Apple TV+'s 'Shape Island' Kids' Series". Animation World Network. Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  7. ^ Jeremy Kirkland (30 January 2023). "Mac Barnett and His Shape Island". Blamo! Podcast (Podcast). Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  8. ^ Aquino, Gilcy (19 January 2023). "TV Alert: 'Shape Island'". Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  9. ^ Andrew, Stephen (2 February 2023). "Harvey Guillen Talks Positive Inspiration of Apple TV+ Series 'Shape Island,' Finding 'Empathic' Voice for Square Character". Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  10. ^ Ruby, Jamie (7 February 2023). "Harvey Guillén on Voicing Square in Shape Island, Now on Apple TV+". SciFi Vision. Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  11. ^ Moulton, Ashley. "Shape Island TV Review". Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  12. ^ Tafoya, Scout (20 January 2023). "Shape Island squares the circle: It's stop-motion perfection for kids and parents". Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  13. ^ Lyons, Margaret (2023-01-19). "How Much Watching Time Do You Have This Weekend?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  14. ^ Lyons, Margaret (2023-11-30). "How Much Watching Time Do You Have This Weekend?". The New York Times. Retrieved 2023-12-05.
  15. ^ "2023 Annecy Festival Winners". The Hollywood Reporter. 17 June 2023. Retrieved 18 June 2023.
  16. ^ "The 2nd Annual Children's & Family Nominees!". The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 11 January 2024.
  17. ^ Zahed, Ramin. "Exclusive: Children’s and Family Emmy Winners for Individual Achievement in Animation Are Announced." Animation Magazine. 8 December 2023. 11 January 2024.
  18. ^ "Netflix's 'Nimona' Leads Annie Awards 2024 Nominations". Variety. 17 June 2023. Retrieved 11 January 2024.

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