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Western Animation / George Shrinks

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"If It Ain't Broke" DVD Cover

George Shrinks is a Canadian–Chinese animated television series. It is based on the children's book by William Joyce, produced in China by Jade Animation and in Canada by Nelvana, in association with PBS. It tells the story of a ten-year-old boy named George Shrinks who, one night dreams that he is three inches tall, only to wake up and discover that it is true. The show details his adventures with his friends and family going through his adventures on his mini machines that George and his musical father have created.

The series started on September 30, 2000, on PBS Kids as part of PBS Kids Bookworm Bunch. The Bookworm Bunch disbanded in 2004, but George Shrinks was given an individual PBS debut on January 6, 2003, along with The Berenstain Bears and Maurice Sendak's Seven Little Monsters.


George Shrinks provides examples of:

  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: In the book, George is a normal sized kid who is only temporarily miniaturized. The animated adaptation never provides an explanation as to why he is so small.
  • Big Little Brother: Due to George being shrunken to three inches, his toddler brother Junior is much bigger than him.
  • Bizarre Instrument: George's father, Harold Shrinks, has invented many of these. One noteworthy example is the "Harmonican" Convergence, which appears to consist of two sets of bagpipes with several harmonicas affixed to them.
  • Black Bead Eyes: Everyone has them.
  • Cats Are Mean: Neighborhood stray Sparkle Tangerine is a recurring antagonist.
  • Expository Theme Tune
  • From Bad to Worse: The title and premise of one episode.
  • Giant Food: In the episode "Ants in the Pantry", tiny George is on a picnic spread and goes by huge food such as salad, and runs up a stack of cupcakes.
  • Advertisement:
  • Homemade Inventions: Anything Harold builds .
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: George. In fact, it's pretty much the premise of both the show and the books.
  • Lilliputians
  • Losing a Shoe in the Struggle: In the episode "Ghost of Shrinks Manor" Junior is caught by the Ghost Grabber machine by his diaper, as he tries to crawl off, the machine sucks it off.
  • Mistaken for Exhibit: In the episode "Round Up the Usual Insects" spiderwebs are mistaken to be part of Perdita's sculpture by the Ladies' arts council.
  • On the Next: Had two variants. When shown as part of the Bookworm Bunch, a screen saying "Coming up next on George Shrinks!" with kids' voices reading the text would appear, followed by a short clip of the show. When shown as an individual program, a bumper would play at the beginning where George explains to the viewer what will happen on that day's episode.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Perdita Shrinks's various gowns.
  • Portmanteau: The "Zooper" car. So named because "it's a Super little unit," and has "plenty of Zipp,".
  • Retro Universe: The show's visual aesthetic and characters are very 50's. It's not clear the events are intended to literally take place during that time period or an idealized alternate history.
  • Rule of Cool: In one episode, Becky asks George why his ghost-catching machine requires bells and horns. His answer: "they're cool!".
  • There's No "B" in "Movie": The episode "Monster Mash" is a tribute to 1950s monster movies.
  • Standard '50s Father: Harold Shrinks to a certain extent, though with a Totally Radical habit of talking (or trying to talk) like a Beatnik.
  • Weekend Inventor: George's father Harold, along with George himself, build a number of pint-sized contraptions to aide Gorge in his day-to-day. The tube network in the house and Gorges signature vehicle the Zoopercar are the most prominent examples.

Example of: