Stillwater is a preschool show developed for Apple TV+ by Rob Hoegee (Teen Titans, Niko and the Sword of Light, and Abby Hatcher) based on the Zen Shorts book series by Jon J. Muth. It came out December 4, 2020, and is produced in part by Scholastic.
Karl, Addy, and Michael deal with typical kid challenges. They have Stillwater, a wise panda, as their next-door neighbor. Through his example, Stillwater gives them a deeper understanding of their feelings as well as tools that help them face their own challenges.
The voice cast includes James Sie as Stillwater, Eva Binder as Addy, Tucker Chandler as Michael, and Judah Mackey as Karl.
Tropes associated with the show:
- All-CGI Cartoon: The show is primarily animated in CGI.
- An Aesop: Each episode teaches some sort of life lesson.
- Animated Adaptation: Of the 2005 children's picture book Zen Shorts.
- Art Shift: Some of the stories that Stillwater tells in the episodes are presented in 2D animation.
- The Baby of the Bunch: Karl is the youngest of the cast.
- A Boy, a Girl, and a Baby Family: Michael, Addy, and Karl are siblings. Michael is the boy, Addy is the girl, and Karl is technically the baby because he's younger than both of them, although he's older than a baby.
- Casting Gag: James Sie is known for being the alternate voice of Monkey from Kung Fu Panda. Here, he voices Stillwater, who is a panda.
- Character Title: Stillwater is the main character of the show and the title of the show.
- Covered in Mud: In "Stuck in the Rain", Karl gets covered in mud when jumping in mud puddles.
- Disappeared Dad: While Michael, Addy, and Karl's mother is mentioned in "The Haircut", there's no mention of a father figure.
- Expy: Rob Hoegee compares Stillwater to Fred Rogers in how he's very patient and understanding towards others.
- Gentle Giant: Stillwater is a panda who's very patient and understanding, and caring towards the kids.
- Invisible Parents: We don't see the kids' parents, but Karl does mention a mother figure in "The Haircut".
- One-Word Title: Stillwater.
- Monochrome Casting: All the kid characters are white. Justified, since they're siblings.
- Pandaing to the Audience: Stillwater is a wise and gentle panda who helps the kids with their problems.
- Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Addy wears pink, while Michael wears blue.
- Rain, Rain, Go Away: In "Stuck in the Rain", Michael is bummed out because the rain has canceled his baseball game.
- Title, Please!: No episode titles seem to be given on-screen. They're only seen in the closing credits. The first episode is called "The Impossible Dream / Stuck in the Rain".
- Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Addy is shown to be good with racing and mechanics, but she also likes baking and wears a bright pinkish red shirt.
- Two Shorts: Each episode has 2 eleven-minute segments.
- The Smurfette Principle: Addy is the only girl in the main cast.