My Friends Tigger & Pooh (partially found test pilots of Playhouse Disney CGI animated series; 2005/2006)
My Friends Tigger & Pooh is a CGI-animated series that ran from 2007-2010 on Playhouse Disney. The show returned to Disney Junior in 2016 and has continued to air re-runs. The series focuses on Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, a new main character, Darby, and their adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood. The series utilized an interactive format where viewers would engage with the characters to help solve the mystery found in each episode. Two pilots were created for the series, one in 2005 and another in 2006.
2005 Test Pilot
Developed by DQ Entertainment, the 2005 test pilot was significantly shorter in length in comparison to the second pilot. As this is a test pilot, the animation was considerably in a lower quality compared to the second pilot and the final show. This pilot did not feature Darby, the main character in the final series.
Parts of the 2005 pilot were featured in a 2006 Australian Playhouse Disney promotional DVD, titled Imagine and Learn. Two uploads showcasing all of the promos in the DVD contain footage for the test pilot. The second upload has parts of the 2005 pilot from 9:45-10:07, 10:54 and from 11:10-11:16.
In summary, the episode began with Tigger, sitting with Pooh by a pond, counting his stripes. Upon seeing the Sleuth Alarm flag, Tigger and a reluctant Pooh jump into a tree, wearing their super costumes, and doing the super sleuth pose with the viewer, breaking the fourth wall.
Afterwards, a raccoon journalist joins Tigger and Pooh, eager to start an adventure with them. As Tigger and Pooh continue riding their scooter, the raccoon reporter explains to the audience how he writes stories about their adventures and occasionally joins them to help. As the raccoon reporter gets dragged along for the ride, Piglet warns them to be careful.
In 2006, another pilot was created for the series, which more closely resembled the animation style for the final show. Unlike the previous pilot, this version introduced two new characters, Darby and her pet dog, Buster. Although the entire plot of the episode is yet to be found, various scenes suggest that the pilot would have been used as inspiration for the first segment of the sixteenth episode of the final series, "Eeyore's Trip to the Moon."
Multiple promos created specifically for the series included clips for the pilot. Most notably, a trailer was included in a 2006 Australian Playhouse Disney DVD entitled Imagine and Learn, which also features footage for the 2005 pilot as well. The second trailer, produced for the North American version of Playhouse Disney promotes the pilot, with the clearest difference being the person narrating the trailer.
It was discovered that "a special sneak peek" of it had aired on Playhouse Disney on August 1st that same year. On June 16th, 2023, Samuel Jennings140 uploaded a tape recording with various shows from Playhouse Disney and KERA to Archive.org. Included was a somewhat lengthier promo for the final series, using footage from both pilots.
A theme song was created for one of the pilots, but it is currently unknown which one it was intended for.
- Variety article on the series. Retrieved 23 Jun '23