Super Why! (found stop-motion Nick Jr. pilot of PBS Kids CGI animated series; 1999)

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Super why pilot title.jpeg

The pilot's title card.

Status: Found

Date found: 12 Jun 2023

Found by: The OLD Washington resident and Melody

Super Why! is a computer-animated television show from 2007 to 2016 about a kid who lives in Storybrook Village. When he or his friends have an issue, they can jump into storybooks to collect "Super Letters" which they use to solve problems. Super Why! originally started life as Angela Santomero's masters' thesis, which is said to predate Blue's Clues, before being developed into a TV show. The show will was initially meant to be a stop-motion show, and a pilot was produced to pitch to Nick Jr. The show's pilot was in production by Blue's Clues creator Angela Santomero and Cuppa Coffee Studios in Toronto, Canada between early-mid 1999. The pilot was rejected, but after a period of development hell, the show premiered in 2007 on PBS Kids as the CGI show known today. According to the pilot's director, the pilot was greenlit by Nick Jr. but later was cancelled in favor of another Nick Jr. show Oswald. The pilot was unreleased, created with a working title, Super Why?.[1] Footage of the pilot has surfaced, however.

On February 19th, 2021, the 1st unused theme song for the pilot was found by Stephen Laurent and Scramble Fan 2021. However, the audio is higher-pitched, and the beginning and end of the music are cut off, the used theme song was slightly different. A high-quality version of the unused theme song can be found on Nick Balaban's website, the composer of the 1st unused theme song. The 2nd unused theme song was made by artist Daniel Leblanc who uploaded an altered version of the instrumentals to pond5 after realizing the showrunners didn’t care about the pilot, anymore.

Footage of the pilot was once available on Cuppa Coffee Animation's old website with 2 clips entitled "Opening Shot" and "Willa Blows". Curiously, these clips are from a version of the pilot that was later found, using an altered version of the unused theme song as well as different BGM entirely. These files were since never archived, unfortunately.

In May 2021, a listing for the pilot was found at a library by user pdog64. It was only the audio however and on August 2nd that year, he uploaded the audio to YouTube.

On January 2nd, 2023, a slideshow known as 'Next Generation Kids - PBS Kids' was discovered on SlidePlayer. One of the slides contained a render image for the pilot showing the main character's superhero design and a placeholder image for the series' logo. Interestingly, there was a different version of the image that was placed behind the render image if you try to edit the slideshow which instead displays "Super Readers to the Rescue," which is believed to be a title once considered for the series around 2006.

On June 12th, 2023, YouTubers The OLD Washington resident and Melody were able to find and release a copy of the full pilot after contacting the Annecy Film Festival, where the pilot won an award.

During the search, it was believed that the pilot's audio that Pdog64 found was the audio used for the pilot, including the theme song inside of that audio, they were both debunked to be used when the pilot was found.


Annecy Festival 2000

"6 cm tall Superwhy lives in a children's library. When he needs answers to his questions, he jumps into the right storybook. Characters like "The Three Little Pigs" and "Red Riding Hood" answer his questions and teach him how to solve problems.[2]

Cuppa Coffee

"Who do you call when you need to know why? Superwhy, of course! This award winning pre-school pilot encourages critical thinking and reinforces reading skills in young viewers. Stop-motion and cutout animation bring this curious little tyke, his kangaroo friend and all of his favorite storybooks to life."[3]


"The video reel was maybe about a minute long. The theme song was a chill reggae track, and a Jamaican singer said: "Wonder why, Just like Super Why!" It was very chill. The proto-Super Why character then said: "Hello! I'm hiding. Can you find me?" The rest of the video is kind of a blur after that. When the yellow-skinned girl appeared, she created some kind of wind/tornado, causing the buttons around the room to whirl around. Proto-Super Why then said something to the camera in reaction to this."

Cuppa Coffee (Variant 1)

"Who do you call when you need to know why? Superwhy of course! Cuppa recently produced this pilot episode for Nickelodeon. The show encourages kids to read, and reinforces reading skills. We used stop motion animation as well as cut-out to bring this curious little tyke to life."[4]

Cuppa Coffee (Variant 2)

"A pilot for Nick Jr, Superwhy was centred around a superhero whose ability is to question why - AND find out! Superwhy takes place in the book of the three little pigs and the animations in the book come to life. The action gets kids to look into books to find out, well...why!?!"[5]

BAMKids Film Festival

"Tiny Super Why doesn't take up much space in the children's library where he lives. When he needs answers to problems, he effortlessly hops into storybooks to find solutions."[6]

"In Adam Shaheen's Super Why? an imp interacts with illustrations from a book of The Three Little Pigs, inviting the viewer into its world."[7]


Unused Intro #1

"Tell me why.
Why Why (Why, Why)
Tell me Super Why.
Tell me why? (Tell me why)

From his wee home in the library, Willy. (also known as Wee Willy)
Asks the burning question why?
This powerful need to know transforms him into Super Why!

Tell me why.
Why Why (Why, Why)
Tell me Super Why.
Tell me why? (Tell me why)"

Unused Intro #2

"The world is full of questions
Everywhere I look
And when I need an answer
I look inside a book

Anything I wanna be
I'm reaching for the sky
I can do anything that's why
He's Super Why!"

Used Intro

"Wonder why.
Why, why?
Why, why? (why)
Just like Super Why! (Boo)
Wonder why?"




The full pilot.


The unused theme song.

An early version of the pilot's audio.


LSuperSonicQ's video on the subject.

BrayBray's video on the subject.

See Also

Super Why!

Bumpers and Interstitials



External Links