The Backyardigans (partially found Nick Digital pilot of Nick Jr. CGI animated series; 2002)

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The pilot's logo.

Status: Partially Found

The Backyardigans is a CGI animated series that premiered on Nick Jr. in 2004. However, its development history stretches back to the late 1990s. A CGI-animated pilot for the show was produced in 2001 by series creator Janice Burgess, based on a rejected live-action pilot from 1998 called Me and My Friends.


The pilot was produced at Nickelodeon Digital Animation Studio in New York. It was animated using motion capture, but due to the major difference between the dancers and the character model's proportions, the animation looked too floaty, as Burgess wanted more precise movements.

Because of that, the animators had to change the movements manually to make them work properly, using footage of live-action dancers as a rough guideline.


The pilot’s plot seems to be an early version of the season 1 episode "The Heart of the Jungle." Austin and Tasha are not present in the footage available


At present only some screenshots and a few seconds of footage are available. More was allegedly found in a deleted YouTube video that has since been re-uploaded, with no new footage of the pilot.


  • Uniqua has visible nostrils, smaller eyes and a longer muzzle.
  • The characters have black eyebrows.
  • Pablo and Tyrone have lighter colors.
  • In the first season of the final series, Pablo is dark blue, but as of the second season, he returns to his light blue color.
  • Uniqua's house has three windows. It also does not have a picnic table on the outside, and in its place is a sandbox that in the final series would happen to be in front of Tyrone's house.
  • In the backyard there is a soccer ball and a red bicycle.
  • Pablo and Tyrone's houses don't have a porch.
  • In one scene from the pilot, Pablo is seen playing in his pool, something he never did in the final series.
  • The propeller on Pablo's hat is red in the final show, but in the animated pilot, his propeller is yellow.




A promo for Nick Jr. shows with a single-second clip of the pilot (0:12).

Animation reel by Lyla Warren (0:46-0:51).

Another single-second clip from the pilot.


BrayBray's video on the subject.

See Also

The Backyardigans

Bumpers and Interstitials



External Links