Trash (lost Nicktoon pilot; 1990)
Trash was an unsold animated pilot that was pitched to Nickelodeon.
In 1989, kid-oriented cable network Nickelodeon decided to launch their own original animated programming, which they dubbed "Nicktoons." They commissioned eight pilots, and planned to choose the four best pilots to make it to series (though in the end, only three were chosen), with a targeted premiere in August 1991.
Trash was produced by British studio Cosgrove Hall Productions, who also produced one of the other proposed Nicktoon pilots, The Crowville Chronicles. Unlike the other seven pilots (including The Crowville Chronicles), which were produced with traditional cel animation, Trash was produced using stop-motion animation.
The story takes place on an all-trash planet and starred an alien superhero named Crash Morgan, who lived in Trashtown. Trashtown was ruled by a tyrant named Boaster T. Strut. Two aliens, en route to a vacation on the planet Bermudox, accidentally land in Trashtown instead, which sets off an intruder alert, and tiny soldiers called "nutters" are sent after them. They are thrown in jail, and the pilot ends on a cliffhanger with the message "To Be Continued--If They're Lucky."
The pilot fared with the test audience slightly better than The Crowville Chronicles: instead of disliking it, they were completely indifferent to it. The audience was expected to respond negatively to the model animation, due to its association with younger target audiences, but the main critique, like The Crowville Chronicles, was over the formulaic characters and apparent lack of passion on Cosgrove Hall's part.
The pilots eventually picked up were:
- Doug Can't Dance by Jim Jinkins for Jumbo Pictures; became the pilot for Doug.
- Tommy Pickles and the Great White Thing by Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó and Paul Germain for Klasky Csupo; became the pilot for Rugrats.
- Ren Hoek and Stimpy in "Big House Blues" by John Kricfalusi for Spümcø; became the pilot for The Ren & Stimpy Show.
The Trash pilot was never shown to anyone outside those involved in its production and the test audiences, nor has it been shared by its creators since, save for a presentation given by Linda Simensky in 1995 at the Society for Animation Studies Conference in Greensboro, North Carolina, where she showed the five failed Nicktoon pilots, as well as four others, to an audience of animation professors and historians.
- The Crowville Chronicles (unsold Nicktoon pilot; 1990)
- Big Beast Quintet (unsold Nicktoon pilot; 1990)
- The Weasel Patrol (unsold Nicktoon pilot; 1990)