Video Dream Theater (lost Nickelodeon animated pilots; 1979)

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Geraldine laybourne.jpeg

Photo of Geraldine Laybourne.

Status: Lost

Video Dream Theater is a series of pilots developed for the then-newly launched children's TV channel Nickelodeon in 1979.


On April 1st, 1979, Nickelodeon launched with 5 show premiering Video Comics, By The Way, America Goes Bananas, Pinwheel and Nickel Flicks. To get more shows made, the network hired its future president Geraldine Laybourne to make two pilots for Video Dream Theater, the network's first effort of original animation content.[1] The pilots were produced over a half-year period with the first showing various masks drawn by Julie Taymor and the second using animation to visualize children's dreams in different styles, such as Xerox.[2]


Nickelodeon ended up not airing the pilots, according to Laybourne herself saying:

"The trouble with kids' dreams is they're really scary. It's a lot about abandonment, it's a lot about suffocation. They don't make very good stories."[3]

According to sources, the pilots were test screen to children to negative reviews.

A decade later, now president of the company, Laybourne authorized the 3 first animated shows for Nickelodeon to go into production where them all premiering in 1991.


As of 2023 no footage or any other information on the pilots had resurfaced. given how long ago these were made, it's uncertain if Nickelodeon still has them in their archives.

See Also

Anthology and Short Series

Bumpers and Promos


Game Shows

Inaugural Series

Live Action