Earthworm Jim (partially found unaired pitch pilot of Kids' WB! animated series; 1995)
A photograph from an unknown video game publication, showing stills of the pitch pilot for Earthworm Jim.
Status: Partially Found
Earthworm Jim is a 2D side-scrolling platformer, created by Doug TenNapel and developed by Shiny Entertainment. In 1995, an animated series was created and aired on Kids’ WB!, which would go on for two seasons. Before this, a pitch pilot was made, featuring a slightly different design for Jim. Information on the pitch pilot is scarce, with very few sources coming forward over the years to provide information about its development. Due to this, the pilot remains partially found, with clips and promotional stills giving us some insight into the development process of the cartoon series.
The full contents of the pitch pilot are currently unknown at the time of writing. By reading the timestamps provided in magazine scans and promotional stills, some have come to the conclusion that the pilot is only a minute long. However, this is just speculation, and the actual length of the pilot is unknown.
Clips of the pitch pilot have been used to promote the Earthworm Jim cartoon series, and are featured in promotional bumpers for the show. From what is shown, there’s very little dialogue but Jim’s voice more closely matches that of his video game counterpart at that time. Characters that would end up not appearing in the final cartoon series, such as Major Mucus, are shown in the pilot for a brief amount of time.
In June of 2018, Twitter user @AWDtwit provided a magazine scan with images of the pilot, with the following caption:
"Finally found it! Look at these really creepy screencaps for the Earthworm Jim cartoon pilot. I'm curious what the whole thing looked like... and why did they make him so fat?..."
Details about the magazine have not been provided, and it’s currently unknown which publication it comes from. Sources have narrowed down the publication as possibly being from Electronic Gaming Monthly, but the year and month of the magazine the article was featured in is currently unknown.
A user in the same Twitter thread claims to have seen the pilot aired on the television network TCC, claiming that the pilot was only a minute long. However, with no other sources to confirm this claim, it’s currently unknown if this is factual.
A video by the YouTuber TheElecPlays92 would reveal the existence of a VHS screener for the Earthworm Jim cartoon series, containing footage of the pitch pilot. According to TheElecPlays92, the VHS screener was given to various video game news publication journalists to report about the cartoon series. He would go on to say that he would provide more information about the VHS screener in a separate video. However, this has yet to come to fruition.
The whereabouts of the Earthworm Jim pilot are currently unknown as of the time of writing. Efforts have been made to contact individuals who could possibly have a copy of the pilot, but no new footage has surfaced. It’s possible that another copy of the VHS screener exists but it’s debatable if the collector or current owner of the tape would wish to upload the pilot online.
- A Tweet by the user @AWDtwit, featuring promotional stills of the pilot. Retrieved 21 Jan '21
- A Tweet by user @dbMisadventure about the pitch pilot possibly airing on TCC. Retrieved 21 Jan '21