Tommy Pickles and the Great White Thing was the pilot episode for the Walt Disney cartoon in 1989, and the Nickelodeon cartoon in 1990, Rugrats. It was made in 1989 in the Hungarian version in Black-and-White, and remade in 1990 in the American version in Color, aired on Magyar Televízió (Hungary)/The Disney Channel (United States) (1989), and MTV (1990) (United States) using silhouette, cardboard, and construction paper cut-out characters in 1989, and reusing traditional hand-painted cel characters in 1990, animated by Pannonia Film Studio (1989), and reanimated by Wang Film Productions Co., Ltd. (1990), and produced by Klasky-Csupo, and Walt Disney Television Animation (1989), and reproduced by Klasky-Csupo, and Games Productions (1990). The main plot of the pilot is after Grandpa Lou enters the bathroom, Tommy is curious to find out what the "great white thing" is and somehow makes a big mess in the bathroom. The pilot was unaired since it was considered to be inappropriate for children, considering the fact that it focused on the toilet a lot.


  • While the title card remained the same throughout the series, the Rugrats logo in the pilot looked significantly different.
  • Tommy was voiced by Tami Holbrook (1989) rather than E.G. Daily (1991-2006).
  • The only characters present in the pilot were Tommy, Phil, Lil, Spike, Grandpa Lou, Stu, Didi, and Betty.
  • Tommy's shirt was orange (1989, 1991) in the pilot rather than in his trademark blue shirt (1989, 1991-2006).
  • The credits screen was brown (1989) instead of fuzzy gray (1991-2004).
  • The pilot was only 6 minutes (1989), but the creators wanted it to be 11 minutes (1991-2004).
  • Lou's name is actually Stu Pickles Sr. in the pilot.
  • The part where Tommy and Spike were dancing at the TV was eventually used as a Nickelodeon Station ID.

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