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Super Why! is an animated television show about a kid who jumps into books. The show's pilot was in production by Blue's Clues creator Angela Santomero and Cuppa Coffee Studios in Toronto, Canada between early-mid 1999. The show would return to production between 2004 and 2005 to be pitched to PBS Kids, and had its first television airing on 2007, while the pilot was unreleased created with a working title, Super Why?


Description

Annecy Festival

6 cm tall Superwhy lives in a children's library. When he needs answers to his questions, he jumps into the right storybook. Characters like "The Three Little Pigs" and "Red Riding Hood" answer his questions and teach him how to solve problems.

Cuppa Coffee

"Who do you call when you need to know why? Superwhy, of course! This award winning pre-school pilot encourages critical thinking and reinforces reading skills in young viewers. Stop-motion and cutout animation bring this curious little tyke, his kangaroo friend and all of his favourite storybooks to life."

Cuppa Coffee (Variant)

"Who do you call when you need to know why? Superwhy of course! Cuppa recently produced this pilot episode for Nickelodeon. The show encourages kids to read, and reinforces reading skills. We used stop motion animation as well as cut-out to bring this curious little tyke to life."

BAMKids Film Festival

Tiny Super Why doesn't take up much space in the children's library where he lives. When he needs answers to problems, he effortlessly hops into storybooks to find solutions.

ChicagoReader.com

In Adam Shaheen's Super Why? an imp interacts with illustrations from a book of The Three Little Pigs, inviting the viewer into its world.

Differences

What makes the pilot different from the final product is that:

  • The pilot was animated in stop-motion animation instead of CGI animation.
  • Super Why/Whyatt, Pig/Alpha Pig and Wonder Red/Red Riding Hood were the only characters present in the pilot, while Princess Presto/Princess Pea and Woofster was not present.
    • Also, Whyatt was originally known as Willy (also known as Wee Willy).
      • His superhero name, Super Why, originally served as his nickname due to him often asking the question "why".
    • In addition, there were two other characters in the pilot that never got to appear in the final product, this includes a stuffed purple kangaroo that served as Super Why's sidekick, and another character named Willa whom bears some resemblance to Red.
      • All the characters looked different from the final product due to the premise at the time was originally not superhero-themed.
  • The intro's theme and lyrics was completely different with a song only known as "Wonder Why, Just Like Superwhy". An unused one, one of 3, used a reggae tune instead of an upbeat theme.
  • The art style of the characters in the pilot is closely reminiscent to the characters' art style in Blues' Clues.


A revised version finally aired on PBS Kids in 2007 and lasted until 2016. Below are the lyrics to the unused intro. Listen to it here: https://youtu.be/ujVM3wp1UZc

Lyrics (Unused Intro)

  • Tell me why.
  • Why Why (Why, Why)
  • Tell me Super Why.
  • Tell me why? (Why, Why)
  • From his wee home in the library, Willy. (also known as Wee Willy)
  • Asks the burning question why?
  • This powerful need to know transforms him into Super Why!
  • Tell me why.
  • Why Why (Why, Why)
  • Tell me Super Why.
  • Tell me why? (Why, Why)

Trivia

  • The name for the series was originally known as Superwhy (also known as SuperWhy? in Cuppa Coffee Animation site archives, or SuperWhy! in Alexander Gorelick's site) in the pilot, since the premise was slightly different before being changed to Super Why! in the final product.
  • According to Annecy Festival, the running time for the pilot is 9 minutes and 36 seconds.
  • Even though the voice of Super Why is unknown, it's believed to be Zachary Tyler since he was young at the time.
  • Speaking of Super Why's voice, his voice might of sounded like Little Bill's voice.
  • The pilot episode was one of the winners of the 2000 Annecy Festival, receiving an award for being considered an educational, scientific or industrial film.
    • The pilot episode also received an award for 2001 Cairo Children's Festival, Gold Special Jury Award - Houston Worldfest 2000, the Certificate of Participation - Chicago International Children's Film Festival and the International Festival 2000.
  • The pilot episode was greenlit by Nick Jr. as a new series idea, but they decided to shelve it by choosing to produce Oswald the Octopus at the time.
  • In initial development, the series' pilot was originally conceived as a puppet show before being switched to stop-motion.
  • Before the site's rebranding, Cuppa Coffee Studios originally had two reels of the Super Why pilot on its site before becoming unavailable to view in the public. The first reel was the pilot's intro, while the second reel was a scene of Willa blowing Willy's buttons.
    • However, extra copies of the pilot episode is recently confirmed by the director (Dave Thomas) to be archived by Cuppa Coffee Studios in its current headquarters.
    • Despite the rest of the pilot's plot being unknown, the composer (Nick Balaban) recalled a scene of Super Why solving puzzles with the Three Little Pigs.
      • This is most likely that the pilot episode would follow the same plot as the first official episode "The Three Little Pigs", the only difference is that the plot focuses on Willy dealing with Willa blowing his buttons instead of Alpha Pig stopping Jill knocking his tower down. This is also supported by the fact that a description of the pilot confirms that Willy interacts with a book of The Three Little Pigs in the pilot.
  • In the unused version of the pilot's intro, the vocals for the children saying "also known as Wee Willy" and "Why?" is provided by the composer (Nick Balaban). It is likely that his voice heard in the intro is filtered with a voice changer.

Gallery

Videos

See Also

The Lost Media Wiki’s article on the subject!


Sources

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