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NOTE: Do not undo Sbspfanv2's changes. They use info found from the composer's email.

NOTE 2: Do not claim this pilot is found without legitimate proof.

NOTE 3: Do not add images without confirmation or proof.

NOTE 4: It is unknown what the complete plot of the pilot episode is about, but an eyewitness managed to explain about what happened during the reels related to the pilot:

Super Why! is a CGI animated television show about a kid named Whyatt and his three friends with the power to jump into books and interact with the world inside, to help solve their problems in the real world. 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 pilot was greenlit by Nick Jr but later was canceled in favor of another Nick Jr show "Oswald". The show would return to production between 2004 and 2005 to be pitched to PBS Kids, and had its first television airing in 2007, while the pilot was unreleased created with a working title, Super Why?


In May 2021, it was noticed that a listing for a tape containing the Super Why series pilot could be found on the website for the McMaster University's library. The user Pdog64 decided to ask the library to digitize the tape and give him a digital copy, the library agreed and the digitization process started on May 31st, 2021 and was completed on July 16th, 2021. Upon the tape being digitized, however, it was realized that the tape was actually an audio cassette tape and only included the audio from the pilot, along with the instrumental to it. As Pdog64 was told not to share the tape to the public without permission from someone involved with the pilot or final show, the audio is not currently available to the general public, but it has been privately shared with a few trusted users, who have revealed some information about what they heard. In August 2021 however, Pdog shared the audio. Listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBRdagUDh_U

The Plot (CONFIRMED INFO)

NOTE: It is unknown what the complete plot of the pilot episode is about, but a user by the name "Tvwhiz" managed to explain about what happened during the reels related to the pilot:

"The video reel was maybe about a minute long. The theme song was a chill reggae track, and a Jamaican singer said: "Wonder why, Just like Super Why!" It was very chill. The proto-Super Why character then said: "Hello! I'm hiding. Can you find me?"

The rest of the video is kind of a blur after that. When the yellow-skinned girl appeared, she created some kind of wind/tornado, causing the buttons around the room to whirl around. Proto-Super Why then said something to the camera in reaction to this."

Recently, the composer of the pilot (Nick Balaban) recalled the later parts of the pilot has Super Why solving puzzles with the Three Little Pigs.

Description

Kidscreen

Nickelodeon is angling for its own cup of the action, commissioning Super Why, another project combining stop motion and cel animation, created by the Blues Clues development team at Nickelodeon. The group includes Brown Johnson, senior VP of Nick Jr. and Angela Santomero, producer, head writer and co-creator of Blues Clues. A preschool pilot, Super Why centers around a character who jumps into books, then inhabits the worlds inside them.

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."

Cuppa Coffee (Variant 2)

"A pilot for Nick Jr, Superwhy was centred around a superhero whose ability is to question why - AND find out! Superwhy takes place in the book of the three little pigs and the animations in the book come to life. The action gets kids to look into books to find out, well...why!?!"

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."

Playback Online

"Toronto’s Cuppa Coffee Animation also had two winners, both by Dave Thomas: SuperWhy won for best educational, scientific or industrial film, and Trevor won for best advertising film."

Differences

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

  • The pilot was animated in stop-motion animation instead of CGI animation.
  • Whyatt and the Super Readers are not present in the pilot.
    • The main character appearing in the pilot was Wee Willy/Super Why instead of Whyatt.
    • 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 named Ruju 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.
  • The art style of the characters in the pilot is closely reminiscent to the characters' art style in Blue's Clues.
  • There are no collectable "Super Letters" present in the pilot that will help Wee Willy find his Super Story Answer. Instead, he has to interact with the storybook characters that are facing the same problem like he does in order to find his answer.
  • There are no "Why Flyers" present in the pilot.
  • The pilot was set inside a children's library instead of Storybrook Village.
  • Willy is unable to change the stories in the pilot - despite his critical thinking skills to solve problems and the power to question why, compared to the final product in which his successor (Whyatt) was able to change the stories for a better ending along with the villain of that said story redeeming himself.


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, Tell Me 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)
  • Tell me Super Why.
  • Tell me why? (Why, Tell Me Why, Why?)
  • Why Why (Why, Why)

Used Intro

  • The world is full of questions (Everywhere I look)
  • And when I need an answer
  • I look inside a book
  • Anything I want to be
  • I reach in for the sky
  • I can do anything, that's why...
  • SUPER WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!
  • He's Super Why!

Trivia

  • The name for the series was originally known as Super Why? (also known as Superwhy? and 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 and had his name mentioned in the voice actor section of the Annecy website. However, those who heard the audio have said that is does not sound like Zachary Tyler's voice.
  • 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.
    • The pilot episode would follow the same basic 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 tower of buttons instead of Alpha Pig stopping Jill knocking his tower down.
      • An article from the Chicago International Children's Film Festival of 2000 also confirmed that the book Willy jumped into was The Three Little Pigs.
  • 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.
    • The vocals of the singer saying "Tell me why, why, why?" is provided by Michael Rubin.
  • A logo of the pilot was uploaded in 2004 to Wikimedia by a user who is unacknowledged that is was the logo of the pilot. The image was likely taken down by a troll in 3rd April 2021 claiming it as copyright infringement.
    • An image from an archived article of the Super Why pilot from Annecy Festival was thought to be taken down for the similar reason. However, this turned out not to be the case as Annecy Festival was actually updating the theme of their website and the removal of one of the images turned out to be an error.

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