The Backyardigans (partially found Nick Digital pilot of Nick Jr. CGI animated series; 2002)

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Backyardigans nd pilot logo.jpeg

The pilot's title card.

Status: Partially Found

The Backyardigans is a CGI animated series that premiered on Nick Jr. in 2004. However, its development history stretches back to the late 1990s. A CGI-animated pilot for the show (then titled Backyardigans) was produced in 2002 by series creator Janice Burgess, that was based upon a rejected live-action pilot from 1998 called Me and My Friends.

Production[edit | edit source]

The pilot was produced at Nickelodeon Digital animation studio in New York. It was animated using motion capture, but due to the major difference between the dancers and the character model's proportions, the animation looked too floaty, as Burgess wanted more precise movements.

Because of that, the animators had to change the movements manually to make them work properly, using footage of live-action dancers as a rough guideline.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

The pilot’s plot seems to be an early version of the season 1 episode "The Heart of the Jungle." Uniqua falls in quicksand, and Pablo and Tyrone use sticks to get her out. Austin and Tasha are not present in the footage available. Austin (who would eventually be introduced later in the first season) seems to be completely absent even from concept art at this stage.

Status[edit | edit source]

At present only some screenshots and a few seconds of footage are available. More was allegedly found in a deleted YouTube video that has since been re-uploaded, with no new footage of the pilot.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Videos[edit | edit source]

A six-second clip from the pilot.
A promo for Nick Jr. shows with a single second clip of the pilot.
The 10th anniversary video with the six second clip of the Nick digital pilot.

Screenshots[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

The Backyardigans[edit | edit source]

Other Nick Jr. original pilots[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]