Series N/A, Episode N/a
Air Date 1997

The pilot episode of Bob the Builder was a lost 90 second animated clip which was made to pitch the concept of the series to HiT Entertainment.


This pilot was most likely produced in 1997. It was pitched to HiT Entertainment in either late 1997 or early 1998, and was never released on DVD, nor on the Internet. According to the website, the pilot was about 90 seconds long. "HiT International [sic] required Ealing Animations to produce a 90 second pilot for Bob the Builder to pitch the idea to MIP C.O.M. We had a tight schedule of three months. I could see the idea had a lot of potential but the script was too long. The script was re-written and production started. The designs for Bob the Builder took some time to crack, but once they too were finalized, the puppet was made in Bristol by a company called The Puppet Factory. The one vehicle featured was produced and engineered by John Wright, also based in Bristol. He was highly recommended and had done lots of work on the ever-so popular Wallace and Gromit films. The sets, props and animation was done in-house. We delivered the goods and HiT presented their proposal, which was swept up very quickly. Only one image is known to exist.


"The 90 second pilot starts with Bob early one morning exercising in the builders' yard with one of his vehicle friends called Dig (who later became Scoop). They notice the gutter is blocked, so Bob climbs up the ladder to fix it - and slips. Luckily for him, Dig manages to catch him- perish the thought if he hadn't."



  • In this pilot, Scoop (then known as Dig) had no open cab, a searchlight, and had his eyes on his windshield. This is reminiscent of the style of the vehicle characters from Disney and Pixar's Cars films (which Mattel has produced toys for) and other related media. It could also be a little similar to JCB's (Scoop/Dig's basis) long-running promotional children's toyline, My 1st JCB.

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