Super Why! (stylized Super WHY!) is a CGI animated show developed by Angela C. Santomero and Samantha Freeman Alpert. The series is produced by New York City-based Out of the Blue Enterprises and Toronto-based DHX Media through its Decode Entertainment division.
The show debuted on PBS stations on September 3, 2007 and went on hiatus in 2012. The series resumed again in 2015. This currently airs on PBS Kids in the USA, on Nick Jr. in the United Kingdom, CBC Kids in Canada, and Yoyo TV in Taiwan. It formerly aired on Sprout (now called Universal Kids)—ALSO in the US. Each episode is a total of 24 minutes and follows a strict formula in each episode (except for rare occurrences).
Super Why takes place in the land of Storybook Village, a place where all Fairytale characters reside together in a loving, peaceful community. Whyatt begins the show by greeting the viewers when he suddenly gets a call from someone who needs help. After investigating the problem at hand, Whyatt then summons the other super readers by sending out a call.
Whyatt, Little Red Riding Hood, Princess Pea], and Pig then each appear at the Book Club before going inside as Whyatt then uploads the problem into the Super Duper Computer by plugging his PDA-like device into it. The character with the problem then stands behind a small lectern made of dominos and explains their situation. After discussion, Princess Pea then casts a spell to take the appropriate book.
Whyatt then reads the title of the book as they then transform and fly inside of it.
Upon landing, Whyatt will begin to read a few sentences of the book with the viewer, asking them to read along. It's then a parallel is drawn in which the character with a problem notices how the book characters face the same problem as they are right now.
The goal of the Super Readers is to follow the storyline to solve the problem. As they progress through the events of the story, they encounter obstacles, which can be solved by applying their literacy skills to change the story. As they overcome these obstacles, they are rewarded with red glittery "Super Letters" that are then eventually uploaded back onto the Super Duper Computer to spell out the word that makes up the solution to the characters problem.
Solving the Problem
After collecting the Super Letters and uploading them onto the Super Duper Computer in order to get the Super Story answer, Whyatt will then ask why that word in particular is the right word. Someone else will then explain it before everybody then goes on their own to do what they had been doing previously. Except for Whyatt, who then goes to the problem directly in order to see how it went.
The series has many characters in books, and in Storybook Village. But it stars 4 (eventually/on and off 5) Super Readers:
Whyatt - The leader of the group of characters who become the "Super Readers", Whyatt is an olive-skinned, blue eyed, brown-haired boy who wears a dark blue polo shirt with green stripes and khaki pants. In the episode "Jack and the Beanstalk", it is revealed that Whyatt's older brother is Jack, the hero of the English folk tale Jack and the Beanstalk. Whyatt lives with his mother, who writes stories, and his father who illustrates them, along with baby sister Joy but not his brother. Jack appears in some episodes but generally is "away at college." When Whyatt introduces himself at the Book Club, he says, "Whyatt here!" His superhero form is Super Why. In this form, he has a green mask, turbo sneakers, a blue cape, and a Why Writer. His symbol is a question mark. He focuses on vocabulary.
Little Red Riding Hood - The title character from the fairy tale, she only refers to herself as "Red Riding Hood" and is a freckle-faced pale skinned brunette/redhead who wears a red dress and red roller skates as well as a red flat cap. When she is introduced, she says "Red Riding Hood rolling in!" When she turns to Wonder Red in her superhero form, her clothing becomes a blue armless and legless jumpsuit with red trim, her skates are turned blue and her special item is a red and blue basket. It is called a Wonder Words Basket and her symbol is a spiral. She focuses on word families like "OP", "AT", "UN", "UMP", "OG", etc.
Princess Pea - Princess Pea was named after the children's story "The Princess and the Pea"; it is shown in the episode of the same name that the princess in that story was Pea's mother and the prince in that story was her father. However, in this case "Pea" is her surname. She wears a lavender princess dress and loves to dance. When she enters, she says, "Princess Pea at your service!" Her superhero form is Princess Presto and in this form she wears a pink gown. Her symbol is a star because she always takes her Magic Spelling Wand with her. She focuses on spelling.
Pig - Pig enjoys pretending and dressing up like his father, a construction worker. His superhero form is Alpha Pig. His Alphabet Toolbox has an alphabet map, a Lucky Letter lasso, brilliant binoculars, a mega magnifying glass and a fabulous flashlight in it. His symbol is a triangle. He focuses on the alphabet.
Puppy - The occasional fifth member of the group. He also lives with Whyatt and his family. When he turns into Woofster, he has dictionarypower and can find the meaning to any word. His Super Reader form allows him the power to speak also and his symbol is a dog bone. He is also declared the fifth Super Reader. He officially became a Super Reader in the episode "Woofster Finds a Home".
Super You is the television viewer. Whyatt always invites the viewer to join them by describing him or her as "Super You, with the power to help."
On March 1, 2012, Directors & Producers of Yo Gabba Gabba Live! Announce new Super Why! Live: You've got the Power! Coming soon to announcing debut to first tour will be debuted this year.
In addition, in May the live show announced the tour dates are going to be this summer!
- A Cooperative Agreement from the U.S. Department of Education's Ready to Learn Grant (2007-2011, 2012-present) Season 1 Only
- The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (2007-present)
- Viewers Like You (2007-present)
- Chuck E Cheese's (2007-present)
- ABCMouse.com (2011-present)
Outside the show, the Super Readers will appear in 5 video games. As said, they quit sticking with stories after Nintendo got permission from Out of the Blue Enterprises to use them.
- Super Why, Wonder Red, Alpha Pig, and Princess Presto first appeared in Mario Kart Wii as default racers. Unlike Peach, Daisy, and Rosalina, Princess Presto gained a new biker suit when driving on motorbikes.
- The Super Readers first appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as newcomers.
- The first four Super Readers return to Mario Kart 8 as starting racers. Introduces Woofster, as an unlockable player. Unlike Peach, Daisy, and Rosalina, Princess Presto retains her jumpsuit from Mario Kart Wii for when she uses bikes and ATVs, but will only wear her standard dress when using karts.
- In Mario Kart 8/Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Every Super Readers have their horns:
- Super Why - Shy Guy
- Wonder Red - Daisy
- Alpha Pig - Koopa Troopa
- Princess Presto - Rosalina
- Woofster - Wendy O. Koopa
- Every Super Reader/Racer have their weight status:
- Super Why - Medium
- Wonder Red - Medium
- Alpha Pig - Light
- Princess Presto - Heavy
- Woofster - Feather-Weight
- In Mario Kart 8/Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Every Super Readers have their horns:
- Storybook Village appears as a battle arena in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe even though the classic one for the Wii U didn't.
- The Super Readers returned in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U as previous fighters. Introduces Woofster, as the newcomer.