Dinosaurs: The Complete First and Second Seasons

DVD Reviews | May 20th, 2006

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Starring arl, Fran, Robbie, Charlene and the Baby Sinclair with voices by Stuart Pankin, Jessica Walter, Jason Willinger, Sally Struthers and Kevin Clash
Written By: Bob Young, Michael Jacobs
Directed By:
Studio: Disney/ Buena Vista
Buy on Amazon.com link

I would like to start off by saying that Jim Henson was a genius. The Dark Crystal, the Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, all of the Muppet movies, Dinosaurs and not to mention voicing almost half of all of the Muppet characters. Even though Jim Henson didn’t get to see one of his last ideas come to fruition, his son Brian carried on his legacy. What you got was one of the most underrated Jim Henson shows. One part Roseanne, one part the Simpsons, and one part the Muppet Show, the idea behind Dinosaurs was to discover the true reason that dinosaurs became extinct. Was it a meteor? Was it the Ice Age? Nope. Abandoning their primal ways, the dinosaurs became domesticated, got married, kept their children instead of eating them and that my friend is the reason that they died out. Dinosaurs provided the usual Henson mixture of gratuitous goofy humor and witty satire that made shows like the Muppet Show enjoyable for viewers of all ages. And if you look up Muppet in some dictionaries, there is a direct reference to Sesame Street. Now tell me that the Muppets aren’t an important part of American culture.

I used to love this show when it came out. I can clearly remember some of these earlier episodes, especially the first one with the Baby hatching out of his egg. As a kid, I used to like the Baby but now being a decade and a half older, I find myself relating more to Earl than anyone else. Dinosaurs focuses on one of the earlier domesticated dinosaur families. The Sinclairs find themselves in conflict with many dinosaur traditions and at times they revolutionize the prehistoric way of thinking into a more sophisticated modern concept. The other times, they’re just hanging out and being a regular family doing what an everyday family does. Work, cook, clean, watch the baby, hold conversations with your food, and face down a sixty-foot dinosaur that wants to claim your wife. Yep. Everyday family things. That’s what made the show so fun. There were situations that would occur in our everyday living but we would see them through the eyes of a dinosaur like when food goes bad and spoils…it doesn’t just go bad, it kidnaps your kids and holds them hostage. Some particular situations remind me a lot of the Flintstones. The Sinclairs live in a Bedrock looking stone/cave house and have weird animals living in their fridge who hand them food and drinks when asked for. Yes, these dinosaurs live in a modern world where apparently dinosaurs invented everything and then man stole it all. Man did invent a wheel though…and then smashed it over his head while laughing hysterically. Great stuff!

I always got a chuckle out of each episode for one reason or another, mostly due to Earl and his skewered man-view on touchy subjects like independent females, marriage, or growing a tail (the dinosaur equivalent of breasts). I think that one of the funniest things in the show was in fact a reference to puppets. Earl and the baby were watching a puppet show and Earl made a comment to his wife that the show was chock full of humor for the kids yet packed with enough political and social commentary to keep the older viewers watching. Earl’s wife Fran looked at the show and flat out said to him, “They still look like puppets. I’m not watching it.” To me, that sums up the reaction that most people have to a show that doesn’t have real-life actors or even cartoons. If it’s not based in reality, it’s not worth watching. To them I say, the same amount of work and effort if not more, go into making a show such as Dinosaurs or any cartoon out there past of present. Besides, who needs reality when you can create your own skewed version?

I don’t have many gripes about Dinosaurs other than some nitpicky stuff. Sometimes, the voices wouldn’t match up with the animatronics, the baby would really get on my nerves, why do the dinosaurs use B.C. millions of years before Christ was supposed to have lived, and I still think that Robbie was lame. Other than that, I don’t have too many negatives. As always with a Jim Henson creation and with the help of his equally genius son Brian, the attention and detail that each and every dinosaur suit, stage set and prop was given is still amazing to this day. The voice actors were great and, other than the lackluster grandmother, never disappointed.

I look back on Dinosaurs after watching this DVD set and realize just how original the show was and how there has never really been anything like it since. Can you think of a series over the past five or ten years that was on primetime television that can even compare to Dinosaurs? Unique, original, funny, satirical, goofy, serious. That sums up Dinosaurs in only a few short words. Dinosaurs is definitely something that the whole family can sit down and enjoy together. Don’t have a family of your own? The Sinclairs will welcome you into theirs.

Pre-Hysterical Times: The Making Of Dinosaurs – Get a fist-ever behind-the-scenes look at how Jim Henson’s Creature Shop brought the dinosaurs to life
Creating Dinosaurs: The Sketches That Started It All Dino-Eggs – Join the adventure and excavate all the buried bonus clips!

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Stereo

Full Screen (1.33:1)


Favorite Scenes: Hurling Day, Family Challenge, Charlenes Tale, Endangered Species, When Food Goes Bad, Switched At Birth, A New Leaf, WESAYSO Knows Best
Rating: NR
Running Time: 670 minutes
Extras Rating:
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