Dinosaurs: The Complete Third and Fourth Seasons
DVD Reviews | Jul 29th, 2007
Starring Earl, 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
Studio: Disney/ Buena Vista
Buy on Amazon.com link
With the third and fourth seasons of “Dinosaurs” you can start to see the decline in the show that ultimately ended the series. The first and second seasons of the show were really a kick in the rear end for evening television and had a “nothing-is-sacred” attitude much like “The Simpsons” and “Married With Children” did in their heyday. The show poked fun at everything from religion to daytime TV talk shows. As the third season begins, the episodes just don’t seem to have the gusto that the previous episodes did. “Dinosaurs” begins to develop into a kids show and the things that were there for the older viewers are lacking. There are a handful of episodes that focus on the least entertaining character, the baby, and rehash themselves over and over again with the overplayed jokes from the earlier seasons.
Even though Seasons 3 and 4 don’t seem to grab me like the earlier seasons, that’s not to say that there still aren’t some hidden gems in between all of that children’s humor. “The Discovery” is an episode that parallels what early American settlers did to the Native American Indians with a few jabs at the corporate world thrown in for good measure while “Swamp Music” throws a few uppercuts to the crap that we called and still do call popular mainstream music. A blues band made up of swamp mammals from “the other side of the tracks” has developed a new sound that could spark a musical revolution, but a record executive records the band and hands over all of the songs to a popular recording artist that turns all of the songs into Richard Cheese lounge versions. After realizing that they’ll never get their comeuppance from “The Lizard” who is always holding them down, they decide that they should just start their own record label and record and release the album themselves. That way they can have total control and not have to worry about “The Lizard”. “Swamp Music” was probably my favorite “Dinosaurs” episode to date because of the shot at the music industry that it took and that Howlin’ Jay and his kin reminded me a lot of the Electric Mayhem.
One important thing that I did not get the chance to see when “Dinosaurs” originally aired was the final episode. How many times does a TV show end on a sour note with the writers trying to take the show in a new direction or shine a different kind of light on character A or family B? How many times do the writers rush a series finale or that it seems that they just wanted to get things over and done with? It’s as if they just don’t see the obvious ending? Well, having watched the series finale of “Dinosaurs” for the first time, I’m going to have to go out on a limb and say that it was one of the greatest final episodes that I have ever watched. It was also one of the most depressing. Without giving too much of it away for anyone who has never seen it, you can put two and two together with just one word…extinction. After investing so much time in a TV show, you can find yourself feeling like you are one of them and it’s good to know that when the time ends, you know where they are. You may not like it but at least you know.
Getting back to the lighter side of things, there are a ton of bonus features that were included in Seasons 3 & 4 including 7 episodes that were never aired, a behind the scenes look at the show and commentaries on a few episodes. Overall, seasons 3 & 4 contain 36 episodes including the bonus episodes and the total running time is a whopping 835 minutes.
With so much packed into a four-disc set, it would have been hard for me to not pick up “Dinosaurs”. Much like “The Simpsons”, “Dinosaurs” has a little bit of something for everyone…just instead of being yellow, they’re green with scaled. Being the last DVD set, all that I would like to say to close things out would be that the “Dinosaurs” sure know how to end things with a bang.
Creatures With A Cause: The Issues Of “Dinosaurs”
I’m The Baby, Gotta Love Me!! Featurette
Hours Of Episodes, Not Aired On Network TV
Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Sound
Full Screen (1.33:1)
Favorite Scenes: Network Genius, The Discovery, The Son Also Rises, Swamp Music, Changing Nature
Running Time: 835 minutes