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Brief History of Dinosaur Cartoons

I liked dinosaurs as a kid. I bet you also liked dinosaurs as a kid. I remember having a Jurassic Park T-Rex toy and pretending to feed it my action figures. It is almost impossible to talk about animated dino shows like Dino-Riders without talking about toys. Many animated series were and still are long toy ads. The old dinosaur cartoon shows were not an exception. In any case, let’s talk about old prehistoric cartoon shows!

Dinosaucers (1987-1988)

Dinosaucers is an exception to the rule. There were originally plans to release a Dinosaucers toyline, and prototype figures were produced. However, the line was scrapped after the show was cancelled. The show is now remembered mostly for it’s awesome theme song and intro.

Without hearing/understanding the actual dialogue, Dinosaucers episode 1 is really confusing. There is never a real background story apart from these few facts:

1. Dinosaucers hate Tyrannos
2. Tyrannos are stupid and have a ray gun that can make others stupid.
3. Dinosaucers can dinovolve.
4. Secret Scouts are stronger than the Planeteers

Dino-Riders (1988)

Dino-Riders was produced to promote Tyco toys. Look at this picture. Tyco knew their stuff. Prehistoric creatures with lasers fighting each other is a cool concept for both toys and our imagination. Apparently, if you any of the Ice Age Adventures series of action figures, they are quite rare.

The Land Before Time (1988)

In 1988, the first Land Before Time movie was playing in movie theaters across the world. In this animated movie, dinosaurs were not portrayed as terrifying blood thirsty creatures. Littlefood and his gang are cute and friendly. As a result, normal parents began to approve of their children love for prehistoric birds/reptiles. Of course, nerdy fathers never disapproved of prehistoric fascination. In the wake of The Land Before Time, Denver, the Last Dinosaur and Dink, the Little Dinosaur profited from the world’s love of Land Before Time.

Denver, the Last Dinosaur (1988-1989)

The Land Before Time film explored issues of prejudice between the different species. Denver also spoke to the youth about race issues. It showed a group of interracial American teens hanging out with an a rad dinosaur named Denver for a entire 65 episodes.

Like all animated series, Denver had it’s own toys. The rocking dinosaur also as used to promote Knott’s Berry Farm Kingdom of the Dinosaurs attraction and Ralston-Purina’ cereal brand Dinersaurs. How many cartoons except for the Flinstones promote cereal brands?

Dink, the Little Dinosaur (1989-1991)

Dink, the Little Dinosaur is essentially a plagiary of The Land Before Time. Dink and Littlefoot are both baby brontosaurus. The main characters have cute Pteranodon sidekicks. They have friendly adventures. I just wish I could get a glimpse of their Factasaurus clips. The Factasaurus (I assumed he is a dinosaur) would teach kids about dinosaurs.

Moving on to the 90’s

After 1991, fans of televised dinosaurs were still being satisfied. It wasn’t because of Barney. It was because the cartoons were still flowing from the animation studios. Also, the first Jurassic Park came out in 1993.

Dinosaurs TV series (1991-1994)

This isn’t a cartoon at all but one of the most memorable sitcoms of the early 90s. It’s success was almost garanteed since it was conceptualized by Jim Henson right before he died. The show was a satire of current society and played with themes such as agnosticism, racism, sexism, etc. The most memorable character was obviously Baby Sinclair because of his “Not The Mama” antics.

The Adventures of T-Rex (1992–1993)

The Adventures of T-Rex is one of those musical cartoons. It is kind of like a more “bad-ass” version of the California Raisins. Unlike many dinosaur cartoons, the setting of the Adventure of T-Rex is an anthropomorphic dinosaur world. Another thing, I find funny is that the heroes’ special powers are related to a specific part of their anatomy. You got Bernie’s legs, Bruno’s arms, Bubba’s tail, Buck’s mouth and teeth, and Bugsy’s telekinetic eyes. The tyrannosaurus brothers were just born that way! I haven’t watched much of this series yet, because I’d be spending too much time watching cartoons instead of writing blog posts. I actually do spend too much time watching cartoons online for free.

Jurassic Park Craze (1993)

Jurassic Park is a movie that everyone has seen. I believe it continued the dinosaur tv series craze in animation. If you haven’t noticed there has been at least 10 animated series where dinos have played an important role. To my knowledge this blockbuster didn’t inspire any animated series, but I do remember both the awesome Sega Genesis game and the theme song. I also might have had a dream about Jurassic Park but I might just be imagining scenarios involving my action figures.


Got to love those drum covers!

Cadillacs and Dinosaurs (1993-1994)

This might be the only comic book cartoon series that was produced after the release of a successful video game. The premise of the animated series does resemble Jurassic Park. In any case, I am really sad by the fact the series only lasted 13 episodes. First, the animation is amazing for a TV series produced in 1993. Second, the plot is awesome. The heroes drive cool cars and are friends with dinosaurs. The villain is a fat capitalist lady who hates animals and trees. The heroes and villains fight mostly on the political level. Overall, if there is one show you need to watch from the old dinosaur tv series, watch one of the best cartoons ever. You won’t be disappointed.

Street Sharks (1994-1995) and Extreme Dinosaurs (1997)

Matel produced both Extreme Dinosaurs and Street Sharks as toy advertisements. I am pretty sure Street Sharks ended up being a better television series. The Extreme Dinosaurs a.k.a. Dino Vengers were even featured on an episode of Street Sharks.

Cartoons

Cartoons from British Columbia’s Leo Awards 2013

The Leo Awards are a celebration of British Columbia’s television, animation, and movie industries. I haven’t seen any amazing Canadian cartoons in a while, so I figured I’d take a look at the 2013 animation nominees. I didn’t watch all of them because who really wants to spend an hour watching a movie that was made just to sell Mattel toys.

Slugterra

I once stumbled home after a party and decided to pass out in front of Slugterra. I fell asleep pretty fast. In my opinion, it’s just another Pokemon/Digimon remake. Guy catches pets, carries them around in a gun and makes them fight for glory. It doesn’t even win any points for the animation, but I’m biased against 3d animation. I just don’t find it appealing.

I find it weird that they have been nominated and won so many Leo Awards. What am I not seeing? Should I have given this series a sober chance?

Rocket Monkeys

I was hunting for some new cartoons and I landed on Rocket Monkeys. After my experience with Sanjay and Craig, I wasn’t to keen on watching another series that looked random and wacky.

Though there are lot of fart jokes in Rocket Monkeys, it certainly deserves the best animation award. I haven’t watched the other series so hopefully I won’t need to retract it.

Animism: The Gods’ Lake

I would love to love Aninism: The Gods’ Lake. It mixes Native American legends with an eco-friendly message. In some ways, it’s a cooler version of Adventures from the Book of Virtues. Actually, it really isn’t the same except for the buffalo character and talking animals.

Adventures from the Book of Virtues – Cincinnatus

My main issue with Animism is that the animation is really choppy. It looks as if they were lazy or lacked budget, instead of the stylish effect I’m assuming they were going for. The first few episodes have a lot of dialogue and it really emphasizes this weird animation decision.

APTN lets you watch the whole series online which is really cool!

1001 Nights

This shares one thing with Animism that I like. 1001 Nights retells classic stories. The title makes it pretty obvious. I was only able to watch the one episode they have accessible on their home page. It’s one of those annoying websites hat auto-play music so I’m warning you after I post the link.

The available episode is suppositly about Sinbad. It’s really weird because I was expecting this:

Instead I got a weird bumbling merchant Sinbad. I don’t know what to think of this new guy, or maybe the old cartoon and TV series surrounding the sailor have been very misleading.

Max Steel: Monstrous Alliance

Max Steel is one of those 3D cartoons that looks and sounds nice but has no real substance. I’m guessing it was developed to sell toys by Mattel. The premise is similar to Cartoon Network’s hit Ben 10. There’s a kid, he has a alien and scientist friends, and there are people who want to fight him. I would love this show if I was still in elementary school.

Monstrous Alliance is a movie they produce for the series. I did not waste my time watching it. I opted instead to watch 10 minutes of the real show before judging it.

There were some other Canadian animation nominates for Leo Awards that I did not have time to watch. You can see the full list of nominees including regular Canadian TV series on their official site

Cartoons Comics Movies

No New Planet Hulk Movie, Gonna Have to Stick with Animation

It’s officially been declared a few days ago that there will be no new Planet Hulk movie by AICN. The rumors started at the Latino Review has been effectively hulk smashed. I’m not going to say that I am horribly disappointed. As a big fan of original Planet Hulk movie, I hope that this hype has brought it some more attention. I’m kind of hoping that for Avengers 2, they decide to infect Hulk with a virus and reenact the events of World War Hulk… The background story

In any case, it seems like the main issue lies with Marc Ruffalo. The new Bruce Banner has signed a contract for 6 years with Marvel, and would not be able to be featured in Planet Hulk. Why? If you haven’t read the comics or watched the Planet Hulk movie, the reason is that Bruce Banner is simply not featured in that story arc. Dr. Banner is so pissed off from being shot off into space that he simply remains in Hulk form the whole time.

In any case, for those who are whining, just pick up the animated movie. It’s worth the watch and you’ll get your new Planet Hulk movie. Any more you have not yet seen is new in my book.

Cartoons

Adventure Time Theme Song Lyrics & Chords

adventure time introduction screenshot

One the best cartoon theme songs is from one of the greatest cartoons of the millennium, Adventure Time. It was written the creator of the show Pendleton Ward. The rest of the music from the cartoon has been written by Ashley Eriksson, Casey James Basichis, and Tim Kiefe.

Adventure Time Theme Song

The song is really catchy. It’s essentially the same theme as the animated short that was produced before Pendleton Ward’s cartoon began to air on Cartoon Network. There are of course some differences. In fact, only acoustic guitar and voice are present in the pilot’s theme. There’s actually no acoustic guitar in the real theme song, Ward decided to switch to a ukulele and the pitch of his voice is a bit higher to compensate. Ward talks in detail about the production of the intro in this interview

Adventure Time Theme Song Lyrics

It’s ad-venture time,
c’mon grab your friends,
we’ll go to very
distant lands.
With Jake the dog and
Finn the hu-man, the
fun will never
end, it’s adventure
time!

Adventure Time Intro

Fiona and Cake Song

One alternate version of the theme was used in the Fionna and Cake episode. Natasha Allegri replaces Ward on the vocals and the lyrics change slightly to make the new characters.

It’s ad-venture time,
c’mon grab your friends,
we’ll go to very
distant lands.
With Cake the cat and
Fionna the hu-man, the
fun will never
end, it’s adventure
time!

Adventure Time Chords

G It’s ad-venture time,
D c’mon grab your friends,
C we’ll go to very
D distant lands.
G With Jake the dog and
D Finn the hu-man, the
C fun will never
D end, it’s adventure
G time!

It’s pretty easy to play the Adventure Time song chords on either guitar or ukuelele. However, to play the theme song in it’s integrity, more than one instrument is needed to match the music that plays before the actual song part of the intro begins.

How To Play the Adventure Time Song

There are some really good tutorials on how to play the adventure time song on both ukulele and guitar. These ones are great for beginners that need more than just a list of chords to get the phrasing right.

Ukulele Tutorial

Guitar Tutorial

Cartoons

New Simpsons Episode (Them, Robot) Actually Funny

Them, Robot is one of the newer Simpsons episodes. In fact, it is episode of season 23 of episode 17. If you watch Them, Robot, you will definitely agree that it is a great episode. I haven’t watched a Simpsons cartoon episode since I was a teenager. I’m sure you all know why. The Simpsons kind of sucked. I definitely start watching the Simpsons again after watching Them, Robots. In any case, I’d rather force you to watch the episode then write a real review. You will just need to watch Them, Robots online. Instead, I’m going to talk about episodes of the Simpsons where robots appear.

It isn’t the first time there are robots in the Simpsons! I have no idea in which season the battle seizure robots appear. If you don’t remember these robots, you will. If you really don’t then maybe this famous Simpson scene will trig up your memory.

Another robot that had a prominent place in a Simpsons episode is Lisa’s grammar-correcting robot Lingo. I apologize in advance if you clicked that link thinking it was something serious. If you didn’t click the link it’s a techo remix of Lingo’s death.

There is also the Truckasaurus. If only I had a time machine, I would have tried to make the Truckasaurus movie into the actual Simpsons movie. The actual movie is really bad. I never watched.

Let’s not forget the numerous Treehouse of Horror robot characters like David, Ultrahouse 3000 and Cyborg Bart.

If you’d like to know about other robots such as Bender from Futurama appearing in Simpsons episodes, check out the Simpsons Wikia.

In case you were wondering, the robots in Them, Robot are essential to almost all best gags. It very well could be that all the other episodes of the Simpsons Season 23 are horrible. The epistemologist a.k.a. philosopher of knowledge a.k.a. skeptic in me can not state for a fact that you should watch any other cartoon from the new Simpsons episodes. They may very well be horrible episodes but Them, Robots has to be one of the best cartoons ever made.

The Simpsons Them Robot & Homer

Cartoons

Kwesi Boakye is Darwin & Gumball’s Fish

A friend once stated that voice actors are like teens in movies. They often are older than they appear on your television screen. I don’t know if that simile is truly representative of reality. Yet, I was reminded of an exception when I wrote about a recent Gumball episode that there is at least one notable exception: The Amazing World of Gumball’s cast!

Kwesi Boakye

Kwesi Boakye’s last name is pronounced buuah-chee not buuah-kee. In case you were wondering, his family is from Ghana. Kwesi was born April 6, 1999 in Los Angeles. Therefore, Kwesi is only thirteen years old. He isn’t an actual elementary school kid like Darwin, but he also isn’t an old man. I guess that’s also true about the actors playing teenagers in movies, but anyways… Kwesi Boakye is rise to stardom began with his role as Manny in the Tyler Perry film “I Can Do Bad All By Myself.” Darwin is not the only cartoon character that is voiced by Boakye. The teenager also voices Gossamer on new and horrible The Looney Tunes Show.

Interview With Kwesi Boakye

Are Darwin & Gumball brothers?

Darwin & Gumball are best friends! Darwin is a fish who lives in a fish bowl next to Gumball’s bunk-bed. I have always wondered if there is a link between Darwin’s name and the existence of the Darwin Fish symbol. Unless I get an interview with the creators of the Amazing World of Gumball, I doubt I will ever get an answer.

Either way, I have always been confused by Darwin’s background. Is Darwin Gumball’s brother and a real member of the Watterson family? Even though Darwin’s full name is Darwin Raglan Caspian Ahab Poseidon Nicodemius Watterson lll, the cartoon fish is not Gumball’s brother. Darwin was Gumball’s pet fish until he suddenly grew legs and started to speak. Obviously, the pet fish became an integral part of the Watterson family. Imagine if your dog suddenly became more human and you considered him a family member if you didn’t already!

Amazing World of Gumball Fan Art by Molly Ketty