Starring: Stuart Pankin as Earl Sinclair (voice) Jessica Walter as Fran Sinclair (voice) Jason Willinger as Robbie Sinclair (voice) Sally Struthers as Charlene Sinclair (voice) Florence Stanley as Grandma Ethyl Phillips (voice) Sam McMurray as Roy Hess (voice) Sherman Hemsley as B.P. Richfield (voice) Kevin Clash as Baby Sinclair/Howard Handupme/Grandma Ethyl Phillips (voice) Suzie Plakson as Monica DiVertibrae/Sally/Elder #3 (voice) Michelan Sisti as Charlene Sinclair (voice) Pons Maar as Roy Hess (voice) Leif Tilden as Robbie Sinclair (voice) Steve Whitmire as Robbie Sinclair/B. P. Richfield (voice)
Special Features: Pre-Hysterical Times: The Making of Dinosaurs: Get a first-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 — Character designer Kirk Thatcher takes viewers through his original designs for the Dinosaurs.
Dino-Eggs: Join the adventure and excavate all the buried bonus clips!
Other Info: Fullscreen (1.33:1) Dolby Digital Stereo Sound Dolby Digital Surround Sound Running Time: 670 Minutes
Synopsis: Dinosaurs originally aired in 1991-1992. The following is from the DVD cover:
“Meet the Sinclairs — the funniest family in 60 million years! They’re just your average family with one BIG difference. They’re Dinosaurs, living the good life in sixty million and three B.C.! Daddy Earl, his wife Fran, their kids Robbie, Charlene, and the Baby, and feisty Grandma Ethyl bring a hilarious Jurassic twist to daily life as they eat, drink, make merry, and get their kicks watching cavemen rub rocks together. Based on an idea by Jim Henson, the award-winning comedy series features state-of-the-art puppetry and audioanimatronics. For the first time, you can enjoy the complete first two seasons and rediscover the pre-hysterical fun all over again.”
Dinosaurs: The Complete First and Second Seasons is not rated.
Mini-Review: I remember watching the first episode of Dinosaurs when it aired back in 1991. I was a big fan of Jim Henson’s studios, I loved Dinosaurs as a kid, and the promos looked pretty funny. However, when I saw the final product, I wasn’t all that impressed. Maybe that’s why it only lasted a couple of seasons. The series was technically and visually stunning. The puppets and sets were absolutely incredible. However, the story wasn’t all that funny. It was like a weak combination of The Flintstones and The Simpsons. It tried to be funny but was only occasionally successful. It tried to be edgy, but all it did was throw in a little language that made it inappropriate for the young kids that would probably most enjoy it. Despite the attempts at comedic social commentary, the end result was simply bland. I could take it or leave it. (I’ll admit I did like the cameos by stupid cavemen, the ape-like “food”, and other amusing characters. I also appreciate the random biting and hitting by the baby now that I’m an abused parent myself.) While it’s not entirely appropriate for all kids, Henson fans will probably be glad to finally have a chance to enjoy the elaborate puppetry on DVD.
There are a few bonus features included on the DVD. The first is “Pre-Hysterical Times: The Making of Dinosaurs”. In this video Brian Henson, Michael Jacobs, and the creators discuss the origin of the series and the technical and artistic challenges of bringing it to the small screen. You see how the puppets were designed and built, behind the scenes footage, and more. The second bonus feature is entitled “Creating Dinosaurs: The Sketches That Started It All”. Character designer Kirk Thatcher shows off his production artwork for the main characters and describes the process of dreaming them up all the way to building them. Finally, the discs are absolutely jam packed with easter eggs, or “Dino-Eggs” as they’re referred to here. They have interviews with the puppeteers, trivia about the names of the characters, and other fun stuff.