Saturday, December 19, 2009

Big Lizard In My Backyard

Dinosaurs: Disney and Jim Henson Productions' contribution to the early 90's wave of "blue collar" sitcoms.

Dinosaurs was a parody/homage/ripoff of Rosanne's brand of working class family comedy, with healthy doses of Simpsons-style satire and TGIF-approved catchphrases. For a brief, shining moment this puppet show was all the rage with the kids. And boy, was it dopey.

The show wasn't bad- the animatronic puppeteering was typically excellent work from Henson's Muppet performers, the writing was sharp, and Stuart Pankin's voice acting (as Earl Sinclair, the dad) was terrific. But the baby....oooh, that baby:

I still cringe whenever I hear that voice. I'd rather sit through a Family Matters marathon than that baby's blunt-object shenanigans. It's funny because he tries to kill his Dad, ha ha!

The saving grace of Dinosaurs was the show's frequent detours into Al Gore territory, as in the unforgettable series finale. Be warned- once you've watched it, you can't un-watch it:

Damn, that's some bleak stuff for a kid's puppet show. An entire generation of young adults gets queasy whenever it starts snowing. Thankfully, Dinosaurs showed us all the error of our ways, and now we never have to worry about massive climate change caused by shortsightedness and greed ever again.

Buy Dinosaurs DVDs here. The ever-informative website Jim Hill Media has an interesting article on a lost episode. The Dinosaurs released an album. The baby made a music video.

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