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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Mini-Series > Science > Dinosaurs > Evolution > Adventure > Action > Comedy > Anmimation > Extreme Dinosaurs/Predator Dinosaurs/Prehistoric Park (BBC DVDs)/Valley Of The Dinosaurs: The Complete Series (1974/Hanna-Barbera/Warner Archive DVD)

Extreme Dinosaurs/Predator Dinosaurs/Prehistoric Park (BBC DVDs)/Valley Of The Dinosaurs: The Complete Series (1974/Hanna-Barbera/Warner Archive DVD)


Picture: C/C/C/C+     Sound: C+     Extras: D/D/C/D     Episodes: B-/B-/B-/B



PLEASE NOTE: Valley Of The Dinosaurs is only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.



With Spielberg’s Jurassic Park being reissued in a 3D conversion, it is no surprise we would be getting more dinosaur releases to take advantage of its reissue.  For the BBC, this is usually a way to issue educated programming.  This time, we get three releases from them: Extreme Dinosaurs, Predator Dinosaurs and the 2-DVD Prehistoric Park which we previously covered years ago from another distributor at this link:





Though not great, the show was not bad and should at least be available.  Turns out the long look (288 minutes) at the subject has dated a bit as expected, especially thanks to the limited digital video budget, but the show remains watchable and it is still a good show.  David Jason narrated the older DVD set.


Stills (including storyboards), interactive stats & facts and a making of featurette (27 minutes) are still the extras.


Extreme Dinosaurs and Predator Dinosaurs are in-house BBC shows that offer more of the same in less the time with Extreme having the program that asks the question T-Rex – Warrior or Wimp?  Both programs are about that dino fave and all three are worth a look for fans of the subject or those interested.  However, only fanatics will find them often rewatchable.



Proving dinosaurs were always popular, there was a boom interest in the mid-1970s thanks to reruns of older such films, the popularity of Toho Godzilla films in their golden age and new toys celebrating all of it.  For the 1974 – 75 season of what used to be Saturday Morning TV from the big three networks, two shows on the subject went head to head.  They should not have, but NBC had Sid & Marty Krofft’s Land Of The Lost shot on videotape and ABC had Hanna-Barbera’s animated Valley Of The Dinosaurs and it is that show that has finally, recently arrived on DVD, even though as a high quality online-only Complete Series set from the Warner Archive collection.


With 16 half-hours, the Butler Family (John (Father & Professor), Kim, Katie and Greg, plus their dog Digger) are water rafting when they hit a whirlpool and land up in another world no one knows about.  Before they get eaten by a giant predator, a cave family who knows the ways of this world save them and instantly befriend them, leading to discoveries for both families and new adventures each week.


Though the original Lost was a good show (which I cannot say about any of its sad revivals), Valley was to me, always the superior show, yet it did not last and despite being one of the smartest, most mature Hanna-Barbera series along with the original Jonny Quest and Wait ‘Til Your Father Gets Home, it has become lost in the shuffle of TV history.  Yet, I think people miss how good the show its, even to the point that the author of a coffee table book on the company actually wrote the show off as racist and awful!


In reality, the show is about accepting the outside world and the other, with Gorak, Gara, Lok, Tana and Glump (a dinodog meant to be a child favorite) representing minorities, especially Native Americans and even the Hippie counterculture.  Yes, they happen to speak good English, but this is a show for children and a smart one, so at a half-hour, compromises had to be made.  The contrasts of the two families is always clever and in a rare thing for any TV animation, there is chemistry among the characters that makes the show even more watchable.


It is a peak of the company in general, producing more hits and classic than they ever had or would again.  Too bad it did not have another time slot or it might be recognized as the great show it is.  With good writing, real heart & soul work and some suspense that works, Valley Of The Dinosaurs: The Complete Series is an unrecognized gem that has only become better with age and in some ways, is more relevant than when it first arrived.  I cannot recommend it enough and anyone who has children who are dinosaur fans or just looking for quality product for their child to watch, this one is worth going out of your way for.


Sadly, there are no extras, but there is more to be said on the show and if you watch it very closely, you’ll see what I am talking about.



The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on all three BBC DVDs are softer than I expected and especially in their dated digital visual effects with smearing and detail issued throughout.  The 1.33 X 1 image on Valley is the visual champ here despite the limited animation used, the definition and detail here are better and best of all, color is excellent for the format and the show not only looks better than ever, but better than many of its critics might have expected.  The transfers can even be a revelation in shots.


The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on Prehistoric shows its age and limited soundfield to the point that lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on the other BBC DVDs are just as good (with their own sonic limits) and the lossy Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono on Valley can more than compete despite its age (down to its great theme song).  Don’t expect much more sonically from any of these releases, but they are just fine for what they are.



To order Valley Of The Dinosaurs, go to this link for it and many more great web-exclusive releases at:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


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