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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > Monsters > Fantasy > Dinosaurs – The Complete Third and Fourth Seasons (Disney/Michael Jacobs Production)

Dinosaurs – The Complete Third and Fourth Seasons (Disney/Michael Jacobs Production)


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: B     Episodes: B+



HONEY! I’m Home.  Finally a blast from the past arrives on DVD with the arrival of Dinosaurs: The Complete Third and Fourth Seasons.  Finishing off the second half of a great series, this 4 DVD Disc set has been highly anticipated for a long time.  To give new comers and old timers alike a little wrap of the series, here is a brief prehistory lesson.  The 1991-1994 ABC series stars the lovable dinosaur clan known as the Sinclair’s; Earl the father, Fran the Momma, Robbie the son, Charlene the daughter, and Baby the ummm, baby.  The creatures of the series were created and operated by none other than the Jim Henson Production Company and even somewhat resembles The Muppet Show.  The series takes place in the year 60,000,003 BC and the goes backwards as the series progresses.


In a humorous moment of the series Robbie Sinclair asks Earl ‘What are we counting down to?’  The series is setup like any family sitcom but places a humorous and satirical spin on every tail slapping moment.  Though children and adults alike both love this series many of the themes embodied in this prehistoric series are very mature; though shrouded in a fog of cuteness and humor.  The series has addressed an array of issues including environmentalism, civil rights, women’s rights, racism, drug abuse, corporate crimes, and much, much more.  Great moments include a public service announcement about drugs and even an allusion to their own series when Earl addresses a puppet show he is watching as ‘not for kids’ and ‘sharp edged and witty.’  Overall, Dinosaurs is a great series that continues to be relevant, humorous, and smart with its satirical edge.


Another running joke in the series centers on the incessant television watching occurring in the Sinclair House.  At least once an episode (and usually much more) the camera turns to the TV set and gives the audience a front row view of what the Sinclair Family uses for entertainment; for the most part mocking the exact venue that give this series its popularity.  Some parody examples are Mr. Ugh the talking caveman (like Mr. Ed), Good Morning Pangaea (like Good Morning America), House Full of Dads (like Full House), Mysteries that haven’t been Solved (like Unsolved Mysteries), and so on.  Even our television networks get mocked with dinosaur stations such as DNN (like CNN), DTV (like MTV), DSPN (like ESPN), and on and on.  The basic drift here is that the series is an unending treasure trove of satirical gold.


The technical features of this set are very nice for the most part.  The picture is presented in a nice 1.33 X 1 Full Screen.  The picture could have definitely used an anamorphic Widescreen treatment as well as a tad bit more restoring but overall it did not detract from the viewing experience.   Also at times the colors seem a bit bland and could have ‘popped’ better than they did.  The sound is presented in a simple Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo that is adequate but could have been better.  The sound ‘stomps’ and ‘slams’ in all the right places, but having 5.1 surrounds could have greatly improved the series.  There is no shortage of extras on this prehistoric set having something for everyone to enjoy.  Bonus Features include a featurette entitled ‘Creatures with a Cause’ that delves into the secrets of the series as well as the controversial last episode, Audio Commentaries, ‘I’m the Baby’ featurette, and much more.  One of the best features on this set is the hours of episodes that never aired on network television (basically the 4th Season).  In the end this is a great box set with great features.


Dinosaurs left a footprint in television history that will never be forgot.  The satire, the humor, and the overall creativeness that the series brought to the table has not been matched…at least by puppets.  The combination of Jim Henson’s and Mark Jacobs’ Production Studios was a great collaborative effort and let’s hope more greatness like this occurs soon.



-   Michael P Dougherty II


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