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Dinosaurs Finale

Discussion in 'Family Worlds' started by CountFan1998, May 22, 2012.

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How did the Dinosaurs finale affect you?

  1. It's just so heartbreaking!

    83.3%
  2. It's sad, but didn't really affect me.

    11.1%
  3. I don't know...

    5.6%

  1. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I watched Scent of the Reptile (and Earl and Pearl) last night.

    It's been awhile since I last watched Working Girl (most of the last season episodes are average, but there are some gems in the last season as well), but I recall there being hung newspapers with headlines regarding the campaign for Chief Elder between Earl and Richfield (from And the Winner Is..., which as I mentioned earlier includes references to past episodes itself) and a headline about Robbie's volcano science project (from Power Erupts).

    When it comes to continuity being ignored, there's various explanations as to why Earl married Fran. In How to Pick Up Girls, it's revealed that Fran was the first female he asked out, and then he asked her to marry him because he didn't want to go through asking another out again. And in Scent of the Reptile it's because of Fran's scent gland (which Earl liked because it smelled like a new car). I guess they're not contradictory (and perhaps Fran's scent is what gave Earl the courage to ask her out over other females). But there's a few other times when Earl mentions different reasons for marrying Fran, which are mentioned during arguments so he very well could have made up those reasons to make his point. For example, in Hurling Day, when Fran decides Earl shouldn't hurl Ethyl, he says "I married you so I could hurl her!" And in Nature Calls, when Fran demands that Earl change the diapers, he says "This is females work. That's why I married a female!"
  2. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    LOL I love how Dinosaurs satirized sexism, like the old boys network cracked me up. lol I watched Earl and Pearl last light to and Georgie Must Die (before I went to bed). One of the things on Earl and Pearl that I was a little confused with is how Roy and Pearl had crushes on each other and I was like "Wait, what about Monica, I thought Roy really liked Monica." I remember there was an episode where they got married so Roy protected her from getting kicked out of Pangea for walking on four legs (the typical satire on racism lol) but Monica didn't like the marriage or something. I forgot how it ended. If they stayed only friends or they started the relationship and just going slow with it. There wasn't much storyline with their relationship afterwords.


    I'm watching the DVD of the 2nd box set as I type lol, I'm going to watch the final episode tonight so I can figure out my thoughts about it and post it here afterwords. It's kind of fun, I haven't been on message forums in awhile, I'm starting to get back into it.


    Though I was thinking about how the cast is wiped out at the end of the final episode, I was thinking of B. P. Richfeild (Is it B.P. or P. B. ? And what do they stand for lol) and if he reacted in his final moments? Did he struggle to get out of that tiny trailer office of his and just running and thinking about his regrets and guilts of years of being evil? But like someone mentioned before, the only thing he seemed to have a heart for is his daughter. But what's really strange about the show is how limited they are with characters, like there's the Sinclair family, Richfeild, Roy, Monica, and Howard Handupme and the rest are stock characters. But there's only so many of the animatronic ones and more of the hand puppet ones. So it's a little confusing with the animatronic stock characters because it's almost like "Hey Earl goes to work with them, how can they be a cop too? And why is their voice different"

    Like in the episode where Charlie looks for work, there's like 4 scenes where the boss is telling her to get lost back to back, and it's the same puppet for all of those bosses which I found funny. lol

    But it's sort of understandable to have limited characters because it looks really expensive. And the price of latex, molding, sculpting, rebuilding, sets, props, electronics, etc. Then any puppet production has a big budget because characters need to be rebuilt every year. Foam and Latex wares our so easily.

    Just curious, was there a reason the show ended? Was it because the writers were running out of ideas and they wanted the show to end, budget problems from ABC, low ratings? Dinosaurs had big ratings though out it's run right?

    I think what's sad about television is that how they just aren't open to original ideas. It's all reality TV, game shows, or something with a low budget. Almost every attempt of adult puppetry in the 2000s didn't last long like Greg The Bunny. But adult animation networks are a little more open. But even some of them aren't as funny as The Simpsons or The Critic or Mission Hill.

    You know what would have been cool is if DinoTV had it's own spin-off series and it's a sketch show of the same crazy irreverent satire on stuff that's on TV and on the news. :)
  3. Yorick

    Yorick Active Member



    I actually came to the conclusion (just in the last 6 months or so) that Fraggle Rock (a masterpiece in it's own right!) seems to be an influence on Dinosaurs, since both had environmental messages in them at times. Now I know that could just be coincidence, since Dinosaurs had a different tone and didn't have a happy end, but I love both shows, and I can see some things that they share :)

    Exactly. When the show first was on, I recall wondering the same things you did, and then I got used to it very quickly, and just decided they were the same species. And I think we can all agree that this didn't detract from the genius of everything about the show. I am amazed at how the show was able to have both A) so much heart, and B) satire (and I mean heavy duty style, that ripped apart many flaws of society - even if there were a few topics where I could see both sides...very few). That combination really makes it such a perfectly wonderful show to me, and so very special. I don't know what Jim had in mind for the show when he thought of it, but I feel (as someone here on MC once said) that he would approve of the show as it turned out to be.

    At the time, I recall someone said less folks were watching it near the end. I think they changed the day of the week that the show aired, and that probably didn't help. But I wonder if they saw the end coming, and then decided to film the final episode sooner than they planned, or if those who worked on it thought it was time to wrap it up while it was still great. Either way, from what I understand, they still didn't even get to air all the shows they wanted to air in the last season. They got cancelled before that, so they had to air the last episode ASAP. That's why you see "bonus episodes" on the DVD. Those episodes were never aired, but they should all have been aired before the last episode.
  4. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    Yeah that's strange that the viewers got lower during the later episodes, because the show didn't even seem like it was wearing out. I totally agree with the razor sharp satirie then the heart filled philosophy. Kind of like how South Park...well used to do things with the "I've learned something today" but Dinosaurs had more heart in certain places. And I love that about TV and film puppetry. That's the kind of thing that The Jim Henson Company really did well with and made puppetry like no other. When you sit down and watch this stuff, you totally forget they are puppets, you start to believe they are living beings with feelings just like you. And that's the magic of the art that makes it so wonderful. Plus also according to what satire is all about, it's about the author making a political point using philosophy and razor wit. Not many people do that now a days. And it's really ironic that satire has been a part of history of both puppetry and cartooning since their begaining.

    I totally agree about Jim Henson approving it. Like what Brain Henson said, lots of his work was very harmony based and characters who were dysfunctional and different but still cared for each other, then there's times were he can be a little naughty and irreverent. lol And it can be seen in The Muppet Show, existing blooper reels, and even late night appearances (Arsanio Hall, Johnny Carson, etc) and even the early commercials.
    Also in The Jim Henson Hour, Jim was sort of getting into satire. Like there an episode, I think it was the 2nd episode where Clifford tells a fish story and it was environmental themed and I think it ended sort of dark where Jerry Nelson was performing this fish that said him and the other fish are going to go somewhere else of they don't die or something. It was sort of dark and sad and the MuppetTelevision episode just ends very quietly with Kermit sitting in a director's chair watching the many TV sets that turned into fish tanks and his slowly looks at the camera and says quietly "Goodnight Everyone".
    Sometimes satire can be not funny but just making a point sometimes but sometimes it can have comedy in it.
    Like one of the satirical jokes can kept coming up on MuppetTelevision was there was too much violence on TV like Beanbo (Ranbo) and The Ratings Game episode. And of course the K.D. Lang episode where the captian takes the garbage on a boat and the garbage jump off while foating on the water singing "On The Road Again" and I think it was Kevin Clash's character that said "We're coming soon to a beach near you." I thought that was a funny episode. Probably one of my favorites. And let's not forget Dog City and Thuggy Them (that was the name of Jim's character right?) And the jokes on senseless violence got him where he's at today. Amazing :)

    Anyone hear the rumors that The Jim Henson Company was in the process of doing a satire show where they make celebrity puppets like Michael Jackson and it's about revisiting the dumbest celebrity moments in history or something like that. And Brain Henson is working on a R-rated puppet movie. Not sure if it's going to be part of Henson Alternative or it's something he's doing on his own. I would love to see that. I hope it comes out as good as Team America and Meet The Feebles, I'm sure it will :) lol
  5. Yorick

    Yorick Active Member

    To this, and your entire first 2 paragraphs of this post - right on.
    I agree Captain Planet was preachy, but at least they tried to do good. As for Dinosaurs, it was the saddest TV show ending I've ever experienced, and I know that will never change. For me, no other ending even comes close in that regard. I salute the episode for it's message, and again, for trying to do good...but now that no one's learned from it, I kind of wish it ended with just a close call that they overcame, because that episode is sad beyond words.
    I can't compare the feelings the Seinfeld end gave (just a "what the heck?") to the feelings the Dinosaurs end still gives...
  6. Yorick

    Yorick Active Member

    Yes, I have a spoiler alert coming up about Richfield right now. He was only nice on the series twice: Once he ate the happy plant, and once when Earl was daydreaming.
    Yes, especially if you know from interviews that Sherman Hemsley is one of the nicest people there is. And even though he could be cranky in The Jeffersons and Amen, his voice acting on Dinosaurs is out of this world with scariness, evil and cruelty. Now that's acting! I always forget it's Sherman for this reason, and I always, as you say, totally get into the show and accept everyone as real people. Magic.
    He sure is!
  7. Yorick

    Yorick Active Member

    I agree with you too, it never lost it's greatness. The show is a masterpiece. I don't throw that word around much. But Fraggle Rock and Dinosaurs both were.

    So true, the philosophy and any wit at all is mostly missing:rolleyes:I agree with you 100%!

    Exactly. I'll have to look for that episode on youtube!

    I'll have to look for that episode on youtube too! I wonder if I saw them both back then.

    Yeah, I know the part you mean!:D
  8. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Roy is attracted to long-necked females (hence, Monica). However, it is a VERY long running gag that Roy has conflicting feelings for Earl as well (possibly because Roy never has success at wooing and Earl is really his only friend) ... "My stomach hurts!" The reason he is attracted to Pearl is brought up later and is the same reason he dumps her: she reminds him of Earl. Roy and Earl's friendship made me make this.
    Monica and Roy split up when 4-leggers saved the 2-leggers who were trying to build a floating dam (think that stupid US wall but on a body of water), forcing the government to accept that 4-leggers should have rights as well.
    B. P. = British Petroleum (get it?)
    Of course, in universe his name is Bradley.
    Hard to tell. He clearly doesn't want to die (or else he wouldn't try to fix the first mistake of poisoning everything). On the other hand, he'd probably take it as a sign he "won" ... he had lots of money at the end.
    I think some plots are kinda like the difference between TOS and TNG in Star Trek: clearly ripped off but told through a different perspective. Even Nuts to War has a random creature nobody saw before (importantly, you only see this in an episode about war) living in a hole in the wall and stealing stuff from the main household and inspiring at least a little bit of compassion at the end. Also, the fact Gunge cameos a LOT (at least 3 times I can think of off-hand) shows that FR is a major driving force behind Dinosaurs' inspiration.
    I don't know whether it's intentional or not, but I also saw it as a comment on how little we know about dinosaurs. The dating is atrocious (the Gorgs did a better job keeping track), the weights given are too astronomical for the size (had they avoided humans being life-sized, you could handwave this, but by not shrinking the humans, you realize Charlene is about 5'5" or however tall Sisti was and Baby is about Kermit sized or at most Fozzie sized and Spike is probably around Big Bird's size), and gender identification is frequently a gag (look at one of Sir David Tushingham's clip eps, the one where he holds up a picture of a male and female dinosaur, who are exactly the same only the female has a purse). Like I said, I don't know if they meant it that way (cost being the primary factor, after all), but it does make a statement on how the study of dinosaurs has had historically a very illogical and rather unimaginative nature ... (even Jurassic Park started out with plain brown dinos and only later evolved their looks).
    I lived near Memphis at the time, and the show towards the end would go missing for weeks, show up for an ep or 2 and go missing again.
    Yorick likes this.
  9. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Fraggle Rock was a little more delicate because it had more of a children's audience. It held up a mirror saying "what you humans are doing is silly" where as Dinosaurs said "What you humans are doing is downright silly and very destructive." Not that Fraggles is a delicate show. It showed that if conflicts are resolved, things will be okay. Dinosaurs often showed the negative effects if conflicts weren't resolved. Sometimes comedically, but in the case of the last episode, very drastic things can happen. And above all, Dinosaurs was stronger on satire while Fraggles were teaching pro-social values in the funnest way possible.

    DIC's Captain Planet was alright. When Ted Turner took it on, the show went to crazy world. To sum it up, I LOVE Toxic Crusaders and felt it did a better job of encouraging ecological thinking with crazy comedy instead of lectures and celebrity voice actors.

    Sigh... Too bad Toxic Crusaders never got its due.
    Yorick likes this.
  10. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    I've never seen the animated series, though I have seen the original Toxic Avenger. Troma rules. Some of the best b movies I've ever seen. lol I think Toxic Crusaders are on DVD released by the Troma company. It's amazing how popular Toxie because. But now, barely anyone knows what Troma is. lol

    I still got to watch the final Dinosaurs episode this week. I've been watching my season 3 and 4 box set all week. And I realized that I sort of like Spike for some reason. What's his sub-culture? Is he like modern Greaser or more on the modern 90s American punk like? Spike is kind of interesting. He goes from a creep or trouble maker one moment and then the smart sensible role model for Robby to up too.
    It's funny how Earl never got angry about letting Spike into the house and said something like "Don't bring that thing into the house, I know their kind, they're always steeling your most personal and valuable belongings." then he hides a bag of snack foods in a drawer or something. lol That would be funny if he did that. lol

    Also there's two episodes of Dinosaurs that featured Muppets. One was the parody of The Little Mermaid called The Little Underwater Girl and it featured 3 Muppet Lobsters which I always found sort of a funny and strange cross-over. Then there was an episode where Robby and Earl get eaten by that monster from The Jim Henson Hour mini Movie "The Monster Maker" and inside you can see the two little furry characters with the long noises from Fraggle Rock. The one who always hung around Moggery the Trash heap (that's her name right? The Fraggles Wise person who gives them advice by song). That monster from The Monster Maker has been in a couple of episodes of Dinosaurs. lol My favorite moment with that is the Hidden Preditor show within a show skits. lol "WHAT'S FOR DINNER, YOU ARE!" lol It's so corny. And even at the end of "Terrible Twos" where that serious character said that he's going to sue the producers of Dinosaurs for telling the audience that you should lie to a child to say it's their 3rd birthday and he'll be waiting for their reply. Then the monster comes and eats him then burps when it fades to black. lol It's so corny but I love it. lol I think Brian Henson performed the monster in an episode because I remember seeing a picture of him and the puppet and it's really small, it's just an average hand puppet. lol I'm not sure if the picture was from The Jim Henson Hour or Dinosaurs. It was either in No Strings Attached (The Jim Henson Creature Shop book or Jim Henson The Works).

    Which makes me think about the Creature Shop a little bit. Before The Muppets got bought, Creature Shop just did the more technical creature effects and started to get into the CGI digital puppetry and effects sometimes used in the 90s Muppet Movies but now There isn't a Muppet workshop by The Jim Henson Company, nor is it called Jim Henson's Puppet Workshop but it's all Creature Show which is a little confusing. They must have moved the workshop and got a larger one to do both kinds of puppetry or well....they have two right? They have the New York one so they can build for Sesame Street because that's filmed in New York but The Jim Henson Company moved to LA so they do most of their stuff there now right?

    I was watching the Dinosaurs music video "I'm the Baby, Gotta Love Me" with the DTV intro. Really hilarious (Guts on the Grill by Road Kill and their new single Doe a Dear a big Dead Dear lol). I love the names of the satirical bands they come up with like Sonic Boom with AAAAAHHHHH!!!! In the Swamp Music episode. Every time I see that, I'm just cracking up. lol Then they show the Lizzard Skizzard footage.
    Anyway they made an album right? Big Dinosaurs songs or something like that. I remember seeing that advertised but when I tried it order it back in the late 90s, it was already out of print. Thank God for the internet. :) Anyway, was any of the songs used on the show on that soundtrack or was it one of those albums where it's just new songs? They don't have Lizard Skizzard's I'm Better Than You or Fluff Candy or any of the funny songs that was seen on their TV right? If it was on there, I'd order it. lol

    Also another thing I wondered is, well the animation characters are half costume, half waldo controlled puppet. How do the puppeteers inside get in and out of them? They are so well built, you never see any kind of zipper or seem or anything like that. I know with Big Bird it's just the separate legs and the rest is a big puppet. I think I've seen footage of puppeteers with just the head and they but the body on later. And the original heads were recycled from the Ninja Turtle heads from the original movie right or they used the electric skull and build a new latex face for them or something like that. I know it's the same technology they used.
    Yorick likes this.
  11. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I assume that any cuts or parts that get put together would have been hidden by the clothing. Aside from Baby Sinclair we never see any of the dinosaurs characters naked.
  12. Yorick

    Yorick Active Member

    I guess Spike was likeable since he wasn't all bad, and has potential to change...and as for what style he was going for, I think he's some kind of Heavy Metal fan, but I could be wrong. He and Robbie do a song on the Big Songs CD you mentioned, (which doesn't have any Dtv songs, but those are funny!) and the song Robbie and Spike do has the Metal guitar sound, but the song is about how the main character in the song would make the world peaceful if he was king, and he'd clearly be the nicest king ever (Robbie sings it). I like the song a lot, actually.

    I always wanted to find a photo of that Abbey Road homage they do for the album and print it out and frame it :) But I can't find it online.

    It's Marjory, but I can see how the accent Philo and Gunge, have could make it sound like that! I like all the info you've shared here, and I forgot the lobsters!

    Speaking of Toxie earlier, I think he (along with Superman of course!) may have inspired Captain Impressive!
  13. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    I finally saw the finale for the first time this weekend. Man, that was depressing, but extremely well done. And I can honestly see Jim ending the series that way.

    Baby Sinclair: "But, what's gonna happen to us?"


    Earl: "After all, dinosaurs have been on this Earth for 150 million years. And it's not like we're gonna just disappear."


    Howard Handupme: "Goodnight. Goodbye."
  14. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    Yes, it's a very dark ending to the series but it kind of makes sense in a way. Dinosaurs lived dysfunctional and destroying the environment and then it's too late. It's very good satire. :) I remember Howard Handupme on screen saying how the weather of extreme cold would be a sign of the likely change that the heat from the sun will not ever raise again. Like you mentioned, how he says good bye, and a few seconds of silence. Amazing.

    I remember seeing on the documentary on one of the DVD sets on how they were trying to figure out how to end the series and one of the ideas was an asteroid comes and blows up the Earth. But then ABC was concerned about any younger viewers witnessing Baby Sinclair knowing he's not going to exist after the camera goes off. So they wrote it having the family together and caring for each other even though a dark situation was coming their way. And I think that's one of the things that satire does best. Sometimes it's funny while making it's point, then there's times where it's serious and making it's point. It's beautifully done. :)
    Mo Frackle likes this.
  15. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    I also find this show to be a darker, more cynical version of Fraggle Rock. Same issues (war, greed, environmental preservation, connection amongst different living things, etc). But clearly Jim and later after Jim creators of Dinosaurs (in The Works it's mentioned Jim actually came up with the idea before he passed away, including the idea that modernity ruined everything) got more cynical this time around.

    And I loathe both the fact I gave away my Big Songs tape, as I couldn't seem to find it anywhere after that AND only I'm the Baby is featured on it from the show. I did like Robbie and Spike's song. I also found He's a Lizard to be a good song. Otherwise, I kinda found most of them blah (I had to laugh with Poor Slobs with Terrible Jobs, though, LOL). I would've liked to see It's a Most Unusual Day, the USO medley, and Pearl's songs on there as well. *sigh*
  16. CaseytheMuppet

    CaseytheMuppet Well-Known Member

    I really liked this ending. (No, I am not a fan of morbid death, but I thought this was a very sad but satisfying way to end the show)
    Mo Frackle likes this.
  17. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    Yes Dinosaurs is definitely more darker then Fraggle Rock. Fraggle Rock was aimed towards Children / Family with the message of harmony towards the world no matter the differences of the characters. Though Dinosaurs was a satire towards humanity. During Jim's final work like on The Jim Henson Hour, there was some satirical elements in some of the episodes. For example, the fish story in the second MuppeTelevision episode ends sort of grim and up in the air and the last scene is Kermit sitting in a chair looking at fish in the TV monitors, he slowly turns towards the screen and says quietly "Goodnight everybody", fades to black. That story was sort of a political environmental message kind of like with Fraggle Rock but ends kind of grimly. Then there was episodes that were more comedic satire like the K.D Lang episode where the captain, Rizzo and the rats, and the Garbage bags through themselves into the ocean floating away from the boat in the ending number "On the Road Again" Coming To A Beach Near You! lol Even Jim's character "Bugsy Them" in Dog City has said "Senseless Violence has got me where I am today and don't you forget it." lol As well as all the other remarks on Senseless Violence. lol Great satire. :)

    I friend of mine told me about Pan's Labrynth once and told me that if Jim was still doing work, this is the direction he would probably be taking. The more darker storytelling sort of thing which I thought was quite and interesting thought. I agree with the environmental satire as well as the satire of the negative messages that are being said in modern television. And I feel that Dinosaurs was about that. Especially the DTV segments. For example "Captain Action Figure" is a satire on how people in Television take advantage of Children to sell a product, TriceraCops lampoons TV violence. Even episodes like Smoo (swearing on TV), Network Genius (the stupidity of television and a lampoon on executives), and the Potatoism (religion), and Happy Leaf (drugs) episodes. In my opinion, I feel that Dinosaurs was one of the best written TV shows ever. Very smart and cleaver writing. :)
  18. Chopped Liver

    Chopped Liver New Member



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