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Dinosaurs - The Complete First and Second Seasons


TITLE: DINOSAURS - THE COMPLETE FIRST AND SECOND SEASONS


Info:

DVD Release Date: May 2, 2006 (Disney DVD)
Color/1991-92
MSRP: $39.99
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 29
Running Time: approx. 672 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: approx. 18 minutes (not counting Easter Eggs)
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; English subtitles; Closed Captioned.
Special Features:
* Pre-Hysterical Times: The Making of Dinosaurs
* Creating Dinosaurs: The Sketches That Started It All
* Dino-Eggs ­ Hidden Easter Eggs


Introduction:

“Honey, I’m Home!” Join the Sinclair family again and relive the comedy Dinosaurs on DVD for the first time with the first two seasons. Walt Disney Home Entertainment releases the 1991-94 ABC series with the first two seasons inspired by the mind of the late great Jim Henson. We head back to sixty million three B.C. with the Sinclair family—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. The award winning series features state-of-the-art puppetry and audio-animatronics. So as the Baby would say, “gotta love me,” well not me, but you gotta love this series and the first two seasons are yours to own on DVD!

Starring the voices of Stuart Pankin as Earl Sinclair, Jessica Walter as Fran Sinclair, Jason Willinger as Robbie Sinclair, Sally Struthers as Charlene Sinclair, Kevin “Elmo” Clash as the Baby, Florence Stanley as Grandma Ethyl and Sherman Hemsley as B.P. Richfield.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

I am sure many of you have not seen this series in such a long time. It was briefly syndicated in the mid to late ‘90s on local stations and the Disney Channel. With only 65 episodes total, it was hard to air it for a long period of time. We get 29 of those episodes in this set. All of them are very good. But I’ll break the down the best of them as best as I could. The first three episodes are a must watch—“A Mighty Megalosaurus” where the baby is born, “The Mating Dance” where Fran is depressed as the Baby won’t sleep, and “Hurling Day” is where Earl heaves her mother-in-law into the tar pits. Other greats: “The Golden Child” is the second season premiere where the Baby goes wild; “The Family Challenge” is the one where they go on a game show; “Endangered Species” is the one where Earl & Fran celebrate their anniversary; “Switched at Birth” is the one where the family thinks Baby is not their real baby; “Refrigerator Day” is the one where they celebrate the gift of cold storage; and “And The Winner Is…” is the one where Earl and his boss battle for chief.

Famous voices include Jason Alexander, David Leisure, Tony Shalhoub, Edie McClurg, Tom Vernon, Buddy Hacket, George Gaynes, Tim Curry, and Michael Richards.


Packaging:

The packaging is very creative. The box cover has a shot of the cracked egg with the Baby’s eyes visible. The logo is also on the egg and the label of the complete first and season seasons, 4-disc set. The back of the box has a few photos, synopsis of the show and the set, with bonus features info. You remove the box from the top, and 1/4 of the box comes out. Then you see the Baby come out--very nicely done. Then you can pull the case out, so the other part of the box is removed (the large 3/4 part). The case’s cover has the full photo of the Baby out of the egg, with the show logo and the label of the complete first and season seasons. The back of the case has a long message from Brian Henson, Michael Jacobs and Bob Young. Then it has breakdowns of what episodes and bonus features are on each disc. There is a message saying you can excavate hidden Dino-Egg bonus features on every disc! When you open the case, you get two sides, the left side has discs one and two, and the ride side has discs three and four. But they are overlapping. I hate that!

Each disc is green and seems holographic. Disc one has a picture of the Baby and episodes 1-5 & the extras, disc two has a picture of Fran and episodes 6-13, disc three has a picture of Robbie and episodes 14-21, and disc four has a picture of Earl and episodes 22-29.


Menu Design and Navigation:

Now to the menu navigation--it is very simple and easy to use. But first, disc one starts off with auto previews of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest trailer, Scrubs season three DVD, Golden Girls season five DVD, and The Muppet Show DVD. Then we get to the animated opening! You see fire. Then it zooms to the main menu. The end theme song is playing in the background. Disc one has a photo of Earl on the main menu, disc two has Fran, disc three has Robbie & Charlene, and disc four has the Baby. The options are: Play All, Episode Selection, Bonus Features, Set-Up, and Sneak Peaks. Bonus Features and Sneak Peeks are just one disc one. Sneak Peeks has the same previews as the auto-previews and also Leroy & Stitch, Shadows in the Sun Everything You Want, Muppets Wizard of Oz, and Kermit’s 50th Anniversary. The Set-Up option lets you turn on subtitles in English for the hearing impaired. Bonus Features is only on disc one and we will detail them in the bonus features section later on. Episode Selection has the episodes on each disc. The opening theme plays in the background on this menu screen. It has fossil rocks with a snapshot from the episode along with the episode title. Each submenu has a different audio track from the show. It is very well done.


Video and Audio Quality:

The video and audio quality is very good. The show never looked and sounded better. I found no problems whatsoever. The episodes run usually between 23-24 minutes or so, all uncut! There is however one episode that runs 21:35, “Endangered Species.” Maybe that episode just ran short originally. I can’t prove if it is edited or not. Maybe someone who has an original ABC copy can. Chapter stops are available for each episode. There are about four stops. Some interesting notes: the in loving memory of Jim Henson tribute is intact before the credits on episode one and the two-part “Nuts to War” episode has previously on Dinosaurs recap on part two. It is so cool that they call ABC, the Antediluvian Broadcasting Company. Two of the greatest pre-historic series of all time aired on ABC, The Flintstones and Dinosaurs.


Special Features:

The extras are pretty good! Two featurettes and Easter Eggs are on this set. The featurettes are all one disc one. The first one is the best extra, “Pre-Hysterical Times: The Making of Dinosaurs” runs 13:25 and has interviews with Kirk Thatcher (Character Designer), Brian Henson (Executive Producer), Bob Young (Creator), Michael Jacobs (Creator), Peter Brooke (Suit Designer), Bill Barretta (Suit Performer), John Criswell (Machinist), and Allan Trautman (Puppeteer). We learn a lot about the series and how it was made. They give props to Jim Henson, who died before this series aired. It was his inspiration that created this series. They talk about bringing Michael Jacobs, to make this a sitcom style of a show. And the main thing talked about is how the dinosaurs were done and moved on the set. Sorry Sherman Hemsley was NOT actually inside the body of B.P. Richfield. He was just the voice. All of the voices were not inside the bodies. They had suit performers and voice performers for each character. The next extra is titled, “Creating Dinosaurs: The Sketches That Started It All.” It runs 4:01 and has Kirk Thatcher explain each character. He shows designs of all of the character’s original drawings and how much was changed from what we saw. Finally, on every disc we have Easter Eggs. “Dino-Eggs ­ Hidden Easter Eggs” is what they call them. Basically there are about 7 of them. They are easy to find, so happy hunting. I will not spoil it for you, but I’ll tell you they are just video clips from the creators and stuff.


Final Comments:

What a nice set and what a great show! This for sure was an underrated show. I watched it originally when it aired on ABC and loved it then, too. It brought back a lot of memories. The family looks so much like other sitcom characters to me. Earl looks a lot like Carl Winslow from Family Matters. Fran looks a lot like his wife on Family Matters. Robbie looks a lot like Wally Cleaver from Leave it to Beaver. Charlene looks like Dee from What’s Happening Now!! The grandma looks like Grandma Winslow from Family Matters (that show was on ABC at the same time, too). And the Baby well looks like a cross between Elmo and Steve Urkel. I say Elmo maybe because the voice of Elmo voices the Baby. The extras on this set are good. I wish they would get some of the voice actors to do commentary on future sets. Hemsley, Struthers, Walter, and Elmo would be nice to hear. We have two more sets to go. Hopefully Walt Disney DVD releases them at a fast pace. I think this set will sell very well. So, hurry on up to your local store or online store and buy this DVD. It was featured on DNN, I’m sure. Buy it now, and you’ll be screaming “not the momma!”


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 2/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 5/5
Overall: 4.5/5

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 05/05/06

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000E8NRVC/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

Questions or comments about this set? Post on our message board:

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=171630


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