Retro Rewind: Adventures in Dinosaur City
It seems that I’ve become blinded by science as of late… or at least science fiction. Shortly after doing out Dinosaurs trading cards post last week I not only discovered today’s featured film, Adventures in Dinosaur City (1992), but I was also asked to review a book called Rex Riders (more on that later) AND I finally watched Will Ferrell riding a T-Rex in Land of the Lost.
Like most boys I can remember my early childhood being consumed by dinosaurs, they were like my early form of movie monsters (which I discovered years later) and they fascinated me to no end. Jurassic Park (1993) probably captured that fascination best while films like Prehysteria! (1993) and Carnosaur (1993) made dinos seem equally cool and terrifying. Having devoured these movies in the early 90s it was strange to me that I couldn’t remember ever seeing Adventures in Dinosaur City. Now, after seeing it almost 20 years later, I know why.
A low budget film, Adventures in Dinosaur City (ADC) was produced by Smart Egg Pictures (same studio behind Spaced Invaders) and made its debut directly on The Disney Channel where it somehow managed to become popular enough to spawn a video game on the SNES (see: DinoCity). Having premiered in 1992, a full year before the other films I mentioned, ADC seems to have cashed in more on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles than the dinosaur craze that followed. They even took a jab at TMNT in their tagline: “Long Before There Were Turtles the World Was Ruled by Dinosaurs.”
While this could have been cool, ADC suffers from a variety of Stone Age afflictions from the awful dialogue to one embarrassingly stupid dance and Full Moon quality puppetry. The main story finds three dinosaur-loving kids (Timmy, Mick and Jaime) sucked into their favorite cartoon show after trying to play a VHS tape in some sort of wormhole making machine in Timmy’s basement. The machine belongs to Timmy’s “genius scientist” parents who have the brilliant idea of leaving the machine turned on before going out of town.
Bad parenting aside, Timmy (played by Omri Katz from Eerie, Indiana fame) and his friends spend the rest of the film in a “real life” version of the cartoon as they track down their heroes to overthrow an evil dinosaur overlord named Mr. Big. In between there’s plenty of bad dinosaur puns, parodies and enough G-rated, trans-species fornication to make Gilbert Gottfried wince. If you’re brave enough to watch it or just love dinosaurs that damn much, the entire film is available on Youtube.
Image source: Greg Aronowitz