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Featured TV on DVD Review: Denver The Last Dinosaur: Complete Series

September 14th, 2014

Denver The Last Dinosaur: Complete Series - Buy from Amazon: DVD

Denver The Last Dinosaur debuted on TV in 1988 and ran for 50 episodes. This week, for the first time ever, the full series is coming out on DVD. (The first 20 episodes were released as two volumes seven years ago, but they apparently didn't sell well enough to continue the releases.) Is it worth picking up for those who missed it the first time?

The Show

Like with most Megasets, I didn't watch every episode of this show before reviewing it. There are just too many episodes to watch them all and still get all of my reviews done for the week. I watched enough episodes to get a feel for the show. In fact, after just a couple of episodes, I began to remember seeing the show when it first came out. I was too old for the show when it came out, but I saw a few episodes here and there.

Denver The Last Dinosaur is about a group of four boys (Wally, Jeremy, Mario, and Shades) who find an dinosaur egg while near the La Brea Tar Pits. In fact, one of them crashes into the egg while doing a stunt on their bike, which causes the egg to crack and then hatch. At first the kids are freaked out and try to run away, until one of them realizes the dinosaur is just as scared as they are. They decide to call him Denver and keep him. Soon two other kids learn of Denver's existence, Wally's older sister, Heather, and Casey, who is the youngest of the group. In the pilot double-episode, the gang has to protect Denver from Morton Fizzback, a concert promoter who wants to use Denver as part of his stage show. When that falls through, he tries to sell Denver to a scientist, Professor Funt. Those two reappear as villains. The other reoccurring element in the show is time travel. The egg Denver was in can be used to travel back in time.

Denver The Last Dinosaur is roughly 25 years old. That means kids who grew up watching it might have kids in the right age to watch this show. I think the nostalgia and being able to share the show with your kids is the number one draw here. There is a serious 80s vibe to the show, which may or may not be a selling point to the show, depending on your point of view. The way Mario and Shades, the two "cool" kids, talk is grating, but certainly not uncommon for 80s cartoons. It is very 80s in how colorful it is, but that is more unambiguously an asset. I don't think kids today will judge the fashion choices, but the colorful animation will help draw them in. There are also plenty of good storylines with positive messages for kids. It is not a true classic, but it is worth checking out.

The Extras

There are no extras on the first five discs, but the sixth disc is filled with extras. There are three interviews with a total running time of 18 minutes. There is also a five minute gallery of character art. There are also seven bonus cartoons from DVDs also released by VCI. These include old school shorts by Disney, Fleischer, etc. but also full episodes from a few cartoons like Saber Riders and the Star Sheriff and Space Angel. Space Angel is a show where the animation was still faces and live action lips. It is more than 50 years old. On the other hand, I remember watching Saber Riders and the Star Sheriff as a kid.

The Verdict

Denver The Last Dinosaur: Complete Series is a little too 80s for my taste, but if you grew up on the show and have kids of the right age to watch it, then the DVD is definitely worth picking up.

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