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Featured TV on DVD Review: Dinosaur Train: Dinosaur Big City

August 20th, 2011

Dinosaur Train: Dinosaur Big City - Buy from Amazon

Dinosaur Train is part of the PBS Kids lineup and as the name suggests, it teaches kids about dinosaurs. I've reviewed several DVD releases for this show and in the process have watched many of the adventures of Tiny, Shiny, Don, and Buddy. So how does Dinosaur Big City compare to the others? And is it worth picking up?

The Show

Normally these DVDs consist of eight shorts, each half the length of a regular 30-minute TV show. However, this time around it's different, as the DVD starts with...

  1. Dinosaur Big City
    Instead of two stories per episode, this is two episodes for one story. Buddy is troubled with what will happen when he grows up. Since he's a Tyrannosaurus Rex and the rest of his family are Pteranodons, he's worried he'll have to leave the nest when he gets too big. To help him learn what he'll be like as an adult, they head to the Theropod Club Convention in The Dinosaur Big City. Everyone's really excited to go, well, everyone but Mr. Pteranodon, who doesn't like crowded places, and he's not the only one who doesn't like crowds. One of the guests going to the convention is King Cryolophosaurus, an Elvis like dinosaur tired of dealing with crowds of fans. When he tries to escape his teeming fans, he finds himself on a runaway train.
  2. Troodon Train Day
    In a bit of a switch, instead of learning about dinosaurs on Dinosaur Train, we start by learning about how the train works, before we get to a concert by King Cryolophosaurus.
  3. King Cryolophosaurus
    Finally we get to the episode that introduced King Cryolophosaurus. King Cryolophosaurus acts like Elvis, because he has a crest on his head that sort of resembles Elvis's famous Pompadour hairstyle. (In fact, there was a time these dinosaurs were called Elvisaurus.)
  4. The Theropod Club
    And now we meet the Theropod Club, which is also featured in the titular episodes. Here they meet an Allosaurus, one of the most famous dinosaurs. The Theropod Club sounds like so much fun, that Tiny wants to join, but she's not a Theropod.
  5. Laura the Giganotosaurus
    Laura the Giganotosaurus is the huge Theropod that spends her time in the observation car of the Dinosaur Train. In this episode we learn why she's there and how she helps Mr. Conductor. Also, we meet Angela Avisaurus, a small, bird-like Theropod, who is quite skittish.

The Extras

There are plenty of extras on the DVD, starting with a 10-minute featurette with Dr. Scott the paleontologist. There are also DVD-Rom features like coloring pages, a game, and information. Usually with these types of releases, there are no extras, so the featurettes are very appreciated.

The Verdict

Dinosaur Train: Dinosaur Big City focuses on Theropods in general, and King Cryolophosaurus in particular. With several good episodes and much better than expected extras, it's absolutely worth adding to your collection.

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