From 1991 to 1994, the Disney Channel provided young dinosaur fans with their own unique sitcom: an expensive show cleverly called Dinosaurs. Combining puppetry and clever writing, the Dinosaurs TV show came out at a time when the Jim Henson Company was having a renaissance moment, allowing them to produce such wild ideas as these.
However, much like the saurians it’s based on, this TV show went extinct after just four seasons. Budget issues and dwindling audience numbers forced Disney to pull the plug on the series, much to the dismay of its loyal fans.
However, given the TV show’s pop culture popularity, and the grim ending we got, we’d say it’s high time we got a proper Dinosaurs sequel.
In recent years, social media has popularised the Dinosaurs TV show’s unexpectedly sour ending. As it turns out, when you have a show that’s about anthropomorphic dinosaurs living in 60,000,003 BC, there’s only one way your series is going to end. Yes, every member of the Sinclair family dies a horrible and slow death at the end of the series. Even Baby Sinclair. Especially Baby Sinclair.
This shocked most fans, who were (understandably) not expecting the show to end this way. However, the show was always known for its environmentalist undertones, so having the Sinclairs perishing in a weather-related catastrophe seems somewhat fitting. But the question that remains is, why? Why end the show so abruptly? The answer, as usual, is money.
Producing the Dinosaurs TV show was nowhere near cheap. A ton of different puppets had to be produced, not just for the Sinclair family, but also for every other character in the background. While the Jim Henson Company already had experience producing long-lasting puppet shows, nothing was on the level of complexity that Dinosaurs was.
With each episode allegedly costing the studio a little over a million dollars, it was time for these dinosaurs to go the way of the dodo. That said, the show’s creators always envisioned the series ending with an extinction event. Contrary to some theories, the harrowing ending of the Dinosaurs TV show was planned from the very beginning, and it wasn’t some mean-spirited way to suddenly end an expensive show.
More Dinos, Please
Now that Disney+ has brought the magic of Dinosaurs closer to a whole new generation, perhaps it’s time to give this Jurassic family a second chance. While the ending might have left the show little chance of a continuation, we’ve seen weirder shows coming back from the grave.
Additionally, the environmentalist narrative of the Dinosaurs TV show would fit perfectly with Disney+’s National Geographic catalogue. A new version of Dinosaurs could teach new generations about the risks of pollution and deforestation – two subjects that the original show frequently tackled.
Dinosaurs is more than just a cute puppet show about dinosaurs. This is a series that dealt with severe societal issues and wasn’t afraid to push the boundaries of what could be discussed on children’s TV. The way it blurred the lines between mature and childish humour is something that TV shows are doing today, and it would be a sure-fire way of appealing to old and new fans with a revival.
Yes, the Sinclairs went extinct in the finale of the original Dinosaurs TV show, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be over for them. After all, if we’ve got five Jurassic Park films, there must be an easy way to bring dinosaurs back from extinction.