I stumbled into this show on TV once and thought it was just another Pokemon rip-off with Dinosaurs and dismissed it as just another copy cat that came out many years too late to cash in but while that is basically the DNA of the show it’s not that simple. One day I stumbled into it again and decided to check it out. So why don’t we take a look at this Pokemon inspired show that has Dinosaurs instead of pocket monsters to fight, what could be more awesome than two of my favorite things combined?
Let’s begin with the boring stuff..The theme song I found very annoying but it grew on me over time and I like it now oddly enough. The show is a 4Kids Dub and like most of their shows it has a new soundtrack which sucks but this really isn’t a show I’d be willing to read subtitles for, its dumb fun and I just want to turn my brain off. There are also instances of censorship but it was hard to find out what exactly was cut, I know there were dinosaur poop jokes that were cut and I think some sexual content but I’m unsure about what other stuff was cut. Now to the dinosaurs..
4Kids picked this show up shortly after losing the Pokemon license and most of the original Pokemon Voice Actors like Veronica Taylor, Eric Stuart, Rachael Lillis, Jimmy Zoppi among others reprise similar roles to the ones that they had in Pokemon. Ash’s old voice actress is now the voice of Max who is the main character and the Team Rocket type stable also has the Jessie and James old voices. It’s really nostalgic hearing their voices in basically the same roles after them being absent from Pokemon. The show at first basically does feel like Pokemon with dinosaurs and that isn’t a bad thing, it’s awesome. Like a last hoorah for the original Pokemon anime dub that not many people know about, it just reminds me a lot of the Pokemon anime so I liked it and if you’ve seen Pokemon you’ll know what to expect.
The first times I watched it I didn’t like the look of the dinosaurs but I learned to love them, they are very colorful and have neon colors and fit to join any RAVE that they want. The dinosaurs are CG and the CG is very good for a show like this, not to mention the fact that since they went with neon colorful dinosaurs the CG blends very well with the traditional animation unlike a more realistic take on them would have. So it doesn’t look that odd after you get used to it and is instead cool. The humor of the chibi form of the dinosaurs is fine and similar to Pokemon but nothing too to write home about.
Now I love dinosaurs and the show lets you learn about them so its actually sort of edutainment like just like Carmen SanDiego, but instead of geogrpahy it’s about dinosaurs you are not so familiar with. The plots are a nice combination of odd fun ones and they travel around the world. The Alpha Gang which cosists of Ursula, Zander and Ed, basically takes the role of Team Rocket in each episode trying to capture Dinosaurs. There are other Alpha gang members however which are Dr. Z, the Kids Laura and Rod, Helga and Seth who make them be a little more fleshed out and a threat than Team Rocket ever was in their show. The show is awesome and really just brings your inner child out, I would’ve absolutely loved this show as a kid.
After 13 episodes you get a season finale like break which you don’t see coming. I really like when they use different dinosaurs and they do this fairly frequently int he show. Basically they get cards and transform them into dinosaurs, it sounds a bit like Yu-Gi-Oh but its actually works pretty decently, I never cared for that show or other card anime but the concept here works. The kids travel the world and look for and fight with dinosaurs and you learn about the world or at least Japan’s take on the world since some things aren’t exactly accurate. Most dinosaurs are all T-Rex like and have hard names to remember. The show could’ve been more educational counting they go all over the world and meet new dinosaurs every episode.
Seth is awesome and adds some threat to the show that for the most part lacks. The final ten episodes you have an arc where they go to the future and so does the crew and Alpha Gang is defeated. The second series of the show is about time travel, the Alpha Gang is still there but they aren’t the main threats. The show is not as fun this second series, the new antagonists are the Spectral Space Pirates and everyone travels through time. It’s nice seeing the characters have more adventures but overall the first series is a lot more enjoyable. If you like dinosaurs you should give the show a chance, its entertaining and an interesting take even if it can be a bit similar to Pokemon, you at least know what to expect.