Saturday, March 8, 2008

Dino Squad

Saturday morning cartoons have changed lots since I was a kid. I'm from the era of Mighty Mouse, Huckleberry Hound, Wily Coyote and Roadrunner, Tweety Bird and the like. This morning I turned on the television and Dino Squad was on the set. I got interested in the story line and watched the program to the end. (It's kind of scary how quickly I became engrossed in the show)

I'm just going to let Wikipedia give you the show premise:
Five teenagers, Rodger, Max, Caruso, Fiona and Buzz, suddenly gain the power to turn into dinosaurs. With the help of their mysterious science teacher, Ms. Moynihan, they learn to use their unique abilities to protect the planet from Victor Veloci. Victor is widely known as the head of company Raptor Dyne, but is actually a 165 million-year-old anthropomorphic velociraptor. His secret identity is unknown to everyone except himself and the audience. His true plan is to turn everyone into dinosaurs and increase the climate to that of the href="">Mesozoic era with the goal of returning the world to how it was when dinosaurs ruled.

There is also a dog character named Rump. He is described as "the world’s second-ugliest dog, and that’s when he’s a dog. When he transforms into a dinosaur he’s even uglier! Part bulldog, part ankylosaurus, Rump can’t decide whether to chase cats, fire engineers or brontosaurs! He was taken in as a stray, but when they learned he was a dino-morpher they wanted to get rid of him. But animal-loving Fiona wouldn’t allow it. Now they struggle to train him and make him a member of the gang. But he’s as dumb as he is ugly, and often more trouble than he’s worth."

The show has been accused of being a Power Ranger rip off. From what I've seen, Power Rangers and Ninja Turtle all have similarities so no rip off fingers should be pointed. All of them show teenager characters trying to do good in the world. I watched Power Rangers with my son and knew the characters, story lines, etc. and enjoyed watching it with him.

Maybe Dino Squad is my new Power Rangers.

Two things I liked about Dino Squad was the emphasis on actions that were considerate to the environmnet and encouraging understanding and being considerate to others. In the program I watched an vine was growing rapidly and taking over the town. When searching for something that would kill the vine, Mrs. Moynihan told Roger that using chemicals would hurt the environment so he used CO2 to freeze out the vine.

I'm not sure that the cartoons of my childhood taught much beyond good wins over evil; not a shabby message but while that message is still taught in cartoons today, there are more lessons going on in today's cartoons. I liked the environmental message in Dino Squad --- plus I just enjoyed watching a child's cartoon for a change!

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