In the 26th century, nature has spun wildly out of control. Cities have crumbled and the dinosaurs have returned to rule the earth. Jack Tenrac, one of the last of the "old blood" mechanics, along with his friends Hannah Dundee and Mustapha, defend humanity from the greedy governor Scharnhorst, freelance poachers, and other evil influences. Written by
[opening title narration]
In the 26th century, mankind faces an epic struggle for survival. The forces of nature have spun wildly out of control. Mighty cities have crumbled and the dinosaurs have returned to reclaim the Earth. In this savage land, one man stands alone - Jack Tenrac, defending humanity in a world gone mad. A world where only the strong survive; a world of... Cadillacs and Dinosaurs!
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To briefly explain the show, this was about a post-apocalyptic group of people, surviving after a disaster that happened several hundred years before the show's timeline. They never actually mention what that disaster or event was explicitly, but only provide tiny snips of it to tease the audience, leaving them all wondering just WHAT happened and, more importantly, where did all those dinosaurs come from? The animation quality was top-notched and the voice acting was very well done, and the characters were very likable and believable to boot. Despite the usual action scenes that are found in all shows, there's nothing really fantasy-like or too 'out there' by any of the characters on the show.
Which brings up the best points of the show... it wasn't a show about weird adventures, it wasn't slapstick comedy, it didn't have a hero who was so good and heroic that he glows awesome wherever he walks and causes people to cheer out in frenzy every time he says something. Nor did it have any bona fide villains either. Most shows then and now would have a villain who's so evil you'd think he was the devil's incarnate or is practically oozing with slime and sin... as well as having the motivation of 'just being evil'. Jack Tenrec is a mechanic who believes that nature needs to be considered when doing any kind of development or action, and delivers this message, both in words and style, exactly how a person would do it in RL. He the good guy, but rarely does anything that's too unbelievable or fantasy like to be dismissed. His relationship with Hanna, a diplomat and scientist from another 'tribe' is also similar to some love-hate relationships that occur in RL (minus any real abuse, of course). He's flawed, does and says stupid things.
What about the opposition? There are two main enemies that are frequently brought up, the governor of the City, Scharnhorst, a group of poachers, and some other one-time bad guys. So what's going on with these guys? The poachers are precisely that, poachers, they hunt illegally and sell the stuff on the black market for profit... and that's it. They hate Jack because he constantly foils their work. Nothing like a cartoon norm, they act precisely like poachers in RL with the same motivations and the same reasons to hate the hero as real poachers hate the guys who stop them. The relationship between Scharnhorst and Jack is, IMHO, the single most maturely done hero-villain relationship that was ever shown in a cartoon series. Scharnhorst is NOT a vile, evil mistress that wants to kill all kittens, enslave the people, and whip them day and night for the heck of it. She's just an bigot who has beliefs contrary to Tanrec and is less ethical than him. Again, how people in Real Life would push their agenda against whatever possible consequences it might have, take credit for other people's work, and try to legally humiliate and do away with the people they hate? Too many to count, and Scharnhorst is just that. She isn't always the ultimate bad guy, is even willing to negotiate and even HELP Jack at times because they would both benefit from it, and adheres to the law of the city even she doesn't like it at times (putting crooks who tried to bust on Jack, for example, in jail in one episode). So Jack and Scharnhorst tread a thin line as opposed to being like Duke Igthron and the Gummi Bears.
There are some flaws in the show, but nothing that isn't present in any other post-apocalyptic setting. For example, how did the cars manage to survive for over 600 years or so without decaying down into nothingness? Or the ruins still containing something usable after being neglected for that long? Naturally I'm not being fair when I say these things, and this is a general problem and not a specific one to the cartoon.
It was a pity it only lasted 13 episodes, yet even with just 13 they still managed to portray a very, very richly detailed world with a huge amount of potential. Sadly, however, despite the shows great animation, great characters, and original ideas, it never got the chance it deserved to make television history.
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