|Index||6 reviews in total|
18 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Sadly Extinct, 10 January 2004
Author: arion1 from Livermore, CA
Cadillacs and Dinosaurs was the brainchild of black-and-white comics
Mark Shultz. A longtime illustrator--and automobile enthusiast--Shultz hit
upon unique idea: why not create a world in which humans inhabit a world
side-by-side with dinosaurs?
Cadillacs and Dinosaurs was the result, and it was an immediate hit. The comic book series spawned trade paperback collections (published by the now-defunct Kitchen Sink Press) and a season of animated cartoons. All of the stories explored the new world through the eyes of Jack Tenrec, a garage mechanic and espouser of an obscure philosophy called Machinato Vitae (Machinery of Life). His constant companion is Hannah Dundee, a very capable woman who thinks Jack is a savage. His foil is an ogre of a woman named Scharnhorst, who wants to push human civilization forward at whatever the cost.
The stories worked because the people were realistic, but largely ignorant of their past. Only in the comic books did you get a hint of how this world came about (clue: think Jurassic Park on a global scale!), and even then it was never said outright, which gave the whole series an air of mystery.
So why didn't the series work? Probably because the series was too unique. Animated shows typically fall into one of three categories: slapstick (Loony Tunes), satire (The Simpsons), or adventure (X-Men). Cadillacs and Dinosaurs really didn't fit into any of these molds, and its underlying environmental message undoubtedly confused the cable and TV executives into thinking it was an "Educational Show" which to media moguls says, "No profit margin". Rather than try something new, the powers-that-be elected to scuttle the show.
As a final note, it's unknown what happened to the series' creator. Mark Shultz has literally dropped from sight, leaving the Cadillacs and Dinosaurs saga hanging on a precipice. In the final story, Hannah and friends have faked Tenrec's death in order to throw Scharnhorst (who has seized power in a coup) off his trail. To this day, there has been no word as to how this extraordinary tale will end! That is perhaps the biggest tragedy of all.
5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
A classic creation., 4 February 2006
Author: chad-259 from Canada
Mark hasn't given up on Xenozoic Tales (the original name for Cadillacs
and Dinosaurs) but is waiting for the right time to return to the
This animated series was a fun realization of the black and white comics, now available from Dark Horse Comics as reprints, and features the world's most influential creatures, dinosaurs. Beneath it's action-adventure surface lies a message about the cataclysmic effects humans have on the Earth's environment and how future generations reform societies in the wake of the disaster.
Unlike the Dinosaurs, Mark Schultz and Xenozoic Tales aren't extinct.
6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Gone too soon..., 4 December 2002
Author: Nightpoet from Ottawa, ON
This was my favourite show when I was a kid. It had incredible animation and amazing storylines. Sadly, it only lasted a season, however, if you can find re-runs somewhere, WATCH THEM!! You'll be hooked! The show I think was based on a comic series called Xenozoic Tales, and I think there are also comics with this title. But it was an incredible show, which is something I can't stress enough.
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
So much potential and originality., 12 December 2008
Author: Salim Farhat
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.
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Location of Mark Schultz, 19 May 2007
Author: ZANTELHUNT from Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Growing up as a kid, I was a fan of the comics and the animated series.
I would love to find the show on DVD or on line somewhere even without
the conclusion of the final episode. I would like to clear something
up, though. Contrary to popular belief, Mark Schultz has not vanished
from the face of the earth. He is the current writer of the famed
Prince Valiant comic strip series. Hopefully someday he will regain the
motivation to revive the Cadillacs and Dinosaurs Series. I'm more than
sure that the dedicated followers of his work can help re-inspire him.
I would also like to believe the Zenozoic Tales are worthy of a big
budget, Hollywood movie. With the current trend of Comic Book movies,
one may never know what could happen with enough support.
Jason Z. Hunt
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Too Good to Pass Up., 21 December 2010
Author: rpd-mulligan from Canada
This show is way ahead of its time. Not only does it forward a message of environmental consciousness but it has strong stories with great characters that was typically unseen in other cartoons at this time. The whole concept of island settlements reminds the viewer of ABC's Lost and how many zombie movies are situated in post apocalyptic worlds? Granted, one villains name is Hammer but that probably a consequence of the year in which it was created rather than poor writing. A show in which Cadillacs meet dinosaurs... how could anyone resist. 13 episodes does not do this show justice. The main character, Jack, was some kind of anthropologist, environmentalist, weight lifter, mechanic. It was fun to watch and reminds me why I loved cartoons in the early 90s. A DVD release of this show is a must!
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