Dino-Riders (TV Series 1988) Poster


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Harness the power...
elephant102420 April 2005
Classic--absolutely classic.

Dinosaurs dressed in full battle gear armed with lasers and missiles. It doesn't get any better than that. OK, so half the show's dinosaurs appeared in the Jurassic period and the other half in the Cretaceous period (and there's the Dimetrodon, which appeared in the Permian period, quite a few million years before the Triassic), the whole thing was a marketing ploy to sell the toys, and the lasers never did anything but annoy the dinosaurs and never hit any of the Valorians or Rulons...ever, but who cares? They're dinosaurs with guns that blow stuff up! It's unfortunate that nobody really remembers it anymore. Everybody's heard of it, and swears they've watched it, and everybody probably has half of all the toys ever produced, but nobody really remembers what the show's about anymore. After all, it ran for only one season, and according to TV Tome, 14 episodes, though I could swear there were at least two or three more.

The short of it is that there were these people being chased by these other people, and both got sent back in time into the era of the dinosaurs. While the good guys wanted to stay and rebuild their civilization, the bad guys wanted to go back to their original time--except that going back required a crystal the good guys had. So, they fight. Here's where things get interesting. Instead of duking it out by themselves, both sides notice the abundance of dinosaurs that are around them, and use them to fight instead. Bristling with weapons, the good- and bad-guy dinosaurs clash upon the battlefield.

All right, my little synopsis doesn't actually do the show any justice. It's a lot less boring to watch. And, in addition to the explosions and fighting, like all good 80's cartoons, there's always a lesson to learn at the end. What it is isn't explicitly stated, and the lesson ranges from obvious to downright philosophical.

The character designs, including the dinosaurs' armaments, are absolutely amazing. Forget that everyone's either obviously the good guy or obviously the bad guy and concentrate on the dinosaurs themselves. The triceratops have a pair of double-cannons mounted on their side that rotates to point up or forward and doubles as armor. The torosaurus are enclosed in a shell that opens up like a peacock to reveal a pair of cannons tucked away inside. Then, there are the flying reptiles, with their weapons mounted on the wings, the dimetrodons whose fin is used to hide an operator who sits in a chair that pops up above the fin to surprise the enemy, and the ankylosaurs, with only a giant crossbow mounted on its back, as its armor gives sufficient protection against laser fire.

Going back to the designs of the real characters, the bad guys (Rulons) are all animals that have a humanoid upright body. Krulos is a frog, Rasp a snake, Hammerhead a fish, and Antor a bug. The good guys are human, all beautiful people, all sporting their own special powers or abilities. Serena is a healer. Mindzye is a telepath. Gunnar's the artillery specialist. Turret does the weapon designs. Lhad is the boy. Pretty much standard fare for the 80's. Even the voices are all big names, especially in the 80's. Lots of GI Joe and Transformers voice actors also did the voices for majors characters in Dino Riders. Some of them are easily recognizable, like Chris Latta who's Rasp, Starscream, and Cobra Commander.

The artwork in the three VHS episodes are absolutely amazing. Lush, vibrant colors, amazing detail everywhere, and there's even one shot that looks like it could have been an oil painting. It isn't so good for the other episodes, where the colors seem faded and everything seems cruder, but there aren't any glaring problems either. Besides, it's the other episodes that introduce all the cool characters (like the commandoes) and dinosaurs.

Regardless, even if the artwork was a bunch of doodling and the voice acting was done by college graduates from another country, the premise remains absolutely amazing. Forget tanks and planes that explode without adequate protection and have to be refueled every so often. Just pop the weapons on a dinosaur and achieve the same functionality without any of the hassle.

I wish I could tell every curious person to watch it for themselves, but except for the occasional ebay item, there isn't a trace of Dino Riders left anywhere. While it's been a long time since they last came out, there are still GI Joe toys, still Transformers, and Masters of the Universe is being revived. Yet, there hasn't even been a legitimate DVD of the shows out. Needless to say, because the show and everything connected to it has been wiped out of existence, there's probably no purpose to writing this review except to glorify what was and what could have become something better than all the other shows of its time.

All in all, its sudden disappearance was never really explained well. Almost overnight, everything disappeared. Toys, tapes, the TV show, lunch boxes--everything. It'd be easy to say that people lost interest and ratings fell, so Tyco cancelled the toys and NBC the show, but I think that unlikely when there isn't a single person I know of from that era who does not at least know the name, if not have several of the toys. The only thing I can think of that would even begin to explain its sudden demise is certain religious influences. But I won't even begin to go there.
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What happened?
Three-329 April 2000
Hey everybody remember Dino-Riders. No well that's too bad because i know everyone has heard of it. i might have been a little guy when i saw it but i could tell it was destined to become a classic. So what happened? Where is the legacy now. I think Dino-Riders is in need of an update or remake. and i don't usually approve of remakes. but this generation of minds needs Dino-Riders it could be bigger then Pokemon.
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The Best Toy Commercial Ever
TheExpatriate70027 April 2011
Yes, Dino-Riders was, in the end, basically a half hour toy commercial dedicated to selling overpriced plastic dinosaurs to young children. As a cartoon, it was inseparable from its toy line. That said, it did the selling very well.

As a six year old child obsessed with dinosaurs, this series was a dream come true. It combined sci-fi action with dinosaurs-everything a boy wants! When you're that young, you don't recognize commercialism, no matter how crass.

Looking back, the show is obviously silly. One of the smaller plot holes is the fact that the alien Valorians look just like humans. Still, it's a fun piece of nostalgia.
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Bring Back Dino-Riders!!!
Terryfan21 October 2005
I don't know why Dino-Riders was one of those shows that never got the chance that it deserves. I mean Dino-Riders has such a cool idea for a TV Show. Having two groups being able to control Dinosaurs sounds Awesome! I only saw the first episode, and I was very little when I saw this show, But it was made to become one of the best cartoons shows ever made. I wish Dino-Riders went on for a few more seasons, and I wish Dino-Riders was on DVD. I would like to see Dino-Riders back on TV or someone bring back an new Dino-Riders Series. Dino-Riders had everything a true sci-fi fan and cartoon fan would want. A Pefect group of voice actors (Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, Dan Gilvezan, Noelle North, and others) I watch this show because Peter Cullen And Frank Welker are two of my favorite voice actors. I love the music in Dino-Riders, because it match every part of the show. A great story about Two groups are war with each other.The Dino-riders and the Rulons are the groups that control and befriend the dinosaurs in their way. Bring Back Dino-Riders because it just ROCKS!!!
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Perfect idea for a show.
jerekra25 August 2008
If there is one thing that young boys love it is Dinosaurs. Another thing they love is high tech weaponry. Dino Riders combined both Dinosaurs and high tech weaponry to create a very entertaining action packed show.

THe basic story of Dino Riders takes place on a planet Valoria. Valorians, telepathic humans, are forced to leave their planet due to an invasion of an evil race of beings called the Rulons. The valorians power crystal called the S.T.E.P (Space Time Energy Projector) rips a hole in the fabric of time and sends both the rulons and the valorians back to prehistoric earth. Using their telepathic devices the Valorians befriend the dinosaurs and become Dino Riders. The Rulons use their evil brain controlling devices called brain boxes to control the dinosaurs and force them to be their slaves. Soon both the Valorians and Rulons engage in battle against each other equipping their dinosaurs with immense weaponry. Thus begins the story of Dino Riders.

The Valorians are basic humans. Questar is their leader, a very brave and considering leader. Other notable Valorians are Turret (an inventor), Gunner (tested warrior), Serena (healer), and Youngstar(young guy with lots of confidence).

The Rulons have human bodies but the head of various animals. Rasp has the head of a cobra. Rasp is the typical cowardly assistant who wants to impress his leader to help his own good. Hammerhead has the head of a Hammerhead shark. Hammerhead is very over confident and downright arrogant but is no doubt skilled at hunting missions. Antor has the head of an Ant. Antor is the loyal one to Krulos. The Rulons leader is Krulos who has the head of a frog and has his head covered with a bubble that is filled with water. Krulos is quite the opposite of Questar and imposes fear upon his own troops and only cares for his own good. Krulos is my favorite character and is truly one of the best and most under rated villains ever in an animated series.

Voices used in this film are very similar to the cast of Transformers. Frank Welker provides the voice for Krulos, sounding similar to Soundwave and Megatron. David Gilvezan is the voice for Questar while Peter Cullen is Gunners voice. It is often believed that Chris Latta was Rasps voice but Latta is not in this series at all.

There is a great variety of Dinosaurs that are greatly animated and portrayed in this show. THis could quite possibly be animated dinosaurs at their best, in fact I think that it is. SOme of the dinosaurs include Diplodocus, Monoclonius, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Torosaurus, Kentrosaurus, and of course Tyrannosaurus.

This show is a lot of fun. It is must see t.v. and one of the best animated cartoon shows that I have ever seen. I recommend that if you are lucky enough to have a chance to watch this show to do it.
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An Honest Review
generationofswine1 April 2017
I watched a few on youtube for nostalgic reasons and...I am going to try write this review like I saw it as an 8 year-old boy.

It's what made being a little kid in the '80s great, it was the era before the government ruined Saturday Morning Cartoons.

Here you have...

1: Outer Space 2: Adventure 3: Action 4: Dinosaurs 5: Science-Fiction

What little boy is not going to love that? What little boy is not going to watch that and, in typical '80s fashion, what little kid is not going to want the toys to play with?

The only problem is, exercising greed and lack of scientific knowledge, instead of adding new dinosaurs, they changed the Second Season to Ice Age Animals and killed it all.

Trust me, the Ice Age is fascinating to me as an adult that works in history...but I was once a little boy and according to some people I still am a little boy and little boys want dinosaurs not wholly mammoths.

So the cartoon died in its second season and the toys stopped selling and we lost what would have otherwise been an epic childhood cartoon.
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Riding with Dinosaurs
hellraiser78 September 2015
This show is another under the radar gem, yeah I was a kid from the 80's and I was always into both Dinosaurs and Sci-Fi, this show puts both those premises in a blender and it makes a really tasty drink.

There really isn't much to say, I really like the premise which I think is imaginative and something different, it really isn't something you see everyday in both sci-fi and animation, the only other show that had a slightly similar premise is "Terra Nova" only difference is this show doesn't suck.

Both factions are unique from the good guys the Valorians whom seem to be a mindful subculture as each of them have psychic ability where they are able to communicate and befriend the Dinos, how the heck the Dinos would have the equal intelligence to understand them is anyones guess but I roll with it.

The Rulons are basically anamorphic beings basically humanoid animals that despite lack of psychic abilities are a little more highly attuned to technology, which unfortunately gives them a step up from the Valorians because their tech mainly in weapons is a little more advanced. They can't communicate with the dinos so to turn them to their control they have to enslave them with some mind control technology called brain boxes.

I like the music, mainly the end theme song from episode one which I found memorable and I think is an underrated animated theme. It has that heroic and adventurous tone to it.

The characters they serve their functions, but I really like the voice cast it constists of most "Transformers" alumni. The actor that voiced Bumblebee actually gets to play the lead hero for once which is cool. Peter Cullen whom is most famous for playing Optimus Prime is playing a supporting role as Gunner.

And of course Frank Welkler famous for playing Megatron is once again the lead villain as Cruelos where Frank is sort of using the Dr. Claw voice again but it fits and as usual he's a fun solid villain and is probably my favorite character since he has the best lines and scenes, like his troubling back and forth with Rasp (whom sounds like voice actor Chris Latta but isn't) whom is a power tripping snake (literally) it's ironically similar to the back and forth between Megatron and Starscream in "Transformers". Cruelos, full of menace just the typical maniacal villain as he is just hell bent on destroying or enslaving the Valorians.

However were all in this for both the dinos and the action and it's got plenty of both. I like the vehicular action it's choreographed well, only what makes it more interesting is the fact it's not vehicles their controlling it's Dinosaurs. It's true two things I always found inconsistent like how the heck their able to control them successfully do they just use their mind powers to steer the dinos or why the driver seat is not armored. But like I said I just rolled with it. Anyway each of the dinos are unique there are plenty of different species that you see which in a way makes the show slightly educational.

And each of the dinos are armed with different weaponry mounted on them adding to their uniqueness and each had strengths and weaknesses. my favorite was always the brontosaurus and on a side note that's my favorite dinosaur. I really love the weaponry on the bronto which is really cool, it was just armed to the teeth from it's neck which had turrets and some midsection that opens up and a platoon of solders firing. To me this Dino seemed to be the most powerful on the Valorians side, thought the only disappointment was that this Dino wasn't used enough in the show, which is the only weak point for the show for me but oh well.

I personally wouldn't mind a revival, have some depth and explanation into the war between the Rulons and Valorians, I'd like to know what happened to the Valorian's home planet was it destroyed by the Rulons and they really are the last of their kind. A bit more on the Valorian's psychic subculture and if they have other abilities as well as the Rulons and their technological subculture. Also would like to see them explore more of the time travel premise like with Ray Bradbury's "A Sound of Thunder", may'be certain things both sides are doing in Prehistoric times are having repercussions on our present or the far future and somehow the Vahlorians have to correct it. And of course yes I would love to see more dinos and animals along with cool tech. Just a thought.

Overall, this is a solid show, Dino Riders is a fun ride.

Rating: 3 stars
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This is pure awesome and must be revived.
Timstuff26 March 2008
There is nothing more awesome than a bunch of armored dinosaurs blasting the snot out of each other with lasers. I can't believe it's been 20 years since this show first aired, and it still hasn't been revived for TV or the movies. I'm actually going to be going to animation school this fall, and one of my dreams is to one day create a new Dino-Riders cartoon series for TV. The franchise may not have had the widespread popularity or recognition of GI Joe or Transformers, but at its heart Dino-Riders is just as classic. If they were to make a new Dino-Riders show today, I think it would be far more popular than when it had originally aired, if they'd do it correctly. This franchise is a goldmine waiting to happen. All it needs is someone with the vision and someone with the means.
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