Denver, the Last Dinosaur
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|Denver, the Last Dinosaur|
Title card of Denver, the Last Dinosaur
|Created by||Peter Keefe, Calico Productions, World Events Productions|
|Country of origin||USA
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||50|
|Running time||30 minutes (with commercials)|
|Original run||1 April 1988 – 1988 (reruns: 1990)|
Denver, the Last Dinosaur is a U.S.-French cartoon for children originally released in 1988 by World Events Productions (the same company responsible for the English dubs of Voltron and for Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs). It was nationally syndicated throughout the United States in 1988 with reruns airing until 1990. Episodes often focused on issues of conservation, ecology, and friendship.
The show ran for two seasons, as the dinosaur boom that had followed The Land Before Time waned, causing viewership to drop. The series received a recommendation from the National Educational Association.
The show revolves around the adventures of Denver, the last dinosaur - a Corythosaurus - who was released from his egg by a group of multicultural modern California teens: Jeremy, Mario, Shades, Wally, and Casey, along with tag-along older sister, Heather. The kids taught Denver the finer points of skateboarding and other pastimes while protecting him from concert promoter Morton Fizzback who wanted to use the dinosaur to make money.
The series begins when Jeremy, while preparing for his Natural History test, and his friends visit the La Brea Tar Pits - A place in Los Angeles (which is spread over a large area and contains a large collection of extinct animal and plant fossils) and go to the Museum. At the museum, the friends encounter a gang of bullies. The friends escape the bullies by hiding behind a fence near the tar pits. Behind the fence they find a pit that contains a large prehistoric egg. As the friends are playing with the egg it suddenly cracks and a green friendly dinosaur emerges who, inexplicably, understands English. The kids name him Denver after they spot an advertisement for the city of Denver on a passing bus.
The children decide to keep Denver and to keep his existence a secret. Denver is first hidden in a pool house at Wally's home. After Wally's sister discovers Denver they move Denver to the old school gym. After a while Denver gets kidnapped by the manager Morton Fizback. Morton puts Denver on a stage in front of an audience in order to become rich.
When the children confront Morton about his abduction, he becomes paranoid that someone might find out that Denver is a real dinosaur. At the end, Denver is sold to a scientist named Professor Funt who wants to examine and experiment on him, and use him to become famous. Eventually, everything turns out fine and Denver gets to return to the gang and rescue them from Nick and his thugs.
In addition to his natural skills and abilities, Denver can also, with the help of a piece from the shell of his egg, take the gang with him back to the time whence he came.
- Denver the Last Dinosaur - The title character. Voiced by Pat Fraley.
- Wally - Boy who takes Denver in, Denver's closest friend. Cares for various animals - including Rocky (his pup), 3 cats, Ears (a rabbit), and a parrot. Voiced by Adam Carl.
- Jeremy - the intelligent guy amongst the gang who is able to provide information about dinosaurs. Voiced by Adam Carl.
- Mario - A kid with an enormous ego. Voiced by Cam Clarke.
- Shades - A cool kid who always wears sunglasses (where his name is derived from). Voiced by Cam Clarke.
- Casey - Girl with a crush on Mario. She is also the machinist of the gang. Voiced by Kath Soucie. Youngest of the gang.
- Heather - Wally's older sister, voiced by Kath Soucie.
- Rocky - Wally's pup.
- Chet - Heather's boyfriend, voiced by Rob Paulsen.
- Daniel - A teenage genius who is also a fan of comic books, and has a strong, though somewhat comical sense of justice. He was originally hired by Morton Fizzback to conduct an experiment on Denver's tar egg shell, but later helps out Denver and the gang, and provides technical support.
- Morton Fizzback - Evil concert promoter, voiced by Brian Cummings.
- Professor Funt - Evil scientist, sometimes works with Morton, voiced by Brian Cummings.
- Nick - Leader of three other bullies, Curt, Scott, and Rod, who cause trouble for the boys, voiced by Rob Paulsen.
Merchandise and DVD releases
Knott's Berry Farm offered a Denver promotional tie-in with its new Kingdom of the Dinosaurs attraction (which would later take its last rider in 2004), as did Ralston Cereals with its new brand Dinersaurs (which sold poorly and was discontinued by the end of 1988).
World Events Productions released two DVD volumes through their Voltron.com website. The first volume included the hour-long pilot and the following eight episodes. The second volume includes 10 episodes. World Events Productions had the complete series on YouTube; it was removed on December 31, 2010, because of synchronizing problems, but as of February 2012, all but three episodes had been restored. On February 11, 2011, World Events Productions released the complete series on Hulu.
On June 10, 2014, it was announced that World Events Productions (distributed by VCI Entertainment) will release Denver, The Last Dinosaur - The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1 for the very first time on September 16, 2014.
- Denver, the Last Dinosaur (hour-long pilot) - September 12, 1988
- In the Chips - September 13, 1988
- Videohhhh! - September 14, 1988
- The Monster of Lost Lake - September 15, 1988
- Denver Makes the Grade - September 16, 1988
- Big Top Denver - September 19, 1988
- The Misunderstanding - September 20, 1988
- Lions, Tigers, and Dinos! - September 21, 1988
- Change of Heart - September 22, 1988
- Broncosaurus - September 23, 1988
- Denver, Dino-Star! - September 26, 1988
- Dinoland - September 27, 1988
- Winning - September 28, 1988
- Enter the Dino - September 29, 1988
- Radio Denver - September 30, 1988
- The Phantom of the Movie Theater - October 3, 1988
- Missing Links - October 4, 1988
- Dog Gone Denver! - October 5, 1988
- Party Time - October 6, 1988
- Aunt Shadie's Ghost Town - October 7, 1988
- Moviestarus - October 10, 1988
- Denver at Sea - October 11, 1988
- Ski Denver - October 12, 1988
- Beach Blanket Dino - October 13, 1988
- History Repeats Itself - October 14, 1988
- Battle of the Bands - October 17, 1988
- The Comic Book Caper - October 18, 1988
- Carnival - October 19, 1988
- Pen Pal - October 20, 1988
- China Town Caper - October 21, 1988
- Denver, the Lost Dinosaur - October 24, 1988
- Denver and the Cornstalk - October 25, 1988
- Tee Time for Dinosaur - October 26, 1988
- Birthday Party From Outer Space - October 27, 1988
- Food Wars - October 28, 1988
- Jogging Denver (aka Dino-cise) - November 1, 1988
- Denver, the Last Dragon - November 2, 1988
- High Flying Denver - November 3, 1988
- Denver at the Digs - November 4, 1988
- Chef Denver - November 7, 1988
- Fizzback's Follies - November 8, 1988
- Dinos are My Life - November 9, 1988
- Bayou Blues - November 10, 1988
- Canatta - November 11, 1988
- Pluto Needs People - November 14, 1988
- Arabian Adventure - November 15, 1988
- Venice Beach Blast - November 16, 1988
- Big News Denver - November 17, 1988
- Viva Denver! - November 21, 1988
- There's No Business Like Snow Business - November 22, 1988
- Brazil: Globo
- Chile: Etc...TV
- China: CCTV-1
- Croatia: HRT 1
- Denmark: Kanal 2.
- Ethiopia: ETV
- Finland: MTV3
- France : France 3 (1991–1993) and Direct 8
- Galicia: TVG (as part of Xabarín Club)
- Germany: RTL and RTL II
- Gibraltar: GBC TV.
- Greece: New Channel, Seven-X
- Hungary: Magyar Televízió 1 (the national TV)
- India: Denver appeared as Danu in the Indian version of the television series Danu Danasur that aired first on Doordarshan on 9 June 1996. Local producer of the series was National Centre of films for Children and Young People. The title track of the series Chipkali ke nana hain was written by lyricist Gulzar. It was retelecast on DD Malayalam (on Sundays after the 4pm movie) and Surya TV.
- Israel: Channel 1
- Italy: Italia 1, Canale 5, Boing and Jim Jam
- Kazakhstan: Khabar TV
- Kenya: KTN
- Macedonia: MTV1 „Денвер - Последниот диносаурус“ („Denver - Posledniot dinosaurus“)
- Mexico: XHGC-TV (Canal 5)
- Netherlands: FilmNet
- New Zealand : Channel 3 GZR
- Pakistan: Pakistan Television (PTV 1)
- Poland: Tele 5, TVN, TVP, RTL 7
- Portugal: Canal 1, Canal Panda
- Philippines: Island's TV 13 (now IBC 13)
- Romania: TVR1(1990), TVR 2(1991), Antena 1(1998-1999)
- Serbia: TVNS Plus
- South Africa: TV1, TV2
- South Korea: SBS, EBS
- Sweden: TV3, Kanal 5 and FilmNet.
- Taiwan: Taiwan Television Enterprise, Ltd.(TTV)
- Turkey: Kanal D
- United Arab Emirates : Channel 33
- United Kingdom: Galaxy (1990), TV-am (1992), Nickelodeon, Sky Channel as part of Fun Factory Saturday and Sunday morning programming (1990–1993) and Carlton Kids (1998-2000).
- Venezuela: Venevisión
- Zimbabwe: ZTV
One of very many children's animated series of the 1980s, Denver didn't leave a lasting impression on many viewers. In 2014, listing it among twelve 1980s cartoons that did not deserve remembrance, io9 characterized it as "a cartoon about coolness and friendship created by a marketing committee of old white men who had never experienced either of them before."
- Barnes, Mike. "'Voltron' producer Peter Keefe dies", The Hollywood Reporter, May 28, 2010. Accessed August 26, 2010.
- 'The Complete Series' is Coming to DVD from WEP and VCI
- 'The Complete Series' Front and Rear Box Art, Bonus Material
- "More mythology on DD’s Sunday slot". The Indian Express. 8 June 1996. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
- Bricken, Rob (11 November 2014). "12 Cartoons From The 1980s No One Will Ever Have Nostalgia For". io9. Retrieved 12 November 2014.