Dinosaur Train

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Jim Henson's Dinosaur Train
Dinosaur Train
Also known as Jim Henson's Dinosaur Train
Genre Children's
CGI animated cartoon
Format Animated series
Created by Craig Bartlett
Directed by Craig Bartlett
Terry Izumi
Voices of Phillip Corlett
Claire Corlett
Erika-Shaye Gair
Alexander Matthew Marr
Ian James Corlett
Nathasha Calis
Colin Murdock
Ellen Kennedy
Opening theme "Dinosaur Train"
Composer(s) Jim Lang
Mike Himelstein
Michael Silversher
Country of origin United States
Singapore
Original language(s) English
Hindi
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 79[1]
(List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Craig Bartlett
Brian Henson
Lisa Henson
Halle Stanford
Producer(s) Sue Bea Montgomery
Running time 28:46
Production company(s) Media Development Authority
Sparky Animation
The Jim Henson Company
FableVision
Snee-Oosh, Inc.(uncredited)
Broadcast
Original channel PBS (PBS Kids - US)
TVO (TVOKids - Canada)
EBS (South Korea)
Nick Jr., Channel 4 (UK)
Piwi +, France 5 (France)
Disney Junior (Germany)
Rai YoYo, DeA Kids and DeA Junior (Italy)
MiniMini+ (Poland)
RTP2 and RTP África (Portugal channels)
Nick Jr. (Australia)
TV2 (New Zealand)
TV3, Nick Jr., Disney Junior (Turkey) ZQ (India)
Picture format ATSC
Audio format Dolby Home Theater
Original run September 7, 2009 (2009-09-07) – present
Chronology
Preceded by Sid the Science Kid
External links
Website

Dinosaur Train is an American animated series created by Craig Bartlett. The series features a curious young Tyrannosaurus Rex named Buddy who, together with his adopted Pteranodon family, takes the Dinosaur Train to explore his time period, and have adventures with all kinds of dinosaurs. It is produced by The Jim Henson Company in association with Media Development Authority, Sparky Animation, FableVision, and Snee-Oosh, Inc.

It is the second show by The Jim Henson Company to use CGI animation (the first of which was Sid the Science Kid).

Overview[edit]

The show is set in a whimsical prehistoric world of jungles, swamps, active volcanoes and oceans, all teeming with dinosaur and other animal life, and connected by a train line known as the Dinosaur Train. This steam-engine train can be customized for dinosaurs of all kinds: windows accommodate the long-necked sauropods, there’s plenty of headroom in the Observation Car for the larger theropods, and the Aquacar is an aquarium for sea-going passengers. The train itself is run by Troodons, as the smartest dinosaurs in this fictional universe. The Dinosaur Train circles the whole world—it even crosses the oceans and inland seas, with stops to visit undersea prehistoric animals. It can travel through the entire Mesozoic Era, the “Age of Dinosaurs,” passing through magical Time Tunnels to the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous time periods.

The world of Dinosaur Train is seen through the eyes of Buddy the Tyrannosaurus. In the show’s main title song, we learn that Buddy was adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Pteranodon. He hatched at the same time as his pteranodon siblings Tiny, Shiny, and Don. By traveling in the Dinosaur Train around the Mesozoic, supplied with all dinosaur facts by the train’s Troodon Conductor, Buddy learns that he is a Tyrannosaurus. As an adopted kid in a mixed-species family, Buddy is curious about the differences between species and vows to learn about all the dinosaurs he can by riding the Dinosaur Train. The dinosaurs featured in the show are actual dinosaurs discovered by paleontologists.

Dinosaur Train is co-produced and animated by Sparky Animation Studios in Singapore, with casting by Vidaspark and voice-overs recorded at Kozmic Sound in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It premiered on Labor Day 2009 and airs daily on PBS Kids, and in various countries around the world. 40 half-hour episodes have been ordered by PBS Kids so far. Each episode is followed by a live-action segment featuring Dinosaur Train educational consultant and world-renowned paleontologist Dr. Scott D. Sampson, who appears onscreen to explain the show’s dinosaur curriculum in greater detail.

Characters[edit]

Main characters[edit]

Left to right: Shiny, Buddy, Tiny, Don
  • Buddy (voiced by Phillip Corlett) - Buddy is a Tyrannosaurus who likes to ask questions and form hypotheses. He was adopted by the Pteranodon family while still in the egg. Some episodes name him "Buddy Tyrannosaurus" while others name him "Buddy Pteranodon". Since Buddy is incapable of flight, the family accommodates his differences; his parents or his siblings will carry him when the others are going somewhere that requires flight. His sharp eyesight allows him to be the spotter for the Pteranodon family when they go fishing; he spots the fish underwater and tells the other members of the family where to fish. Buddy's color is orange in his family. He is quite curious.[2] In early episodes, whenever they went through the Time Tunnel, Buddy would feel nauseous.
  • Tiny (voiced by Claire Corlett) - Tiny is a Pteranodon who likes rhyming and approaches dinosaurs with the confidence of a news reporter. Tiny's color is green like Don and her parents. When she meets a new dinosaur, she introduces herself and her family. Among her siblings, she is the only one who looks exactly like her mother. She is the smallest of the family, and sometimes likes to hide in holes and crevices in the trees, which she calls her "Tiny Place".
  • Shiny (voiced by Erika-Shaye Gair) - Shiny is a Pteranodon who is less tomboyish than Tiny and loves roleplaying with her siblings. Shiny's color differs from the Pteranodon members of her immediate family; she is aqua, while the other Pteranodons are a grass or leaf green, although her grandmother is a similar shade of cyan. She enjoys collecting shells and other shiny objects.
  • Don (voiced by Alexander Matthew Marr) - Don is a Pteranodon who enjoys dancing and collecting things. He's a little wider than Shiny and Tiny, with a larger chin. He enjoys digging holes, observing insects, and collecting objects for his nature collection. He looks like his grandfather.
  • Mr. Conductor (voiced by Ian James Corlett) – A Troodon who operates the Dinosaur Train. He is a special friend to Buddy; although he prefers to be called Mr. Conductor by everyone except his mother (Mrs. Conductor) and Don (who calls him "Mr. The Conductor" by mistake). Whenever the Dinosaur Train approaches a time tunnel, the conductor says, "Time Tunnel, Time Tunnel Approaching!" He also hides his feathers under his hat. Mr. Conductor gets shy around his mother.
  • Mrs. Pteranodon (voiced by Ellen Kennedy) – The mother of Tiny, Shiny, Don, and Buddy. She is a teacher, companion, and thinks of herself as the ultimate tour guide.[2] Unlike most other adult female characters in the series, her first name is never revealed in the series. Her children introduce her to other dinosaurs as "Our Mom, 'Mom'."
  • Mr. Pteranodon (voiced by Colin Murdock) – The father of Tiny, Shiny, Don, and Buddy, and the husband of Mrs. Pteranodon. He likes to think of himself as the family's coach, evidenced by the fact that he can make a squawking sound that sounds vaguely of a coach's whistle. One of his interests is taking Don and Shiny on fishing expeditions while Buddy and Tiny ride the Dinosaur Train with his wife. Like his wife, his children sometimes introduce him as "Our, Dad, Dad."

Secondary characters[edit]

In order of appearance, characters that have significant appearances in more than one episode.

  • Cory Corythosaurus (voiced by Erika-Shaye Gair) - A young female Corythosaurus who performs in a choir using her crest.
  • Tank Triceratops (voiced by Alexander Matthew Marr) - A young male Triceratops who loves eating leaves. He is taken care of by his mother, Trudy, and his herd. In the episode "Tank's Baby Brother", a baby brother named Tuck is added to the family, whom the Pteranodons help him accept.
  • Boris Tyrannosaurus, Dolores Tyrannosaurus and Annie Tyrannosaurus (voiced by Trevor Devall, Kathleen Barr and Erika Shaye-Gair) - A family of Tyrannosaurus; Annie is a friend of Buddy's. They were the first T. rex that Buddy met (aside from himself), identifying his species. They migrate during the summer. Dolores's husband Boris was introduced in the episode "T. Rex Migration".
  • Ned Brachiosaurus (voiced by Kathleen Barr) - A teenage male Brachiosaurus who is a regular on the train and has been given the title of Junior Conductor. His herd is visited in "Dinosaur Poop".
  • Mrs. Conductor (voiced by Tabitha St. Germain) - The Conductor's mother and former conductor of the train. She has a voice that sounds like an older female version of the Conductor's. She usually appears without being introduced.
  • Petey Peteinosaurus (voiced by Cedric Payne) - A male Peteinosaurus that eats insects. Unlike the Pteranodons, he has teeth. He joins the Pterosaur Flying club in the eponymous episode.
  • Velma Velociraptor (voiced by Kathleen Barr) - A female Velociraptor, who has feathers and lives with her daughter Valerie.
  • Arnie Argentinosaurus (voiced by Ashleigh Ball) - A young male Argentinosaurus, who lives with his father. In a later episode, Arnie has a flatcar set up for him to ride on the train.
  • Hank Ankylosaurus (voiced by Colin Murdock) - A male Ankylosaurus, who plays the game Dinoball with his tail and is admired by Mr. Pteranodon.
  • Laura the Giganotosaurus (voiced by Kathleen Barr) - A female Giganotosaurus who usually resides in the Observation Car. She uses her large size and height to be a lookout and turn the train (and an occasional obstruction) around. She has an Argentine accent, reflecting the location of her species's discovery.
  • King Cryolophosaurus (voiced by Phil Hayes) - A male Cryolophosaurus that talks and sings like Elvis Presley. He is afraid of paparazzi and often needs to be convinced to do concerts.
  • Erma Eoraptor (voiced by Kathleen Barr) - A female Eoraptor that lives at the start of the rail line. She speaks in a pioneer accent. The Conductor (despite being a different species) has a crush on her
  • Gilbert (voiced by Ashleigh Ball) - A young male Troodon who is the Conductor's nephew. He wears a miniature version of the Conductor's uniform.
  • Larry Lambeosaurus (voiced by Brian Drummond) - A male Lambeosaurus, the Pteranodons' neighbor. He has a wife and kids, Leroy and Lily.
  • Cindy Cimolestes (voiced by Tabitha St. Germain) - A female Cimolestes that lived in Tiny's Tiny Place, until Buddy found her a home. She has a squeaky voice.
  • Elmer Elasmosaurus - A young male Elasmosaurus, who catches fish and plays under the sea. In "Elmer Visits the Desert", he journeys to a desert, and learns of its underwater past.
  • Grandpa and Grandma Pteranodon (voiced by Colin Murdock and Ellen Kennedy) - Don, Tiny, Shiny and Buddy's grandfather and grandmother on their father's side. Grandma Pteranodon is aqua like Shiny, and looks like an older version of Shiny except for a less tapered beak. Grandpa Pteranodon enjoys fishing trips and collecting. He resembles an older Don, complete with a worn down version of his humming. They were not seen for a long time because they had been on a fishing tour.

[3]

Segments[edit]

  • Time for a Tiny Ditty – Tiny either tries singing about something she learned on the show or about her favorite dish (fish).
  • Buddy has a Hypothesis – Children learn from Buddy and Tiny what a hypothesis means.
  • Dr. Scott the Paleontologist – He appears on the show to teach children about the dinosaurs which have appeared in each episode, and how dinosaurs compare to present day animals (including humans).[4] Dr. Scott Sampson is a paleontologist. He received his PhD in zoology from the University of Toronto in 1993 and currently works as an adjunct associate professor at the University of Utah.[5][6]

Songs[edit]

  • Theme Song – A ballad about a Mom named Mrs. Pteranodon and her children with a T. Rex, revealed to be written by King in his debut episode
  • Hungry Hungry Herbivore – An adult Brachiosaurus (judging by his deep voice) shows up to sing a song about how herbivores loves to eat green food.
  • I'm a T-Rex - Buddy sings that he finally realizes that he is T-Rex, and sings about living in the Cretaceous forest.
  • Dinosaurs A-Z – Mr. Conductor sings the Dinosaur Alphabet that his mother taught him.
  • Cryolophosaurus Crests - King sings about his crest.
  • My Tiny Place - Tiny sings about her 'Tiny Place' which is actually her hideout in the form of a small hole in a tree. She shares it with Cindy Cimolestes.
  • Nice To Meet You (My Name is Tiny) - Tiny's song she sings to Leslie to tell her how she can talk to other dinosaurs without getting scared.
  • All Aboard - The original theme song before the official Dinosaur Train theme song.
  • Tiny Loves Fish - Tiny sings a song about how she loves fish.
  • I Love Trains - The Conductor sings about his love for trains (particularly the Dinosaur Train).
  • Dinosaur Feet - Daphne Daspletosaurus and the gang sings about their great big stomping dinosaur feet.
  • Sleep Little Dinosaur - The Pteranodon family and Tank Triceratops sing Tank's lullaby that his mom sings to him every night.
  • I Learned a New Way to Improvise - Shiny sings in a concert with Buddy, Tiny, Don, Cory Corythosaurus and Cory's friend, Perry.
  • Ecosystem - Mr. Conductor sings about living in an ecosystem.
  • Get into Nature Song - Song about the Nature Trackers club and getting into nature.
  • That's Not a Dinosaur- Tiny sings about how not every animal in the Mesozoic Era is a dinosaur.
  • No Place Like Our Nest- The Pteranodon family sings about how their nest is the only home for them.
  • The Biggest Dinosaurs- Over several episodes the Pteranodon family go on trips to see the biggest sauropods, and this song is specific to those episodes.

Episodes[edit]

Cast[edit]

  • Phillip Corlett - Buddy Tyrannosaurus
  • Claire Corlett - Tiny Pteranodon
  • Ian James Corlett - Mr. Conductor, Adam Adocus, Alan Alamosaurus, Elliott Enantiornithine (in "Now with Feathers"), Morris Stegosaurus, Mr. Argentinosaurus, Mr. Daspletosaurus, Mr. Elasmosaurus, Stuart Stygimoloch, Travis Troodon, Triceratops, Troodon Official, Vincent Velociraptor
  • Erika-Shaye Gair - Shiny Pteranodon, Annie Tyrannosaurus, Coriy Corythosaurus
  • Ellen Kennedy - Mrs. Pteranodon, Mrs. Einiosaurus, Mrs. Elasmosaurus
  • Alexander Matthew Marr - Don Pteranodon, Tank Triceratops
  • Colin Murdock - Mr. Pteranodon, Announcer, Elliott Enantiornithine, Hank Ankylosaurus, Ralph Einiosaurus, Station Master, Stuart Styracosaurus, Ziggy Zhejiangopterus

Additional voices[edit]

Live show[edit]

A live show, "Jim Henson's Dinosaur Train Live: Buddy's Big Adventure", began touring the United States and Canada in October 2013 and ended March 2014.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Henson Moving Forward with "Dinosaur Train" and "The Skumps"". Muppet News Flash. September 17, 2008. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Dinosaur Train: Meet the Characters". Archived from the original on 2009-09-09. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Dinosaur Train Episodes". Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  4. ^ Owen, Rob (September 4, 2009). "'Dinosaur Train' combines two popular routes". Post Gazette. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  5. ^ 3rd_culture/bios/sampson.html Retrieved November 13, 2009.
  6. ^ http://www.earth.utah.edu/people/faculty/ssampson Retrieved November 13, 2009.
  7. ^ http://www.dinosaurtrainlive.com