What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this cartoon offers a mishmash of frightening, roaring, realistic-looking adult dinosaurs and cute, pudgy young ones who are remarkably nonchalant about their often-expressed fear of getting eaten by the "hunter" dinos. When the hunters appear, or even when the herbivore adults stampede to avoid or frighten a hunter, the scenes are loud and might scare young kids. On the plus side, there are lots of positive messages about acceptance and looking out for your friends.
What's the story?
DINK, THE LITTLE DINOSAUR follows the adventures of a young herbivore (voiced by R.J. Williams) and his friends -- including Amber (Anndi McAfee) and timid Scat (Frank Welker). They spend their days in the jungle, annoying the older dinosaurs and merrily trying to avoid being eaten by the "hunter" dinosaurs.
Is it any good?
Dink and his friends are cute and easy to identify with as they struggle with questions involving bravery and friendship. Their trusted elder, a tortoise named Crusty (also Welker), is reassuringly wise. But the adult dinosaurs can seem frighteningly real and don't really mentor the young, being too concerned with the ongoing battle between herbivores and omnivores (hunters and gatherers, here). When a hunter menaces one of the young dinosaurs, things get scary, but they're lightened by the young dinosaurs' response -- usually something along the lines of "Gee, I hope I don't get eaten!"
The lessons -- about friendship and teamwork and, occasionally, ecology -- are heavy handed but don't interfere too much with the adventures. Most young kids will enjoy Dink, and young dino fans will be thrilled to find another outlet for their obsession.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the show's messages. Kids: Can you tell what point the show is trying to make? Which do you like better -- stories with obvious messages or ones that teach you something without you even realizing it? Why?