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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dinotrux is a DreamWorks series based on the award-winning books by Chris Gall about a group of dinosaur/construction vehicle mash-ups who defy tradition by becoming friends and teaming up against the neighborhood bully. The show's superb messages about friendship and not judging a book by its cover are eclipsed only by its remarkable visual appeal. There are some fairly tense and violent exchanges between the friendly group and their oversize tormentor, and they often show signs of wear and tear such as broken or bent parts as a result. But it's in those moments that the characters really shine, pooling their resources and supporting each other in ways that illustrate the value of being part of a team. Note that the third season of Dinotrux is called Dinotrux Supercharged, but it's a continuation of the same show.
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What's the story?
DINOTRUX is the story of a group of dinosaur/construction vehicle hybrids who surprise themselves by becoming friends after a lifetime of believing they had nothing in common. The series opens with Ty Rux (voiced by Andrew Francis) fleeing his home after a volcano destroys it and settling in a new crater whose residents are tormented by a bully named D-Structs (Paul Dobson). Ty Rux befriends a resourceful Reptool called Revvit (Richard Ian Cox), and the two enlist the help of their neighbors -- Skya (Ashleigh Ball), Ton-Ton (Matt Hill), and Dozer (Brian Drummond) -- to team up against D-Structs.
Is it any good?
This fantastic series blends two kid favorites -- dinosaurs and construction vehicles -- into a cast of exceptional characters who show viewers how deceiving appearances can be. The characters' home is a place where different species never interact, let alone work together, so when Ty Rux takes the time to get to know Revvit and the two become friends, it's the spark that inspires change and breaks down the barriers that have kept the characters separate for so long.
Each episode is packed with illustrations of friendship, teamwork, and creative problem-solving that draws on the unique skills of each character, from the tiniest Reptool to the most powerful Dinotrux, but that's not what will keep kids coming back for more. Instead they will be won over by the well-rounded characters and the remarkable animation and detail that went into bringing these appealing book characters to the screen.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why it's important to get to know someone before you pass judgment on him or her. What, if anything, can you tell about people by the way they look? Is it ever appropriate to make a snap judgment?
Kids: In what ways are you and your friends different from each other? Have you ever been envious of a friend's talents? When you're working together, how do these differences become an asset?
Kids: If you've read the Dinotrux books, does this show improve on their story? In general, do you like screen adaptations of books, or are there drawbacks to seeing how others interpret the characters? Which book would you like to see brought to life on-screen?
- Premiere date: August 14, 2015
- Cast: Andrew Francis, Richard Ian Cox, Ashleigh Ball
- Network: Netflix
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Cars and Trucks, Dinosaurs, Book Characters, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models
- Character Strengths: Courage, Teamwork
- TV rating: NR
- Available on: DVD, Streaming
- Award: Common Sense Seal
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