Do you remember the Dinosaurs? No, not the literal ones, but instead, the ’90s sitcom that attempted to translate the concept of the Rosanne’s Conner family into rubber dinosaurs puppets. Yeah. That weird show is coming to streaming.
As part of its bid to completely dominate the millennial nostalgia niche, Disney+ has made every Disney Channel original movie available to stream, along with the Pixar classics and Saturday morning cartoons that were important parts of Clinton administration-era childhoods.
Dinosaurs is the latest show to join the party. The puppet-based sitcom is coming to Disney+ this fall.
A co-production of Disney and The Jim Henson Company, Dinosaurs aired for four seasons from 1991 to 1994. It actually had a fairly normal family sitcom structure, with bumbling dad Earl, wise mom Fran, teenage son Robbie, his little sister Charlene, and Baby Sinclair, whose catchphrases — “Not the mama!” “Gotta love me!” “AGAIN!” —were the part of the show that most penetrated the zeitgeist.
The Sinclairs (even their name was normal) lived a fairly blue-collar life in Pangaea, which wasn’t too different from America in the ’90s. But beyond the fact that its main characters were, well, dinosaurs, the show also departed from the typical sitcom formula by tackling some decidedly serious topics.
Divorce, vegetarianism, homosexuality, puberty, environmentalism, and corporate greed were all fodder for the show which, again, is about a family of talking dinosaurs whose lip movements didn’t even match what they were saying. There’s even an entire episode that’s a thinly veiled parody of the Gulf War. And in the final episode, they killed off the entire family, baby an all, which is absolutely wild even by today’s more adventurous TV standards.
If you remember Dinosaurs, it will be pleasant to watch the show after all these years. If you don’t, the show’s ambition and Hensonian weirdness means that it’s worth a (re)watch when it hits Disney+ this fall.