Tag Archives: 1990s

Why I Love The 90s: Dinosaurs!

29 May

In early 1990s, it became apparent that people were, like, so yesterday. Animals? Like, hello! 1985 is calling and they want their present-day snoozefest back! You know what’s cool? What’s hip? Things that had died 65 million years ago.

I’m sure you remember this cultural trend. Dinos were pretty much everywhere. Films, comics, cartoons, video games – if you were a kid then you probably owned at least three dinosaur-related things and loved them.

Of course, some of it was good, and some of it was bad. So – let your old pal Rob take you on a whirlwind tour of the best (and worst) dinosaur offerings.

Let’s start with the big hitters: In 1988, we had The Land Before Time, an animated movie from the mighty Don Bluth, and executive-produced by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. The movie was fantastic, heartwarming, and more than a little sad. A great Don Bluth animated adventure. It was, unfortunately, followed by about ten thousand sequels.

The Land Before Time 27: Littlefoot goes to the Podiatrist

TLBT can be seen as the granddaddy of the whole movement. It predates most of the major players and was a huge, huge success. However, the biggest Dinosaur-themed event was obviously this:


Jurassic Park was awesome. It’s still one of my favourite films. It’s still one of the best blockbuster movies ever. It had everything a kid needed: adventure, wonder, graphic violence, harm being done to annoying kids, brilliant hats, helicopters…not going to lie, I am still excited about the possibility of Jurassic Park 4.

Between the two, there were several other dinosaur adventures of…mixed results.



“You know what would be funny? A sitcom about Dinosaurs! They can be played by New Yorkers in giant suits! And they can be really creepy!”

“Yeah that’s totally a good idea…wait, how shall we end the show? Oh I know, with the FRICKIN’ DINOPOCALYPSE! That totally won’t scar people for life!”


Barney The Dinosaur!

I never really ‘got’ Barney to be perfectly honest. He had the cold, dead eyes of a killer. I felt as though his show was a little like Hotel California.

“You can never leave, children!”

For me, the best thing Barney did was help to inspire Death To Smoochy (one of the most underrated movies ever made, do check it out).


Denver, The Last Dinosaur!

Here’s one you may not know, or may have a vague, subconscious memory of. Let the title sequence refresh your memory. Warning: contains a GUITAR PLAYING DINOSAUR and many awesome 90s pop-culture references.



So. Much. Awesome. Seriously, just look at this:

The tag-line of the toy/cartoon was ‘HARNESS THE POWER OF DINOSAURS!’

The only way this could be improved is if Batman was somehow involved. I know the show was made to try and sell the toys, but quite frankly, I don’t care. It didn’t do Transformers any harm.


Extreme Dinosaurs!

Speaking of cartoons to sell toy lines, here is Extreme Dinosaurs, one of the many ‘we want to be the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ series about. There will be more on that phenomenon in a later post. But for now, enjoy some brilliant wisdom from these anthropomorphised cool 90s Dinodudes:

(FYI, I think that using the phrase ‘Cretaceous!’ to mean ‘awesome’ is brilliant)


Theodore Rex!

Cyberpunk and dinosaurs team up to bring this crapheap of a film. That same duo was tried with the Super Mario Bros movie in 1993, to similar results.


Dinosaurs For Hire!

Originally a comic series, Dinosaurs For Hire came to my attention as a Sega Megadrive game. It involved Dinosaurs in sunglasses shooting people with shotguns. I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of thing dreams are made of. If you don’t agree, I think there might be something wrong with you.


Primal Rage!

As part of the super-violent videogame trend that was personified by the likes of Mortal Kombat and Lethal Enforcers, along came this beat ‘em up where you could pit dinosaurs against giant apes and the like. It was…passable in my opinion. I never saw it in an arcade up apparently the arcade version was a lot better than the one that hit the home consoles.

Notice ‘Ape Skull Mountain’ in the background


To finish, I’ll leave you with this, the best thing to come out of the dinosaur craze: the music from the first stage of Jurassic Park on the NES. It’s actually the BEST SONG EVER.


Thanks for reading. Let me know what your favourite dinosaur-related things were from the 90s! Up next: something videogame-related.

Why I Love The 90s: Space Precinct

21 May

You know what’s better than a cop show? A show about cops in space. You know what’s better than a show about cops in space? A show about cops in space by Gerry Anderson, the genius behind Thunderbirds, Space: 1999, and Captain Scarlet. Space Precinct is one of the defining TV shows of my childhood. A vibrant set of locations and characters, fantastic alien creatures, mind-bending plots, and outrageous special effects.

Let me give a brief synopsis: Lieutenant Brogan is an ex-NYPD cop who gets transferred out to another precinct. This precinct is in SPACE. Brogan and his partner Jack Haldane have to solve a variety of crimes in the shady, noir-esque Demeter City. These crimes vary from drug dealers, master thieves, assassins, and even to horrifying, nightmare-inducing serial killers. I kid you not. But more on that later.

If you don’t believe me, that Space Precinct is one of the most overlooked gems in TV history, then please just take a look at the intro:

That tells you all you need to know. The great theme tune (STILL the best theme tune ever in my opinion), the incredible costumes, bizarre alien creatures, and explosive action scenes.

What I love most about the show, though, is the wide array of characters. Rather than just being about Brogan and Haldane, the show had a great supporting cast. Other cops including Jane Castle (Haldane’s on-off love interest), the psychic alien cop Took, the C3PO-meets-R2D2 robot buddy SLOMO, and the inexplicably Irish police chief Captain Podly.

Born in Space Dublin, Podly doesn’t like Brogan’s maverick renegade style. “Do you know how many space reports I need to fill in for your reckless space actions?!”

The most important thing that Space Precinct did, though, was to scare the absolute crap out of me. Since I was a little kid, I’ve basically been a poster boy for the conservative right: “this child has become completely desensitised to violence and horror! Ban this sick filth!” etc. This obviously happened due to my playing of videogames (such as the shocking and disturbing Super Mario Bros) and watching films such as The Terminator at age six. And, you know, it’s made me a total psychopath who isn’t happy unless copying videogames – I regularly spend my spare time jumping on turtles and wearing dungarees.

Anyway, there were very few things that really scared me as a kid. One of these things was The X Files episode ‘Squeeze’, about some monster bastard who eats people’s livers. Another was an episode of Space Precinct.

Entitled ‘Predator and Prey’, the basic premise is thus: there are a string of bizarre deaths in Demeter City, happening at places such as awesome 90s night clubs. It turns out that the murders are being committed by an intergalactic space demon that infects its hosts and feeds off their life essence.

And did I mention that the space demon in question is non-corporeal most of the time?

And did I mention that when it does appear, it looks like this?

Definitely what I should have been watching as a kid.

Yeah. It scared the crap out of me.

So – please, if you can, check out this brilliant show. There are a few episodes knocking around on Youtube. I also have the whole thing, so if you fancy having a marathon session sometime then it’s on like Donkey Kong.

This is my first blog on the 90s and why it was an awesome time to grow up. Join me next time for something video-game related…