Welcome In!

Dino Squad: An Analysis

Home | Toys | Video | Comics & Books | Games | Observations | About
Now, before I start, allow me one bit of conceit. On the eve of August 17, 2007, I had a bizarre dream. In it, a 15 year-old boy could transform into a dog and fight a wolf man. With him were a girl of the same age (a cat), an older boy (a chinchilla, now a mouse) and a little girl (a crow). I jotted down my ideas and their official designs came by October. I named the series Feather and Fur, and awaited the time to begin drawing it.
I shouldn't have waited long. About three months later, I got my new Sonic the Hedgehog comic (#183) and came across an ad at the very back - it was for Dino Squad, the new cartoon about five teenagers that transformed into dinosaurs and fought a crazy man! LOOK WHAT HAS HAPPENED! Now, they could be doing the same things as Animorphs or Manimal, but I'm surprised about the similarities in Dino Squad. I hastily wrote up the premier story of Feather and Fur, which can be viewed here, just to say I was first. Now, there is an advantage to only being a dog or a cat instead of a dinosaur. For one thing, you can get around easily, and everybody goes "Aw look, a kitty!" instead of "HOLY SHIT A DINOSAUR!". Now, let's proceed with the review of the episode "Growth Potential".

After being treated to a crappy rock theme song, a scene of a pipe pumping what looks like cheese into a river, everybody transforming and lots of other shit I don't care about, we see our characters. A preppy, Token Girl, Mike Thecoolperson, Token Black Guy and Skeezer. Preppy is Marc, Token Girl is Felicia, Mike is Damien, and Skeezer is Manik the Hedgehog.

We open with Roger working on some big boat that looks like a shark. Fiona, Caruso and Buzz come in, each with a large gun. Wait, guns? These kids get GUNS with their powers?! Lucky bastards. Anyway, Fiona (of whom is whiny) laments that her gun is malfunctioning, along with the guns of the two boys. But Roger's just fixed their guns, and they're only now broken.

Roger is pretty mad that everybody's trashing their weapons, then everybody yells at each other and he huffs out of the warehouse. Damien Max comes in and is all WTF, and tells the others off for making Roger angry. Then Caruso cracks a joke, and the bastards laugh. Whee.

Suddenly we cut away to see this Victor, supposedly the villain, growing some kind of evil plant. I'm kinda ticked here because they stole [SPOILER] Human Scar's hairstyle, all though Scar's was a little shaggier and white-blonde. Also, both are in suits, except Scar's suit looked a little Skunk Kusai-ish, being navy blue with a white scarf. [/SPOILER] While we're at it, Victor's voice sucks. He sounds like an old British guy who's been kicked in the crotch and is trying to sound American. And then, with possible the MOST steathless action, he flies a bright red helicopter over town, dropping the vines all over the place. THEN, Victor's crew drives a flamboyant tank-thing into the forest and bury some vines. This guy thinks like Robotnik. Then, we cut back to Roger's warehouse. That was so fast that I've got whiplash.

Roger's with this dog, who is a definite reference to Feather & Fur. Suddenly, the dog transforms into a beast, grabs Fiona's gun and runs off. The dog mangles the gun while the others make bad jokes. Wait, their hideout is a bloody lighthouse?! With a furnished living room, no less! Anyway, Roger's pretty down about having to rebuild the gun, but Max walks by, headed to his football practice. Roger wants to go and Max lets him, and the two are off on their dinosaur themed motorcycles. Which no doubt came with the guns and the lighthouse.

Speaking of the lighthouse, there is an old woman in the top tower who stole Xavier Marse's cane. Being the guarding adult, she could be a conglomerate of Grandpa Jack and Sophie's mother Michelle. The woman sees an orange button flashing and starts looking for Roger. Buzz comments that Roger is "probably crying over a petri dish or somethin'", showing us that he is an asshole. The woman says that someone should "check out" a local disturbance, and we fade to the football practice, and back to the forest with the group driving along. They see this mutant squirrel-boar thing. Suddenly, Fiona's gun randomly shoots, a net comes out and covers the three.


Caruso blames the malfunction on Roger, who is critically failing football. The flashback to the game is only fifteen seconds, therefore unneccessary. After climbing out of the net, Caruso tries to capture the animal, which then jumps ten feet in the air and humps his face. He trips on a vine and the animal runs off.

Roger fantasizes of pizza

Caruso begins ranting about fleas and having to wash his hair while Fiona sees all the vines. She takes a sample, then they drive off. The creature comes back, a vine slithers over and takes hold of its tail. The animal is dragged off screen, squealing. Meanwhile, the kids show the vine sample to the old woman, and she says that it's an ancient breed of vine. Then we cut back to Max and Roger on their motorcycles. Then they cut back again, where the old woman is surprised that Roger's gone. Buzz makes another wiseass comment about him, so the old woman defends Rodge by saying how hard the guy works building things. Then Caruso bitches about the creature giving him fleas.


Then we go RIGHT BACK to Max and Roger having pizza. And again, back to the others in the football field. They discover that the field has been overrun with the treacherous vine. Buzz tries to leave, but finds the vine has wrapped around his ankles. Then we cut ahead to at night with the vines growing throughout town.

Hugh Phillips, Sarai Mizuno, Grandpa Jack!

We quickly see a couple, an old man and a bag lady being hassled by the vines. Then, Max and Roger come out of the pizza store, meaning that they've been in there for hours. Max and Roger see the bag lady stuck in the vines and go help her. But as soon as she's freed, the boys get stuck. The other three are lodged in the football field vines, too, And so, they transform, each taking as long as it takes the Sailor Senshi to transform. It's no use, as they're still getting hassled by the vines.

And the online preview ends there. Unfortunately, because I wanted to pick at it more. Fortunately, because I can't take anymore of this crap.

So, what do I think of it? Wait, what do I think of it?! I think this was THE WORST cartoon I may see this year. It's up with Robotboy. The puns are all overused, the writing twists around at breakneck pace (are we following Roger, or are we following Fiona?!), the evil guy is made of old villains, and the only characters with a chance of development are the old woman and Roger. Needless to say, I am extremely happy to have the better series. I don't mean to sound conceited, but in F&F, the kids fought only with stealth and their animal powers. These guys have weapons, motorcycles, a lighthouse, a vehicle docking bay and can talk to humans when transformed. Plus, I want to strangle half the cast. In short, I am very happy to not be this piece of crap. It's like that weird, stupid cousin that you know you're related to but make fun of when he's not looking. Sure, it'll probably sell to a few young boys enamoured with dinosaurs, but stick with them for only a few months.
However, I found Dino Squad begun running in Septermber 2007 - one month after my dream, and one month before I put the plot outline up. So basically, there is no valid proof that I came up with it first, except for some drawings I had in August. What's worse, Dino Squad is being produced by DiC Entertainment, who produced Sonic the Hedgehog and the Sailor Moon dub that has lodged into my childhood. WHY?! FIRST YOU FIRED TRACEY MOORE, NOW THIS!
But there is also one element I can never let DinoSquad take away from me.
And that is Damien's father, Julian.


Because he is awesome.

No, seriously. If you're interested in the comic and want Scar's plans to remain a complete secret, don't click there.
All written material here is 2007-2011 Fauna Crawford, along with any images identified as such. All other copyrights belong to their respective owners and creators. Permission is required to use any original material from this site.