Denver, the Last Dinosaur
Denver, the Last Dinosaur is an American-French animated series produced by World Events Productions and Groupe IDDH [fr]. It was nationally syndicated throughout the United States in 1988 with reruns airing until 1990. In the show, a dinosaur hatches from a petrified egg in modern times, and is befriended by a group of teenagers. Episodes often focused on issues of conservation, ecology, and greed.
|Denver, the Last Dinosaur|
|Created by||Peter Keefe|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||50|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||World Events Productions|
Groupe IDDH [fr]
Centre National Cinématographie
La Ville D'Angoulême
|Distributor||World Events Productions|
|Original release||September 12 –|
November 22, 1988
The show ran for two seasons, as the dinosaur boom that had followed The Land Before Time waned until Jurassic Park in 1993, causing viewership to drop. The series received a recommendation from the National Education Association.
The show revolves around the adventures of Denver, the eponymous last dinosaur, who was released from his egg by a group of California teens: Jeremy, Mario, Shades, Wally, and Casey, along with tag-along older sister, Heather. The kids taught Denver the finer points of skateboarding and other pastimes while protecting him from rock concert promoter Morton Fizzback who wanted to use the dinosaur to make money.
The series begins when Jeremy, while preparing for his Natural History test, and his friends visit the La Brea Tar Pits – a place in Los Angeles which contains a large collection of extinct animal and plant fossils - and go to the Museum there. At the museum, the friends encounter a gang of bullies. The friends escape the bullies by hiding behind a fence near the tar pits. Behind the fence they find a pit that contains a large prehistoric egg. As the friends are playing with the egg it suddenly cracks and a green friendly dinosaur emerges who, inexplicably, understands English. The kids name him Denver after they spot an advertisement for the city of Denver on a passing bus.
The children decide to keep Denver and to keep his existence a secret. Denver is first hidden in a pool house at Wally's home. After Wally's sister discovers Denver they move Denver to the old school gym. After a while, Denver gets kidnapped by the manager Morton Fizzback, who puts Denver on a stage in front of an audience to become rich.
When the children confront Morton about his abduction, he becomes paranoid that someone might find out that Denver is a real dinosaur. At the end, Denver is sold to a scientist named Professor Funt, who wants to examine and experiment on him, and use him to become famous. Eventually, Denver gets to return to the gang and rescue them from Nick and his thugs.
In addition to his natural skills and abilities, Denver can also, with the help of a piece from the shell of his egg, take the gang with him back to the time whence he came.
- Denver the Last Dinosaur is the main protagonist of the show and a close friend of the gang. He is a green unknown species of Dinosaur, the last of his kind, who has proven to be a good and loyal friend. Denver first met Wally, Shades, Jeremy, and Mario when he hatched from his egg when the boys hid behind a fence in the tar pit from Nick and his friends. He surprisingly understands English. Denver got his name when the boys spotted an advertisement for the city of Denver on the side of a bus. He is a rock 'n roll music fan and likes to play electric guitar, ride skateboard and eat potato chips. Voiced by Pat Fraley.
- Wally Adams – Boy who takes Denver in, Denver's closest friend. He cares for various animals – including Rocky (his pup), three cats, Ears (a rabbit), and a parrot. Voiced by Adam Carl.
- Jeremy Anderson – the most intelligent and mature guy among the gang. He acts cerebral and possesses extensive knowledge about a wide variety of subjects, including the origin and habits of dinosaurs. Voiced by Adam Carl.
- Mario – A brown skin and hair teen with an enormous ego. Voiced by Cam Clarke.
- Shades – A cool teen who always wears sunglasses (where his name is derived from). Voiced by Cam Clarke.
- Casey – Youngest of the gang, she is a machinist and often help the other members with the technical problems. She has a crush on Mario, more obvious in the first season. Voiced by Kath Soucie.
- Heather Adams – Wally's older, and sometimes annoying, sister. She has blonde hair in a ponytail. Voiced by Kath Soucie.
- Rocky – Wally's pup.
- Chet – Heather's boyfriend, voiced by Rob Paulsen.
- Freddy Facknitts – A teenage genius who is also a fan of comic books, and has a strong, though somewhat comical, sense of justice. He was originally hired by Morton Fizzback to conduct an experiment on Denver's tar egg shell, but later helps out Denver and the gang, and provides technical support.
- Morton Fizzback – Drawn and voiced as an obvious characterization of actor Rodney Dangerfield, Fizzback is an arrogant, treacherous and greedy rock concert promoter voiced by Brian Cummings.
- Professor Funt – Evil scientist, sometimes works with Morton, voiced by Brian Cummings.
- Nick – Leader of three other bullies, Curt, Scott, and Rod, who cause trouble for the boys, voiced by Rob Paulsen.
Merchandise and home media releasesEdit
Knott's Berry Farm offered a Denver promotional tie-in with its new Kingdom of the Dinosaurs attraction (which would later take its last rider in 2004), as did Ralston Cereals with its new brand Dinersaurs (which sold poorly and was discontinued by the end of 1988).
Various episodes of the series were released on VHS by Fries Home Video.
World Events Productions released two DVD volumes through their Voltron.com website. The first volume included the hour-long pilot and the following eight episodes. The second volume includes 10 episodes. World Events Productions had the complete series on YouTube; it was removed on December 31, 2010, because of synchronizing problems, but as of February 2012, all but three episodes had been restored. On February 11, 2011, World Events Productions released the complete series on Hulu.
Season 1 (1988)Edit
|Title||Original air date|
|1||1||"Denver, the Last Dinosaur"||September 12, 1988|
|Hour-long pilot episode. A group of children, Wally, Jeremy, Shades, and Mario, visit the La Brea Tar Pits and discover an egg which hatches to reveal a friendly dinosaur, which they name 'Denver'. However, the gang must protect Denver from the ambitious Dr. Funt, and the evil rock concert marketer, Morton Fizzback, who aspires to use Denver to make a profit.|
|2||2||"In the Chips"||September 13, 1988|
|Denver follows Jeremy to his job at the store, where he hides in the storeroom and eats chips.|
|3||3||"Videohhhh!"||September 14, 1988|
|Wally borrows his sister Heather's camera, so that he and his friends can make a video starring themselves.|
|4||4||"The Monster of Lost Lake"||September 15, 1988|
|While out camping at a mountain lake with the boys, Denver is mistaken for a terrible monster.|
|5||5||"Denver Makes the Grade"||September 16, 1988|
|The boys decide to do a science project on dinosaurs for the school science fair.|
|6||6||"Big Top Denver"||September 19, 1988|
|Denver and the gang help Kip and his father save the circus by performing their specialty acts with the other circus performers.|
|7||7||"The Misunderstanding"||September 20, 1988|
|Wally and Heather panic when they hear that their parents are planning to move out of town.|
|8||8||"Lions, Tigers, and Dinos!"||September 21, 1988|
|Wally takes a job at the zoo, but on his first day, things take a turn for the worse as Denver is kidnapped by the self-serving Dr. Funt as part of his new high-tech exhibit.|
|9||9||"Change of Heart"||September 22, 1988|
|Denver rescues the gang's arch-rival Scott, causing him to soften up and abandon his plans to expose Denver to the media, subsequently causing him to gain publicity and votes for the upcoming student election.|
|10||10||"Broncosaurus"||September 23, 1988|
|While they are visiting Jeremy's Uncle Eli on his ranch, the gang and Denver attend a local rodeo.|
|11||11||"Denver, Dino-Star!"||September 26, 1988|
|Casey's movie star cousin, Lana Lake, arrives in town and invites Casey, the boys and Denver to attend the filming of her latest sci-fi movie, 'Leapin' Lizards on the Loose'.|
|12||12||"Dinoland"||September 27, 1988|
|Heather's new job makes for an exciting day of chases and thrills as Denver is mistaken for an employee of the park who is out to spy for a rival amusement park. Denver saves the day as he rescues five kids stuck on top of a roller coaster.|
|13||13||"Winning"||September 28, 1988|
|Denver and Jeremy enter a game show, only to find out that they are competing against Dr. Funt and Morton Fizzback.|
Season 2 (1988)Edit
|Title||Original air date|
|14||1||"Enter the Dino"||September 29, 1988|
|Shades develops a recent interest in karate, as well as in Nikko, the daughter of his instructor.|
|15||2||"Radio Denver"||September 30, 1988|
|Wally's part-time job at the radio station, KAY-HIP, and the competition of the station with the rival radio station, KAY-LOUD, causes Denver to rise to fame as a radio star.|
|16||3||"The Phantom of the Movie Theater"||October 3, 1988|
|When Heather and Wally's parents inform the two that they are expecting guests from out-of-town, they must hide Denver that the local movie theater, which is believed to be haunted.|
|17||4||"Missing Links"||October 4, 1988|
|A boy genius, Freddy Facknitts, invents a time machine that sends Denver and Morton Fizzback into the past and into the middle of a crazy caveman competition called Mammothball.|
|18||5||"Dog Gone Denver!"||October 5, 1988|
|When the boys enter Wally's dog, Rocky, in a dog relay race, they must also disguise Denver as a dog so that Rocky will perform better.|
|19||6||"Party Time"||October 6, 1988|
|Denver and Mario take jobs as children's entertainers, only to face to wrath the wrath of Douggie, the Dancing Clown, who attempts to sabotage the duo's entertaining efforts.|
|20||7||"Aunt Shadie's Ghost Town"||October 7, 1988|
|While visiting Aunt Shadie's (Shades' aunt) house, the gang go on a wild minecart adventure in an attempt to retrieve the deed to the town from some thieves who stole it.|
|21||8||"Moviestarus"||October 10, 1988|
|While on a tour of Big Movie Studio, Denver falls in love with an animatronic dinofem.|
|22||9||"Denver at Sea"||October 11, 1988|
|When disreputable treasure hunters kidnap a dolphin from a local marine research facility and use him to locate sunken treasure, Denver dives in to save the dolphin.|
|23||10||"Ski Denver"||October 12, 1988|
|Heather and the boys take Denver to a mountain ski resort.|
|24||11||"Beach Blanket Dino"||October 13, 1988|
|The secluded beach where Mario surfs and the kids play is taken over by Rad Tad and his group of Surf Dudes.|
|25||12||"History Repeats Itself"||October 14, 1988|
|Wally is in a predicament with Johnny Price, a boy who constantly plays practical jokes on him, Denver uses his magic eggshell to bring Wally back to a time where he was torment by the Pteranodon, causing Wally to find a solution to his predicament and befriending Johnny Price.|
|26||13||"Battle of the Bands"||October 17, 1988|
|Denver and the group deck out in wild caveman attire and form a rock group, B.C Rock, to compete in the city wide talent contest, as does Freddy Facknitts (by forming a group of robots called Roborock). However, Dr. Funt and Morton Fizzback kidnap the robot band and Denver and the gang must rescue them.|
|27||14||"The Comic Book Caper"||October 18, 1988|
|Denver, the boys, and Freddy Facknitts attend a comic book convention dressed as their favorite comic book characters.|
|28||15||"Carnival"||October 19, 1988|
|Denver practices his magic act for the Charity Carnival when he and the gang get more than they bargain for. When Denver wins a rare historical artifact that was mistakenly donated for the raffle, he finds himself on the run from the shady Bird family who are out to get their priceless piece back.|
|29||16||"Pen Pal"||October 20, 1988|
|Wally's attractive female pen pal from Sweden, Inga Vinga, comes for a visit.|
|30||17||"China Town Caper"||October 21, 1988|
|Denver, dressed in a Chinese lion robe and headdress, leads a mad chase for dognappers in Chinatown during the Chinese New Year Parade.|
|31||18||"Denver, the Lost Dinosaur"||October 24, 1988|
|When Denver, Casey and Freddy Facknitts accidentally become airborne in the latter's created aircraft, rumours of UFO sightings start to spread through the town.|
|32||19||"Denver and the Cornstalk"||October 25, 1988|
|In an embellished version of 'Jack And the Beanstalk', Denver buys some magic corn kernels off Morton Fizzback, which are thrown into the ground and grow into a giant cornstalk, which Denver climbs to find the giantess of the castle (Bertha Bird).|
|33||20||"Tee Time for Dinosaur"||October 26, 1988|
|Denver's mistaken identity at a golf tournament sets Fizzback and Funt off on a high-tech cheating spree, while the golf course Groundskeeper tries to capture what he believes to be the Loch Ness Monster.|
|34||21||"Birthday Party from Outer Space"||October 27, 1988|
|The kids need Denver out of the way while they prepare a surprise birthday party for their dino-pal. But dino-sitter Freddy Facknitts gets them both into trouble when his "space ship" puts Dr. Funt, who thinks he is an alien from outer space, on their tail.|
|35||22||"Food Wars"||October 28, 1988|
|Mario and Shades get jobs working for competing fast food stores, which jeopardizes their friendship, and eventually sparks a rivalry between them.|
|November 1, 1988|
|Denver is put through his paces, participating in an exercise program with the kids while trying to hide a mischievous baby gorilla.|
|37||24||"Denver, the Last Dragon"||November 2, 1988|
|While at a medieval fair, Denver and the gang wind up in a wacky jousting tournament, pitted against Morton Fizzback's Black Night.|
|38||25||"High Flying Denver"||November 3, 1988|
|Morton Fizzback and Bertha Bird collaborate to seek Denver after he escapes from them in a hot-air balloon.|
|39||26||"Denver at the Digs"||November 4, 1988|
|Denver and the gang help Jeremy's great-aunt Adelaide save a precious fossil from a land developer, who is aided by Dr. Funt.|
|40||27||"Chef Denver"||November 7, 1988|
|Denver's new-found passion for gourmet cooking is challenged when he is asked to prepare the food for a party for Jeremy's new girlfriend.|
|41||28||"Fizzback's Follies"||November 8, 1988|
|The gang play a hockey competition against Morton Fizzback's team of professional misfits, and the winner earns possession of Denver.|
|42||29||"Dinos Are My Life"||November 9, 1988|
|Casey befriends Louden, a shy, withdrawn, new kid, who has a passion for dinosaurs.|
|43||30||"Bayou Blues"||November 10, 1988|
|While on a mapping expedition with Jeremy's great-aunt Adelaide, Denver and the gang run into two bizarre alligator poachers, and a love-sick alligator, who mistakes Denver for one of his own kind.|
|44||31||"Canatta"||November 11, 1988|
|The boys receive an invitation from their friend Senior Santos to spend a relaxing week at a resort located on the mythical island of Canatta.|
|45||32||"Pluto Needs People"||November 14, 1988|
|Denver fantasizes about battling evil aliens from Pluto in a 1950's style sci-fi adventure.|
|46||33||"Arabian Adventure"||November 15, 1988|
|Mario reads a story he wrote to Denver and the gang, which comes to life with the aid of their imaginations, leading them on an adventure involving a magic cavern filled with treasure, a flying carpet, and a genie in a lamp.|
|47||34||"Venice Beach Blast"||November 16, 1988|
|Denver and the gang land themselves in trouble when they try to find a place to skateboard at California's Venice Beach.|
|48||35||"Big News Denver"||November 17, 1988|
|Denver is discovered by a newspaper reporter, who aspires to make Denver the topic of his newest front-page headline.|
|49||36||"Viva Denver!"||November 21, 1988|
|When Shades' grandfather accidentally misdirects this year's annual Cinco de Mayo parade, Denver and the gang must save the festival.|
|50||37||"There's No Business Like Snow Business"||November 22, 1988|
|Dr. Funt and Morton Fizzback aspire to create a major snowstorm in Los Angeles.|
- Barnes, Mike. "'Voltron' producer Peter Keefe dies", The Hollywood Reporter, May 28, 2010. Accessed August 26, 2010.
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