Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Dino Boy (1966)

Dino Boy in the Lost Valley was the backup feature on Space Ghost during the series' original run on CBS. However, when Space Ghost moved to NBC 10 years later as a mid-season replacement, Hanna-Barbera repackaged him with Frankenstein, Jr., leaving Dino Boy in the vaults. Hewey1972 uploaded this intro clip, narrated by the voice of Space Ghost himself, Gary Owens.

After The Flintstones had ended its prime-time run after 6 years, Hanna-Barbera wanted to take a more serious approach to the Stone Age, and Dino Boy was the first step in that direction. The next year brought Mightor, who fared about as well as Dino Boy did overall. Making such a sudden U-turn in that regard might actually have doomed Dino Boy in retrospect. Sadly, the studio's last two efforts, 1974's Valley of the Dinosaurs & Korg: 70,000 B. C., fared no better, either. Viewers simply preferred the humorous antics of The Flintstones over the concept of prehistoric heroes, and not even sending Captain Caveman back to his own time in the 80's could change that perception.

Not long ago, on a message board I frequent, I postulated an idea for a revival that would entail not only Dino Boy, but also Mightor & Valley of the Dinosaurs, with the idea that these three series could actually, if done right, have been linked together at some point, provided of course the creative personnel at Hanna-Barbera gave it serious consideration. Warner Bros. certainly is not in any hurry to try it, though, given Hollywood's general creative bankruptcy, they should.

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

This always came across to me as the ultimate prepubescent boy's fantasy... befriending dinosaurs and having exciting adventures in a far away jungle!

There were times I half expected the show to end with Todd waking up from a daydream and we find everything that we'd seen was just that... a fantasy.

I like the idea of linking this show to "Valley of the Dinosaurs" since both shows hinge on the premise of modern people getting stranded in a "lost prehistoric valley" setting, but I never thought about including Mightor in it. His world was supposed to be the actual past, not an isolated world apart from the modern one.

I think it would have been hilarious for an older Todd to have turned on on "Valley" just so he'd find he wasn't the only modern day outsider to be stranded there! Not to mention being a rival to Lok for Katie Butler's attention!

Pokey said...

Despitw the credit for Dino Boy, that is not THE one and only Johnny Carson but a child actor of the same name. This [along with the two kid actors on H-B's 1967 "Moby Dick and the Mighty Mightor"] is odd, as Hanna-Barbera used veteran Dick Beals for such roles [Walter Tetley of Lantz "Andy Panda" and Ward "Sherman" from Peabody] filled the same role elsewhere.

hobbyfan said...

Oh, I knew about the Carson confusion long ago, but the thing that bugs me is that they could've easily used Tim Matheson (who voiced Jace) as Tod, since Tod sounded a wee bit like Jonny Quest, whom Matheson also had played. Makes ya wonder sometimes...

magicdog said...

I don't think Tim Matheson would have worked because his voice was changing.

By 1966 he had grown into his "Jace" & "Young Samson" teen voice, therefore not the right sound for a preteen boy.