Thursday, May 2, 2013

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Dino Boy vs. Giant Ants (1966)

Dino Boy in the Lost Valley, to use the segment's full title, is an example of an idea that never really reached full fruition.

Dino Boy (Johnny Carson, not to be confused with the late night host by the same name)'s story was never concluded, as only one season's worth of episodes was produced. Which is a shame, when you consider that 8 years later, Hanna-Barbera mounted Valley of the Dinosaurs, an animated series similar in tone to the Kroffts' Land of the Lost on NBC, but what if the Butlers weren't lost in time? What if the Valley was somewhere in present time, similar to the live-action movie, "The Valley of Gwangi"? That would've opened the door to the return of Dino Boy, since Valley aired on the same network (CBS) where this episode, "Giant Ants", first appeared.

Considering that the Butlers never made it home, either, well, put the pieces together, and you have the potential for a movie that might also include Jonny Quest, to tie it all together in one tidy package. Of course, since WB hasn't got a clue.......!

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

I'd always thought that if this show had been produced today, there would have been a finale episode in which the entire thing was a creative writing assignment for Dino Boy (aka, "Todd"). How else could you explain such grand adventures any preteen boy would have relished?

Seriously, it's a shame HB didn't think of having Dino Boy and the cast from "Valley of the Dinosaurs" in the same place. It would have been a great way to bridge both shows and give an update on what became of DB. It would have been fun to have had him a rival with Lok for Katie's affections as well. I imagined this only because in real time (Dino Boy airing in 1966, Valley airing in 1974), DB would have been about the same age as Katie & Lok.

We could have had more of a backstory on how DB got there and if anytone back home was looking for him.

SaturdayMorningFan said...

Actually, the Butlers weren't lost in time, and the Valley was somewhere in the "present" time (1974's present, anyway). It was sealed off from the rest of the world and the Butlers were trying to find a way out. This is illustrated in one episode where a modern aircraft flies over the Valley and they try to contact it, unsuccessfully of course. So the scenario you mentioned would have been possible.

hobbyfan said...

SMF: Thanks for clearing that up. H-B did indeed blow it by not bringing back Dino Boy in Valley of the Dinosaurs to conclude his story. Were Valley to be remade now (40th anniversary is next year), that would have to be taken into careful consideration.

SaturdayMorningFan said...

I don't know if I'd want to see a modern version of Valley of the Dinosaurs, at least not one done in any of the modern animation styles. WB seems to be making a tidy profit selling vintage HB shows through their Warner Archive, so that proves there is a somewhat sizable audience for this type of stuff. I'd love to see them take the next step and have an animation division dedicated to producing new and revival cartoon series done in retro Hanna-Barbera style.