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Goofy Feathered Dinosaurs

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Feathered dinosaurs treated non-seriously or in a mocking matter.

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
Pichu-kun on Aug 8th 2017 at 10:59:43 AM
Last Edited By:
Pichu-kun on Apr 16th 2018 at 7:42:33 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

For centuries, dinosaurs were seen as reptilian animals and were often treated as little more than giant, hulking monsters, especially within the sci-fi community. Within the last few decades, researchers have revaluated these ideas. Newer research has revealed that dinosaurs were overall much more like birds than lizards. Many people even consider birds to be a form of dinosaur.

This however... hasn't gone well with the mainstream media. People like their scary, roaring and sulking lizard creatures, even if the actual animals were anything but. Even many dinosaur enthusiasts (many who grew up on media such as Jurassic Park, which was inaccurate even at the time) are averse to the idea. Dinosaurs in media still tend to be based on older reconstructions, either because the artist's didn't care enough to make them accurate, didn't know better, or don't like the current designs.

Feathered dinosaurs were hit hard with this. Contrary to common belief, not all dinosaurs are considered to probably have been feathered. Many, if not most, but not all. It's also perfectly possible for dinosaurs to have had both scales and feathers. However, the popular view of feathered dinosaurs is a giant fluffy dinosaur with brightly coloured feathers. Tyrannosaurus rex has received most of the brunt of this issue. Due to its popularity, it's the poster-child for feathered dinosaurs. Paleontologists aren't quite sure whether they were fully-feathered or not, but the mainstream image is that Tyrannosaurus rexes are now "cute and cuddly". Feathered dinosaurs bring to mind chickens and ducks rather than the equally-feathered-but-frightening hawks or Terror Birds. The idea of feathered dinosaurs tends to be mocked and scoffed at in media.

Contrast Feathered Fiend.


Examples:

Films — Animation

  • The only feathered dinosaurs in The Good Dinosaur are the raptors going after the T. rex's herd. Although fearsome, they are depicted as goofy rednecks, with their feathered crests resembling mullets.

Newspaper Comics

  • Paul Gilligan draws Pooch Café, wherein one strip has Boomer mention to Poncho that birds evolved from dinosaurs. Poncho envisions a T. Rex with ridiculously small wings excreting onto a car. The weight of the discharge crushes the vehicle. Poncho agrees that the notion is difficult to believe.

Print Media

  • A Muse Magazine dinosaur issue featured a Kokopelli & Company comic featuring Koko showing off various feathered therapods. Among them a feathered T. rex that clucked like a chicken.

Web Original

  • King Rexxtopher from Mighty Magiswords is a rare case of a feathered T. rex. It fits the overall wacky tone of the show.

Web Comics

  • In Manly Guys Doing Manly Things, the trained velociraptors are chubby-cheeked, tropical-coloured, fluffy, and friendly. Justified in that it was a side effect of the genetic engineering and breeding that made them trainable, while the unmodified velociraptors had sleeker plumage.

Western Animation

  • Munro Ferguson directed How Dinosaurs Learned To Fly for the National Film Board of Canada. It's a six minute cartoon about a rotund dinosaur named Dip that amuses himself by jumping off cliffs. Though the sensation while falling approximates flying, the sudden stop at the end dulls Dip's enjoyment. However, Dip developed feathers (and lost weight) until he could fly. Some of his fellow dinosaurs developed similarly, spawning the myriad variety of birds we see today.

Feedback: 16 replies

Aug 9th 2017 at 7:10:38 AM

  • The only feathered dinosaurs in The Good Dinosaur are the raptors going after the T. rex's herd. Although fearsome, they are depicted as goofy rednecks, with their feathered crests resembling mullets.
  • King Rexxtopher from Mighty Magiswords is a rare case of a feathered T. rex. It fits the overall wacky tone of the show.

Dec 22nd 2017 at 4:03:21 PM

If this isn't Chairs Sit On People, and is actually a clear trend in dinosaur depictions, it might be tropable.

Dec 22nd 2017 at 8:16:11 PM

It might be Too Rare To Trope, but I have one other example where it's discussed, at least.

Webcomics

  • Conversed, but ultimately defied in this Webcomic/Xkcd strip, where an older women remarks to a reading girl that dinosaurs have gotten weird since she was a kid, with all those "dorky" feathers, only for the girl to cite a real paper on how raptors used their wings to hunt, which intrigues the woman enough to come and read about dinosaurs with the girl.

Dec 23rd 2017 at 1:01:46 AM

Actually the t rex would not be any kind of "poster child" for this trope. In fact, recent evidence has shown that t rex was predominantly, if not entirely, scaley. Raptors would be closer to a poster child for this trope. Also there's no evidence to say that most of them were feathered, only that some of them were

Dec 23rd 2017 at 3:45:32 AM

^ It's the poster child in the sense that its depiction with feathers "sucks out the scariness" of a dinosaur that's otherwise seen as terrifying.

Dec 23rd 2017 at 10:43:01 AM

Literature:

  • A Muse Magazine dinosaur issue featured a Kokopelli & Company comic featuring Koko showing off various feathered therapods. Among them a feathered T. rex that clucked like a chicken.

Apr 15th 2018 at 10:38:13 PM

So this is a new (as in New 10s) trope, right?

Apr 15th 2018 at 11:12:27 PM

Would this make for a good image, or does the OP want a straight use instead of a subversion?

Apr 16th 2018 at 1:08:57 AM

  • In Manly Guys Doing Manly Things, the trained velociraptors are chubby-cheeked, tropical-coloured, fluffy, and friendly. Justified in that it was a side effect of the genetic engineering and breeding that made them trainable, while the unmodified velociraptors had sleeker plumage.

Apr 16th 2018 at 1:43:40 AM

Western Animation

  • Munro Ferguson directed How Dinosaurs Learned To Fly for the National Film Board of Canada. It's a six minute cartoon about a rotund dinosaur named Dip that amuses himself by jumping off cliffs. Though the sensation while falling approximates flying, the sudden stop at the end dulls Dip's enjoyment. However, Dip developed feathers (and lost weight) until he could fly. Some of his fellow dinosaurs developed similarly, spawning the myriad variety of birds we see today.

Comic Strips

  • Paul Gilligan draws Pooch Cafe, wherein one strip has Boomer mention to Poncho that birds evolved from dinosaurs. Poncho envisions a T. Rex with ridiculously small wings excreting onto a car. The weight of the discharge crushes the vehicle. Poncho agrees that the notion is difficult to believe.

Apr 16th 2018 at 10:34:31 AM

^^^ That picture fails to get the "goofy" part of this trope. They look more like a Feathered Fiend.

Apr 16th 2018 at 4:41:00 PM

Yes, it's a new trope. It only began post-90s.

Apr 16th 2018 at 7:42:33 PM

^ So... can I know when the scientists found out that the dinosaurs are closer to birds than reptiles? Source?

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