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Anime / DinoZaurs

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DinoZaurs: The Series, also known as Prehistoric Warriors and DinoZone (ダイノゾーン) in Japan, is a Japanese anime which is a combination of traditional animation and computer animation. It was dubbed and aired on Fox Kids in 2000-01 before that block's demise.

After 65 million years, the Dino Knights awaken when their old enemies, the Dragozaurs, return to drain Earth's lifeforce. Along the way they pick up some human friends: Kaito, Rena, and Rick.

Not to be confused with Dinosaur King.

DinoZaurs provides examples of the following tropes:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: The Dino Knights and the Dragozaurs are both made of CGI on an otherwise traditionally animated anime.
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Tricera gets a little too full of himself shortly after he and Tyranno get their Mid-Season Upgrade. It thankfully doesn't last.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Rick and the Cerasaur Brothers had a couple of these; notable since neither of the other kids or Dino Knights made any appearances at all in them. Rena also had one in the fifth episode which she shared with Brachio, as did Arch and Icthyo after the latter's debut episode.
  • Adults Are Useless: Outside of the Dino Knights. The adult humans are by and large too stupid to notice any of the fights between Dino Knights and Dragozaurs. Even when the Drago Clones go on a rampage in their debut, which includes leveling a building, everyone outside of Kaito and Rena assumed they weren't real.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: The Dragozaurs, who attack planets and suck the life out of them.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Diamond Ryugu has in the English dub a rather distorted yet feminine voice that indicates her gender, though it can be hard to see at first glance. The English dubbers were evidently confused too as they accidentally referred to her as a male once in an early episode (the character is male in the Japanese version). Also not helping is how she is addressed as "sire" at some points instead of "milady" like most female rulers are. Her later appearances towards the end toned this down.
  • Apocalypse How: The Dragozaurs' victory would cause a Total Extinction, all life force from Earth would be drained and Earth would be rendered lifeless.
  • Atlantis: It's the focus of one episode. Taki tries to pass himself off as their new king, but it goes about as well as you'd expect, especially since the actual king is still alive (sort of).
  • Bad Boss: Diamond Ryugu. At best she'll berate her subordinates for failing, a worse case she once punished Drago Wing with her Breath Weapon for questioning her decisions.
  • Big Bad: Diamond Ryugu, the leader of Dragozaurs.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Diamond Ryugu is defeated and the Dragozaurs leave Earth but the Dino Knights turn back into fossils as they're no longer needed.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Dark Dragon's weapon in his warrior form is a pair of these.
  • Bully Hunter: Rena has shades of it in her debut when she defends Kaito from Taki, even offering to challenge him at arm-wrestling if he's looking for trouble. Taki is quick to back off.
  • Butt-Monkey: Drago Wing. He's the most active villain and suffers the most defeats, which as the series goes on become increasingly comedic and humiliating. Kaito even lampshades how much of a joke he is in "Remember Yourself." The Dragozaur grunts had this bad from the get-go. Taki too, but he usually has it coming.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Tyranno talking to the viewers.
  • Breath Weapon: Diamond Ryugu breaths blue fire.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Tyranno regresses to his original form in the finale after Diamond Ryugu's defeat. He isn't shown regaining his Mid-Season Upgrade before returning to a fossil.
  • Characterization Marches On: The end of the first episode kind of implied Drago Wing wanted to off Diamond Ryugu once she gathered all the life force from Earth. This is never brought up again and every other appearance showed him to be undyingly loyal to her.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Kaito saves Rena from drowning and then from a crocodile in "Everything's Relative".
    Rena: But hey, it was fun, so I'll forgive you.
    Kaito: (catching his breath) Huh?
  • Dark Is Evil: The Dragozaurs are primarily colored with metallic gray and black parts to signify that they're not the good guys. They even use the power of a "Dark Crystal" to change into their humanoid forms.
  • Dragons Are Dinosaurs: Diamond Ryugu, who has the form of an ankylosaurus, breaths fire.
  • Equippable Ally: The aptly-named "Dino Weapons" can also change into weapons that attach to their fellow Dino Knights.
  • Forgot About His Powers: In one episode, Drago Wing directly sucks the life force out of Dino Ptera like a vampire. He never does it again.
    • Dark Dragon displays New Powers as the Plot Demands, in part because he never displays a power twice, always using something different in place of it.
  • Forgot I Couldn't Swim: Rena, on a trip to Africa, jumps into a river in the heat of the moment. Kaito has to save her, though Rena tries to save face after the fact by claiming she was doing it to get him in the water. He doesn't buy it.
  • Free-Range Children: Kaito, Rena, and Rick can leave for hours, if not days, to go adventuring with the Dino Knights without worrying about explaining their absences to their families. They're also never seen going to school.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Rick is not seen as much as the other two kids and only helps out during really big incidents such as the midseason finale and Grand Finale. At least two episodes featured him and the Cerazaur brothers without any other heroic characters period. Justified somewhat as he lives out in the countryside of New Mexico which is fairly secluded.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Rick at first acts distant to the other kids and doesn't want to involve them with his and the Cerasaurs Brothers' business. After coming to the rescue of a trapped Tyranno while he was being attacked by Gigano Dragon, however, he becomes their recurring ally. He remains somewhat aloof, however, even with the Cerasaurs.
  • Large and in Charge: Diamond Ryugu. Most of the characters are at least two stories tall, and she dwarfs all of them.
  • The Lost Lenore: When he was a mere stegosaurus, Dino Stego had a girlfriend named Daisy
  • Near-Villain Victory: Both times Diamond Ryugu stops playing Orcus On Her Throne, she nearly wipes out all life on Earth.
  • Never My Fault: Drago Tyran was killed when Dino Ptera knocked him off a cliff and he landed on Drago Ceratops. All the latter has to say about the matter is "This is all your fault!" to his fallen commander before fleeing back to base.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Though solidly on their side for the series's time, Dark Dragon is stated to have betrayed the Dragozaurs in the past. This is never explained or brought up again.
    • It is stated several times that a group called the Ancients gave the Dino Knights their powers. We never learn anything about them or what they even looked like.
    • On the Dragozaurs' side, we never learn what the "Dark Crystal" is exactly and how it factors into their transformations. It's implied a couple of times that it's the power source of the Dragozaurs' base and Diamond Ryugu used it to create the Drago Clones.
  • No Romantic Resolution: It isn't clear if Icthyo comes to reciprocate Arch's feelings for her and his crush is never brought up again after the one episode.
  • Orcus On Her Throne: Diamond Ryugu spends almost the entire series barking orders at the other Dragozaurs, and only bothers to get up and do anything herself twice.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Gigano, an evil Asian-style dragon.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: Averted. Rick's kindly grandfather mentions that Rick's parents are dead mostly to explain why Rick is living with him. It was never brought up again.
  • Palette Swap: Dark Dragon's Dragozaurs are silver and black as opposed to the brown and tan variety that Drago Wing holds dominion over. The Drago Clones are also this of their respective Dino Knight counterparts.
  • Papa Wolf: The reason for Gigano's grudge against Tyranno stated in the canon is that back during the first war for Earth, is that Tyranno defeated him in battle. Tyranno is the better fighter and stronger but never bothered to permanently rid himself of his Ax-Crazy stalker. Once Gigano takes a swing at Kaito, Tyranno promptly knocks his old rival over a cliff.
  • Physical God: Dino Ramph is lifeforce given psychical form, so he's the closest thing the show has to this. Even Diamond Ryugu seems to at least hold his power in enough regard to siphon it for her own use.
  • Psychic Dreams for Everyone: Kaito, an ordinary human, for the most part, has a prophetic dream about the rise of Dino Ramph.
  • The Psycho Rangers: The Drago Clones are evil clones of the Dino Knights created by Ryugu using the power of the Dark Crystal.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: Not as bad as other Saban productions, but some music from Masked Rider and the American dub of Digimon Adventure crept into some episodes. Even more so from the dub of Monster Rancher.
  • Second Episode Introduction: Rena makes her debut there.
  • Secret-Keeper: Kaito is the first to discover that the Dino Knights are alive. Rena finds out after he does and then Rick awakens the Cerasaur Brothers which brings him in on the know.
    • Gomez, a thief who was bested in an early episode, returns in one of the last installments and finds out about the Dino Knights. After a Heel–Face Turn when the knights save his life, he agrees to keep quiet on the count that since he's mainly a jerk, no one would believe him anyway.
  • She's a Man in Japan: Ptera and Ryugu are male in the Japanese versions. The same applies to Drago Dactyl.
  • Shown Their Work: Even though they lumped non-dinosaurian prehistoric animals into the title of "Dino Knights," the authors did know quite a bit about some lesser-known prehistoric species.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The show often uses sound effects from Jurassic Park.
    • In "A New Friend", a fossil hunter said they "took a wrong turn at Albuquerque."
    • Six of the seven main Dino Knights are a Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops, Mammoth, Sabertooth, Pteranodon, and Brachiosaurus. Sound familiar?note 
  • Sibling Fusion: The Cerazaur Brothers can combine into Dino Triblades.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Diamond Ryugu is the only female Dragozaur whereas Dino Ptera is the only female Dino Knight until the revival of Dino Icthyo. This applies to Icthyo herself in the Japanese version, as Ptera is male there. Ryugu is male in the latter version as well.
  • Soft Water: Kaito surviving a-couple-hundred-feet fall into a raging river.
  • Taking the Bullet: A variation, when Kaito and Rena fall/jump down an air duct in some ancient ruins, it tosses them out into the middle of a nearby field were Tyranno and Gigano are duking it out. Gigano takes immediate advantage by trying to kill Kaito. Cue Close up of Kaito's face tensing in expectation of a blow from a sword longer than his body... only to open his eyes again when he realizes Tyranno has thrown himself on his hands and knees over the children shielding them while letting Gigano have multiple free shots at his back.
  • Token Flyer: Dino Ptera is the only flier among the main Dino Knights. This also applies to Drago Dactyl, Ptera's counterpart among the Drago Clones.
  • Undying Loyalty: Despite suffering nothing but abuse from Diamond Ryugu, Drago Wing immediately pleads with Dino Tyranno to spare her when she's shrunken down and he's about to crush her underfoot.
  • The Vamp: The bad guys send one to use her feminine wiles to get close to Kaito so she can steal his Dino Dagger. Kaito doesn't seem overly interested in her, either because he's gay, asexual, or simply twelve years old, but is just too nice to tell her to get lost.
  • The Voiceless: Dino Ramph never communicates except in moans and calls.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The first episode showed Dragozaurs that resembled triceratopses and pterodactyls but only the tyrannosaurus Dragozaurs were ever seen out in the field.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Being the smart baddie he is, Dark Dragon is who concocts the Honey Trap above, but his plan would have been more effective had he knew Kaito is not the age to immediately fall in such things.