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Anime / Dinosaur King

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Dinosaur King is The Anime of the Game for the Dinosaur King video game series.

The anime features the adventures of Max, Rex and Zoe, a trio of dinosaur-loving kids who search for dinosaur cards scattered all over the world before the Alpha Gang can retrieve them.

The series has been brought to the U.S. by 4Kids using much of the same cast from their previous mon success, Pokémon. You can watch it on Netflix or KidsClick as of February 2018, and Discotek Media acquired the home video license later that year. A Nintendo DS video game has been made that is based on the anime.

In the grand tradition of the internet, the show has its own Wiki.


Dinosaur King provides examples of:

  • Aerith and Bob: As is usually the case with 4Kidz dubs, only certain characters have their names westernized, so you end up with things like Max's family, which includes himself, his father Spike, and his mother... Aki.
  • Affirmative Action Girl: Zoe, who was created from whole cloth for the anime.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: All of the dinosaurs exhibit dog-like behavior in their chibi forms. The D-Team can usually get away with claiming that their pets are dogs.
  • Almighty Janitor: Seth goes for most of season 1 unactive, but even before he turns out to be The Starscream, it's obvious he is ten times more competent than Dr Z.
  • Antagonist Title: "Dinosaur King" is a title that Dr. Z wants to give himself once he takes over the world. Despite what the dub theme song implies, the goal of the series is not To Be a Master.
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  • Artistic License – Engineering: In "Child's Play", the episode that introduces Pachychephalosaurus, the dinosaur is introduced by smashing into the Leaning Tower of Pisa, pushing it into an upright position. In real life the famous tower is not only leaning but actually crooked in the middle due to a failed attempt at correcting the lean mid-build. It would not be straight even if pushed upright, and most engineers agree that trying to push it upright would just send it toppling the rest of the way over.
  • Artistic License – Geography: In one episode, Rex's father is somehow able to drive from the Museum of Natural History in New York City to the Statue of Liberty, even though they are on two different islands, and the Statue can only be accessed by ferry. He also makes the distance in about five minutes or so.
  • Badass Longcoat: Dr Z and Seth, but the latter is the real badass.
  • Bare Your Midriff:
    • Zoe. A few episodes set in colder climates show that her shirt is full-length, she just rolls up the bottom to show her midriff.
    • Ursula too, though not her whole midriff, only a diamond-shaped cutout around her navel.
  • Been There, Shaped History: The second season of the anime involves the D-Team and the Alpha Gang together traveling through time to rescue the team's kidnapped parents. The very first story arc puts them in Ancient Rome at the start of the Spartacus Rebellion, and they proceed to get similarly involved in other historical events as the season goes on.
  • Behemoth Battle: There's briefly a clash between a Seismosaurus and a Supersaurus, the biggest dinosaurs seen at the time in the series.
  • Berserk Button: Every time Ursula is called an old lady, she can even be heard from the other side of the planet.
  • Big Bad:
    • Dr. Z is technically the main villain of the first series, being the one who gives orders to the other members of the Alpha Gang and being in charge of the organization. However, he is as incompetent as Ursula, Zander and Ed, and his plans tend to go south more often than not. With this, it's not surprising the more compentent and threatening Seth ends usurping him the position of Big Bad and ends being the Final Boss of the first season.
    • Spectre acts as the one of the second season, with his kidnapping of the parents of the main characters and his quest to obtain the Cosmos Stones driving the plot. Also, unlike Dr. Z though he is also betrayed by Seth towards the end of the season, he retains his position of main villain and fullfils his goal of getting the seven Cosmos Stones before being defeated by a combined effort of the D-Team, the Alpha Gang and Seth.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Dark Pterosaur is destroyed and Spectre and his pirates are defeated, and despite multiple Heroic Sacrifices Everybody Lives... but also the dinosaurs are permanently stuck in combat form, they and everyone from the future return to their time, including Rex, and the time machine only has enough power left for one last trip, meaning Max and Zoe will NEVER see their friend Rex or their dinosaur friends ever again.
  • Blond, Brunette, Redhead: Rex, Max, and Zoe.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Not surprising given its target audience.
  • Bowdlerize: The Hot Springs Episode has some curious behavior, given that the characters have been seen wearing swimsuits before without being embarrassed.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!:
    D-Team: Dino Slash!
    Alpha Gang: Alpha Slash!
  • Common Tongue: Inexplicably, everyone in the anime speaks the same language... despite the fact that nearly every episode takes place in a different country.
  • Dancing Theme: While the anime originally had one, 4Kids didn't bother adapting it, but you can spot bits of it in the 4Kids OP.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Dr. Owen is infatuated with Ursula; Zander with Reese.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: The Brazilian children playing soccer in the episode "Field of Screams" are all barefoot. Later on, Max, Zoe, and Rex are convinced to play a game of soccer with them. To play fair, they indulge in the barefooted fun, leaving their shoes and socks on the sidelines.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Jim from season 2, who declares Zoe to be the most beautiful person he's ever seen immediately upon meeting her, and is willing to fight the infamous Blackbeard all by himself for her sake.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Ed may be the dimmest of Dr. Z's minions, but even he knows the disastrous results of a forest fire in the Jurassic.
  • Elemental Powers: Each major clade of dinosaurs is associated with a particular element, some of which are grouped together rather loosely.
    • Ceratopsians: lightning
    • Small theropods, abelisaurs, and pterosaurs: wind
    • Ornithopods: plants
    • Large theropods: fire
    • Thyreophorans (stegosaurs and ankylosaurs): earth
    • Sauropods and spinosaurs: water
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: Quite literally.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Dr. Z., despite being a Bad Boss Mad Scientist, clearly loves Rod and Laura as much as much as any doting grandparent would, completely going off on Seth—whom he rarely even raises his voice to—when he learns that Seth has been sending them off on missions that he would think too dangerous for them to take on.
    • In the second season, we learn that Dr. Z adopted Rod and Laura's parents and the Alpha Gang trio as kids from an orphanage and raised them all as his own.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • In one episode Ursula, mistreated by Dr. Z and lost in Australia, meets and befriends the Iguanodon she's supposed to retrieve. At the end of the episode she purposely lets the D-Team have Iguanodon's card, knowing she'll be punished for it, because she feels Iguanadon deserves better than to be mistreated and brainwashed by Dr. Z.
    • Also Dr. Z, for all the awful things he's done, never wanted to send his grandkids out on missions where they could get hurt, even after it becoming clear they were far more competent than the trio he usually does send. When he finds out Seth has been sending the kids into danger without his permission he gets angrier than he ever has before.
  • Evil Laugh: Dr. Z, Seth, and Spectre.
  • Expy: The Alpha Gang, they are similar to Team Rocket both in anime and videogame status: Ursula is very similar to Jessie. She's even voiced by the same voice actress in the English dub.
    • Max (and his mother) is not the first kid to partner with a pet that has electric powers. He has the same exact voice as said character.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Seth, especially after his Starscream. His goal is not to control dinosaurs, rather he wants to see a world ruled by hyper-evolved dinosaurs that never died off... even though that will almost certainly mean the extinction of humanity.
  • Fanservice: In "King of Screams", a parade is held in parallel with a huge professional soccer match, with a fair amount of dancers scattered throughout the event. Ursula joins in on the parade in disguise, dancing along with the participants before making a move to catch a local dinosaur.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The main trio's dinosaurs fit this pretty well, with Chomp's toughness, Paris's healing move, and Ace's speed used strategically in several battles.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: Averted. Chomp is affiliated with lightning, but Paris is earth/grass and Ace is wind. Fire is almost exclusively used by Alpha Gang.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: In one episode, Ursula scams Alpha Gang's way into a swanky hotel. At dinner, she suggests they have some more "cherry pop".
  • Happily Married: Max's parents, Spike and Aki Taylor. Also Zoe's parents.
  • Harmless Villain: While they have their moments of Not-So-Harmless Villain, the Alpha Gang essentially is barely more dangerous than the anime incarnation of Team Rocket.
  • Heel–Face Turn: While somewhat a bit antagonistic, Dr. Z and the Alpha Gang do this once Seth turns his back on them. Seth later pulls this off in the finale once the Cosmos Stones are taken from him by Spectre, leaving Spectre to be the final Big Bad of the anime.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Seth does this by ramming the Backland into the Black Pterosaur. Thankfully, this only renders him unconscious.
  • Herbivores Are Friendly: Played straight with the herbivores of D-Team, but subverted with Tank the Saichania, who was explicitly modified by Dr. Z to be more aggressive.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight In the anime, the Muggles are usually made to believe that the little dinosaurs are dogs. Most people don't seem to believe it, though.
  • Historical Domain Character: The second season features several, such as Blackbeard and Sanzo Sarattobi.
  • Historical In-Joke: One arc sends the characters to the Sengoku Era, with Dr. Drake being mistaken for Ieyasu Tokugawa. While lamenting the real one’s failures, he wishes he could be “Oda”, only to remember “things don’t go well for him either.
  • Hot-Blooded: Zoe. Even Dr. Taylor knows better than to mess with her when she's angry. Max and Rex are positively mellow in comparison.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: After defeating Seth for the first time, he immediately battles you again with an "Irritator". Said dinosaur has the basic move cards, yet wins the rock-paper-scissors every time.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: Featuring either the D-Team's or Alpha Gang's symbol depending on where the focus was shifting next.
  • Kangaroo Pouch Ride: While in Australia, Chomp tries to get into a kangaroo's pouch after seeing Paris in Zoe's pet sash earlier.
  • Kids Love Dinosaurs: Dinosaur King is a series dinosaurs are essentially Mons. In the anime, they're trading cards that the Kid Hero protagonists need to find.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Seth, when he betrays Dr Z. And is a big example since once he decides to get into action, the series went really serious.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Annoyingly, Aki Taylor. (She eventually learns the truth about them.)
  • Monumental Damage: When the heroes go to Spain, the Sagrada Familia winds up completely destroyed.
    • In Pisa, a certain tower loses its most distinguishing feature, though it seems perfectly fine otherwise.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Ursula, who is a voluptuous woman that wears a skin-tight crimson sleeveless unitard. Also, Zoe in the uncut Japanese anime. Those poses she makes when swiping those cards doesn't exactly help keep this under wraps.
  • Mum Looks Like a Sister:
    • Inverted. Zoe is much younger than her big sister, Reese. Combine this with their mother rarely ever appearing, it's easy to forget they're sisters and not mother and daughter.
    • Also played straight, when Zoe's mother does appear she really doesn't look much older than Reese at all.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • One episode has Dr. Owen falling out with a Hollywood director over how dinosaurs are represented in his movie. The director's name? Stanley Speilgman, whose past works include one with a guy attacking a shark with a whip, and one with a bug-eyed alien. The movie he was working on at the time? Not-Jurassic Park.
    • Another episode makes mention of soccer player David Beckham... or rather, Nathan Deckham.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Dr. Taylor as Dinoman.
  • Parental Abandonment: Averted: the three protagonists' parents are accounted for, and play parts (of varying importance) within the story. Also played straight with Rex, who was found abandoned by his adoptive father.
  • Real After All: The Loch Ness Monster, of course. It is explicitly stated that it is not a dinosaur or plesiosaur.
  • Robotic Reveal: Occurs with both Helga and Jonathan.
  • Running Gag:
    • Zoe: (about Ursula) "It's the old lady!" Ursula: "I'M NOT AN OLD LADY!!" This was used to the extent that she could hear someone calling her an old lady on the other side of the globe.
    • Zoe used it once to trick Ursula into dropping her Paper-Thin Disguise.
    • A minor one in early episodes was the D-Team getting Helga's name wrong.
    • Also in early episodes, Ed mentioning that something was lucky, with Zander responding "Lucky for YOU! We put that on my credit card!"
    • The Alpha Gang's vehicles always get destroyed, often in mid-journey.
  • Satellite Character: Patrick, Dr. Owen's assistant.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Given the amount of different countries visited in the series and the multitude of obscure dinosaurs used, there's a good amount of educational material in the series.
    • Also, most of the maniraptorans are at least feathered.
    • In one episode, Rod mentions "Riemannian geometry, from the theory of Relativity". Which is a real thing.
  • Sleep-Mode Size: The chibi-forms of the main dinosaurs. Activating their cards turns them into their full-sized versions.
  • Spinosaurus Versus T. rex: A brief fight between Spiny the Spinosaurus and Terry the Tyrannosaurus happens during the second episode. Terry wins easily.
  • Stock Dinosaurs: Averted: while the main character's dinosaurs fall under the definition of stock dinosaurs, many of the other dinosaurs (and assorted Mesozoic beasties) in the show are fairly obscure, especially when compared with the dinosaurs that the target audience (young children) is familiar with. Notably, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, arguably the most popular dinosaur ever, is used by the Goldfish Poop Gang villains rather than the heroes.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Ursula, Zander, and Ed attempt to cash in all the checks they've won or stolen from the previous episodes... with the giant cardboard cut-outs of the checks in question. The bank teller tells them that since they aren't even properly signed (or, y'know, real) that she can't give them anything. In Ursula's words, "They laughed at us, and then kicked us out!"
  • Take That!:
    • One against Jurassic Park III in episode two. Terry the Tyrannosaurus easily defeated Spiny the Spinosaurus during their battle.
    • The whole series may be a Take That! against Jurassic Park III, as Spiny almost always gets beaten up when fighting other dinosaurs. Even by smaller ones like Ace the Carnotaurus, something that's estimates put at best being under a FIFTH of its size. Often as not, it's the inoffensive Parasaurolophus, Paris, who usually battles him and wins.
    • Though to be fair, all 3 of the Alpha Gang dinosaurs get beaten pretty regularly, and this is due more to Alpha Gang's incompetence in battle than to the dinosaurs' abilities as fighters. Whenever Spiny is under Rod or Laura's control he actually fares a lot better.
  • Team Rocket Wins:
    • In the episode "Alpha's Zeta Point" the D-Team unknowingly transports into the Alpha Gang's secret hideout chasing a dinosaur and are soundly trounced for it. Turns out all of Dr. Z's followers are actually super-competent... except the ones he actually sends on missions.
    • More generally, even though the Alpha Gang's Terrible Trio routinely lose their fights against the D-Team, they usually end up winning in the end, getting away with the lost dinosaur cards more often than not.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Max, Rex, and Zoe fit perfectly.
  • Terrible Trio: All three of the former trope namer's VA's work on this show, coincidentally.
  • Transformation Sequence: The series' main dinosaurs all have these for their tranformation from their chibi selves into their full-sized forms.
  • Tyke-Bomb: Several of Dr. Z's dinosaurs, particularly ninja dinosaur trio Dino, Dano, and Sue.
  • Underwear Swimsuit: In one episode of the anime, Ursula is lounging on a beach, making Zander and Ed wait on her in their underwear. She tells them people will think that they're in their bathing suits, but even they know that won't work because of the looks they're getting from everyone else.
  • Villain Over for Dinner: Rod and Laura trick Max's mom into inviting them over for dinner in the Christmas Episode.

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