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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.


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Dinosaur King provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Modesty: In the arcade game, Ursula wears a short dress that leaves her shoulders and legs exposed. The dress also brings attention to her cleavage. In the anime, Ursula wears a jumpsuit-like outfit that covers most of her body except her arms. That being said, she still has a diamond shaped cutout that shows her bellybutton and she still has quite the voluptuous body.
  • 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.
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  • 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.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The original Japanese theme song was longer and featured more establishing shots.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: While we will never know for certain what colors most dinosaurs were, almost all the dinosaurs in this show have bright, eye-catching colors with bold patterns.
  • Anime Hair: Unsurprisingly, a good number of characters have spiky and physics-defying hairstyles.
  • 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.
  • Aquatic Sauropods: Jobaria in Season 2 spends most of its screen-time swimming through the ocean.
  • 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.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: Quite a few prehistoric creatures have taken some artistic liberties.
    • All the theropod dinosaurs have pronated hands when they should be non-pronated.
    • Many of the dinosaurs possess tails that are too flexible as all dinosaurs had stiff tails.
    • Tank the Saichania is a lot larger than the real animal and is also too spiky.
  • 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.
  • Beast of Battle: The Alpha Gang and Spectral Space Pirates alter the minds of their dinosaurs to use them as living breathing fighting machines. The Alpha Gang grows out of this later down the line.
  • 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 respectively.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Not surprising given its target audience. When dinosaurs take too much punishment, they revert back into cards.
  • Bowdlerize: The Hot Springs Episode has some curious behavior, given that the characters have been seen wearing swimsuits before without being embarrassed.
    • The episode “Ninja Nightmare” features a scene where Ace poops on Rex as they climb a wall. In the English version, Ace just kicks a rock onto Rex’s face.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!:
    D-Team: Dino Slash!
    Alpha Gang: Alpha Slash!
  • Carnivores Are Mean: Downplayed; Most of the carnivorous theropod dinosaurs (barring Ace and Deltadromeus) are aggressive, but some of them are not looking for trouble and are only looking for something to eat.
  • Cel Shading: In scenes where the dinosaurs are interacting with humans, they are cel-shaded so they won’t clash too much against the traditionally animated characters. The dinosaurs are rendered through standard CG means when no humans are onscreen though.
  • Common Tongue: Inexplicably, everyone in the anime speaks the same language... despite the fact that nearly every episode takes place in a different country.
  • Cool Pet: It doesn’t get any cooler than having dinosaurs for pets! The D-Team treat their dinosaurs no differently than pet dogs.
  • 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.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: Many of the fire-themed theropod dinosaurs can breathe fire when their fire-based move cards are activated.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Shear, one of the Spectral Space Pirates, has white skin and dark black hair.
  • 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".
  • Gentle Giant Sauropod: Averted; Most of the long-necked dinosaurs can easily get riled up and are no less dangerous than any other dinosaur, even if they aren’t looking for trouble. Played straight with Genie the Isisaurus in Season 2, at least until he is mind-controlled by the Spectral Space Pirates.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Subverted; Zoe uses the goggles on her head to see things from far away on a handful of occasions.
  • 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.
  • Headbutting Pachy: The Pachycephalosaurus has been modified as a baby by Dr. Z to have a glowing dome that enhanced its head durability. All of its attacks and powers are based on its dome.
  • 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. The herbivorous dinosaurs controlled by the Spectral Space Pirates in Season 2 also subvert this trope.
  • 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.
  • Horn Attack: Chomp and other horned dinosaurs in the show naturally use their horns to deal heavy damage to their opponents.
  • 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.
  • Jurassic Farce: The episode “Carnival of Chaos” has the Alpha Gang construct a dinosaur themed amusement park using actual dinosaurs as attractions to raise money. Unfortunately for them, all the dinosaurs grow hungry and irritable, which causes them to run amuck and scare off the visitors. The D-Team use their dinosaurs to stop the theme park dinosaurs from causing more damage.
  • 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.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Pretty much all the dinosaurs are presented as being really strong and having some skills in fighting. They are also capable of running and leaping in ways no real-life dinosaur that weighs multiple tons could.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Annoyingly, Aki Taylor. (She eventually learns the truth about them.)
  • Mama Bear: The Maiasaura mother does a lot to protect her egg. She holds her ground against Chomp, defeats Terry, and even gets to beat up Paris (who was trying to help her) just because she thought she was a threat.
  • Meteor-Summoning Attack: The move card Fire Scorcher allows a fire-themed dinosaur to shoot a colossal meteor at their opponent, which roasts them in a matter of seconds. Fire Scorcher is the most powerful move card in the series because it is the only move card to defeat all six main dinosaurs. It is so powerful, Saurophaganax and the Black T-Rex had to be modified to use the attack without burning themselves up.
  • 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.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The Spectral Space Pirates are alien pirates who control armored dinosaurs!
  • 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.
    • Perhaps unintentional, but Dr. Taylor bears an ever-so-slight resemblance to real-life palaeontologist Robert T. Bakker, whose rival, Jack Horner, was Spielberg's consultant for the Jurassic Park movies.
    • Another episode makes mention of soccer player David Beckham... or rather, Nathan Deckham.
  • Odd Name Out: The Deinonychus trio are named Dino, Dano, and Sue. Even the Alpha Gang are confused why Dr. Z would choose to name one of his dinosaurs Sue. Apparently, Sue was named after a turtle Dr. Z once had.
  • 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.
  • Prehistoric Monster: The Black T-Rex is an altered Tyrannosaurus created from fossils made to be bigger, meaner, and more durable than any dinosaur in the rest of the series. It takes the combined power of 14 dinosaurs to defeat the gargantuan beast.
  • Ptero Soarer: The Pteranodons have naked bodies, pointy wing tips, and can pick things up with their feet.
  • Raptor Attack: Zigzagged; The dromeosaurs in the anime have a mix of accuracies and inaccuracies.
    • While Velociraptor and Deinonychus are presented with fully feathered bodies, they lack tail fans and winged arms.
    • Utahraptor is completely featherless barring a few quills on its head and is quite lanky compared to the real animal, which was more heavily-built for a dromeosaur.
    • Megaraptor on the other hand was discovered not to be a dromeosaur at all, but a dinosaur belonging to its own family. Whether or not it found have lots of feathers on its body remains debatable.
    • Their hands are also pronated.
  • Real After All: The Loch Ness Monster, of course. It is explicitly stated that it is not a dinosaur or plesiosaur.
  • Real Is Brown: The wild dinosaurs seen in the Jurassic and Cretaceous period are colored dull browns and greys, which certainly make them stand out from the colorful main dinosaurs.
  • Red Is Violent: Terry the T-Rex is a ruthless fighter who can deliver quite a beating when going against other dinosaurs.
  • 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!"
    • Spiny getting knocked around and falling onto the Alpha Gang.
    • The Alpha Gang's vehicles always get destroyed, often in mid-journey.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: While Ace the Carnotaurus is still a big dinosaur, he has defeated dinosaurs much bigger than him. For instance, he is able to toss around Spiny, who is one of the tallest carnivores in the show.
    • The Deinonychus trio manage to bring down Terry very quickly.
    • The Velociraptors have been altered by Seth to be very powerful despite their small size. They even manage to defeat Chomp!
    • Fukuisaurus is barely bigger than a human and is able to hold his own against Spiny and Tank.
  • Satellite Character: Patrick, Dr. Owen's assistant.
  • Savage Spinosaurs: Spiny is a hostile Spinosaurus. Baryonyx and Suchimimus are also fierce predators.
  • Shorttank: Zoe is this to a T, from her midriff-baring t-shirt to her short shorts to her Tomboy with a Girly Streak attitude.
  • Shout-Out: Terry the Tyrannosaurus gets the opportunity to fight a rogue Stegosaurus. This time, the Stegosaurus wins.
  • 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.
  • Taking the Bullet: In the final episode, Spiny and Tank jump in front of Terry to take in the attacks aiming for him, making them incapacitated for the rest of the fight. They both survive though.
  • 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.
  • The Cretaceous Is Always Doomed: In the Season 2 premiere, the Backlander time machine ship takes the Alpha Gang and the D-Team to the Cretaceous Period. In just a few minutes, it is revealed that they arrived on the very day the meteor that killed the dinosaurs is due to hit.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Max, Rex, and Zoe fit perfectly. Even if they may butt heads with each other a lot, they are nonetheless a strong team and great friends.
  • Terrible Trio: All three of the former trope namer's VA's work on this show, coincidentally.
    • Terry the Tyrannosaurus, Spiny the Spinosaurus, and Tank the Saichania will sometimes work together as a group to bring down the D-Team’s dinosaurs with mixed results.
    • Dino, Dano, and Sue are a team of agile and surprisingly powerful Deinonychus.
    • Gigas, Maximus, and Armatus are three altered dinosaurs controlled by the Spectral Space Pirates.
  • Tough Armored Dinosaur: All the ankylosaurs and stegosaurs are shown to be very formidable fighters.
  • 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.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: It is unclear what became of Gigas, Armatus, Maximus, and Brontikens after they reverted into cards while inside the Dark Pterosaur.

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