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Film / Adventures in Dinosaur City

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Adventures in Dinosaur City is a 1991 film that features Live Action and a small amount of Animation.

It involves a trio of teenagers, Timmy, Jamie and Mick, who enjoy watching their favorite TV show (the titular "Adventures in Dinosaur City") which features anthropomorphic dinosaurs. Wanting to watch it on a better screen, Timmy, the youngest of the three, suggests that they try watching it on his parents screen in his laboratory.

The moment they turn it on however, a vortex sucks the three into the TV screen, and into their favorite television show. Upon entering the new world, the trio comes across a flightless Dimorphodon named Forry as well as an anthro Tyrannosaurus and a Protoceratops named Rex and Tops, respectively. The two dinos are freedom fighters battling against the dictator, Mr. Big, and his caveman henchmen, "The Rockies".


Compare to Theodore Rex for oddness and similar special effects.

Tropes used:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Mick and Jamie get hit on at the bar by a father insistent pair of dinosaur drunks. Mick ends up in Marshmallow Hell with his.
  • Animated Credits Opening: Not the actual film, but the movie within the movie.
  • Bad Boss: Mr. Big drops his underlings into a fiery pit as a "reward," mostly for annoying him.
  • Big Brother Bully: Mick's brothers (and their friends!) "taught him how to swim" as a younger boy by holding his head underwater and laughing.
  • Broken Ace: Timmy is disappointed to find him and Tops in a rut, depressed and gambling in seedy Tar Town bars. But Rex quickly restores himself in the boy's view when he decides, after some Rockies try to trash the bar, that it's time he and Tops stopped moping and stood up for what's right.
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  • Broken Pedestal: Rex's father, King, betrayed Saur City to Mr. Big years ago. His statue was defaced and Rex himself became known as the son of a traitor. It turns out King was forced to do it by drinking a mind control potion, and has been imprisoned in Mr. Big's dungeon ever sense. Rex himself is a minor one for Timmy at first, too, given his Broken Ace status.
  • City of Adventure: Dinosaur City as well as Tar Town.
  • Collapsing Lair
  • Darth Vader Clone: The film's Big Bad Mr. Big, who has the distinction of being an anthropomorphic Dinosaur version of this.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: This maybe one of the more notable exceptions, depending on your tastes.
  • Evil Learns of Outside Context: Sort of. Mr. Big does learn about the remote, but he never comes to the conclusion that he's in a fictional world (like Benedict in Last Action Hero), nor does he ever suspect that Timmy and his friends come from somewhere else (see Weirdness Censor). He just assumes the remote is some kind of magical power. He does get zapped into what appears to be another cartoon at the end, though.
  • Fantastic Racism: The anthropomorphic Dinosaur's don't always get along well with the humans/cave people much, apparently just because.
  • Handy Remote Control: The TV remote the kids accidentally brought with them to Dinosaur City. It has the power over the universe that exists within the show. Such as being able to force the Rockies to "pause".
  • Heel–Face Turn: Some of the Rockies reform just before the end of the film.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Rex's father sabotages Mr. Big's lair, even if he knows it'll kill him.
  • Hollywood Science: Remember kids, Never try to watch your movies on your scientist father's TV screen in his laboratory. Or an inter-dimensional vortex could suck you into the TV, and another reality.
  • Informed Species: Tops vaguely resembles an actual Protoceratops. While he has a beaked head, his frill looks bizarre, fitting more for a Chasmosaurus, along with having a nose horn, despite Protoceratops being well known for not having any horns.
  • Killed Off for Real: Rex's father when the evil lair crumples around him due to his sabotage.
  • Mooks: The creatively named, "Rockies".
  • People in Rubber Suits: Many in the cast actually.
  • Starring Special Effects
  • Smitten Teenage Girl: Jamie seems rather taken with Mick.
  • Take That!: The movie's tagline:
    Long Before There Were Turtles, / The World Was Ruled By Dinosaurs.
  • Trapped in Another World: See: Trapped in TV Land
  • Trapped in TV Land: The kids efforts to watch their favorite show on the best picture possible end up getting the kids trapped inside the show.
  • They Fight Crime!: Rex and Tops.
  • Weirdness Censor: The residents of the dinosaur world never seem to find anything the kids say or do at all unusual, beyond dismissing them as acting strangely, despite them constantly talking about their lives as though they're episodes of a TV show. Even the remote is reacted to as if it's merely some unknown magical artifact. Rex and the gang do witness them return to the human world at the end, though, but their reaction is rather subdued.
  • You Have Failed Me: As mentioned above, Mr. Big "rewards" the Rockies with death. The first guy (in a Deleted Scene only used in the international release) is dropped into a volcanic fire pit despite successfully recapturing an escaped prisoner because Mr. Big insists all he did was solve a problem he created by letting her escape in the first place (his logic is a little hard to follow, but he determines that guy to be at fault because only the guilty one would be so anxious to be praised). The second guy (the Joe Pesci-alike) seems to be a case of just Offing the Annoyance.