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Literature / Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs

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Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs is a series of children's books written and illustrated by British authors Ian Whybrow and Adrian Reynolds about a 5-year-old boy named Harry, who always carries with him a bucket with six toy dinosaurs that he found in his attic one day. The six dinosaurs are a Tyrannosaurus, a Triceratops, an Apatosaurus, a Pteranodon, a Scelidosaurus, and a Stegosaurus. While Harry regularly interacts and plays with the dinosaurs, they only appear to be toys to everyone else, most prominently Harry's mother and grandmother, his best friends Charley and Jack, and his teenage sister Sam. The first book, simply titled Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs, was published in 1999, and was followed by 13 other books originally published until 2007.

In 2005, the books were adapted by the Canadian television company CCI Entertainment and British animation studio Collingwood & Co. as a 52-episode animated Preschool Show that originally aired on Teletoon in Canada, Channel 5 in the UK, and Cartoon Network's ill-fated Tickle U block in the United States. In this Animated Adaptation, Harry's bucket functions as a portal to another universe called DinoWorld, which Harry can enter by jumping into the bucket. There, his toy dinosaurs become real dinosaurs he goes on various adventures with. Another notable difference between the books and the cartoon is that the dinosaurs are now given proper names rather than simply being referred to by their species. The cartoon ended in 2008, but reruns continued on Treehouse TV in Canada (where the show was moved to for its second season) and on Qubo in the US. As of 2022, the series is available in the United States for streaming on Peacock, including the second season, which had never been previously available in the U.S.

In 2011, Ian Whybrow brought back Harry and his dinosaurs with a series of junior chapter books titled Harry and the Dinosaurs, in which a now school-aged Harry is reunited with the original six toy dinosaurs after having stopped playing with them when he started to feel he was too old for them. This time however, Harry also has a set of plastic dinosaur cards on his key ring that he can use to summon additional dinosaurs to help him and his friends. Whybrow even published a 15th entry to the original series in 2012 to celebrate the return and rebirth of the series.

Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The books itself did not have the Another Dimension trips that would be extant in the TV series proper.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
  • Adapted Out: There were a few more dinosaurs in the books that didn't make it into the cartoon. Harry's friend Jack didn't make it into the cartoon either.
  • A Lizard Named "Liz": In the TV series, he majority of the dinos' names have to do with their species (e.g. Steggy the stegosaurus).
  • And Call Him "George": In "Can You Hear a Drip?", Trike falls under the grip of an octopus named Soggy who tells him that he's going to cuddle and love and pet him forever. It later turns out that Soggy was one of Harry's bath toys that came alive in Dino World.
  • Animate Inanimate Object:
    • The Dinos, of course.
    • The Sergeant Shout toy Harry borrowed from his friend came to life during a visit to DinoWorld. This could apply to other objects (like toys) as well.
  • Argument of Contradictions:
    • In "It's Made of Cheese!", Harry and Charley have one about whether the moon is made of cheese or peanut butter, with Harry advocating the former and Charley the latter. When Sid tells them it's made of rocks, they decide to travel there themselves to find out once and for all what it's made of. It turns out that none of them are right, and that Steggy instead got it right— it's made of chocolate chip cookies.
    • In "To Outer Space", the red and blue robots start to argue about which colour out of red or blue is better. This leads to them just shouting that the opposing color stinks, ending with the blue robot saying, "Red stinks stinkier!".
  • Big Eater: All of the dinosaurs have rather big appetites, Trike in particular.
  • Bird-Poop Gag: In "It's in Nana's Room", whenever somebody says the word "nanosaurus", a bird poops on them, leading them to believe the word is unlucky.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "I'M ON MY WAY TO...DINO WORLD!!!!" (Harry)
    • "1...2...3...Jump!" Used by the dinos when Harry is about to enter Dino World and used by Harry's mom whenever she comes home.
  • Chirping Crickets: Used in "Achoo!" after Taury tries an outrageous cure suggested to him for his itchy spotosis that involves rubbing sap on himself, holding paper flowers over his head and then burying himself up to his neck in popcorn, but it has absolutely no effect.
  • Circus Episode: One episode focuses on Harry, the dinosaurs and a clown making a circus.
  • Cloudcuckooland: Oh where do we start. We already have a Cloudcuckoolander as a protagonist.
  • Cool Old Lady: Harry's Nana is very playful and good at giving advice, so she's popular with Harry.
  • Cuddle Bug: Soggy the octopus loves giving hugs.
  • The Dentist Episode: One episode has Trike getting a hornache from eating too much candy and having to visit the "horntist".
  • Disappeared Dad: Harry's dad and his mom's dad are never seen. One of the chapters books later reveals that Harry's mom is a widow.
  • Excited Episode Title!: A large number of the episode titles that don't end with a question mark are instead this (i.e. ending with an exclamation point).
  • Filthy Fun: "But I Like Mud" focuses on Harry liking getting muddy.
  • Food Fight: The robots in "To Outer Space" fought with jelly.
  • Gassy Scare: In "Emergency!", Scorch the dragon thinks he's sick because he's in pain and can't breathe fire, but it turns out he just needs to burp, so Harry burps him like a baby.
  • Height Angst: The plot of "You're Too Little!".
  • Here We Go Again!: At the end of "What Mess?", Harry says that the best part of having a clean room is having lots of space to make a mess. Cue the dinosaurs groaning and saying the trope name.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: The chicken soup from "Achoo" doesn't work on Harry but it cures the dinosaurs instantly.
  • Hypochondria:
    • Throughout "Achoo", Steggy falsely believed himself to be ill.
    • And also in "But I Like Mud!", in which Harry proclaims the best part of baths is getting dirty afterward.
  • I Can't Hear You: Done in "Today's the Day!" when a jackhammer disturbs Harry's violin practice and Taury asks him how he's going to practice with all the noise.
  • I Want My Mommy!: In "Circus," Taury exclaims "Mummy!" when his clown bicycle starts to fall apart.
  • Identical Twin Mistake: In one episode, Harry mistakes a sentient snowman named Mr. Snow for his twin brother, since naturally both brothers have the same last name.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The episode title is actually the first word(s) spoken in the episode itself. It pops up right after it's been said.
  • Inflating Body Gag: In "Achoo", Sid gets "heliumnus balloonis", which is a disease that makes him inflate like a balloon.
  • Jerkass Ball: Harry tends to have this from time to time:
    • In "Yo-Ho-Ho," Harry and the dinos are playing "Pirates," but Harry starts to take the game too seriously and starts bossing everyone around and being mean. The dinos then tell Harry he should apologize to them, but Harry refuses beacuse, according to him, "Pirates never say they're sorry."
    • In "Goal!" Harry starts giving Charley a hard time because he thinks she's not that good at soccer. He snaps at her after she accidentally hits him with the ball ("I said pass me, not at me!") acts all unhappy when he has to pick Charley for his team, and then tells his other teammates not to pass the ball to her. Then when Patsy, who's on the other team, tells Harry to play fair and that Charley is trying her best, Harry responds with, "You're just saying that because you're winning." Then the ball comes to life and tells Harry to give Charley a chance, but this just causes Harry to storm off. It takes the ball giving Harry a taste of his own medicine to make him realize that he's been a "real stinker" to Charley and he finally lets her play.
    • In "I Win," Harry makes up a bunch of different rules for the dinos during an egg and spoon race (including having them carry large eggs and telling them they have to do different things like walk backwards, spin around in circles, wiggle their toes, etc.) just so he could win.
  • Loud Sleeper Gag: Discussed in one episode, when Harry has been turned into a frog and the dinosaurs are trying to convince the Princess to kiss him and break the spell. She refuses on account of needing to marry any Prince Charming she kisses, so the dinosaurs try to make Harry come off as a Prince Charmless. One of them claims he snores.
  • Meaningful Name: The dinos' names are related to the names of the kind of dinosaurs they are. Pterence's name is spelled and pronounced the same way as pterodactyl, for example and Steggy is a stegosaurus.
    • Aerith and Bob: There are exceptions with Taury (a T-Rex) and Sid (a Scelidosaurus). But if you think about it, they may be named the same way as the other dinos though much more subtle and you may not know it at first unless you've memorized what kind of dinosaurs they are (which is in the theme song). They are possible derivations from the words "tyrannosaurus" and "scelidosaurus", respectively.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Scorch is a Western Dragon who is an inhabitant of Dino World.
  • Merlin Sickness: In one episode, the dinosaurs and Harry find out they're aging backwards because of a magic clock that's set backwards. Before they turn back to normal, Harry has aged backwards into a toddler, Pterence as a baby, Patsy, Steggy and Trike as children and Sid and Taury as teens.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: The premise of "Nobody is Listening To Me!", which involves being ignored by the adults (and his older sister) when he tries to talk to them.
  • The Noun and the Noun: The books' titles.
  • Once per Episode: Harry's visits to DinoWorld.
  • The One Guy: Harry is this in the human cast since his family and best friend are all female. With the dinosaurs, it's reversed since Patsy is the only girl while the others are boys.
  • Origami Gag: In one episode, Harry tries to make an elephant out of origami, but being a young boy of approximately five or six who's never been taught, he just makes a pile of paper that his dinosaurs mistake for a house, boat, or houseboat.
  • The Pilot: "Aaagh!"
  • Pink Means Feminine: Patsy, the only female of the dinosaur group, is pink.
  • Plot Allergy: Downplayed for Trike's hay fever in "Get Growing". It's there, but all it does is produce a few sneeze-related jokes.
  • Polka-Dot Disease: In "Achoo!", the dinosaurs get a virus from Harry and the same virus gives everyone a different disease. Taury's is Itchy-Spot-Itis, which manifests as purple, itchy spots all over his body which sometimes fall off.
  • Put on a Bus: An In-Universe example is that in the episode, "I Want To Help?", it had another dinosaur who decided to live in Nana's knitting basket because she was causing destruction in DinoWorld due to her clumsiness. In addition, saying her name can also cause a bird to poop on your head. If you must know it's Nancy. The actual cursed word is actually "Nanosaurus".
  • Same Language Dub: The Canadian version and UK/Australia version have different voice actors for each, so as to localize them for kids.
  • Secret-Keeper: Apparently Charley hasn't told anybody about DinoWorld because she's the only kid so far Harry has allowed to go with him. Nobody's suspicious about where they've been going at all.
  • Self Botched Catchphrase: Usually when en route to Dino World, Harry says, "I'm on my way to... Dino World!". However, in "Achoo", he has a cold and thus sneezes in the middle of the place's name.
    Sid: "Dino Wachoo? I've never heard of such a place."
  • Shout-Out: In "Super Harry!", Harry and his dinosaurs travel in the DinoMobile and the H on his superhero uniform flashes across the screen as a scene-changer similar to the bat symbol on Batman (1966).
  • Sick Episode: In "Achoo!", Harry gets a cold and the dinosaurs (except Steggy) each get a zany fictional disease.
  • Slumber Party: Harry and Charley have one in "Who To Choose?" in which Harry had to choose only one dinosaur for the sleepover but, Harry refuses to choose so he has Charley sleep at his house instead.
  • Sneeze Interruption: In "Achoo", Harry sneezes while trying to say his line about being on his way to Dinoworld, which prompts Sid to say that he's never heard of a place called 'Dino Wachoo'.
  • Something Itis:
    • Taury gets "Itchy-spot-itis" in "Achoo!".
    • When Harry is laughing in "I've Got the Giggles", Sid jokes that he has "giggle-itis".
  • Soup Is Medicine: In "Achoo!", Harry gets fed chicken soup for his cold. It actually cures the dinosaurs' maladies, but Harry is not so lucky.
  • Space Episode: In "To Outer Space", Harry and the dinosaurs go, well, to outer space where they find two robots arguing over whether red or blue was best.
  • Start My Own: In "Can I Join?", Harry's family and Charley all have clubs. Harry wants to join them but his mom's jogging club runs around the block 20 times, Charley's karate club requires a yellow belt, and he needs more practice with the guitar before he joins Sam's guitar club. Harry decides to go to DinoWorld to have his own. They try bungee jumping, being quiet and reading books, cooking, and being messy but, then decide that their club should be about having fun. He originally refuses to let his mother and Sam join but then they convince him to let them in as well.
  • Sugar Apocalypse: There was an episode that involved DinoWorld in a very heavy flood. This is caused by the rain leaking from the roof in Harry's house which had Sam use the bucket to catch the water.
  • Take a Third Option: In "Who to Choose?", Harry is invited to sleep over at Charley's but he can only take one of his dinosaurs with him and is torn between who to take. In the end, he comes to a conclusion and decides Charley can come over to his house instead, so he can still bring all six with no worry.
  • Theme Tune Roll Call: "Stegosaurus, Pterodactyl, Tyrannosaurus Rex! Scelidosaurus, Apatosaurus, Triceratops, that's that! Taury, Patsy, Sid and Trike, Pterence and Steggy, what a sight! It's Harry and his bucket full of dinosaurs!"
  • Tickle Torture: This is how Harry rescues Trike from a possessive octopus named Soggy in "Can You Hear a Drip?" by arms extended from a submarine.
  • Title Drop: Usually, the episodes names are made by the first few seconds of the episode's dialogue or exclamation by the one (usually Harry) who says it, but there have been a few times they've dodged this streak.
  • Token Black Friend: Charley is the only black character in the series, and who also serves as Harry's only non-dino friend.
  • Toilet Humor: One episode has a running gag of birds pooping on people, another has a truck of "dino poo" that gets used as fertilizer.
  • Tomboy: All the female human characters especially Sam and Charley.
  • Tomboyish Name: Harry's big sister is called "Sam". Also, his best friend is called "Charley".
  • Unwanted Rescue: In "Super Harry!", Harry tries to save his sister, Sam, from an alien only to be told to go play somewhere else. He tries to blow away some leaves that his Nana raked up, only to upset her because she wanted them in the pile. He tries to carry groceries that his mother had well in hand only to end up tearing the bag and causing her to lose her car keys. He laments to his dinosaurs that he bets that other heroes don't have this problem.
  • Vocal Evolution: Harry's voice sounds deeper in the later episodes due to his voice actor hitting puberty.
  • We'll See About That: This is Nana's reaction in "But I Like Mud!" when Harry tells her that he's never going to take a bath again and just stay dirty forever. She then runs after him with a hose.

Alternative Title(s): Harry And His Bucket Full Of Dinosaurs