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Western Animation / Dink, the Little Dinosaur

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Clockwise from the left: Amber, Dink, Scat, Crusty, Shyler and Flapper.

One of the 1980s cartoon series that no one seems to remember, Dink the Little Dinosaur is the story of a young Apatosaurus named Dink and his friends Amber (a Corythosaurus), Scat (a Compsognathus... maybe), Shyler (an Edaphosaurus), and Flapper (a Pteranodon), who live in the peaceful Mesozoic paradise of Green Meadow and learn important life lessons from an old turtle — with hair — named Crusty. The series depicts the characters' childhood shenanigans and their scuffles with the evil carnivore Tyrannor.

Hey, wait a minute...!!


This series contains examples of:

  • Adults Are Useless: Considering Dink and friends aren't separated from their families and are under near constant attack from predators, where exactly are their parents?
  • Big Eater: Scat, despite his size, is near-constantly hungry and is always either eating or looking for food.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Shockingly averted in the fourth episode of the series, entitled White Beauty. A dinosaur that has been outcast from society gets into a fight with Tyrannor, and Amber runs off to get help. When the gang comes back to the scene of the battle, there's a trail of blood that they follow to where the dinosaur is hiding out.
  • Carnivore Confusion:
    • Interestingly, the main group features two carnivores: Flapper and Scat. Then again, Pteranodon are more piscivorous, and Scat is at the very least omnivorous as he is shown chasing some "honey fruit" in the first episode.
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    • There's also an episode entitled "The Gentle Hunter", which could be renamed "Carnivore Confusion: the Dramatization".
    • "Raiders of the Lost Nest" featured a trio of "egg-hunters" which are portrayed as resembling Acanthopholis, a herbivorous dinosaur.
  • Clear My Name: "Mystery of the Broken Claw" had Amber being accused of ruining Green Meadow's only watering hole with a rockslide, which was actually caused by a pack of Spinosaurus trying to lure the other dinosaurs into an ambush.
  • Cool Old Guy: Crusty is very old, yet is more than happy to impart knowledge and share his life stories with the children.
  • Cool Uncle: Flapper's Uncle Longbeak.
  • Dumb Dinos: Averted, or at least zigzagged. All of the herbivores are portrayed as sapient, but with the carnivores, it varies; whilst Tyrannor is portrayed as a feral brute, the egg-hunters in "Raiders of the Lost Nest" are fully sapient and converse with the kids on several points — one of them even tricks Shyler into leading him to the nest by assuring him that he's given up on eating eggs. Until it turns out that the kids were luring the "egg-hunters" to a fake nest.
  • Eats Babies: "Raiders of the Lost Nest" involves the kids trying to help protect an expectant mother sauropod whose nest is being stalked by a pack of egg-eating theropods.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: The whole premise of the show is Slice of Life with dinosaurs for a reason.
  • Fearless Fool: Flapper very rarely shows any fear. This usually leads to him getting very badly injured.
  • Hulk Speak: Scat has the most "simplistic" speech-manner of all the cast, although he tends to avoid the Third-Person Person aspect of it.
  • Imprinting:
    • "Crusty's Baby" had a baby Stegosaurus which imprinted on Crusty.
    • In a case of reverse imprinting, "Tricera-Scat" had a mother Triceratops which thought Scat was her son when he took a nap underneath an egg shell in her nest.
  • Informed Species: Scat is apparently a Compsognathus, but looks more like a lizard or really tiny crocodile. Maybe he is a Terrestrisuchus?
  • Interspecies Romance: Implied between Dink and Amber, from time to time.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: In "Surprise", Dink gets chased by a Deinosuchus only to be rescued by a pair of dolphin-like Ichthyosaurus.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In the episode "Tar Troubles", despite Crusty's warning to leave it alone, Dink insists on trying to stop a tar flow in the valley. He and his friends inadvertently wind up setting half the valley on fire.
  • Not So Different: The dinosaurs of all ages would gather together to observe meteor showers. Just because they didn't understand the recurring events, doesn't mean they couldn't enjoy it.
  • Ptero Soarer:
    • Flapper in spades; he has batlike wings, lives in a decidedly birdlike nest, is bipedal, has grasping talons and even folds his wings like a bird when he walks (something that would be impossible for a real life pterosaur of any species). At least he's toothless and has a short tail.
    • Additionally, the series often featured predatory, villainous pterosaurs referred to simply as "Scavengers" (despite the fact that they're always seen hunting the protagonists rather than actually scavenging) that look vaguely like Cearadactylus with stumpy crests like a female Pteranodon.
    • The episode "The Secret" featured "Big Wings", which are 80s-styled Quetzalcoatlus that hunt like eagles.
    • "Mystery of the Broken Claw" had a flock of Rhamphorhynchus which served as a bizarre Mesozoic stand-in for bats, namely living in a cave. A previous episode "Surprise" had a Sordes which was portrayed the same.
  • Punny Name: The often annoying Compsognathus is named "Scat" note . It's not like this is an obscure term for that either. Mind you, "Scat" is also a now-outdated slang term meaning "go away".
  • Rampage from a Nail: Dink and his friends once helped a really huge dinosaur with that problem.
  • Raptor Attack: Deinonychus ("Claw Foots") and Velociraptor appear sporadically in the series and both are featherless, as was believed at the time to be fair. The latter also walks in an outdated "kangaroo" stance like the large theropods in the show, although the former has the accurate horizontal stance. Brownie points however for being a case of pre-Jurassic Park dromaeosaurids.
  • Save the Villain: The kids push down a tree to save a drowning Tyrannor, after having lured him into a swamp to escape him in the first place - and book it the second he's safe.
  • Scavengers Are Scum: A weird example — among the enemies the group faced was a generic, predatory type of pterosaur referred to in-universe as "Scavengers". However, they're never shown scavenging, instead actively hunting the protagonists, sometimes persistently.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: The show features these surprisingly often. For starters, Shyler appears to be an Edaphosaurus.
  • Shrinking Violet: Shyler.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: The main threat of "Day of the Snake''.


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