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Dink-y (?) Dinosaur Cartoons from the 80s

Talk about your generation gaps all you want, but if there’s one thing kids across the ages have agreed on, it’s that dinosaurs rock. And even after four decades, these dinosaur cartoons from the 80s still pack a punch and can keep you glued to the TV set for hours at a time. Just watch out for those tails!

The Land Before Time

This 1988 dinosaur cartoon takes place in the prehistoric era and follows a group of dinosaur friends as they try to find their way back home. The main characters are dinosaur siblings Littlefoot (a Apatosaurus), Cera, Ducky, Petrie and Spike the T. Rex.

The Land Before Time is one of my favorite dinosaur cartoons from the 80s because it has a good story line for young children to follow while also teaching them about science and making connections with their environment. The movie really made me love the dinosaur characters and I had to have all of them as toys when it came out.

The series has 12 full movies, which were released from 1988–2003.

Dino-Riders

Dino-Riders was a dinosaur cartoon series that aired during the fall of 1987.

This show was about a peaceful humanlike species called Valorians who ended up sent back in time when they tried an experiment to escape the Rulon, who had invaded their homeland.

Using their abilities to communicate with animals, the Valorians befriended dinosaurs from the Jurassic period, who helped them defeat the pursuing Rulon.

There were 14 episodes in all, with a series of dinosaur toys released by Tyco during its original run.

Dinosaucers

Dinosaucers was an animated series that aired on NBC from 1987 to 1988.

It revolved around a dinosaur species who had left their home world of Reptilon 18 years before the events at the beginning of the show and crash-landed in present day Earth (1987). The show follows the Dinosaucers battles with the fierce Tyrannos.

There were 65 episodes, with an accompanying toy line released by Galoob.

Dink, the Little Dinosaur

Dink, the Little Dinosaur is a Canadian-American animated series that aired on CBS, as part of their “CBS Kids” time block from 1989 to 1990.

It revolves around an dinosaur hatchling and his friends Amber, Scat, Shyler, Flappy, and Crusty as they make their way through the volcanic landscape of “Green Meadow.”

There, they encounter all sorts of other dinosaurs and other strange creatures.

The series has a total of 21 episodes with two segments per episode that last about eleven minutes each. It has been shown in syndication and has also been available for purchase on VHS and DVD for many years.

The show was created by Karen Willson and Chris Weber at Ruby-Spears Enterprises.

Denver, the Last Dinosaur

Denver, the Last Dinosaur was a moderately popular Saturday morning cartoon show that ran during the fall of 1988. It follows the adventures of Denver, a hatchling dinosaur who becomes friends with a group of human teenagers in modern-day California.

In fact, it was the teens who released Denver from the egg, and they take care of him in their tree house.

Denver is a dinosaur with some modern-day traits: he wears jeans, listens to rock music on his Walkman (which Denver has equipped with a dinosaur-sized cassette tape), eats fast food, hangs out at an arcade, and loves skateboarding!

The show’s 50 episodes focus on themes like ecology, conservation, working together despite our differences, and the power of personal responsibility.

Although it was short-lived, “Denver, the Last Dinosaur” has become something of a cult classic, and stands as a favorite of 1980s kids who are now adults with kids of their own, and especially those who prefer their cartoons with a little educational oomph behind them.

Denver also got a reboot as “Denver and Cliff” in 2018.

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