Denver the Last Dinosaur is possibly one of the best bad cartoon relics out there. Basically, a dinosaur egg hatches, and hangs out with kids skateboarding, riding BMX and sort of communicating in a more subdued Scooby Doo style. The animation is horrible, I swear it approaches 5 frames a second. The voiceover is what makes this cartoon enjoyable/eardrum piercing. The character actors are awful. It’s like listening to somebody do a really bad impersonation Jeff Spicoli, for 20 minutes… The series started in 1988 and ran for two years, so that was right at the tail end of the California craze. There’s an episode called Venice Beach Blast where part of the gang gets hassled for skating on the bike path. The authority figure (Is he a cop or a security guard? He looks like a Forest Ranger.) explains that the community got the signatures together to get skating banned and the bike path built. Now you think this would would turn into a civics lesson that ends with a skateboard park being built, but it doesn’t. The skaters in the crew turn against their biking brothers and go renegade. There’s a lot of whining (almost life real life), radical moves and slams. The whole thing wraps up in about 30 seconds with an explanation of some action that happened off camera. Basically, the city lets the kids skate in part of an unused parking lot, and everyone is happy. It’s massively weak, but the script and character actors make it entertaining, like a train wreck. Video, promotional stills and sarcasm after the jump.
- Thanks to Seth Levy for the tip.
This illustration is used on one of the DVD rereleases of Denver the Last Dinosaur. I’m not sure what’s up with Mario on the ground there.
Nothing says radical like an electric guitar and a skateboard!
The Gutters is a web site that uses satire to comment on the comic book industry. They did a cover for a non-existent Denver the Last Dinosaur title.
Here are some stills from the Venice Beach Blast episode. This is from the title sequence.
It’s hard to see, but Denver is on a skateboard here, riding what must be an invisible full pipe.
Denver rocking out at Venice Beach. Notice he’s got two skateboards strapped to his feet. This is a product that actually came to market in the last decade!
Here’s Denver busting some Mullen inspired freestyle moves.
This is state of the art cartoon skateboard technology, circa 1988. I think these are 16 ply boards.
The skateboard crew occupying the bike path in protest.
This is the downhill section of Venice Beach. It’s a little known spot that the locals keep a secret.
This looks like a screen capture from the video game 720.
Denver got pinched, and now has to work out in the yard to keep from getting punked in his cell.
What is that, a Town & Country? Neil, can I get a ruling on this?
They are letting us skate in a parking lot! Awesome! We are triumphant in the end!
Here’s the whole episode on Hulu. Sometimes the embed code doesn’t load, so reload the page or hit the link to see it.