When you were a kid, did you ever go digging around in your backyard looking for dinosaur fossils? And even if you didn’t, haven’t you kind of always dreamed of owning dinosaur fossils anyway? Well, good news! Bonhams Auction House in NYC is selling artifacts from the Ice Age. Listen to the descriptions of some of these prehistoric pieces:
Exceptional, Very Large T. rex Tooth – An Unsurpassed Marvel
Superb Whip Scorpion in Dominican Amber
Giant Squid Beak, with Four Sucker Rings
Tyrannosaurus rex Vertebra
Don’t you feel like every one of those descriptions should be punctuated with six exclamation marks? (T. Rex Tooth!!!!!!) (Four Sucker Rings!!!!!!)
I got so hopped up planning to buy one of these fossils and recover some DNA and build my own theme park on a deserted island — because what could go wrong with that plan? — that I made a list of the best fictional dinosaurs.
Dino, The Flintstones — You might be tempted to call Dino a “brontosaurus,” but first of all, brontosaurues (brontosairi?) aren’t even reals dinosaurs. Apparently there was some mix-up when two paleontologists were racing each other to put bones together back in the day. And second of all, Dino is a Snorkasaurus. He’s better behaved than any pet you’ve ever had, and for a time, he even served as Fred and Wilma’s butler!
Littlefoot, The Land Before Time — You think it’s sad when Bambi’s mom gets shot? How about when Sharptooth sneaks up on Littlefoot and the gang and forces him to flee and leave his treestar behind? It was the last gift his mother gave him! But Littlefoot presses on and leads his friends to their new home. “Oh, you can’t quit now. What if the Great Valley’s just over the top of these rocks?” Oh, Littlefoot! You are our hope for the future!
Rex, Toy Story — Wallace Shawn’s Tyrannosaurus Rex with an inferiority complex is one of the greatest dinosaur ironies ever committed to film. “What if Andy gets another dinosaur? A mean one? I just don’t think I can take that kind of rejection!” And the poor guy is so pathetic that he actually yarfs when he sees Buzz Lightyear’s dismembered arm. Oh, and don’t forget: He’s not from Matel, he’s from a smaller company that was purchased by Mattel in a leveraged buyout.
Tyrannosaurus Rex, Meet the Robinsons — I like to think of Meet the Robinsons as Disney’s promise to stop sucking. After the Golden Age, the Mouse made some seriously mediocre movies (Home on the Range? Really?), but Robinsons was a fine return to Disney form. Besides Bowler Hat Guy, the best part of the film is the 15 seconds T-Rex is on-screen with my favorite dino dialogue ever. “Why aren’t you seizing the boy?” Bowler Hat Guy demands. ” I have a big head and little arms!” T-Rex answers.
Velociraptor, Jurassic Park — “Try to imagine yourself in the Cretaceous Period. You get your first look at this ’six foot turkey’ as you enter a clearing. He moves like a bird, lightly bobbing his head. And you keep still because you think that maybe his visual acuity is based on movement like T-Rex — he’ll lose you if you don’t move. But no, not Velociraptor. You stare at him, and he just stares right back. And that’s when the attack comes. Not from the front, but from the side.” Yeah. That sounds like a lot of fun. Let’s go to that theme park, Dad!
Godzilla — At the end of 1954’s Godzilla (Gojira), Kyohei Yamane-hakase says, “I can’t believe that Godzilla was the only surviving member of its species. But if we continue conducting nuclear tests, it’s possible that another Godzilla might appear somewhere in the world again.” He was right! In fact, Godzilla has appeared in 30 films since then! Plus he’s got his comic book line, his video games, his full-length novels. At this rate, the only thing that can break Godzilla’s stride is another freak Ice Age.
The dinosaurs from Dinosaurs — Conceived by Jim Henson, Dinosaurs was the best thing to happen to ABC in the early ’90s (besides Lois and Clark, of course). The sitcom is ludicrously camp, with a little bit of subversive humor on the side. Earl pushes down trees for Wesayso Corp, and since the show is set in 60,000,003 BC, Robbie always wants to know what they’re counting down to. You’re counting down the to the birth of a religion that will one day oppose the idea that 60,000,003 BC (or you) even existed, little dinosaur.
Dopey, Land of the Lost (the TV series) — I’m pretty sure all of the dinos on Land of the Lost were named after the dwarves from Snow White. The T-Rex, who is constantly trying to eat The Marshalls, is called “Grumpy.” And the young brontosaurus, who became their family pet and cart puller, is called “Dopey.” I think the lesson here is: always trust the vegetarian.
Yoshi, Mario Bros. — After playing Super Mario World on Super Nintendo, it’s hard to remember a time when Mario or Luigi got along without Yoshi. He is a shield against Koopa Troopas. He makes the cape easier to use. He can throw turtles and flames, and fly like a superhero when eats a purple shell! Every Mario game is made better by him, and Yoshi on the mach bike on Mario Kart is just absolutely unbeatable.
Barney and Friends — He loves you. You love me. We’re a happy family. Despite the ardent protests of my six-year-old pseudo-nephew, Barney is a dinosaur. And he’s so mesmerizing with his clomping around and dancing and really weird voice that you can pop in a DVD and sit your kids in front of him and get an entire hour of peace — as long as you can stomach his singing voice.
What dinosaurs did I miss?