Valley of the Dinosaurs

Tagged: TV

Animated tv series (1974). Hanna-Barbera Productions for CBS-TV. Created by William Hanna. Executive producers: Hanna and Joe Barbera. Creative Producer: Iwo Takamoto. Directed by Charles A Nichols. Writers included Peter Germano, Bernie Kahn, Henry Sharp, and Jerry Thomas. Cast includes Shannon Farnum, Joan Gardner, Allan Oppenheimer, Mike Road and Frank Welker. Sixteen 30-minute episodes. Colour.

Science teacher John Butler (Road), his wife Kim (Farnum) and their two children are on a rafting trip along the Amazon river when their raft is caught in a whirlpool. This sends them through an underground cavern to emerge in a valley containing a Lost World of Dinosaurs and cavemen. They become friends with caveman Gorak (Oppenheimer), his mate Garol (Gardner) and their two children, plus a pet stegosaurus called Glump. In each episode the cave people help the Butlers in efforts to return to civilization. They face various perils including dinosaur attacks, volcanic eruptions, and a meteor storm.

Virtually a direct copy of the live-action Land of the Lost (1974-1977), Valley of the Dinosaurs was much less successful – less well written than most Hanna-Barbera animated series of that period, and decidedly juvenile in tone. A Comics series adapted from the programme appeared briefly; there was a home video release in 2011. [GFi]

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