The internet is abuzz with the news that Mattel is working with Solipsist Film to bring the fondly (if fuzzily) remembered cartoon/toy line Dino-Riders to the big screen. And when I say “abuzz” I really mean “freaking the fuck out.”
The news of the impending film comes from The Tracking Board, who says that producers Alissa Phillips (Dracula Untold, Moneyball, Tucker and Dale vs Evil) and Stephen L’Heureux (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, nothing else you’ve ever seen) are attached. No writer or director has yet been chosen.
Dino-Riders, if you barely remember, is the story of advanced future-humans and the aliens they’re at war with travelling back to the time of dinosaurs and arming said dinosaurs to join in the battle. The humans (or rather Valorians) peacefully befriended the creatures, while the evil Rulons enslaved them. An origin info-dumped during the opening of every episode.
(The whole series is on YouTube, if you feel like ruining your childhood.)
But the story never really mattered. It was dinosaurs with armor and laser guns. How cool is that? It really is a perfect example of a great concept being much more important than the story attached to it. The Dino-Riders toy line ran for three years, while its cartoon only lasted three months with a total of 14 episodes.
What’s interesting is that Mattel – through their Fisher Price Imaginext line – has been steadily putting out a series more than a little reminiscent of Dino-Riders.
Seriously, compare the two T-Rexes’ helmets.
I’d wager that these toys (more than nostalgia) were instrumental in the return of a nearly 30 year old property whose cartoon can be binge watched in an afternoon, though nostalgia was most certainly a factor. If it wasn’t we’d be seeing Imaginext Dinosaurs: The Movie.