Sunday, 11 March 2012

The next train to arrive at the platform is the Dinosaur Train

Dinosaur Train is the latest arrival to Nick Jr, starting on Monday 12th March, and showing every weekday at 4.00pm.  Dinosaur Train is a new animation from the Jim Henson Company, and was created by Craig Bartlett (who made Hey Arnold!).  That was enough to get me interested, I loved Hey Arnold! even though I was probably far too old for it when it was first shown in the UK.

We were sent a DVD with 2 preview episodes of Dinosaur Train to watch for this review.  What immediately struck me is that it's clearly a Henson production.  The quality of the animation is superb, the details (like when Conductor Troodon punches a ticket, you can see through the hole properly, like in reality).  The features of the characters owe a little to other Henson productions too, Don has more than a little hint of a certain green frog whose movie is in the cinemas at present.  There's some styles of animation that I don't like, but this is so well made, realistic without slipping into creepy, that it's very very watchable.

The star of the show is Buddy, a T-Rex, living with a family of Pteranodons.  He's trying to understand the world around him, with the help of his family, and the other dinosaurs on the Dinosaur Train, which can travel to any time or place.  Buddy is a curious & funny lead character, and very lovable.  Who could resist that smile?  My favourite character was Shiny, a great name, and a fab colour!

The show is aimed at 3-6 year olds, introducing them to dinosaurs and scientific thinking in a fun environment, as well as things like teamwork, growing up, and difference.  To be honest, at 2, Squeaky was a little young for this show.  Despite loving trains, and thanks to Peppa Pig, having an idea about dinosaurs, it was a bit over her head.  Unusually for an animation, she wandered off from the tv in search of something else.  That said, I loved it, and it's definitely a show we'll come back to when she's a little older.

You can catch Dinosaur Train on Nick Jr from tomorrow (Monday 12th March) at 4.00, and the same time every weekday.  Or, if you can't wait that long, pop over to Nick Jr's website where you can get to know the family a bit better.  Nick Jr is on Sky channel 615 (and other channels via other providers).

Disclosure: I was provided with a preview DVD & Nick Jr goodie bag free of charge for the purpose of this review.  I was not told what to write, and all opinions are my own.  Links are provided for your convenience only, I am not a member of any affiliate scheme & will not receive reward for their use.

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