Archive | 1:00 pm

Show of the Day: The Adventures of T-Rex

14 Oct

Everybody my age, and probably just about everybody older and younger to a certain extent, watched cartoons growing up.  Which cartoons differ, but everyone excitedly woke up early before school (what was wrong with us?) just to get in a couple of cartoon episodes before the school bus came.  If you had cable, you probably watched cable.  If you didn’t, like me, you watched whatever was syndicated which ended up being a combination of Japanese cartoons, super obscure cartoons, and super obscure Japanese cartoons.

These cartoons tend to be ephemeral – cheaply made and quickly and easily forgotten.  They’re not made for their replay value; they’re made to entertain kids who won’t really think too hard about their quality.  The morning cartoons tended to be of even lower quality than the afternoon cartoons, where some of them may have retained a modicum of replay value like the strangely complicated plots of X-Men or the comic antics of Darkwing Duck.  Morning cartoons were more like Pink Panther or Mummies Alive!.  The most morning of the morning cartoons, the most at once disposable but because I grew up watching it for an entire year personally unforgettable was The Adventures of T-Rex.

The Adventures of T-Rex stands out ironically because for years I was convinced that it didn’t exist and I had just invented it.  I’m convinced everyone has one cultural moment from their childhood like this.  Some tv show, commercial, movie or song that they saw or heard when they were very young and before the internet (probably can’t happen as easily now) and can’t find anybody else who recognizes it.  The more people who give them quizzical stares and have no idea what they’re talking about, the more they think for a second each time, maybe it’s not real, maybe it’s some figment of my imagination that I created.  The Adventures of T-Rex was this for me.  What helped though, was that my brother remembered it as well, but I thought maybe we had just reinforced each other’s notions over the years.

Eventually, I found one other person in college who recognized it and it was a moment of sweet vindication.  This cartoon was real, something I believed it for so long was not a lie.  Wikipedia eventually got on board and published an article about the show.

The Adventures of T-Rex involved a world where everyone were anthropomorphic talking dinosaurs, and T-Rex was the collective of five dinosaur brothers who each wore different colors and had a different powers\ they used to fight crime.  During the day they played at a jazz club.  At night, they charged around Rip City in their Rexmobile seeking to find crime kingpin “Big Boss” Graves while spewing witticisms.  It lasted one year from 1992 to 1993, aired for 52 episodes and was a cooperative effort between Japan and America (it takes two countries to produce a show this good). The show is most memorable to me for it’s theme song, and I can’t even defend that as particularly memorable to anyone except me.  Still, the show will always have a special place in my heart, more so because it really existed.