The show is set in a whimsical prehistoric world of jungles, swamps, active volcanoes and oceans, all teeming with dinosaur and other animal life, and connected by a train line known as the Dinosaur Train. This steam-engine train can be customized for dinosaurs of all kinds: windows accommodate the long-necked sauropods, there's plenty of headroom in the Observation Car for the larger theropods, and the Aquacar is an aquarium for sea-going passengers. The train itself is run by Troodons, as the smartest dinosaurs in this fictional universe. The Dinosaur Train circles the whole world—it even crosses the oceans and inland seas, with stops to visit undersea prehistoric animals. It can travel through the entire Mesozoic Era, the "Age of Dinosaurs", passing through magical Time Tunnels to the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous time periods.
The world of Dinosaur Train is seen through the eyes of Buddy the Tyrannosaurus. In the show's main title song, we learn that Buddy was adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Pteranodon. He hatched at the same time as his Pteranodon siblings Tiny, Shiny, and Don. By traveling in the Dinosaur Train around the Mesozoic, supplied with all dinosaur facts by the train's TroodonConductor, Buddy learns that he is a Tyrannosaurus. As an adopted kid in a mixed-species family, Buddy is curious about the differences between species and vows to learn about all the dinosaurs he can by riding the Dinosaur Train. The dinosaur species featured in the show are actual dinosaurs discovered by paleontologists.
Dinosaur Train is co-produced and animated by Sparky Animation Studios in Singapore, with casting by Vidaspark and voice-overs recorded at Kozmic Sound in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It premiered on Labor Day 2009 and airs daily on PBS Kids, and in various countries around the world. 40 half-hour episodes were ordered by PBS Kids for the 1st season. After that 49 additional episodes were made. Each episode is followed by a live-action segment featuring Dinosaur Train educational consultant and world-renowned paleontologist Dr. Scott D. Sampson, who appears onscreen to explain the show's dinosaur curriculum in greater detail.
Ian James Corlett — Mr. Conductor, Adam Adocus, Alan Alamosaurus, Elliott Enantiornithine (in "Now with Feathers!"), Morris Stegosaurus, Mr. Argentinosaurus, Mr. Daspletosaurus, Mr. Elasmosaurus, Stuart Stygimoloch, Travis Troodon, Triceratops, Troodon Official, Vincent Velociraptor, Teddy Pterodaustro, Frankie Fruitafossor, Troodon Waiter
Erika-Shaye Gair — Shiny Pteranodon, Annie Tyrannosaurus, Cory Corythosaurus
Alexander Matthew Marr — Don Pteranodon (first voice), Tank Triceratops
Laura Marr — Don Pteranodon (second voice), Quincy Quetzalcoatlus
Colin Murdock — Mr. Pteranodon, Announcer, Elliott Enantiornithine, Hank Ankylosaurus, Ralph Einiosaurus, Station Master, Stuart Styracosaurus, Ziggy Zhejiangopterus, Carson Carcharodontosaurus, Grandpa Pteranodon, Gary Goniopholis
Brian Drummond — Alvin Allosaurus, Apollo Apatosaurus, Albert Albanerpeton, Eugene Euoplocephalus, Larry Lambeosaurus, Mr. Quetzalcoatalus, Mr. Therizinosaurus, Quinn Qantassaurus, Sammy the Slug, Ulysses Utahraptor, Zhuang Zigongosaurus, Trevor Triceratops
In early 2008, after the successful first run of Hey Arnold! on Nickelodeon, Craig Bartlett decided to create another children series, this one set during the era of the dinosaurs, including the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous eras. Bartlett conceived the idea for the show, drew the main characters, and wrote a pilot script. Bartlett said he got the idea of the show after he saw one of his kids put a toy dinosaur in a toy train.
Time for a Tiny Ditty – Tiny either tries singing about something she learned on the show or about her favorite dish (fish).
Buddy has a Hypothesis – Children learn from Buddy and Tiny what a hypothesis means.
Dr. Scott the Paleontologist – He appears on the show to teach children about the dinosaurs which have appeared in each episode, and how dinosaurs compare to present day animals (including humans). Dr. Scott Sampson is a paleontologist. He received his PhD in zoology from the University of Toronto in 1993 and currently is the CEO for Science World in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
"Theme Song" – The opening theme, which is about a mom named Mrs. Pteranodon and her children with a T. Rex, revealed to be written by King in his debut episode.
"Hungry Hungry Herbivore" – An adult Brachiosaurus (judging by his deep voice) shows up to sing a song about how herbivores love to eat green food.
"I'm a T-Rex" - Buddy sings that he finally realizes that he is T-Rex, and sings about living in the Cretaceous forest.
"Dinosaurs A-Z" – Mr. Conductor sings the Dinosaur Alphabet that his mother taught him.
"Cryolophosaurus Crests" – King sings about his crest.
"My Tiny Place" – Tiny sings about her "Tiny Place", which is actually her hideout in the form of a small hole in a tree. She sometimes shares it with Cindy Cimolestes.
"Nice To Meet You (My Name is Tiny)" – Tiny's song she sings to Leslie to tell her how she can talk to other dinosaurs without getting scared.
"All Aboard" – The original theme song before the official Dinosaur Train theme song.
"Tiny Loves Fish" – Tiny sings a song about how she loves fish.
"I Love Trains" – The Conductor sings about his love for trains (particularly the Dinosaur Train).
"I'll Always Be Your Mom" - Mrs. Pteranodon sings to her kids on how much she loves them.
"Dinosaur Feet" – Daphne Daspletosaurus and the gang sings about their great big stomping dinosaur feet.
"Sleep Little Dinosaur" – Buddy, Tiny, Shiny, Mrs. Pteranodon and Tank Triceratops sing Tank's lullaby that his mom sings to him every night.
"I Learned a New Way to Improvise" – Shiny sings in a concert with Buddy, Tiny, Don, Cory Corythosaurus and Cory's cousin, Perry.
"Ecosystem" – Mr. Conductor sings about living in an ecosystem.
"Get into Nature Song" – Song about the Nature Trackers club and getting into nature.
"That's Not a Dinosaur" – Tiny and the gang sings about how not every animal in the Mesozoic Era is or is not a dinosaur.
"No Place Like Our Nest" – The Pteranodon family sings about how their nest is the only home for them.
"The Biggest Dinosaurs" – Over several episodes the Pteranodon family go on trips to see the biggest sauropods, and this song is specific to those episodes.
"The Prettiest Pteranodon" - Mr. Pteranodon sing it to his wife while on a date night.
"Taking the Zepplin Home" - Mr. Conductor, Thurston, Mr. Pteranodon and Larry sing as they fly home to Pteranodon Terrace.
"What's at the Center of the Earth?" - The Pteranodon Family, Mr. Conductor, and Gilbert sing about the center of the earth as they venture in it.
"The Dinosaur Train Zeppelin" - The Pteranodon Family and Mr. Conductor sing as they travel in the zeppelin.
"Laramidia (The Dinosaur Big City)" - All the dinosaurs get together and sing about Laramidia, also known as the Dinosaur Big City. In the first version, the Pteranodon Family and Mr. Conductor sing the song. In the second version, King Cryolophosaurus and Mayor Kosmoceratops sing the song.
A live show, "Jim Henson's Dinosaur Train Live: Buddy's Big Adventure", began touring the United States and Canada in October 2013 and ended in March 2014.
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