December 8, 2010
Dinosaurs versus the Army. I spent many childhood hours pitting my green plastic army figures against the reptilian horde of my dinosaur toy collection. It didn’t matter which side won—it was good fun either way.
Comic books and B movies depicted similar battles between modern artillery and prehistoric beasts, and even the long-running G.I. Joe animated series got in on the action. In the episode “Primordial Plot,” the terrorist group Cobra sets about creating a dinosaur army. By collecting rare, non-fossilized dinosaur bones, a scientist who has discovered the secret to cloning, and a serum to make the dinosaurs grow to adult size overnight (hey, it’s only a 20 minute show!), the villainous Cobra Commander and his cronies breed a pack of angry Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops and Ankylosaurus.
Several members of the G.I. Joe team, figuring that something is up, investigate the island serving as Cobra’s base of operations. They soon run into the dinosaurs, which are being controlled remotely by Cobra. (Although I couldn’t say how the dinosaurs know what a “G.I. Joe” is when given the order to attack.) Naturally, after a bit of running around and some bad jokes, the heroes save the day and Cobra is put on the retreat, although the eventual fate of the dinosaurs is left as one big loose end.
Sharp-eyed dinosaur fans will also see a familiar name during the episode’s opening credits. Donald Glut, a collector of all things dinosaur and author of The Dinosaur Encyclopedia, wrote the show. If only he could have gotten the animators to spend a little more time getting the dinosaurs right!
Fair warning: If you watch the above clip, you are likely to have the G.I. Joe theme song stuck in your head all day.
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