The recently released 1970s Hanna Barbera cartoon Valley of the Dinosaurs, a 2-disc set running 344 minutes and containing all 16 episodes from the original series, is an entertaining trip down memory lane. Or if you have never seen it before, you'll enjoy seeing what you missed the first time around.
The Butlers — John, Kim, their children Katie and Greg and dog Digger are on an adventure holiday in the Amazon when their raft is caught in a whirlpool and transports them to a "world that time forgot" — the Valley of the Dinosaurs.
Who takes their pet with them to the Amazon? Apparently a MacGyver-ish high school teacher and his family. There aren't only dinosaurs roaming this Valley to worry about, but a village of cavemen. Luckily for the Butlers, they are rescued and befriended by a parallel family headed by Gorok, his wife Gara, teenage surfer-dude-looking Lok, and his little sister Tana. They also have a pet — a dinosaur named Glump.
All kids (and even adults) love dinosaurs. The series, which ran from 1974-76 tries to showcase as many as possible — pteranodons, brontosaurus, stegosaurus, etc. The action-adventure scenarios usually include at least one prehistoric beast for the family to tangle with in each episode and one Mr. Science-like project for them to teach the cavemen (and the kiddies watching), including catapults, hot air balloons, kites, and paddle wheels.
The look and feel of the cartoon of is a combination of earlier Hanna Barbera cartoons Scooby Doo (with the wise-cracking kids and goofy pets) and Johnny Quest (the island/survival scenarios) mixed with live-action kid shows like Gilligan's Island and Lost in Space. It is drawn in the typical style of those cartoons, with great colors to add to the exotic backdrop — yellow skies, purple mountains, lots of green jungle vegetation. It came out the same time as Land of the Lost, which was a live-action show with a similar set-up (and so much better than the awful Will Ferrel film version).