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Dino (pronounced dee-no) is a fictional character featured in the Hanna-Barbera animated Television series The Flintstones, and its TV spinoffs and feature films. He is a pet Dinosaur of the series' main characters, Fred and Wilma Flintstone. Dino debuted in the opening credits of the pilot episode of The Flintstones, but is not mentioned by name until the first season's fourth episode, "No Help Wanted."
In the series, Dino serves the role of a pet dog, and exhibits the characteristics of a typical domesticated canine.
Dino is some type of very small sauropod/prosauropod dinosaur; his species is given throughout the series as a "snorkasaurus." Dino is a relatively small dinosaur, only slightly larger than the humans of his time, smaller than mammoths that appear in the series, and much smaller than the numerous sauropods that appear as work animals in the series (a full-sized sauropod appears as a crane in the opening sequence, and oversized "bronto ribs" the size of an automobile are seen in the closing credits). Dino is comparable in size to the dwarf Europasaurus.
A recurring gag in the series is for Dino to leap onto his master just as work-weary Fred arrives home — invariably knocking him down, yapping happily, energetically licking his face while Fred would prefer to eat dinner with his family and proceed with the evening's activities, if any. But no matter how hard he tries to the contrary, Fred usually gives in to Dino's ticklish and wet doglike kisses. Dino frequently exhibits human emotions, nearly "talking," and can also be moved to anger, at which point he snarls and snaps. He also loves to play with Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm, the Flintstones' and Rubbles' respective offspring; these characters are introduced in the middle part of the series. On more than one occasion over the course of the series, Dino saves the children from peril.
Although Dino had already appeared earlier in the series' first season (such as the episode "No Help Wanted"), Dino is portrayed quite differently in the first season's 18th episode "The Snorkasaurus Hunter." In this episode, Fred and his friend Barney Rubble are on a camping trip, trying to hunt a snorkasaurus. Unlike Dino's other appearances, the snorkasaurus in this episode speaks and behaves toward Fred and Barney in a manner similar to comedian Phil Silvers. At the end of the episode, the Flintstones take in the dinosaur; the snorkasaurus (called "Dino" at one point by Wilma) is seen acting like a butler for the Flintstones: answering the telephone, dusting, and ironing. Dino in this episode also has blue skin instead of his varying pink-to-red color, which seems to vary from episode-to-episode during this early period, but is permanently purple after this episode. After this episode, Dino is permanently portrayed as behaving doglike.
Post-original series, Dino appears in most of the series' spinoffs, save the first season of "The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show." There, Dino is replaced by Woolly, a dwarf mammoth, as the Flintstone family's pet. However, starting with the following series' "The Flintstone Comedy Hour", Dino once again becomes a regular character.
In the 1980-1982 series "The Flintstone Comedy Show," Dino is featured in his own segment, "Dino and Cavemouse," where Dino tries futilely to capture a pesky mouse in the Flintstone household. The segments bear some similarities to classic cat-and-mouse cartoons such as "Tom and Jerry." Dino later appears as a puppy in 1986-1988 series "The Flintstone Kids" (including his own segment, "Dino's Dilemmas"), and as Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm's babysitter in the short-lived 1996 series "Cave Kids."
Dino appears in both live-action movies. He isn't seen very often in the first film, 1994's The Flintstones. Dino was created with both CG imagery and as a puppet from Jim Henson's Creature Shop.
However, in the second film, 2000's The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, Dino has more screen time; he appears here as a puppy. Fred wins Dino's egg as a prize after winning a carnival game. Initially, Fred didn't think much of the egg as he felt that the creatures inside never live long. On a ferris wheel, just as Fred and Wilma are about to kiss, Dino's egg hatches and he takes an immediate attachment to Fred, believing him to be his mother. (This, of course, contradicts Dino's origin in the original series.)
In the original series (save the episode "The Snorkasaurus Hunter," where Dino is voiced by Jerry Mann) and in most of the spinoffs, Dino is voiced by Mel Blanc, who also voiced the character of Barney Rubble for nearly all of the episodes in the series' 1960-66 run. After Blanc's death in 1989, the role of Dino was taken over by Frank Welker. However, recordings of Blanc's voice were posthumously used for the 1994 live action film version of the show, in which Dino was rendered with CGI.
- Blake, Heidi (2010-09-30). "The Flintstones' 50th anniversary: 15 things you don't know". Daily Telegraph (London). http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/8034627/The-Flintstones-50th-anniversary-15-things-you-dont-know.html. Retrieved 2010-10-01.
- "Hop Happy," The Flintstones, season 5
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