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July 20

July 20, 1994 – The Final Episode of Dinosaurs Premieres


“Oh, sure, some sacrifices had to be made along the way: a forest here, a few species there, but in the end, wouldn’t you trade all that for great advancements like, uh…microwave toast?”

On July 20, 1994, the series finale of the comedy series Dinosaurs premiered on ABC. A joint production between Jim Henson Productions, and Walt Disney Productions, Dinosaurs was the idea of Jim Henson and Alex Rockwell, and ran for four seasons before being cancelled in 1994. The show follows the Sinclairs, a prehistoric blue-collar family. It starred Stuart Panking as the voice of Earl Sinclair, Jessica Walter as the voice of Fran Sinclair, and John Kennedy as the voice of Baby. The show won an Emmy in 1991 for Art Direction.

The final episode, “Changing Nature,” begins with a news anchor announcing the migration of the Bunch Beetles back to Pangea. Earl and family are out in the park to see the migration, but Earl is having trouble working the grill. Everyone waits anxiously for the beetles to return, but the beetles don’t appear. While the rest of the family is concerned, Earl thinks that it doesn’t make any difference one way or the other. Four days later, the beetles have disappeared, and the cider poppies have become overgrown. Finally, one of the beetles arrives at Earl’s house, but he doesn’t know where the other beetles are. The beetle explains that he only has two weeks to live, and has to head to the swamp to mate, but he’s lost. Unfortunately, when Charlene takes him to the swamp, she finds that it has been replaced by a wax fruit factory. She then finds that the workers there have killed all the Bunch Beetles.

Earl and Fran work hard to clear the poppies within the house, and when they turn on the news, they find Charlene announcing that she knows why the beetles have disappeared. Earl’s boss B.P. Richfield is watching the news and gets an idea to use Earl as part of a task force to get rid of the cider poppies. Unfortunately, the task force’s idea to solve the problem is to cover the entire planet with a dangerous pesticide. The pesticide is sprayed, killing all the poppies – but killing all plant life of the planet as well, leaving nothing but a desolate wasteland. This has the devastating effect of killing the global food chain. When Earl and friend Roy go to Richfield, he gives them their idea to create clouds from volcanoes to make it rain by dropping bombs in the volcanoes. This then causes global temperatures to drop significantly, causing another major problem. Richfield isn’t worried about the world possibly coming to an end, and Earl decides to spend his last moments with his family, apologizing for what he had done. The family huddles together as the snow continues to build outside, freezing them inside their home.


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