Disney+ to Add Jim Henson’s ‘Dinosaurs’ Series This January. After streaming for a time on Hulu, Jim Henson’s Dinosaurs is making the move to Disney+! The family friendly and nostalgic series is one of several titles to be making their Disney+ debut in the New Year including WandaVision, Flora & Ulysses, and more.
Disney+ announced the news via social media in a post featuring a poster for the series along with the caption, “Gotta love the news! Earl, Baby, and the rest of the Sinclair fam are coming to [Disney+]. Star streaming Dinosaurs on January 29th.”
Recently, Dinosaurs executive producer Brian Henson (Jim Henson’s son) spoke with Collider about his excitement for the move to Disney+ and the trials and tribulations of creating the series back in the day.
When asked about his excitement for the move to Disney+ Henson shared, “I am. Although up until pretty recently it was on Hulu and it has had quite a following on Hulu. I think the audience will more easily find it on Disney+, which is terrific. It sits very well on Disney+. When they were divvying up what goes where, they eventually decided Dinosaurs should be over on Disney+. I think it’ll find a bigger and new audience base on Disney+.”
Henson went into great detail about the odd relationship he had with The Walt Disney Company CEO at the time, Michael Eisner, and how the studio managed to pull off the series despite lack of experience and a change in leadership due to his father’s death.
“I was 26 and I was meant to be taking over the company. It was a scary time for sure. Not to mention because we were scuttling a merger with Disney, because when my dad died he was selling the company to Disney and for various tax reasons Disney felt like they couldn’t complete the deal. And I could appreciate their issues. It was one of those things where you added up all the variables, the deal could no longer be done and be okay for Disney and okay for our family. Then we got into a fight. But we were still trying to make Dinosaurs for Disney. In the company I was trying to silo people like, you are the ones fighting with Disney, and you are the people who love Disney and are trying to make this great show which if it fails could mean the end of our company. I had one leg in each silo, as did Michael Eisner. We’d have chats that were highly confrontational and then we’d have our chats about Dinosaurs and he was the huge proponent of Dinosaurs at Disney at ABC. So I had this schizophrenic relationship with Eisner. It was an odd time.
It was a show that benefitted from lack of experience. The way that we decided to make that series was sort of as a progression from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles we barely made with spit and polish and rubber bands. We had no money, made it super-fast, and I wanted to use that same animatronic approach to dinosaurs. Basically, there was nobody who had the experience to do what we were doing. The fact that I was 27 or so didn’t matter. I was as much of an expert as anybody else. It was nice to bring everybody together and go, “Okay, this has never been done. And now we’re going to figure out how to do it.” Michael Jacobs and Bob Young put together a fantastic writer’s room and had a fantastic approach to the writing that was so much fun. The idea that we could tell these powerful, dark stories with heavy thematic undertones but do it in these goofy, ignorant, dinosaurs are so irresponsible that they will eventually bring about their own extinction, which was the gem of the idea. That was the idea of it always. That was my dad’s idea before he died.”
Brian continued, “We had all of this incredible talent and yet as we set out to make it, we thought it was impossible. And you had to make one a week in those days because you had to keep up with the airing order. And if you fell behind the network would sue you. Because if they had to preempt you twice a month, they’d be losing all this money. So it took us three weeks to make the first one and everybody wanted to kill everybody and yet everybody understood that we were doing something that had never, ever been done before. It was hard to make in three weeks. And sure enough we made one a week.
It was very ambitious and really fun. We shot five days a week, but it was often 14 hours every day. So it could be 70 hours in five days. The Monday shooting schedule would start at 7 am and often finish at 9 pm. By Friday you would start shooting at 4 pm and finish shooting at 7 am on Saturday morning because you kept having enough time for people to sleep in between days. I could never do it now. The idea makes me nervous trying to work that hard again. I would never be able to do it again.”
Dinosaurs will begin streaming on Disney+ on January 29, 2021. Be sure to check back here at Chip and Co. for updates and all things Disney+!
Featured Photo Credit: Disney+/Jim Henson Company
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