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Cadillacs and Dinosaurs is an American Saturday morning animated television series which aired on CBS Kids in the United States from 1993 to 1994. Based on the comic book of the same name (formerly titled Xenozoic Tales) by Mark Schultz, the show was created by screenwriter Steven E. de Souza (Die Hard and 48 Hrs.), who acquired the TV rights after producing the video game Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, which was also based on Schultz's comic.
The show dealt with many strong ecologicial and political issues that were central to the plot development. One major focus was the question of how the dinosaurs managed to re-emerge after they were thought to be extinct.
In total, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs lasted for one season of 13 episodes and was never considered for renewal.
All 13 episodes currently air on HBO Family in Latin America, and have continually done so for many years. They can be viewed dubbed in Spanish or in their original English. The show is also available in the US through the online retailer Amazon by their direct download service.
The series followed the exploits of Jack Tenrec and his crew of ecological freedom fighters known as the Mechanics. His often-reluctant companion is the foreign ambassador Hannah Dundee. She hires Jack as a liaison while she attempts to create clear communication between her land and the modern civilization. Together they confront the serious issues facing the futuristic environment that humanity has come to inhabit.
Jack also has Hermes, a juvenile "cutter" that Jack hand reared. Gentle with Jack and Hannah, he can still be rather fierce when angered. The show also includes a race of intelligent lizards called Griths.
Jack and his crew square off against opposition including the Council of Governors.
- Jack Tenrec (voiced by David Keeley) - A survival-savvy garage mechanic who is a member of the Mechanics. Jack has a passion for restoring classic car shells (mainly those of Cadillacs) which the Mechanics use as their mode of transportation.
- Hannah Dundee (voiced by Susan Roman) - A foreign ambassador from Wasoon who is Jack's love interest. She is often on a mission to stop Jack from running his enemies into his neighbors' territory.
- Mustapha Cairo (voiced by Bruce Tubbe) - Jack's companion who would often help Jack in his plot.
- Kirgo (voiced by David Fox) - A ferryman associated with the City in the Sea.
- Hermes - A juvenile "Cutter" (Allosaurus) that was raised by Jack. Although he is gentle towards Jack an Hannah, Hermes can still be rather fierce when angered.
- Governor Wilhelmina Scharnhorst (voiced by Dawn Greenhalgh) - Corrupt, power-hungry, and uncaring of the balance of nature, Wilhelmina is one of the three governors in the City in the Sea. To deal with Jack Tenrec, Wilhelmina has hired Hammer Terhune and his gang to do her dirty work. Despite her callous nature, Wilhelmina only wants what's best for her city and knows when to respect Jack.
- Governor Dahlgren (voiced by Kristina Nicoll) - A female who is the voice of reason to the governors. Her governing styles are said to have been heavily influenced by Jack. Dahlgren has a bad habit of flirting with any man.
- Governor Toulouse (voiced by Philip Williams) - Toulouse is the public relations man of the governors. His concerns all lie on the morale and attitude of the public regarding potential problems. Even though Toulouse means well, he is not used to the outdoor lifestyles of Jack Tenreck.
- Noc (voiced by Don Dickinson) - The Captain of the Guards in the City in the Sea. He is one of the people who has a dislike for Jack Tenreck.
- Fessenden (voiced by John Stocker) - A mad scientist who would often invent some technology for Wilhelmina to use.
- Hammer Terhune' (voiced by Ted Dillon) - A burly poacher who would often do various attacks on Jack Tenrec. Although he was hired by Wilhelmina Scharnhorst, he shows no respect to her unless she has some technology for him to use.
- Wrench Terhune (voiced by Colin O'Meara) - Hammer's younger brother who wears a headband. He doesn't have the same charisma like his older brother.
- Vice Terhune (voiced by Frank Pellegrino) - Hammer's younger brother who wears a ponytail. Like Wrench, Vice doesn't have the same charisma like his older brother.
- Mikla (voiced by Lenore Zann) - A female who is a member of Hammer's gang.
- Griths - A race of lizard men who reside in the underground caverns.
- Hobb (voiced by Don Francks) - A Grith who serves as Jack's translator to the Griths due to his telepathy.
Esther Sinclair, UCLA associate professor of psychiatry and bio-behavioral sciences, analysed the message of the show: "Jack is altruistic, does not have aggressive impulses, resists temptation and is sympathetic toward others. . . . The viewer may draw an analogy to other endangered species such as eagles and condors. . . . There is an emphasis on the interconnection of all living things. Jack respects all life forms."
The show still has a cult following.