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by Aguacenta
Reviewed on Tue, 04/05/2016 - 01:33am
Aguacenta Total Reviews: 1
Reviewer Rating
Dinotrux learn life lessons through political allegory.
Crushin'. Smashin'. Movin'.
Goin' Strong. Dinotrux.

Dinotrux S1E1: Ty and Revvit

Remember when you were six? Remember Tonka Trucks and Jurassic Park being the two greatest things since the invention of sliced bread with the crust cut off and sliced down the middle diagonally for +10 flavor points? Dinotrux takes these two things, the awesome-est of the awesome, and merges them into something amazing.

The inaugural episode of this series begins with the joyous and frolicking Dinotrux scattering to the winds as the mighty T-trux (a wrecking truck that is also a T-Rex) awakens from its slumber. The ravenous T-trux begins to consume ore, only to be disrupted by a volcanic eruption. Despite being a helpful at nearly opportunity (saving the Ankiolodump baby a ankliosuarus-dumptruck from certain doom, helping the lowly Rept the reptool chameleon get an easy meal, etc.) he is shunned by the herbivore trucks, who flee in terror anytime the T-trux comes near.

In a manner reminiscent of folk-tale and verse, in exchange for the meal, Rept offers to repair Ty the T-trux’s track. Which spurs the beginning of a friendship. While Ty may be the meanest thing in his valley, upon fleeing from the volcano, he learns rather quickly that other T-Trux are meaner and more possessive than this friendly T-Trux. As he is beaten quite badly by the local bully Destrux. After some initial set-backs, together with Revvit, Ty begins to recruit an army of various Dinotrux to fight the malevolent Destrux. After being ridiculed by various other creatures for his (Cranesaurs, Dozeratops, etc) for his idealism, he manages to recruit a coalition to fight Destrux.

The voice acting is kind of melodramatic and the 3D animation leaves something to be desired, we did learn some valuable childhood lessons:

  1. Don’t judge people based on outward appearances.
  2. Helping others who can’t help themselves can be rewarding.
  3. People with different strengths can work together for the greater good.
  4. Sharing is caring.

The first episode in the series offers deeper insights into society and political order as well (seriously, if you don't believe me, watch it yourself).

In the new valley, political order doesn’t exist in any structural form. Instead society is governed by the principle of self-reliance, and a war of all against all, and a competition for resources. The new valley is in the truest sense of the term, anarchic. This pre-Ty valley is clearly written for the state of nature. The state of nature we observe is falls more into the Lockean style, with the various Dinotrux preferring peace, but fighting as necessary to insure their own survival, rather than the Hobbesian state of nature in which individual actors fight because it is in their nature. As Ty begins to round up support among the other Dinotrux, the allegorical tale of social development told by Locke begins to take shape even further. Ty initially meets resistance, the other Dinotrux are wary of being taken advantage of by Ty, and fear for their own security. However, in the end, Ty’s ability to force a coalition and build a social contract, allows the new valley to raise up from a state of anarchy, and enter into a proper society of equals.

This episode of Dinotrux actually answers a fundamental question often posed to political theorists, “How do we overcome the collective action problem and move from an anarchic state in order to enter into social contract if everyone is naturally suspicious and plagued by security concerns”. In this case, Dinotrux offers us the simple classical solution. That empathy is the catalyst that allows us to overcome the collective action problem. Ty sees other suffering recognizes their pain and takes altruistic action to help. This then creates the incentive for reciprocation, building trust in a tit-for-tat manner. Once the initial coalition is formed through the bonds of reciprocity, it encourages new joiners because the initial coalition now has two methods of persuasion. First, confirmation to testimony. Ty can vouch for Revvit and vice versa, which convinces others of their trustworthiness and overcomes security concerns. Second, Ty and Revvit together form a coalition that is more powerful than any one individual Dinotrux, and therefore offers a greater degree of compliance to join. This two pronged approach offers both carrot and stick, and well as the potential for a positive payout for new joiners, spurring the social contract to grow beyond its initial members.

For offering both life lessons, and an interesting take on the evolution of political society, I give Dinotrux 4 out of 5 stars.

Interested in more? You can check out two seasons of Dinotrux on Netflix!

Positive points
Negative points
  • Life Lessons
  • Political Philosophy
  • Dinosaurs
  • Trucks
  • Voice Acting
  • Story Line
  • Animation Style
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About this Item
Publisher: Netflix Originals and Dreamworks TV
Item Link:   Go there
Genre: Children's Television
Release Date: 14 August 2015
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