Saturday, November 06, 2021

Dinos in Pop Culture - Hollywood Studios' Rex the T. rex


Moving on to Hollywood Studios, where there are a couple instances of Dinosaurs of Disney. The first one I will cover was introduced to us way back in 1995. That is of course Toy Story's Rex the T. rex

With the opening of Toy Story Land, specifically the Slinky Dog Dash, in 2018, we had the wealth of opportunities to highlight one of the most prominent dinosaurs in the Disney lexicon outside of Aladar from the DINOSAUR movie. We visited Hollywood Studios during early January of 2020 and Rex still had his holiday reindeer antlers on at the time. 

When you start off the Slinky Dog Dash, you pass by the box from which Rex came from. This box proves that despite the three fingers (of which T. rex only has two), that Rex is definitively considered a Tyrannosaurus rex, at least in Toy Story canon. 

The stats on the side of the box for Rex are:
  • Tyrannosaurus means "Tyrant Lizard" in Ancient Greek, and Rex means "King" in Latin
  • The most feared dinosaur of the Cretaceous Period
  • One of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs with an enormous jaw and extremely small forearms
Also Available from Borealis:
Triceratops • Parasaurolophus

These stats are amazingly all correct (ignoring the hyperbolic comment about "most feared" and the capitalization of "Rex") and completely not out of place as the writing on the side of a toy box.  

The box also indicates that there are other dinosaur toys from the made up Borealis company including a Triceratops, whom, although I didn't see any indication of her in the park itself, we have seen in the Toy Story movies by the name of Trixie.

Looking up the origin of Rex. It turns out that he was modeled after the T. rex toy from the Dino-Riders cartoon series from back in the late 1980's.

Here is the T. rex from the first episode of Dino-Riders, which you can actually watch on YouTube

And the toy that got made for the T. rex, (courtesy of @toysthatmadeus on Twitter)

Interestingly enough, as I mentioned Rex has 3 fingers (created in 1995), which are quite clearly seen on the side of the box. However, looking at the source dinosaur from 1988's Dino-Riders, both the cartoon and the toy T. rex have only the correct number of fingers, two. 

There are a lot of features on a toy T. rex that can be fudged for play factor and still it would give the impression that it is a T. rex, even if it doesn't 100% look like one (hence the more archaic upright stance of the figure versus the Jurassic Park version of the T. rex with it's more laid out stance) but the number of fingers is a simple one people frequently make wrong that is an obvious mistake when made. 

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