Sunday, November 07, 2021

Dinos in Pop Culture - Hollywood Studios' Dinosaur Gertie's Ice Cream of Extinction


Perhaps what is the most notable dinosaur in Hollywood Studios is the large Brontosaurus sitting in Echo Lake near the main open area after walking through the entrance shops. This dinosaur has been here since the park opened as MGM Studios back in 1989. The dinosaur houses a soft-serve ice cream shop called Dinosaur Gertie's Ice Cream of Extinction

Here is a shot of the dinosaur during January's Marathon Weekend with the dinos Christmas decor still on. Despite seeing this dinosaur every time I entered the park though, it wasn't until an episode of Drawn: The Story of Animation by Holly Frey that I realized the origins of the dinosaur. 

MGM Studios was essentially built as a working backlot studio as well as an homage to the movie industry with Grauman's Chinese Theater a central landmark within the park and The Great Movie Ride and the Studio Backlot Tour playing prominent opening ride roles. So, it is not surprising that the dinosaur in the lake has a theatrical history. 

On top of that, the designs around the Echo Lake region of the park were set to mimic the "Hollywood Crazy" form of architecture from Hollywood's Golden Age including weird structures such as the roadside dinosaur attractions that can still be seen in various locations across the US. When it came up, the dinosaur they built was actually modeled off of one of the earliest forms of animation that ever premiered. 

Created in 1914 by Winsor McCay, the cartoon is one of a dinosaur named Gertie. The dinosaur, a Brontosaurus, was created as a vaudeville act where McCay interacts with the dinosaur telling it what to do like a trained elephant. This animation of Gertie is one of the earliest forms of animation ever created and the earliest to feature a dinosaur. The cartoon is also one of the most influential animations ever having influenced the likes of people like Walt Disney, who started creating animation shortly after in the early 1920's. 

Here is the full version of the Gertie cartoon on YouTube:

Apparently, this ice cream shop also lived up to its name of "Ice Cream of Extinction" where it served rare types of ice cream from around the world. However, now a days it is only a soft-serve shop. 

You can find all of my Dinos of Disney compiled on my website at

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