Dino was originally a talking character early in The Flintstones
Dino quickly lost his voice — and his purple color.
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Dino goes through some significant changes throughout the first season of The Flintstones. Perhaps it is biological part of Snorkasaurus adolescence. More likely, it was merely a disregard for continuity as Hanna-Barbera continued to tweak the animated series in its infancy.
The first thing you notice as being a little off with Dino is his color. He made his first appearance at the start of the premiere episode; he's in the opening credits. (The original opening credits in which Fred goes to the tailor to the tune of "Rise and Shine.") As the instrumental theme song comes to an end in a flourish of xylophones and horns, Fred settles into his favorite chair with a sandwich and flips on the television.
Dino hops off the chair and curls up on the floor. Pets will do that. The shock is that he is blue with a green snout.
For the first three episodes, the Flintstones' pet went unnamed. It was not until episode four, "No Help Wanted," that we first hear his name.
"Here comes Fred home from work, Dino," Wilma announces. "Come on, boy! Come on! Greet your daddy; he's home!"
Dino scampers out the front door and tackled Fred on the front lawn. Here, just 20 seconds after we last saw tucked up in the opening credits, Dino appears in an altogether different color scheme, more of a burgundy complexion.
Three months later, Dino made another notable appearance in "Arthur Quarry's Dance Class," the sixteenth episode of the first season. Finally, he looks more familiar to modern fans — pinker with a paler snout.
In both episodes, Dino barks and behaves like a large dog. So it must have been rather shocking to see his origin story in the eighteenth episode, "The Snorkasaurus Hunter." (This episode was retitled "The Snorkasaurus Story" in syndication.)
Fred and Barney head out to the wilderness. After a good night's sleep in tents, the two pals head out Snorkasaurus hunting with golf clubs. ("The first thing I do is clobber 'em with the number five!" Fred explains.) Dino pops his head up from behind a rock. He's a deep purple color! Dino declares, "Ah! 'Tis morning! And with the morning, the hunters! And with the hunters, the chase!"
Wait… Dino speaks?!
He sure does! In fact, he's quite a talker. With his accent, the loquacious dinosaur sounds like a cross of Yogi Bear and Dr. Smith from Lost in Space. In actuality, actor Jerry Mann, who voiced Dino in this episode, was spoofing Phil Silvers from Sgt. Bilko. Mann voiced about a dozen characters on The Flintstones, notably Hot Lips Hannigan and Roberto Rocketing. He also dusted off his Phil Silvers impression later in the first season, when he portrayed Bilko Sarge in "The Astra' Nuts."
Despite his skill with impressions, Mann did not build a large resume in Hollywood. He did make a few appearances on screen here and there. His first television role came just before his Flintstones work, when he popped up in a small role on The Donna Reed Show in 1960. He was a painter who could not get enough of Donna's delicious coffee in "Donna Decorates."
Dino stopped talking immediately after "The Snorkasaurus Story." He also stopped serving as Wilma's butler and answering the phone. He became a normal yapping pet. It is never explained why Dino hushed up after being brought into the Flintstones home. Did he go hoarse? Did he run out of things to say? What are your theories?