Special in this Issue
Protect your Skybax Partner
Interview with Zippo
In Every Issue
Notes from James Gurney
Letters to the Spaz
|Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Zippo Stenonychosaur, one of
the stars in the Dinotopia miniseries. I hope you enjoy the transcript as much
as I enjoyed interviewing Zippo!
A: Hello Zippo; it’s a pleasure to meet you.
Z: The pleasure is all mine. So, shall we get started?
A: Of course. How did you feel about being the only saurian with a major
Z: It was quite a challenge! But I did so enjoy it. The filming took
place all over the island, as you know, and we had a lot of traveling to do. I’d
say the most interesting part though was having my home turned inside out and
filled with all that equipment and people.
As for being the only saurian with a major role, well, I felt there could have
been more dinosaurs. Usta, who plays Postal Bird 457, was a little upset at his
characters portrayal. And Freefall would have liked some more lines than “Caw
caw.” However, saurians were portrayed very nicely and intelligently. It’s a
nice change from the usual rampaging about and eating people nonsense!
A: I can see you have a lot to say on the subject! What was the most
difficult part of the miniseries for you?
Z: Definitely the mosasaur swamp scene where I’m dragged under water and
a mosasaur pulls me into a death roll. It took days to set up that scene and a
lot of fish for the mosasaur!
A: Mmmm. Fish. I’m sure you went through a lot of that!
Z: Oh, believe me, the mosasaurs didn’t eat half as much as the
Tyrannosaurs! And it took some expert translators and diplomats to get those
scenes working smoothly.
A: I heard some strange rumors about a fire in the costume wagon. Is
there any truth to this?
Z: Uh…. Well, hehe, yes, there is. Many people complained about the
skybax rider outfits. Well, the fire is why we had to use the ones we did.
Apparently, somebody tried to burn the trunk that held Mayor Waldo’s costumes,
but accidentally got the skybax riders. All we could get for the trainees on
such short notice were a bunch of janitors overalls that had accidentally been
bleached. We sewed on scraps of the original costumes for the emblems.
A: That’s certainly Exercising Imagination! And, speaking of costumes,
just why did Mayor Waldo have such funny robes?
Z: I’m afraid there’s no good explanation for that. Though, after we were
done filming, we donated them to Max’ Cavalcade of Wonders for the clowns.
A: *laughing* That’s a fitting use for them! And is there a reason for
the changes in the Code?
Z: That was Robert Halami Sr’s idea. He felt the Code needed to be
complete, so he changed “Don’t P…” To “Fin…” and completed “Fin…” as “Find the
Light.” And since “Sow Good Seef” doesn’t make any sense, he changed the order a
little. Mr. Halami also thought Find the Light would be appropriate, as he
wanted to carry that theme through the entire show.
We tried to convince him not to, but humans can be very strong willed.
A: Yes, I can think of a few stubborn humans. It seems the changes to the
code were intentional to make the miniseries a different “universe” from
Now, about strong willed humans; why was it decided to have a Mayor and
Matriarch? Rosemary seemed completely different from Norah, the Matriarch of
Z: Apparently, humans in the outer world can not grasp the concept of no
government. They feel the need to have someone tell them what to do rather than
make their own choices and learn from their mistakes.
A: Well, it looks like I’m down to one last question.
Z: I’m all ears.
A: Why do you speak with a British accent instead of the usual troodont
Z: *laughing* I’m afraid that was another of Mr. Halami’s ideas. He felt
that people wouldn’t be able to understand me otherwise. And the British accent
gives me something of a educated air. It took months to learn.
A: It was an honor to speak with you Mr. Stenonychosaur. I hope we can
Z: Zippo, Please! And I too hope we meet again. Breath Deep.
A: Seek Peace.