Dopey is one of the dinosaurs in the Land of the Lost created using stop-motion animation for full body appearances, while a puppet was used for appearances of just his head and neck.
Personality and Appearance
Dopey is a baby gray-skinned brontosaurus around fifteen feet long. As a quadruped, he travels by holding his head up in front of him and dragging his tail behind him. As a immature member of his species, he is very curious and can get lonely, often making a loud honking noise.
Dopey is a baby Brontosaurus sometimes referred to as the family's pet. He sometimes lets Holly Marshall ride on his back, but he is usually being used to pull the Marshall's fruit cart.
Dopey was discovered by Will and Holly while they were gathering berries. They found the remains of a dinosaur egg on the way to the berry patch, later encountering Dopey on their way home with a cart full of strawberries. When Holly offers Dopey a berry, Dopey is too enthusiastic as he approaches to take the berry, causing Will and Holly to run from him. Pursuing them, he becomes stuck between two trees growing close together. As he struggles to free himself, his cries of distress alert the nearby dinosaurs, including Grumpy, to his presence. As Grumpy is closing in, Will startles Dopey into dislodging himself by screaming at him, allowing Dopey a chance to flee the closely-pursuing Grumpy. Realizing that Dopey was probably killed by Grumpy, Will and Holly were surprised to find Dopey following them home, having eaten the entire contents of their fruit cart.
Holly eventually wanted to adopt Dopey, but Rick advised her on the logic of keeping a dinosaur as a pet. However, as Dopey kept coming around, Holly soon taught him how to pull a wagon, but her attempt to teach him to fetch a stick only resulted in Dopey eating the stick. After Dopey's loud honking attracted Grumpy for the second time, nearly getting himself and Holly killed, the family decided to take him to the swamp where Emily, an adult female Brontosaurus, adopted him. It is unclear if Dopey is her actual son or the progeny of another Brontosaurus.
Dopey occasionally returned to visit Holly and also helped pull the food wagon several times. He once became stuck in the tar pits while becoming curious in Spot, who was trapped in it. When Dopey fell into the pits, bringing rubble in with him, Spot managed to climb out over him and escape, leaving Dopey behind. Cha-Ka eventually found Dopey and alerted the Marshalls. Rick tried to free Dopey with a lasso made from thick vines collected from the jungle and even devised a pulley system to complete the task. Dopey, however, was too heavy for them and continued to sink further. Although Cha-Ka also recruited Ta and Sa to help in the endeavor, they were still unable to pull Dopey out of the tar pit. The Pakuni soon gave up and left, leaving the Marshalls alone with Dopey. When it appeared that all hope was lost, and all the Marshalls could do was keep Dopey company as he sank into the tar pit, Cha-Ka returned with Emily. Emily went to her adopted offspring, apparently to comfort him in his distress. Their proximity allowed Rick to secure the other end of the vine around Dopey's neck to Emily's neck. The Marshalls then attempted to coax Emily to back up and pull Dopey out of the tar pit, but Emily was unwilling to leave Dopey. Rick and Will then waved torches at her. Instinctively, Emily backed away from the flames, thereby pulling Dopey out of the tar pit.
It is not known what eventually happens to Dopey. After earthquakes devastated the land, he stopped returning to Holly, but Emily returned several more times. Whether he was killed or migrated somewhere else isn't known.
- Dopey and most other Brontosaurus had pale gray skin.
- Dopey's name came from an offhand comment made by Will. As the two viewed him for the first time, Holly said, "I think she's friendly," to which Will replied, "I think she's dopey," Holly then decided that anything that looked that dopey could only be male, and they would call him Dopey.
- Dopey's high-pitched honking sound was an artistic embellishment, as were all the vocal sounds used by the dinosaurs in Land of the Lost. The dinosaurs in earth's prehistoric period possessed no vocal cords and could not have vocalized anything.
- While Brontosaurs are unintelligent animals, Dopey was depicted as seeming to have the intelligence of a domestic dog. He understood and sulked appropriately when Holly scolded him, and apparently obeyed when she ordered him to return to the swamp. He also seemed to register disappointment when the Marshalls, after Dopey's cries attracted Grumpy for the second time, concluded that they couldn't keep him around the cave and must give him up. When Holly vigorously ordered Dopey to go away, Dopey started to leave toward Emily, then looked longingly back at Holly one final time.
- Dopey's size is not consistently represented, even from scene to scene in the same episode. During the episode Dopey, when the Marshalls approach with swamp with Dopey, for instance, Dopey's height, as measured by the highest point of the arch in his back, is shorter than Holly's. Then, seconds later, when Holly orders him to leave, Dopey is taller than Holly.
- Dopey has his own theme song in the series. There is background music that plays only during Dopey's appearances, at least when Dopey is not in danger. It was used several times during his appearances in Dopey, during his appearance Downstream, when Holly says good-bye to him, during Tag-Team, when Dopey appeared at the Marshalls' food cart, when he stole a carrot from Ta, and The Possession. It was not used during his appearances in Tar Pit, however, nor during his brief appearance in Blackout. Probably because the languid, pleasant nature of the music would not serve to underscore these instances when Dopey was in distress.
- Dopey has an uncanny (and completely implausible) ability to escape from larger, faster predators. He has eluded Grumpy twice. Once during his first appearance in the episode Dopey, when Grumpy seemed mere steps away from making Dopey into a meal. The second time was during Tag-Team as he was grazing on the vegetation and unknowingly bit Grumpy, mistaking his foot for food. Despite Grumpy being far faster than Dopey, Dopey managed to escape unharmed both times. The best possible explanation is that Dopey finds narrow gaps between trees or rocks that are too large for Grumpy and makes use of them as he flees, forcing Grumpy to circumvent these obstacles, thus slowing his pursuit of Dopey.