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Buddy the Dinosaur in town to host season premiere party

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By Pittsburgh The Tribune-Review
Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011

Buddy the Dinosaur -- a beloved cartoon character on PBS' "Dinosaur Train" show -- will mingle with kids on Saturday as he celebrates his new dinosaur movie that will air next week on WQED.

WQED and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History are teaming for a "Dinosaur Big City" premiere party at the Oakland museum. Visitors can watch the Jim Henson Company movie, meet the orange T-Rex Buddy in person, and participate in activities throughout the day in the "Dinosaurs in Their Time" exhibit.

"To be able to marry this world-class exhibition that we have and this world-class show -- and have an event ... that really showcases all we can learn about dinosaurs -- it's not only fascinating, it's a heck of a lot of fun to do it," says Jennifer Stancil, executive director of educational partnerships for Oakland-based WQED, the local division of PBS.

"Dinosaur Big City" -- a one-hour special that will kick off the second season of "Dinosaur Train" -- will delight kids and adults, Stancil says. It tells the story of Buddy's and his Pteranodon family's journey on the train to the big city, Laramidia, which is based on an island continent that existed during the late Cretaceous period.

"They have this wonderful adventure," Stancil says. "It's a musical as well."

Stancil's daughter -- Avery Grace, 4 -- has become a huge dinosaur fan, as are many kids that are fascinated by the mysterious animals.

"It's ... history and learning and science at the same time," she says. "I think it's fun for kids to really explore a different time."

One of the appeals of "Dinosaur Train" is that it teaches kids about uniqueness and individuality: Buddy is the lone carnivore among a family of herbivores.

"When one of the dinosaurs is unique, I think that translates to a chid saying, 'I'm unique, too; here are my great qualities.' "

"Dinosaur Big City" will air at 9 a.m. Monday on WQED-TV. "Dinosaur Train" plays at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. weekdays on WQED-TV.

Additional Information:

'Dinosaur Big City' premiere party

When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday

Admission: Included with general admission of $15, $12 for age 65 and older, $11 for ages 3-18 and students

Where: Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland

Details: 412-622-3131

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