It’s no secret that I have a big crush on animation and I’m starting to think that animation has a big crush on dinosaurs because there are a shocking amount of animated movies that feature dinosaurs in them. Here is a list of various dinosaur movies from the family friendly variety to the academic/political commentary (yes, there are dinosaur movies that are also political commentaries).
The Land Before Time: A young brontosaurus is separated from his family and sets off to find the legendary Great Valley. He and his other dinosaur friends sing songs and learn the value of working together. There are a few scenes that might be considered too intense for the very young but this movie is generally a classic when it comes to animated dinosaur movies.
Dinosaur: This movie is a lot like Land Before Time only it features lemurs and there’s a whole lot of experimental CGI going on.
The Flintstones: So…. Not a movie per se but it does feature a modern stone age family and they certainly did find some ingenious ways to use dinosaurs to their advantage.
We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story: I really liked this movie when I was a kid. I’m not even a big lover of dinosaur movies in general. I simply found something endearing about dinosaurs being transported to the here and now in order to make children’s dreams come true. The premise is magical. However, there are some scenes that are straight up scary so it’s best not to let any little children watch it by themselves right before bedtime.
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs: Scrat is still trying to nab the ever-elusive nut and in the process may find his true love; Manny and Ellie await the birth of their mini-mammoth; Diego, the saber-toothed tiger, wonders if he’s growing too ‘soft’ hanging with his pals; and Sid the sloth gets into trouble when he creates his own makeshift family by hijacking some dinosaur eggs. On a mission to rescue the hapless Sid, the gang ventures into a mysterious underground world where they have some very close encounters with dinosaurs, battle flora and fauna, and where they meet a relentless, one-eyed, dino-hunting weasel named Buck.
Dinotopia: So this is the television series based on the book series of the same name, written and illustrated by James Gurney. Technically this is a live-action TV show but the dinosaurs are CG so that counts… right?
Meet the Robinsons: Lewis, an orphan and inventor, is whisked away from school in a time machine to the future, where he finally finds a family where he belongs. Ok, ok, so this movie is not about dinosaurs. It does feature a very memorable dinosaur in one scene though so that justifies my adding it to this list. Also I love this movie so any excuse I can find to add it to a movie list will be taken.
Gertie the Dinosaur: This movie is a collection of shorts by animation pioneer Winsor McCay. Gertie the Dinosaur is a short dating all the way back to 1914 and the dawn of the film industry. Although it’s probably not a movie the average child would be interested in sitting down and watching it is the type of movie that hard core animation enthusiasts would go crazy for.
Masters of Russian Animation Vol. 1: Here is collection of animated shorts hailing from Russia. One of the shorts, Mountain of Dinosaurs, is an allegorical tale that is actually a commentary on Soviet Union politics. Not exactly family entertainment, but something worth watching if you’re interested in subtle social protests in the USSR.
Fantasia: This Disney classic features a long dinosaur sequence set to The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky. I’m pretty sure every little boy in existence has loved this short at one point or another because it shows some epic dinosaur fights and who can’t get behind that?