Dinosaur Movies and TV Shows for Young Children

Silly, Educational, and Mildly Scary Dinosaur Videos for Kids

Dinosaurs may be extinct, but our fascination with the prehistoric beasts will keep the knowledge of them alive forever. Kids are especially in awe of, and sometimes obsessed with, dinosaurs and what it must have been like when they roamed the earth. Fortunately, thanks to this shared interest with animators, many movies have been made about the dinosaurs, from blockbuster hits to favorite television series. Here are some fun kids and family movies and shows about dinosaurs listed in order of their scare factor (movies for young children are listed first).

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"Dinosaur Train: Dinosaur Big City" (2014)

Dinosaur Train: Dinosaur Big City


"Dinosaur Big City" contains a four-part adventure as well as additional episodes of the PBS Kids series "Dinosaur Train." Capitalizing on two things kids love—trains and dinosaurs—the animated series seeks to entertain kids while encouraging a fascination for natural history and life science.

In the title episode, Buddy and his friends and family embark on an exciting adventure to the Theropod Club Convention held in the big city of Laramidia. Several DVDs containing episodes of the series are available, but this one contains the actual 4-part movie. Best for ages 3 to 6, but most elementary children will enjoy it, too.

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"Wonder Pets: Save the Dinosaur!" (2008)

Wonder Pets: Save the Dinosaur! (2008)


On this DVD, the featured episode "Save the Dinosaur!" is short and sweet. It follows the benevolent pets as they travel to prehistoric times to rescue a dinosaur stuck between a rock and a hard place.

The program for preschoolers teaches kids about animals, places and problem-solving skills. Most important of all, though, is the lesson found in this quote: "What's gonna work—teamwork!" The DVD includes three additional episodes of the "Wonder Pets" that'll provide your two to five-year-old kids' plenty of entertainment.

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"Go, Diego Go!: The Great Dinosaur Rescue" (2008)

Go, Diego Go!: The Great Dinosaur Rescue (2008)


Jump back in time to the age of the dinosaurs with Diego and his friends. In "The Great Dinosaur Rescue," kids will learn about different dinosaurs, problem-solving and Spanish words.

The mini-movie is two episodes in length, sure to keep the attention of your small child for the full hour. Young fans of dinosaurs and Diego alike will really enjoy this special series of episodes.

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"How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?" (2004)

How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? (Scholastic DVD)


Based on the hugely popular and fabulous book by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague, "How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?follows the story exactly using an animation style that looks just like the book's illustrations. This Scholastic published edition is truly a fabulous edition to your children's DVD collection.

Kids will laugh and learn as they watch the things that dinos might, or might not, do when being put to bed. The DVD features additional Scholastic stories, also available in some of the Scholastic DVD box sets.

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"Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" (2009)

Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs


"​Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" continues the story of the "Ice Age" gang. But this time, the prehistoric pals find a mysterious underground world inhabited by dinosaurs!

The movie contains some perilous scenes involving ferocious dinos that might be frightening to young children, so this is one to preview first if you have any concerns. Most of the scary scenes are soon relieved by comedy.

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"The Land Before Time" (1988)

Land Before Time


This classic animated dino movie won the hearts of many and led to a plethora of sequels—some good, some not so good. The movie tells the story of a group of adorable dinosaurs who embark on a journey to The Great Valley and have many adventures along the way.

The memorable song "If We Hold on Together," performed by Diana Ross, is featured in this movie. It's truly a great family feature with humor and adventure even adults will enjoy. There are, however, a few dark scenes in the film that could be scary for viewers under 3 years of age. 

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"Dinosaur" (2000)



Filmed using cutting-edge 3D animation for its time, the Disney movie "Dinosaur" tells the story of Aladar, an iguanodon who was raised by lemurs. When a meteor shower devastates their island home, Aladar and his family join a group of dinos searching for an oasis in the desert.

Young children may be scared by the mean and rough leader of the group or the carnivorous pair of carnosaurs who follow the group hoping to make one of them the next meal, so it's recommended for ages 7 and up. Even adults will enjoy this heartwarming story about the importance of family (and dinosaurs).

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"Journey to the Center of the Earth" (2008)

Journey to the Center of the Earth


In this 2008 remake of the classic film and novel, scientist Trevor Anderson—played by Brendan Fraser—travels with his nephew and their beautiful mountain guide Hannah to an unknown land in the center of the earth.

The land is inhabited by dinosaurs along with other scary creatures and plant life. There are only a couple of scenes with dinos, but the family adventure is fun for adults and older kids, recommended for ages 8 and over.