With the Jurassic Park franchise getting a reboot, dinosaur movies are back in vogue once again. But the franchise isn’t the only films to heavily feature dinosaurs as main characters. There is actually quite a long list of films from animated ones to live action movies that portray the interesting creatures in various types of settings and stories.
From Disney and Pixar’s heartwarming animated dinosaur movies to more serious films portraying dinosaurs as carnivorous beasts that threaten human life, here are 10 of the best dinosaur movies ranked and reviewed.
Top 10 Best Dinosaur Movies of All Time
Land of the Lost (2009)
In this comedic adaptation of the 1970s television show of the same name, we see Will Ferrell play a disgraced scientist who uses his invention in order to send him and two others in a time warp ending up in a strange dimension.
What follows is a wild ride featuring scenes where Ferrell is chased by an angry T-rex dinosaur called Grumpy. The film is admittedly bad, as evidenced by its Golden Raspberry Award for the Worst prequel film. However, kids and viewers looking for a light film to watch for a good laugh, the film holds up pretty well.
The Flintstones (1994)
The beloved cartoon series is brought to life in the 90’s family comedy film The Flintstones (1994).
Here we see the family rise up in the Bedrock society when Fred scores a promotion at work. Of course, we also see the family’s house pets come alive in the film including the cute and aptly named dinosaur, Dino, who was voiced by Mel Blanc and created in Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.
Despite disappointing critics, the film was a success among viewers who found the live action adaptation quite the entertaining family comedy film. The film is followed by a sequel, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas in 2000 that also features Dino.
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009)
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009) is the third installment of the Ice Age animated comedy series.
Here we see the old gang come together again as they encounter dinosaurs who live in a tropical world underneath the ice.
The film was commercial success ending up as the seventh highest grossing animated movie of all time.
Night at the Museum (2006)
Night at the Museum makes it on our list of the best dinosaur movies ever made.
In the film, we see Ben Stiller play a night shift watchman at the New York City American Museum of Natural History who witness the museum’s installations come to life when night comes. This includes the fossil of a giant T-Rex which is found at the heart of the museum. Watch out for the scene where the dinosaur skeleton runs after a terrified Ben Stiller in one of the film’s funniest and heart-thumping scenes.
King Kong (2005)
Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake of the classic monster movie earns a spot on our best dinosaur movies list because of the terrifying fight scenes between the giant King Kong and a wild T-Rex as they fight over Naomi Watts’ character Ann Darrow who King Kong falls in love with.
If you’re a monster movie fan be sure to watch this film. It’s not every day that we encounter a remake that’s almost better than the original film it’s based on.
Disney’s Dinosaur (2000)
In Disney’s Dinosaur (2000), we are entertained by the story of an orphaned iguanodon dinosaur who is raised by an unusual set of animals— lemure.
With its touching story and cute animated characters, it’s no surprise that the film was a success at the box office. What more, it’s also lauded for its amazing CGI effects. It is one of the best dinosaur movies for kids.
The Good Dinosaur (2000)
The Good Dinosaur (2000) follows a tried and tested formula for animated dinosaur movies targeted for younger audiences. In the film, we follow a young dinosaur called Arlo who is separated from his family when he is accidentally washed downriver.
There he meets and befriends a Neanderthal boy called Spot. Together, they go on an epic adventure in the efforts to bring back Arlo to his parents.
The Land Before Time (1988)
Directed by well-known animated children’s movie director Don Bluth, The Land Before Time (1988) is a touching and poignant story of an Apatosaurus called Littlefoot who is orphaned when his mother dies while protecting him from a carnivorous dinosaur.
The concept proved to be a success among its target audience. To date, The Land Before Time dinosaur movie franchise has 14 films in the series and a television show as well.
Jurassic World (2015)
Whether you’re a fan of this reboot of the Jurassic franchise or not, you can’t deny that Jurassic World (2015) deserves a high spot on our list of best dinosaur films for its impressive special effects and realistic dinosaurs alone.
In Jurassic World, we follow the story of an animal expert and former military man played by Chris Pratt who tries to save the park and its guests when the vicious and dangerously intelligent Indominus rex escapes from its cage. Jurassic World is one of the year’s best dinosaur movies.
The reboot proved to be a commercial success giving us the opportunity to see a sequel Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom in 2018 and one more follow up the film that is set to come out in 2021.
Jurassic Park (1993)
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without mention of the classic dinosaur movie, Jurassic Park (1993). It is considered to be the best dinosaur movies of all time.
If your kids loved its reboot, Jurassic World, there’s a big chance they’ll also love the original film. What more, it would be interesting to see how they’ll react to the 90s special effects and know which version they think is better.
Maybe you’re wondering why we didn’t list the entire film franchise on this article. Well, us true fans just pretend those god-awful sequels never happened.
Do you agree with movies and ranking on this list? Which dinosaur films would you have added or removed from our list of top 10 best dinosaur movies of all time? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!