The recent success of Jurassic World, which has secured the title of highest global box-office opening ever, has got dinosaurs on everyone’s mind. Whether you’re debating with your friends about whether or not you’d go to an actual dinosaur theme park (even though you know that everyone would possibly die, admit it, you’d go) or you’re considering re-watching a personal dinosaur movie favorite, you are definitely not alone. There are actually a number of films that feature dinosaurs in one way or another, and now is as good a time as any to revisit those classics. We’ve compiled a list of the Top 17 Dinosaur Films, but as always, certain rules were made to better streamline the choices.charts
Fantasy, Science Fiction, Family
The adventure begins when Lucas (Darius Williams) a 13 year old boy embarks on the vacation of a lifetime. When disaster strikes, Lucas finds himself stranded in a strange land littered with ghost ships and prehistoric creatures. While searching for other signs of life, Lucas hears a radio broadcast in the distance and is drawn into the jungle where he encounters a beautiful young girl who claims to have come from the 1950s (Kate Rasmussen.) Together they set out on a quest to get home all the while uncovering secrets that will forever change the future.actors:
Adventure, Science Fiction
The 1993 original still takes top prize, partly because of its own global box-office success and major critical acclaim, and partly because the special effects remain impressive and impactful, even today. The film used both CGI and animatronics to create its groundbreaking special effects, and it contains nearly all of the most well-remembered movie scenes involving dinosaurs. It was also directed by Steven Spielberg at the height of his abilities, and based on Michael Crichton’s 1990 bestselling book of the same name, which everyone was still frantically reading at the time of the film’s release. And while it has been followed by three sort-of sequels (of which Jurassic World counts as a soft-reboot), it remains any dinosaur film lover’s top choice.
A wealthy entrepreneur secretly creates a theme park featuring living dinosaurs drawn from prehistoric DNA. Before opening day, he invites a team of experts and his two eager grandchildren to experience the park and help calm anxious investors. However, the park is anything but amusing as the security systems go off-line and the dinosaurs escape.actors:
Action, Adventure, Science Fiction, Thriller
Love it or not, Jurassic World is definitely a dinosaur-sized smash at the box-office today. Okay, yes, the romance may be hollow, and the humans in the movie do tend to fall into two categories – “cookie-cutter” personalities and “dinosaur food” – but there is really no point where the movie offends overly, and it remains entertaining throughout. However, the film’s dinosaur scenes, while its biggest strong suit, are second to only one other film…
Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond.actors:
Action, Adventure, Science Fiction
Four years after Jurassic Park's genetically bred dinosaurs ran amok, multimillionaire John Hammond shocks chaos theorist Ian Malcolm by revealing that Hammond has been breeding more beasties at a secret location. Malcolm, his paleontologist ladylove and a wildlife videographer join an expedition to document the lethal lizards' natural behavior in this action-packed thriller.actors:
Animation, Fantasy, Music, Family
Fantasia is the adventurous 1940 experiment from Disney. The film sets Disney animated characters to classical music as Mickey Mouse uses his magic wand to set broomsticks dancing in one of the more famous elaborate scenes. The film was groundbreaking in its usage of animation and music and is still considered a masterpiece decades later.actors:
Adventure, Animation, Family
The first of The Land Before Time films was released in 1988 and directed by Don Bluth (An American Tale, Rock-a-Doodle, Anastasia, and about twelve other classics). Although it has twelve sequels to the date (and another one in production), the original Land Before Time tells the story of an Apatosaurus named Littlefoot, who will probably always be one of our favorite dinosaurs of all time.
An orphaned brontosaurus named Littlefoot sets off in search of the legendary Great Valley. A land of lush vegetation where the dinosaurs can thrive and live in peace. Along the way he meets four other young dinosaurs, each onea different species, and they encounter several obstacles as they learn to worktogether in order to survive.actors:
Thirteen years before Walking with Dinosaurs 3D, Disney’s Dinosaur told the story of an orphaned iguanodon that is raised by a group of lemurs. The film was a box-office success and was lauded for its magnificent CGI effects, although some critics were not fond of the celebrity voices for the dinosaur characters provided by D.B. Sweeney, Alfre Woodard, and Hayden Panettiere.
An orphaned dinosaur raised by lemurs joins an arduous trek to a sancturary after a meteorite shower destroys his family home.actors:
Action, Adventure, Drama
Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake was one of the top five highest-grossing films of the year, and there is much to enjoy about its visual effects. One scene in particular involves Jack Black, Kyle Chandler, and Adrien Brody’s characters running to avoid a dinosaur stampede, but the big show comes when King Kong has to battle two T-Rex’s in order to protect Naomi Watts’ Ann Darrow. Watching the film can also help you get excited for the upcoming 2017 film Kong: Skull Island, set to star Tom Hiddleston, Michael Keaton and J.K. Simmons.
In 1933 New York, an overly ambitious movie producer coerces his cast and hired ship crew to travel to mysterious Skull Island, where they encounter Kong, a giant ape who is immediately smitten with leading lady Ann Darrow.actors:
Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Family
The T-Rex fossil in all of the Night at the Museum installments ranks this franchise among the top ten for certain. The sequence in the first film where Ben Stiller runs in terror from the living dinosaur skeleton is still outstanding today, and the series is also one the whole family can enjoy.
Chaos reigns at the natural history museum when night watchman Larry Daley accidentally stirs up an ancient curse, awakening Attila the Hun, an army of gladiators, a Tyrannosaurus rex and other exhibits. Larry tries desperately to keep the museum under control, but he's fighting a losing battle until President Teddy Roosevelt comes to the rescue.actors:
Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Family
In Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaur film, the original actors (Ray Romano, Denis Leary, and John Leguizamo) all reprise their roles as Manny, Diego, and Sid encounter dinosaurs in a tropical world buried beneath the ice. The film earned $886.7 million globally and is the seventh highest-grossing animated movie of all time.
Times are changing for moody mammoth Manny, motor mouthed sloth Sid and crafty saber-toothed tiger Diego in this third installment of the beloved computer-animated children's franchise. Life heats up for our heroes when they meet some new and none-too-friendly neighbors: the mighty dinosaurs.actors:
Adventure, Comedy, Science Fiction
In this 2009 film adaptation of the 1974 television show, a disrespected scientist (Will Ferrell) uses his latest invention to send himself and two others through a time warp and into a strange new dimension. There are several funny sequences of Ferrell running from an angry T-Rex named Grumpy, and while the film won a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Prequel, Remake, or Sequel, it remains good for a laugh.
On his latest expedition, Dr. Rick Marshall is sucked into a space-time vortex alongside his research assistant and a redneck survivalist. In this alternate universe, the trio make friends with a primate named Chaka, their only ally in a world full of dinosaurs and other fantastic creatures.actors:
Adventure, Animation, Family
A CGI adventure about dinosaurs in the Late Cretaceous period, Walking with Dinosaurs centers around Patchi, a pachyrhinosaurus and runt of his litter, who eventually becomes the leader of his entire herd. Because the film used live settings for its CGI creatures, its visuals were considerably striking. However, the somewhat juvenile choice to use actor voiceovers hurt the film critically.
Walking with Dinosaurs 3D is an upcoming film depicting life-like 3D dinosaur characters set in photo-real landscapes that will transport audiences to the prehistoric world as it existed 70 million years ago. The film is based on the 1999 documentary television miniseries Walking with Dinosaurs, produced by the BBC. Walking with Dinosaurs 3D is being produced by Evergreen Studios, the company that produced Happy Feet, and it is scheduled for release on October 11, 2013.actors:
Animation, Comedy, Family
Meet the Robinsons is one of Disney’s lesser-remembered but still enjoyable animated features. Although critics were positive in their reviews, the film grossed only $25 million on its opening weekend and came in second behind Blades of Glory. It features one heavily dinosaur-centric scene with a T-Rex named Tiny who menaces the main characters under the direction of the film’s villain, but is later revealed to be quite adorable.
In this animated adventure, brilliant preteen inventor Lewis creates a memory scanner to retrieve his earliest recollections and find out why his mother gave him up for adoption. But when the villainous Bowler Hat Guy steals the machine, Lewis is ready to give up on his quest until the mysterious Wilbur Robinson shows up on the scene, whisking Lewis to the future to find the scanner and his mom.actors:
As the trailer describes, the film centers around “an elite military team sent on a daring mission backward in time. But they didn’t return… alone!” If you enjoy watching dinosaurs wreck Los Angeles, then look no further than this action/disaster film. The movie is basically awful, but Asylum’s direct-to-videos are sort of a bucket list item for any dinosaur movie lover.
A scientist from the failed Philadelphia Experiment leads a team of Navy SEALs back in time to the Cretaceous Period to rescue the first team he sent back during the 1940s. Things go wildly awry though, when on his return he accidentally brings a giant, man-eating dinosaur back through the portal and into modern-day, downtown Los Angeles.actors:
Action, Adventure, Comedy, Science Fiction, Family
There are two film versions of note for Journey to the Center of the Earth: one in 1959 and one in 2008. However, the update made it on the list by a hair with its fun-for-the-family vibe and CGI effects (not to mention Brendan Fraser, who can charm anyone, human or dinosaur).
On a quest to find out what happened to his missing brother, a scientist, his nephew and their mountain guide discover a fantastic and dangerous lost world in the center of the earth.actors:
Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction
A sleeper hit from 1975, The Land that Time Forgot takes place during World War I, where a group of German and British soldiers stumble upon Caprona, a land populated with dinosaurs and neanderthals. The film is based on the 1924 novel of the same name by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and it inspired a direct sequel, The People that Time Forgot.
During World War I, a German U-boat sinks a British ship and takes the survivors on board. After it takes a wrong turn, the submarine takes them to the unknown land of Caprona, where they find dinosaurs and neanderthals.actors:
A slapstick comedy starring Ringo Starr, Shelley Long, and Dennis Quaid tells the heartwarming tale of a scrawny caveman named Atouk (Starr) who hopes to find love and overthrow the bullying leader of his tribe (John Matuszak). When Atouk and his friend Lar (Quaid) are banished, they meet other outcasts and have a number of encounters with ravenous dinosaurs before finding their own happy ending. The film is considered a cult-classic, despite making little money when it debuted.
In this comedy, Atouk becomes leader of the misfit cavemen. Disgraced and cast out of his tribe for lusting after Lana, the mate of tribe's head muscle man, Atouk stumbles along gathering other misfits and learning a bit about the world outside of his cave. Eventually he and friends Lar, and Tala learn the secrets of fire, cooked meat, and how to defend themselves from the brutal, yet very stupidactors: