Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Family movie night? There's an app for that

Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.

Parents' Guide to

Dino Dana: The Movie

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Family focus, awesome dinos make for a Paleo pleasure.

Movie PG 2020 77 minutes
Dino Dana: The Movie Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 4+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 4+
age 4+

Fun movie for kids and adults

We love the Dino Dana series and this movie did not disappoint. Dana's step sister must make a life changing decision about her divorced parents and whom she is to live permanently with. A new family moves in next door and the step brothers are having a hard time adjusting to each other. Ultimately the four children take on a dinosaur adventure and learn about family. There is a ton of education on dinosaurs. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed this movie as well. There are a few scenes where the dinosaurs are causing the children some mild peril but everything turns out alright.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (6 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Dino Dana asserts that "science is magic," and the same could be said for this film adaptation of her popular TV series. Small children are often so attracted to dinosaurs that many can tell you the tooth count of an Allosaurus before they know their colors. In 2010, Canadian production company Sinking Ship Entertainment figured out a more age-appropriate viewing experience than the R-rated Jurassic Park to quench kids' thirst for dino action when they launched the show Dino Dan, which was followed in 2017 by Dino Dana. And now, in Dino Dana: The Movie, they've created epic battles between enormous Cretaceous beasts and put several kids in the middle of the action. All of it works to make science appealing by proving that scientists are question-askers with active imaginations -- which will probably make some members of the young audience feel seen.

The Dino Dan/Dana franchise has evolved over the years as the entertainment industry has recognized the imperative for authentic representations. The result is a world in which the characters are ethnically and socioeconomically diverse, as well as gender equal. As this film is the length of three TV episodes, the story is fittingly a bit meatier: Dana has her experiment (of course), but she also pulls in the new neighbors (who can also see dinosaurs, thanks to Dana's magical Dino Field Guide), all while Saara grapples with her difficult decision to stay with her dad, stepmom, stepsister Dana, and baby brother or go with her mom, who got an awesome new job. This subject matter may feel very familiar to kids in divorced/blended families, even if they haven't had to make that specific decision themselves. Ultimately, writer/director/producer J.J. Johnson ties all three of his storylines together into one message, really solidifying that he knows how to communicate with children. The end product is a heartfelt, relatable, educational, and exciting STEM adventure that's remarkably entertaining, even for adults.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate