Family movie night? There's an app for that
Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Dinosaur facts and behavior are brought to life in a visually exciting, memorable, and amusing way.
Stop looking at what makes people different, and start looking at what makes them the same. Science is magic: It's the intersection of curiosity and imagination. Communication and teamwork are important.
Positive Role Models
Dana is curious, kind, brave, concerned, inclusive, loving, confident, smart, and has a whopper of an imagination. The central characters are two ethnically diverse blended families who live in neighboring apartments. The story's subplot explores the confusing feelings of getting a stepsibling. Characters aren't limited to traditional gender roles.
Violence & Scariness
Children are in mild peril on several occasions; they show moderate fear without intense distress. CGI dinosaurs do battle several times. The film opens in the year 66,000,000 B.C.; it shows a dust cloud and a choking T-Rex to indicate the extinction of dinosaurs.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Part of the Dino Dana brand/franchise.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dino Dana: The Movie is a feature-length extension of the children's TV series about a smart, brave girl named Dana (Michela Luci) who sees and interacts with dinosaurs in the real world. Just like in the series, the film brings the prehistoric creatures to life via computer animation, and they can sometimes be a little bit scary. The kids are frequently in mild peril: facing a Triceratops stampede or getting kidnapped by a pterosaur with dinner plans. They cry out in distress, but there's no feeling of real terror. The story focuses on diverse blended families and specifically addresses the ambivalence or resentment that stepsiblings may feel about each other. Dana is an exemplary role model who defies gender stereotypes and has many positive character strengths, including a curious mind and an infectious imagination. Fans of the long-running series get a payoff: cameos from the original Dino Dan (Jason Spevak) and his brother Trek (Trek Buccino), who are now young men. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
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.
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.