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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The natural habitat and different species of dinosaurs are beautifully rendered. The film also reproduces many physical phenomena: landslides, meteor showers, animal migration, and prehistoric creatures' fight to survive.
Heartily encourages teamwork and standing together to accomplish goals. The survivors are those who refuse to give up and decide to fight for their lives. Also promotes helping the less fortunate even when it's risky. Great leaders are those who truly care about the welfare of their followers.
Positive Role Models
The film's dinosaur-hero is loyal, generous, and very brave; he clearly shows a willingness to risk his own life to help the less fortunate. The audience roots for dinosaurs of multiple species who band together against a common enemy. Some of the prehistoric creatures speak with Southern and African-American dialects. Characters demonstrate teamwork and integrity.
Violence & Scariness
Landslides, meteorites, a tsunami, a cave collapse, fire, and enemies all threaten the heroic dinosaurs. The carnotaurus (carnotaur) is the main predator -- often shown in attack mode, close-up, toothy, and viciously roaring. There are many brutal one-on-one fights (and some kills) between mega-strong dinosaurs. The main, humanized characters, whom the audience has grown to like, are often in great danger.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Lemurs comically prep to meet potential mates. Aladar meets and falls in love with his life partner. Dinosaur eggs figure prominently in the story.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A plant is used to help relieve the pain of a dying dinosaur.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dinosaur is a Disney film set in prehistoric times that is filled with battles to the death, vicious predators, and heroes frequently in danger from both nature and enemy species. The filmmakers use spooky music, very dark settings, and ferocious roars to heighten the intensity. Alternating with survival-of-the-fittest sequences are ones set in a world of beauty and accessibility featuring warmhearted dinosaur heroes and comic, loving lemurs. It's an odd combination of scary and likeable -- not for very young or easily frightened kids. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Disney worked very hard to make sure that the faces of the dinosaurs were expressive, but should have worked a little harder on giving them some more complex and subtle emotions to express. Aladar just is not that interesting a character. Even in a movie for kids, it's not enough for the characters to overcome some external challenge. What makes a story get into your heart is seeing the characters learn and grow and overcome internal challenges. It is a marvel of skill, but does not have half of the heart or wit of the Toy Story movies or A Bug's Life.
The technological mastery of Dinosaur is dazzling to watch, though, especially the textures. Fur, scales, eggshell, water, and goo are all so vivid you can almost feel them. It is a shame that the story and characters are not as strong as the visuals, though that will be more of a problem for adults than kids.
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.