By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Dreadful low-budget fantasy is hard to watch.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Meant to entertain rather than educate.
False message: Ostrich eggs are readily available and can be hatched into dinosaurs if the proper chemicals are dripped on top of them.
Positive Role Models
Tommy is a dedicated scientific researcher inventing techniques to re-create extinct life. Ethan is a rival student who sabotages Tommy's work but also wants to take credit for it when it works. He threatens Tommy with expulsion from a science program. Later he becomes a supporter. Dr. Reynolds is a corrupt researcher who wants to steal Tommy's work. Ms. Hadley is a spineless teacher who goes along with Reynolds, even though she means well.
Violence & Scariness
Bad guys chase a dinosaur and cart him off, claiming he belongs to them. The dinosaur seems near death but is revived.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Jurassic School focuses on Tommy, a 12-year-old boy scientist who hatches a dinosaur from an ostrich egg while trying to win a competition rigged to benefit the tech company that sponsors it. Adults are shown as mostly corrupt or stupid. Dino-napping, theft, and embezzlement are among their many bad acts. A rival boy tries to steal the project, and a hostile big sister transitions from disdainful to supportive. The dinosaur hovers near death but recovers.
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Where to Watch
Videos and Photos
Based on 12 parent reviews
Lacks the heart of the first 4 movies
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Rivals Jurassic Park!!
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What's the Story?
In JURASSIC SCHOOL, 12-year-old science whiz Tommy creates a dinosaur using his computer, plastic toys, some yellow fluid, an ostrich egg, and a heat lamp. A corrupt researcher named Reynolds (Jon Briddell) reluctantly leads a middle school competition sponsored by his tech company but actually wants to steal any good ideas produced and then claim them as his own. His favorite boy scientist, Ethan (Ashton Pulis), sometimes sabotages the more creative Tommy's work and sometimes tries to take credit for Tommy's project when it seems to succeed. Ethan threatens to have Tommy kicked out of the sponsorship unless Tommy cooperates. The dinosaur Tommy creates gets loose, with Reynolds in hot pursuit and Tommy, his sister Chloe (Amber Patino), and Ethan, now on Tommy's side, trying to save the creature. The police get involved and the dinosaur, whose health is failing, makes a miraculous recovery.
Is It Any Good?
This movie's filmmakers seem to think that if their plot features extremely smart children, their movie can be extremely dumb. Jurassic School is dreadfully written and dreadfully executed. Anyone older than 5 will find its logic and plotting painfully inadequate, to the degree that it's unwatchable. Tommy inexplicably crumbles under pressure to do the bidding of the oily little manipulator Ethan, when he could easily show his work to someone other than the mean old Dr. Reynolds and get full, deserved credit. Creating new life is something the local newspaper might be interested in, no? And when the dinosaur hatches but Tommy decides to hide the creature instead of showing it to everyone immediately, the reason he gives for waiting makes no sense.
Making fantasy movies as cheaply as possible is no crime, but one of the main characters is a dinosaur and around 90 percent of its scenes feature a long green rubber tube with an unblinking dinosaur head attached to its end. Clearly someone off-screen is moving that tube to the left or right as scenes require in the thing's "interactions" with human actors. Also, the plot depends on the staggering availability of ostrich eggs, large numbers of which are required to conduct Tommy's many experiments. None of it makes sense and all of it is awful.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about what it means to follow one's passions. Tommy loves science and perseveres in his quest to hatch a dinosaur in Jurassic School. What passion projects do you want to see through to the end?
Cloning and DNA research are making it seem as if it might be possible to re-create extinct animals in the lab. What other scientific feats would you like to see accomplished?
How does this compare to other dinosaur movies you've seen?
- On DVD or streaming: January 31, 2017
- Cast: Gabriel Bennett, Amber Patino, Ashton Pulis, Jon Briddell
- Director: Mark Atkins
- Studios: GAIAM, The Asylum
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Run time: 85 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- Last updated: June 3, 2023
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.
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