The Rise and Fall of T-Rex

Movie review by
JK Sooja, Common Sense Media
The Rise and Fall of T-Rex Movie Poster Image
Brief, poorly edited docu has some violent images.
  • NR
  • 2015
  • 15 minutes

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Realistic computer graphic representations and images of T-Rex chasing, biting, and eating prey, like Triceratops. Blood can be seen around the mouth of T-Rex. A few scenes highlight how T-Rex has popped up in popular culture -- e.g., T-Rex fighting Godzilla. During visual representation of large asteroid that crashed into earth, many depictions of things and dinosaurs on fire, burning; destruction. Molten lava rolls over dinosaurs; balls of fire rain down, piercing Pterodactylus wings; and little dinosaurs run for their lives as huge tsunami waves crash down on them.


Main point of documentary features Tyrannosaurus rex as it has been popularized in culture: some images of T-Rex in various shows, cartoons, movies might encourage further consumer engagement with any franchise with a T-Rex. Jurassic Park, the movie, is specifically highlighted briefly.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Rise and Fall of T-Rex is a short documentary about the popular cultural impact of the T-Rex. This brief, slapped-together history of the discovery of the first T-Rex through to its hugely popular enjoyment today features some light educational material and information. Lots of the images are computer-generated, but many look quite dated. It appears this could have been a section or part of another longer documentary about lots of dinosaurs, not only the T-Rex. There are some violent images with depictions of when the large asteroid crashed to earth and its aftermath. Dinosaurs and nature burn and die, and fiery balls of debris stream down from the sky and burn through anything in their way. Some other violent, bloody moments occur when T-Rex hunts, chases, bites, and eats prey, like Triceratops.  

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What's the story?

In THE RISE AND FALL OF T-REX, the Tyrannosaurus rex gets a brief profile. From its discovery to its various popular culture representations over the years, this dinosaur remains popular, and our fascination with the apex predator may never subside. With the most powerful bite of all dinosaurs, how could it ever fail to sustain our interest?

Is it any good?

This short docu about the Tyrannosaurus rex feels slapped together -- perhaps part of another, larger project -- and uses lots of cobbled-together and dated visual material. If The Rise and Fall of T-Rex was a full-length and committed documentary, with a clear introduction, an attempt at beginning, middle, and end, and maybe a consistent tone of voice, it might be essential viewing for any younger viewer just getting into all things T-Rex. But as it is, presentation- and production-wise, it feels like a poorly edited YouTube clip.

There are, however, bits of fun knowledge here and there. For example, of all the meat-eating dinosaurs, the T-Rex had the biggest brain. The only thing that ate the T-Rex was another T-Rex. Iridium is rare on earth but common in comets and asteroids. The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs was 6 miles across, and it slammed into earth at a speed of 80,000 miles per hour. Dino-obsessed kids who like to collect facts might enjoy this brief movie.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the journey that the Tyrannosaurus rex has enjoyed over the last 100 years. Of all the different visual representations of T-Rex in The Rise and Fall of T-Rex, which ones are your favorite, and why? What popular culture image of T-Rex do you think is the best?

  • What did you learn about the Tyrannosaurus rex that you didn't know before? How could you learn more?

  • Do you think we'll find out anything different about the Tyrannosaurus rex in the future? What new information would you like to learn?

  • If T-Rex is "the coolest of all dinosaurs," then which dinosaur is the second coolest? Why?

Movie details

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For kids who love dinosaurs

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