By Emily Ashby,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Kid scientist can see real dinos in fun educational series.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show is an excellent primer of basic knowledge about dinosaurs like what they looked like, how and what they ate, how they protected themselves from predators, etc. There's general knowledge (some dinosaurs were scaly and others had feathers) and traits specific to individual dinosaur types. For kids who already know a lot about the topic, the show offers CGI re-creations of many different dinosaurs.
Education is driven by passion and interests. Science is fun and exciting. When faced with a challenge, use what you know -- and critical thinking skills -- to come up with a solution.
Positive Role Models
Dana is smart and curious, and she's able to draw comparisons between what she learns of dinosaur behavior and the problems she has to solve in her own experiences. She also makes the best of every situation and never lets a learning opportunity go to waste. Her older sister is infinitely patient with her, and they have a friendly relationship. Dana's family is diverse and includes a very involved dad.
Violence & Scariness
No violence, but some of the dinosaurs come across as menacing with sharp teeth, long claws, and loud roars. The fact that some larger ones eat smaller ones (and even babies) is discussed.
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Products & Purchases
The series comes on the heels of its predecessor, Dino Dan.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dino Dana is a continuation of the series Dino Dan. But this time a young female paleontologist acquires a special field guide that allows her to see dinosaurs in her everyday life. The show's blend of its live-action setting and the CGI animation that brings the dinosaurs to life will appeal to the imaginations of preschoolers, who see Dana learn by observing the creatures' behavior and applying what she discovers to a problem she's facing. Kids will learn dinosaurs' names, as well as pick up information on their general appearance, eating habits, defense mechanisms, and more. Also noteworthy is Dana's close relationship with her older sister.
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Videos and Photos
Based on 22 parent reviews
Scary for a 5 year old
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Fantastic, Inclusive, POC, Female-led Show!
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What's the Story?
Nine-year-old DINO DANA (Michaela Luci) loves everything about dinosaurs, and she's hard-pressed to find a book she hasn't read on the subject. So when a clerk at the library offers her his own Dino Field Guide to peruse, she can hardly believe her luck. Imagine her surprise when she discovers that not only does it challenge her to learn more about dinosaurs, but it also allows her to see them walking around her own neighborhood! Now Dana can use what she observes about the dinosaurs' behavior to answer her questions about them and to help her solve problems that come up in her own experiences.
Is It Any Good?
Just like Dino Dan before it, this combination live-action/CGI presentation will delight young dinosaur enthusiasts. The prehistoric creatures come to life in full color and size in and around Dana's home and community, dodging traffic on the roads and navigating the bookshelves at the local library but only visible to her. While the concept feels hokey to adults (Really? No one else sees that T. rex lumbering down the street?), preschoolers will eagerly overlook these kinds of logistical questions.
Dino Dana also does well in passing the baton from previous paleontologist-in-training Dan to a female scientist with all the know-how and enthusiasm of her predecessor. She's a great ambassador for girls in STEM learning and in the broader theme of following your passion in life. What's more, she enjoys a positive relationship with her older sister, Saara (Saara Chaudry), who encourages her interests.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about science. Kids: Are you fascinated by dinosaurs like Dana is? What other science subjects interest you? How does studying science help us understand the world around us?
How does Dana apply what she learns about dinosaurs to problems in her life? Why is it important to learn lessons from our experiences? When have you done so? How does this help us become a better problem solver in the future?
Dana is surrounded by people who foster her interests. Who encourages you to follow your dreams? Where do you find inspiration and information about the subjects that interest you? Do you have role models, either in general or in those specific fields?
Families can talk about curiosity. Why is it an important character strength?
- Premiere date: May 26, 2017
- Cast: Saara Chaudry, Nicola Correia-Damude, Michaela Luci
- Network: Amazon Prime Video
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Dinosaurs, Brothers and Sisters, Great Girl Role Models, Science and Nature
- Character Strengths: Curiosity
- TV rating: TV-G
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: July 31, 2022
Did we miss something on diversity?
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