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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Each episode teaches a different social-emotional episode about teamwork, persistence, and more. There's some light dinosaur-related learning too (though humans and dinosaurs are alive at the same time, so there are some factual inaccuracies).
Characters demonstrate positive behavior, and the episode plots help kids learn a social-emotional lesson.
Positive Role Models
The show has excellent representation with a racially diverse adoptive family. The representation would be even stronger if the episodes talked more explicitly about the kids being adopted, and mentioned the characters' racial backgrounds by name. The characters all make good choices and model positive behavior.
Violence & Scariness
Moderate scariness in dinosaur-related adventures. Some moments where characters are in a bit of danger and some semi-threatening dinosaurs, but never enough that it seems like the kids are going to get hurt. There's also some mild slapstick violence, for example where a bucking dinosaur sends a kid high up into the air and he lands on the ground in a cartoonish heap.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dino Ranch is about a family that lives on a dude ranch, except that they're managing dinosaurs instead of livestock. The show features a racially diverse adoptive family, and all of the characters are great role models. There's a moderate amount of scariness as the family deals with problems on the ranch, though it never seems like any characters are about to get hurt. Parents of young dino fans should consider their child's sensitivity to things like loud, sometimes aggressive dinosaurs and scenes where human kids are in a bit of danger.
Is It Any Good?
Dino Ranch will delight dinosaur-obsessed kids, but less prehistorically-inclined kids may find the show somewhat lackluster (and grown-ups may wonder why in the world there are dinosaurs on a ranch). Looking past that inaccuracy, the dinosaur ranch conceit is pretty fun. Viewers will especially love seeing the human kids taking care of adorable baby dinosaurs and engaging in wild-west lassoing antics atop of dinosaurs. All sorts of cool dinosaurs are showcased in the stories, so there's a bit of educational content sprinkled throughout.
The episodes do a good job of highlighting social-emotional lessons, but the family members are such unrealistically perfect role models it makes the storylines feel less real and the takeaways less potent. Also, the pro-social messages are more aimed at preschool kids, and some of the dinosaur adventures may be too scary for that age group. It's wonderful that this show is making an effort at diverse representation, but it would be even stronger if the episodes talked more explicitly about the kids being adopted and mentioned the characters' cultural backgrounds by name.
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.