Dino Squad

 
(i)

 

Tween cartoon offers action but little substance.

What parents need to know

Educational value

The show is intended to entertain rather than educate. But there are some positive take-aways about teamwork.

Positive messages

Five mismatched teens must learn to work together and combine their individual abilities to defeat a villain.

Positive role models

The "good guys" and "bad guys" are clearly delineated, and the former work well together as a team to defeat the latter. That said, force is their default form of conflict resolution.

Violence & scariness

There's no blood, but frequent fantasy cartoon violence includes scenes of dinosaurs chasing humans and fighting each other. Human-to-dinosaur transformations may be frightening to youngsters.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that young children may be alarmed by the frequent animated human-to-dinosaur transformations and the battle scenes among the fierce-looking prehistoric creatures, but the bloodless fantasy violence won't bother the show's target tween audience. While this action cartoon doesn't have too much questionable content, it's also short on strongly positive messages -- aside from the recurring theme of teamwork (the core group of mismatched teens must learn to overcome their differences and work together to counter a villain).

What's the story?

A science class field trip takes an unexpected turn for five teens, Fiona, Buzz, Caruso, Rodger, and Max, who accidentally encounter a primordial goo that alters their DNA and causes them to transform into dinosaurs. They soon learn that their science teacher, Ms. Moynihan, and local businessman Victor Veloci are actually distant descendants of two ancient Velociraptors who survived the dinosaurs' extinction millions of years ago. Through time, the lone surviving species have evolved and adapted, leaving them unrecognizable as anything but the humans they appear to be. Veloci has developed a solution that can change any living being's DNA, reverting it back to a prehistoric version of itself, and intends to return the world to the Mesozoic era -- the height of the dinosaurs' heyday. DINO SQUAD follows the adventures of the dinosaur-morphing teens as they work against the nefarious plot to return all living things to prehistoric form.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Dino Squad is sure to be a popular choice among tween boys thanks to its combination of fantasy and action. And aside from some physical altercations among fierce-looking dinosaurs (there's no blood or death), there's really little for parents to worry about. That said, the show comes up short on the positive as well, making few attempts to teach any lessons aside from the recurring theme of the importance of teamwork. The most young viewers can hope to learn -- if they don't already know it, of course -- is how to recognize and identify the various dinosaur species.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about cartoon violence. How is watching animated battles different from seeing live-action fighting? Are fantasy clashes less upsetting than more realistic ones? Why or why not?

  • Kids: What do you know about how dinosaurs became extinct? What species of dinosaurs can you identify? How do the different types compare in size, strength, defenses, diet, etc.?

TV details

Cast:Ben Beck, Ian Eli Lee
Network:CBS
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Dinosaurs, Magic and fantasy, Adventures
TV rating:TV-Y7
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Dino Squad was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 14 year old Written bykristianjl April 9, 2008
 

Lost Opportunity

Having worked in kids television off and on for almost 17 years I have strong feelings when it comes to squandered opportunities. Sadly, there are two new dinosaur series that both fall flat. "Dinosaur King" on FOX -a Pokemon clone with super-powered dinosaurs... and "Dino Squad" on CBS and its throw-away storyline about infected teens turning into dinosaurs. Dinosaurs are the perfect vehicle for teaching science... real science. And you wouldn't even have to sacrifice action, comedy, or character development. Could I do better? You bet I could!
Teen, 14 years old Written byReviewer X1 October 13, 2009
 

"Overcooked, underdone."

While it has everything that a 7 year-old boy would love, it also had hard and painful environmental messages that it shoved done your throat at every opportunity. So it was a tad preachy. The only reason I still watch it every saturday is because I hope that one day the characters will develop. I don't think it really has any violence. Mostly they just herd up Dino-bees then chill em and spill em.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 5 year old Written byashalthoff January 11, 2015
 

Teaches good lessons

My son and I watch Dino squad on netflix sometimes. He is really into dinosaurs right now. This show actually does a fairly decent job of teaching about life lessons. Every episode has some sort of social lesson like how to deal with bullies, spending time with family, how it's ok to ask for help when you need it, etc. Yes there are some little bit scary scenes with the dinosaurs attacking the bad guys, but it's no worse than power rangers, Spiderman, or superhero squad.
What other families should know
Great messages

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