Dinosaur King TV Poster Image

Dinosaur King

Card-game-based anime has too many fierce battles.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show doesn't go to any effort to promote specific positive messages or themes, though characters do have to work together as a team. That said, violence is also the default answer to conflict.

Positive role models

Adults are cast as ineffective and immature, and they often defer to the kids for guidance. Villains are willing to place anyone in danger to reach their goals. A young female character often speaks rudely to adults when she's irritated.

Violence

Dinosaur attacks are loud and violent. They bite and hit each other -- and humans are sometimes injured, too. There's no blood, but bandages temporarily cover their wounds. In video game fashion, dinosaurs' injuries can be reversed when a character uses a particular "move" card.

Sex

One female adult wears tight, oddly shaded bodysuits that draw attention to her pelvic and chest areas.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The series is based on a card game from Sega, so young fans may take an interest in the tie-in products.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, much like the Pokemon conglomerate, this anime-style cartoon is based on a card game (and thus part of a merchandising line). Violence is the show's main issue; the dinosaurs do battle multiple times in each episode, and they bite, hit, and collide with each other. Their injuries, though bloodless, can leave them impaired, but the effects are often reversible when the human characters use of a particular game card. Injuries to humans aren't as common, but some end up wearing bandages temporarily.

What's the story?

Based on a Sega card game, the anime DINOSAUR KING follows the adventures of young Rex, Max, and Zoe, who stumble on some mysterious stones and cards that give them the power to summon dinosaurs from the past. They soon find themselves caught up in a violent battle with Dr. Z and his Alpha Gang, who want to use the dinosaurs to take over the world. With the right combination of cards and stones, a player can bring to life a flesh-and-bone animal. When a card is found, both teams race to the site and the dinosaurs they already control do battle for rights to the newfound one. The challenges also include additional cards that can help the players and their dinosaurs escape sticky situations. Certain cards, for example, can re-energize wounded dinosaurs or give them additional power.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

If all of this sounds a bit too familiar, you're not alone. Dinosaur King bears plenty of design and plot similarities to the ubiquitous Pokemon conglomerate, so parents who are averse to the connections between TV series and seemingly endless marketing machines may want to steer clear of this one. There's little of substance here anyway, with mostly weak adult characters, no strong positive messages to speak of, and high levels of unrealistically bloodless violence.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about animated violence. Kids: Do you often see violence in the cartoons that you watch? Does it seem real to you? Why or why not?

  • What sets animated violence apart from live-action violence? Do you think seeing fighting on TV can make the people who watch it more violent?

  • What do you know about how dinosaurs lived and died? Which dinosaurs are your favorites? Why? Would you like to study dinosaurs and other extinct species?

TV details

Premiere date:September 8, 2007
Cast:Darren Dunstan, Rachael Lillis, Veronica Taylor
Network:CW
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Dinosaurs, Magic and fantasy, Adventures
TV rating:TV-Y7-FV
Available on:DVD

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Kid, 11 years old May 8, 2012

Cannot stress the terror enough.

I even tried putting safety as a concern, even though the action is illegal! The reason. SPINOSAURUS. ABUSE. It's the internet's thought to the big daddy of the dinosaurs in a lackluster Japanese anime! May or may not be from the creators of Dragon Ball Z, worst show on Television.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written byKevlad June 3, 2013

Fantastic!

It is a great series which I personally enjoyed watching. I would recommend it to any families who want their kids imagination to expand!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent of a 16 year old Written bykristianjl May 17, 2010

Mostly a Missed Opportunity

Its not just that Dinosaur King is a tv commercial for a Sega video game... its not just that the producers regurgitate Pokemon and its shallow characters - its that they take naturally terrifying and awesome dinosaurs - which kids love without reservation just as they are - and give them superpowers. My 4 year old neighbor insists that T-Rex does not breathe fire. "They're called dragons", he said! Dinosaur King's claim to any educational value is pathetic compared to what could have been done. Most of all this is a tremendous missed opportunity for what might have been!
What other families should know
Too much consumerism