Dinosaur Train

Common Sense Media says

Young dino's travels teach kids about science and diversity.





What parents need to know

Educational value

The series is rich in scientific content that's just right for preschoolers. The characters incorporate terms like "hypothesis," "herbivore," and "carnivore" into the storylines, illustrating their meanings for kids. Preschoolers learn about the characteristics and lifestyles of different dinosaur species, and the Dinosaur Train's journeys to different periods within the Mesozoic era introduce kids to the concept of a timeline.

Positive messages

Encourages learning new things and solving problems. When the characters meet new dinosaur friends, they enjoy discovering their similarities as well as what unique traits and skills set them apart from one another, reminding kids that being different is OK and that each of us has special talents to share.

Positive role models

All of the adult dinosaurs are patient and caring with the youngsters and encourage them to explore their world to discover the answers to the questions they have about it.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

The show includes some plugs for its Web site.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this series encourages preschoolers’ curiosity about the world around them as it introduces them to basic scientific principles and several species of prehistoric creatures. Each story exposes kids to science terms like "hypothesis" and "herbivore," illustrating their meanings in kid-friendly ways. In addition to its educational quality, the show also celebrates differences and encourages respect for others, as Buddy’s travels lead him to make many new friends whose lifestyles and appearances are very different from his.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

DINOSAUR TRAIN centers on a young Tyrannosaurus Rex named Buddy (voiced by Phillip Corlett) and his adoptive Pteranodon family, who live in a giant nest near the sea. Inquisitive Buddy is always on the lookout for adventure, and there’s no shortage of it when he and his siblings Tiny (Claire Corlett), Shiny (Erika-Shaye Gair), and Don board the Dinosaur Train and speed through time to meet other prehistoric creatures. As questions arise, Buddy comes up with theories and eagerly makes discoveries that will solve the scientific riddles he faces. The show also includes live-action segments starring paleontologist Scott Sampson, who chats with kids about science and fun dinosaur facts.

Is it any good?


This delightful series combines typical preschool interests like trains, dinosaurs, and a healthy appetite for adventure -- and the resulting tales feed kids’ vivid imaginations. Through Buddy’s travels within the Mesozoic era, young viewers learn about different species’ lifestyles, diets, and unique characteristics. Kids are also encouraged to think critically about the world around them; comparing dinosaurs’ traits to those of modern animals, for example, and learning to classify different species by size, appearance, and lifestyle habits.

And the show’s value isn’t limited to early paleontology education or its fun take on basic scientific processes. There are also plenty of positive messages about tolerance and respect for differences. Buddy’s adventures introduce him to a range of species with obvious differences, and his curiosity allows him to discover not only the unique traits that separate him from his new friends, but also the basic similarities that make them all alike.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the dinosaurs lived. Kids: How was the Earth different during their time? How did different species adapt to their surroundings? What traits differentiated the species?

  • How do scientists work to answer our questions about the past and the future? What tools do they use to uncover and piece together clues? How do modern inventions improve our lives?

  • Kids: What did you learn from this series? What questions do you still have about prehistoric creatures? What other shows have you seen that teach you something about science?

TV details

This review of Dinosaur Train was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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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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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 2, 4, and 4 year old Written byCourtneyB January 19, 2010
Don't like the evolution tid bits thrown in after each section.
Parent Written byStayatHomeDad June 10, 2011

What happened to "All GODS creatures"/

I love this show and so does my 8month old, as soon as he hears the opening song he turns towards the TV and starts bouncing. However, I noticed this morning that the mother does not say "We are all GODS creatures" in the opening song. That bothers me VERY much.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bySamanthamaster1 November 20, 2014

This is one of the most educational cartoons out there now-a-days!

Dinosaur Train is very educational, because, they teach everyone about dinosaurs, which ones are carnivores, omnivores, herbivores, which ones lived in each different time period of the mesozoic era including the triassic, jurassic, and, cretaceous, and, they compare dinosaurs/animals from the mesozoic time period to modern animals. I also enjoy the fun songs they sing. This show offers the best of both worlds, educational and entertaining. I recommend school-aged/college children should watch this show as well, because, they don't teach evolution in school anymore. I learned a lot from watching this show and this show inspired me to have an interest in dinosaurs. This show has educated, inspired, and, entertained me in the last five years. I've been watching it since it came out on Monday September 7, 2009, I was 15 (one day before my 16th birthday), I was watching it then and I still watch it now. Another thing I enjoy about the show is they have a paleontologist talk in between segments of the show talking about dinosaurs/animals, I think that part is the most educational. I recommend this cartoon, because, your child will be both educated and entertained at the same time, that's really hard to find in a lot of cartoons, that's why PBS Kids offer's the best children's programming. This is the only cartoon I actually learn from on PBS Kids, the other cartoons I watch on PBS Kids are just for entertainment. The other cartoon channels are NOT nearly as good as the cartoons on PBS Kids. Everyone should watch Dinosaur Train, because, you're never too old to learn, no matter what age. Dinosaur Train is educational in three ways, palentology, science, and, natural history. This is pure wholesome entertainment. I think the three most wholesome shows are dinosaur train, clifford, and, arthur.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


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