Anyone who has ever been a kid has had a love affair with dinosaurs. The friendly Brontosaurus, the deadly Velociraptor, the monstrous Tyrannosaurus rex, and more are the characters of long ago that used to rule the Earth before their tiny brains and bad luck did them in. But humanity as tried to pay tribute to the dinosaurs by featuring them in movies, which they would probably not appreciate if they were here to see them. But they are pretty cool.

"The Lost World"


The original prehistoric movie, this stop-motion classic features many of the same stop-motion animators and special effects artists who would go onto create "King Kong." The story has to do with a group of explorers who discover a prehistoric area where dinosaurs have somehow been preserved. Humans, dinosaurs, stop-motion animation ... what more are you looking for, here?

"King Kong"

And since one prehistoric movie of a type is never enough, why not go full ape and watch "King Kong" while you're at it? Skull Island is home to all kinds of prehistoric creatures, including the Stegosaurus, the Brontosaurus, a T. Rex, and in a deleted scene, giant spiders. You don't remember learning about giant spiders in school, eh? Well it's a good thing we have "King Kong" on DVD.


Of course, we're only referring to the "Rite of Spring" chapter of "Fantasia," but if you're a dinosaur fan it's very difficult to do better. The section starts out by depicting the origins of Earth, but quickly progresses to our friends the dinosaurs, as they tromp about the Earth doing dinosaur things and getting into fights with each other. Then: Extinction. And it's one of the coolest bits of animation ever to come out of Disney (or anyplace else).

"The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms"

One disadvantage of the "pure" prehistoric movie is that there's an element of carnage and destruction missing thanks to the lack of modern buildings and civilization for the dinosaurs to stomp around in. So some dinosaur fans prefer a hybrid model of prehistoric action, as in this sci-fi classic in which a reanimated dinosaur rampages through New York City. Featuring stop-motion animation by Ray Harryhausen!

"One Million Years BC"

Then again, since in reality no dinosaur ever met a human being, almost all prehistoric movies are hybrids. Like "One Million Years BC," a nearly dialogue-free adventure starring Raquel Welch and set one million years before Criminy. And even if you somehow get bored with all the dinosaur attacks, you've still got Welch in a fur, prehistoric bikini. Yabba-dabba-doo, you know?

"Jurassic Park"

Scientists and civilians alike have dreamed of bringing the Jurassic era to life in the modern age. What could go wrong? Steven Spielberg's blockbuster "Jurassic Park" answers that question in exciting detail, featuring humans being mauled, chased, and otherwise jeopardized by the great lizards of the past, brought to life through some scientific mumbo-jumbo.


Another animated dinosaur movie from Disney, this one featuring state-of-the-art (for the year 2000) CGI technology (and real location filming for the backgrounds and settings of the movie). Originally conceived as having no dialog and being a realistic look at the lives of dinosaurs, "Dinosaur" was changed to a more conventional cartoon with talking animals at some point during pre-production. The visuals are still a treat for dinosaur fans, though.

"The Tree of Life"

Looking at a plot synopsis for Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" might lead you to believe it's dinosaur-free. After all, how could a drama about a suburban family in 1950s Texas have any overlap with dinosaurs? But what the plot synopsis might not mention is that Malick is interested in far more than the characters of the story - he's interested in the origins of the universe itself. Which happens to include at least one dinosaur.