15 Best Dinosaur Movies (For Kids & Adults) You Should See

The Best Dinosaur Movies You Should See For Kids & Adults

You may have heard of Jurassic Park, but there is a lot more to the world of movies about dinosaurs than Isla Nublar island.

From animated movies about talking dinosaurs to live actions that would make you hold tight to your popcorn, dinosaurs make good protagonists, antagonists, or just animals in the background.

There’s no age limit to being a dino fan; thus, there are movies for every age.

Aside from the Jurassic Park franchise, the best dinosaur movies for kids and adults include other additions like the popular Ice Age franchise and a host of recent and classic movies.

Here’s a list of the top 15 movies ranked according to the IMDB rating.

The Best Dinosaur Movies for Kids and Adults 

15. Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)

Brendan Fraser in Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)
Brendan Fraser in Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)

IMDb Rating: 5.8

Journey to the Center of the Earth stars Brendan Fraser as the main character, alongside Josh Hutcherson and Anita Briem.

It is an adaptation of the iconic Jules Verne novel of the same name, joining the list of other adaptations. The movie was released on July 11, 2008, by Warner Bros.

The movie centers around a volcanologist named Trevor, who had his nephew Sean come to visit.

Trevor’s brother and Sean’s father, Max, got missing before the start of the film.

This event eventually leads the volcanologist and his nephew on an adventure alongside a beautiful tour guide. This adventure ushers them to a world with dinosaurs.

14. Jurassic Park III (2001)

IMDb Rating: 5.9

Jurassic Park III is the third addition to what soon became a full franchise. It is also the third part of the original Jurassic Park trilogy.

It stars William H. Macy, Téa Leoni, and Trevor Morgan, among others. Two things make this movie unique.

Unlike the first two, it’s not based on Micheal Crichton’s novel. It was also directed by Joe Johnston rather than Steven Spielberg.

This third part of the trilogy centers around a wealthy divorced couple, a scientist in need of a grant for his research, and a missing boy, the couple’s son.

When the couple tricks the scientist with a grant offer, they find themselves on Isla sorna island. Unfortunately, they’re not the only ones on the island. 

13. Jurassic World: Dominion (2022)

IMDb Rating: 6.0 

Jurassic World: Dominion is the latest installment in the Jurassic Park franchise. It is the third part of the Jurassic World trilogy and the sixth part of the overall series.

The movie stars Chris Pratt, Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, and a lot of others. It was released last year, and though it got mainly unfavorable reviews from critics, it was a financial hit.

The movie portrays a world where humans and dinosaurs live side by side 4 years after the destruction of Isla Nublar.

Of course, this doesn’t come without some human-reptile conflict characterized by ecological damages and illegal acts.

12. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

IMDb Rating: 6.1

While we did say that there’s a lot more to movies about dinosaurs than the Jurassic Park franchise, one can’t deny that the franchise has contributed immensely to dinosaur stories.

Meet the Fallen Kingdom, the second part of the Jurassic world trilogy and the prequel to the above-mentioned movie.

It stars Chris Pratt, Jeff Goldblum, and Bryce Dallas Howard. It was released in 2018 with mixed reviews.

The story follows Owen Grady and Claire Dearing, protagonists of the Jurassic World series, alongside their adopted daughter Maisie.

When a volcanic eruption threatens the survival of the remaining dinosaurs, Owen and Claire go on a mission to save them, but they meet a fair share of opposition.

11. The Valley of Gwangi (1969)

IMDb Rating: 6.3

Though this movie is old, it remains timely. If you find yourself drawn to movies that have stood the test of time and love dinosaurs, The Valley of Gwangi is a good fit.

It is an American fantasy film starring Gila Golan, James Franciscus, and Richard Carlson.

There were speculations of Jurassic Park getting ideas from this movie, though the latter wasn’t as favorably received. 

What made The Valley of Gwangi stand out in the 1960s were the special effects used, which surpassed the norms.

The movie revolves around cowboys, an Allosaurus, and a circus. 

10. Dinosaur (2000)

IMDb Rating: 6.4

This is a family-friendly, animated movie your kids will love. Though it has been around for more than 2 decades, it still has a lot to offer to younger dinosaur lovers.

Dinosaur was released by Walt Disney Pictures in 2000. It got mixed reviews from critics but was an overall success in terms of finances. This is good, given that it was expensive to produce.

The animated movie follows the story of an orphan dinosaur named Aladar that lost his parents to a carnivorous attack.

He’s raised by lemurs and stays on an island until the place gets destroyed by a meteor. They soon join a herd of dinosaurs on a journey to find a new home. 

9. The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)

IMDb Rating: 6.5

The Lost World is both the second installment in the Jurassic Park franchise and the second movie in the Jurassic Park trilogy.

It is a loose movie adaptation of Micheal Crichton’s novel the Lost World, published two years before the movie.

Starring in the movie are Jeff Goldblum, Juliana Moore, Vince Vaughn, and Arliss Howard. The movie was released to mixed reviews. 

This sequel is set four years after the events in the first installment. The plot unveils in Isla Soma, a nearby island to Isla Nublar.

The protagonist is Ian Malcolm, a chaos theorist, and mathematician, who ventures into the islands and gets into conflict with a group having their agenda on the dinosaurs.

8. The Good Dinosaur (2015)

IMDb Rating: 6.7

The Good Dinosaur is an animated movie that may not interest many adults but is a favorite for children.

It was produced by Pixar Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney. Compared to other Pixar animated movies, The Good Dinosaur falls short but has its merits. It generated mainly positive reviews from critics.

The story unfolds in an alternative world where dinosaurs are not extinct, as the asteroid never crashed on earth.

It follows a young dinosaur named Arlo, son of Apatosaurus corn farmers Henry and Ida, who becomes friends with a caveman.

7. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009)

IMDb Rating: 6.9

Dawn of the Dinosaurs is the third installment in the Ice Age franchise, and while some viewers aren’t pleased with recent additions, this third part hit a high success, becoming the third highest-grossing film in 2009.

It is also the first 20th-century film to be released in 3D. In this part, things have changed for the protagonists with a baby on the way.

However, the more abrupt event that sets the course of the movie is when Sid the sloth gets taken by a mother dinosaur, and the crew journeys in search of it. 

6. Jurassic World (2015)

IMDb Rating: 6.9

Jurassic World is the first part of the trilogy of the same name, which all fall under the Jurassic Park series.

It stars Chris Pratt and many of the other actors we’ve seen in the aforementioned installments.

The movie garnered an overwhelmingly positive review from critics and is the highest-grossing film in the series. 

Jurassic World is set 22 years after the first trilogy, and the event goes down in Isla Nublar. The movie title refers to a dinosaur theme park running on the Island.

Things are perfect until a dinosaur escapes its enclosure, resulting in chaos. The park’s staff complicates things even more with their conspiracy.

5. King Kong (2005)

IMDd Rating: 7.2

The character King Kong first appeared in 1933, first in the novelization of the film bearing his name, then in the film itself.

The first remake of the film was released in 1976, then the 2005 version came. It stars Adrien Brody, Naomi Watts, Jack Black, and Andy Serkis.

Reviews were generally positive, and the movie was a success.

In this remake, the protagonist Carl Denham gets his crew and cast to get a mysterious Island known as Skull Island, where King Kong is.

The latter is a gorilla and not a dinosaur, but on the island, the characters meet a lot of unique dinosaurs.

4. Heart and Yummie (2010)

IMDb Rating: 7.3

Ever seen a herbivorous Tyrannosaurus? Meet Heart, the Tyrannosaurus who was raised by a herbivorous mother.

While this movie isn’t as popular as most of the ones we’ve mentioned thus far, its rating is high, an indicator that both you and your kids can enjoy it. 

Heart’s mother finds his egg abandoned and decides to adopt it. She protects and nurtures him while he grows, but it isn’t long before he discovers his differences.

Eventually, he sets out to find his path. History repeats itself as he finds an Ankolysaurus. While the trope of an adopted child has been overused, this movie is a cozy watch.

3. The Land Before Time (1988)

IMDb Rating: 7.4

This is the first of a franchise involving many parts, far more than we currently have for Jurassic Park and Ice Age.

There are 13 sequels in this franchise already. However, the original still retains a special place in the hearts of many, especially those who grew up watching it. 

The protagonists are all dinosaurs, an attribute that distinguishes it from many other movies on this list where the protagonist is usually a human (or a gorilla, as the case may be).

The story portrays the life and survival of a young Apatosaurus named Littlefoot. 

2. King Kong (1933)

IMDb Rating: 7.9

The 2005 remake is great, but it can’t be compared to the first one released in 1933.

Though it may be on the same level in effects, the original King Kong is rated higher in IMDB. It stars actors like Fay Wray, Bruce Cabot, and Robert Armstrong. 

Like the remake, this movie is about a gorilla, and in this case, the said gorilla attempts to possess a woman (that’s why the genre is fantasy horror).

However, there’s also the appearance of several dinosaurs. 

1. Jurassic Park (1993)

Jurassic Park (1993)
© Jurassic Park (1993) Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment.

IMDb Rating: 8.2

The ultimate standard for dinosaur movies remains the original Jurassic Park, despite the many sequels and other fascinating dino films being made.

It remains a classic with many honors to its name, including the Best Visual Effect at the 1994 Oscar and a spot in the Library of Congress.

The movie centers around a wildlife park built by a wealthy businessman named John Hammond.

Conflict begins when things in the park go awry, trapping some visitors and Hammond’s grandchildren.

There’s a lot of suspense in this movie to keep you hooked even after many years, and the effects aren’t fully outdated yet. 

Wrap Up 

Dinosaur films are awesome for movie lovers, and many on our list can be included in your movie list for family night, a movie date, or a personal movie time on Friday.

The best movies about dinosaurs remain in the Jurassic franchise, especially the original, but you have more options if you wish to explore.