Dinosaurs

Jurassic World
Jurassic World

Brought to life on the big screen, dinosaurs represent a pinnacle of cinematic wonder by giving audiences the chance to experience a slice of ancient history that has long captivated the public imagination. With scientific discovery around these majestic and terrifying beasts and the development of cinema technology and special effects progressing side-by-side, this selection captures snapshots in time of how, at that moment, we believed dinosaurs looked and behaved as well as action-packed spectacles that cast the dinosaurs as ferocious monsters.

From younger students to more mature classes, many of these films act as fabulous stimuli to get young people talking about animals, history, science and ethics without sacrificing any entertainment value.

The Land Before Time

CertU

Age group5–14

Duration65 mins

The Land Before Time(1988)

Charming animated tale of a group of young dinosaurs left to fend for themselves after an earthquake separates them from their families.

This animated adventure has truly stood the test of time. Despite the perils and tragedies along the journey for these young dinos, the power of friendship is shown as the force which will help them survive. This film does not shy away from recreating the prehistorical natural world with all its beauty and danger yet has still been enthralling young audiences since its release.

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The Good Dinosaur

CertPG

Age group7–14

Duration101 mins

The Good Dinosaur(2015)

Prehistoric adventure about a lost young dinosaur who must have the courage to face his fears and find his way home.

This Pixar film reimagines history with dinosaurs having survived to develop civilization alongside their cruder human neighbours. Sweet-natured young dinosaur Arlo discovers his strength when he befriends a young human boy named Spot and together they embrace new forms of communication to help one another find their way home.

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Jurassic Park

CertPG

Age group11+

Duration121 mins

Jurassic Park(1993)

Eye-popping Steven Spielberg creature-feature in which dinosaurs cloned from dormant DNA by a research organisation run amok.

A adventure story from Steven Spielberg that still resonates as an incredible cinematic experience, exploring the ramifications of scientific progress and the ethics of DNA technology whilst still thrilling and captivating for its entire running time. Arguably the greatest of all the dinosaur films.

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One Million Years BC

CertPG

Age group7+

Duration96 mins

One Million Years BC(1966)

Fun and spectacular adventure about the trials of a caveman and his girlfriend in the dangerous prehistoric era.

Having fun with the (factually inaccurate) concept that dinosaurs and cavemen lived side by side, this heavily stylised slice of 1960s cinema from the famed Hammer production house explores the daily survival of prehistoric humans under threat from vicious monsters, which were puppets all painstakingly created by master animator Ray Harryhausen. A special effects masterpiece.

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Walking With Dinosaurs

CertU

Age group7–11

Duration87 mins

Walking With Dinosaurs(2013)

See and feel what it was like when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, in a story where an underdog Pachyrhinosaurus triumphs to become a hero for the ages.

Framed by the wonder of discovery, this hyper-realistically recreated CGI animation was a revelation upon its release in 2013, providing key information on each species it reveals, along an epic journey of relocation after a group of T-Rexes destroy the home of a young Pachyrhinosaurus named Patchi.

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Jurassic World

Cert12

Age group11–16

Duration119 mins

Jurassic World(2015)

22 years after the events of the first film, the park is finally open again...but sinister forces have their eyes on the prehistoric inhabitants.

Expanding on the success of its predecessors from couple of decades earlier, this film sees the park on the infamous Isla Nublar reopen with several nostalgic nods to the original. This time however, ethical dilemmas come to the fore as the military potential of dinosaurs is explored.

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Journey To The Centre Of The Earth

CertU

Age group7+

Duration124 mins

Journey To The Centre Of The Earth(1959)

Exciting adventure in which a professor who finds a clue in volcanic rock believes he can reach the Earth's centre, but is chased by a ruthless rival.

In this adaptation of Jules Verne’s famous novel of exploration, a team of scientists find a clue that leads them to descend beneath the Earth’s surface in a race of discovery against a Swedish professor. The wonders (and terrors) from long ago that they find preserved beneath the earth’s crust include fearsome creatures that walked the earth 65 million years ago.

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Night at the Museum

CertPG

Age group7–14

Duration104 mins

Night at the Museum(2006)

Adventure about a night watchman at the Museum of Natural History, where all the exhibits spring to life when it gets dark.

The closest we can get to dinosaurs in the 21st century is by visiting a museum and seeing the gigantic skeletons of these fearsome creatures up close. Often awe-inspiring in real life, this kooky and imaginative comedy shows us just how what happens when those dinosaur bones come alive at night.

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