Dinosaurs on film

I’m currently engaged in a little side project to my research and as part of this I’m trying to make a list of films that feature dinosaurs. This only includes films focused directly on on dinosaurs (so sadly ‘Pterodactyl’ loses out) and things that either are obviously dinosaurs, or are identified as such in the films (so ‘Reptilicus!’ survives despite it really not being very dinosaur like at all). I’m also sticking to those which had a cinema release (bad luck ‘Dinoshark’) and I’ve generally avoided sequels (or this would just include a list of Godzilla flicks) or remakes though some exceptions are made. I’m also trying to stick to things where dinosaurs are a major part of the film (so ‘Journey to the centre of the Earth only just scrapes in and ‘Fantasia’ loses out). I think I’ve actually got the majority of them but if you know of any I’ve missed out on, do please add them in the comments.

Gertie the dinosaur – 1914

The Ghost of Slumber Mountain – 1918

The Lost World – 1925

Creation – 1931

King Kong – 1933

The Cave Dwellers (One million BC) – 1940

The Unknown Island – 1948

The Lost Continent – 1951

The Beast from 20 000 Fathoms – 1953

Godzilla – 1954

The Beast of Hollow Mountain – 1956

The Land Unknown – 1957

The Giant Behemoth – 1959

Journey to the Center of the Earth – 1959

Dinosaurus! – 1960

Reptilicus! – 1961

1000000 years BC – 1966

The Valley of Gwangi – 1969

When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth – 1970

The Land that Time Forgot – 1975

The People that Time Forgot – 1977

Planet of Dinosaurs – 1977

Caveman – 1981

Baby, the Secret of Lost Legend – 1985

The Land Before Time – 1988

Carnosaur – 1993

Prehysteria – 1993

Jurassic Park – 1993

Dinosaur – 2000

King Kong – 2005

Land of the Lost – 2009

49 Responses to “Dinosaurs on film”


  1. 1 Dave Godfrey 30/03/2012 at 8:40 am

    How could you forget “One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing”?

    Hasn’t come out yet, but “Dinotasia” is basically a repackaged Dinosaur Revolutions. I’d also include the Flintstones, Behemoth The Sea Monster and Gorgo (neither of which I’ve not see, so I don’t know if they’re specifically identified as a dinosaur), The Dinosaur and the Missing Link: A Prehistoric Tragedy probably counts too, although I’d not even heard of that before looking around IMDB.

    • 2 David Hone 30/03/2012 at 8:48 am

      I’d forgotten OOODIM entirely! Loved that as a kid. Not sure it quite fits what I was thinking of which might be why I missed it, but that really should go in, thanks!

      And I missed the Flintstones for obvious reasons, but yeah, that should probably go in too.

      • 3 Dave Godfrey 30/03/2012 at 8:53 pm

        One more early one:

        Brute Force – 1914

        I’d also point out that One Million Years BC is a remake of One Million BC.

        There’s also a 2005 version of “A Sound of Thunder” (which was originally a Ray Bradbury short story, and ended up as an episode of “The Ray Bradbury Theatre”.

      • 4 David Hone 30/03/2012 at 10:13 pm

        “I’d also point out that One Million Years BC is a remake of One Million BC.”

        I’d never heard that before, I’d assumed it was a coincidence though I haven’t seen the ‘original’.

  2. 6 Dr Adam Stuart Smith (@adamstuartsmith) 30/03/2012 at 10:41 am

    You must consult The Illustrated Dinosaur Movie Guide:

    Although it is out of date, I still throughly enjoy thumbing through my copy.

    Also, sounds like films with plesiosaurs don’t count in this strictly dinosaur affair: http://www.plesiosauria.com/fiction.php

  3. 9 Dr Adam Stuart Smith (@adamstuartsmith) 30/03/2012 at 10:46 am

    Oh, here’s a recent one you missed:
    The Tree of Life (2011)

    • 10 David Hone 30/03/2012 at 11:01 am

      I didn’t see it, but I was led to believe dinosaurs didn’t feature much. Were they in it as a major plot point / had more than few mins screen time?

  4. 11 Zhen 30/03/2012 at 2:37 pm

    The Last Dinosaur – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076294/

    Also Dave, I don’t think When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth counts. There’s less dinosaur footage in there than Fantasia. There was a Chasmosaurus and that was it. The rest were Plesiosaur, Giant Crab, Pterosaur, and some big iguana. The Chasmosaur appeared for like… a minute?

  5. 13 Your Name's not Bruce? 30/03/2012 at 3:38 pm

    IIRC, O’Brien’s Creation was never finished. Though intended for release, it never made it to theatres as far as I know.

  6. 15 Kilian Hekhuis 30/03/2012 at 4:17 pm

    What about the 2008 remake of “Journey to the Center of the Earth”? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0373051/

  7. 16 Kilian Hekhuis 30/03/2012 at 4:22 pm

    Also, Godzilla isn’t a dinosaur, it’s a mutated lizzard. Not including sequels and remakes I find a bit dubious, but hey, it’s your list…

    • 17 Zhen 30/03/2012 at 4:36 pm

      You’re think of the American 1998 “Godzilla”. The original was always a dinosaur. There was even a dinosaur scene of the pre-mutated Godzillasaurus in Godzilla Vs King Ghidorah.

    • 18 David Hone 30/03/2012 at 4:55 pm

      Keeping out sequals and remakes is purely practical for what I want out of this (which is, as I say, for another project). The point is to get a very strong flavour for what has come before, rather than make and exhaustive list and obviously that means it is going to be subjective when it come to things like Fantasia.

      And yeah, the original Godzilla is supposed to be (in theory at least) a dinosaur.

      • 19 Kilian Hekhuis 03/04/2012 at 12:52 pm

        The “Journey” remake I mentioned above is neither a sequal nor a remake of the “original” movie, as both are based on the book…

  8. 20 Craig Dylke 30/03/2012 at 4:37 pm

    You forgot the completing third to the Doug McClure trilogy with Edgar Rice Burrough’s At the Earths Core in 1975. While the critters might be called Dinosaurs once and a while they are anything but. However I think it would be wrong not to include it, as Peter Cushing’s performance makes up for all they got wrong about Pellucidar…

  9. 22 Evan 30/03/2012 at 5:12 pm

    You forgot this: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108526/

    And as ridiculous as it is, this also happened: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1080016/ – i guess this kind of counts as a sequel, but there weren’t any dinos in the other two, so it kind of counts.

    Also you say no remakes or sequels, but you have two versions of King Kong on there.

    • 23 David Hone 30/03/2012 at 5:22 pm

      Didn’t know what to do with Ice Age 3, been toying with it and on balance it should probably go in.

      Never even *heard* of ‘We’re back’, passed me by completely.

  10. 24 danlawver 30/03/2012 at 5:16 pm

    We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story (1993)

  11. 25 Zhen 30/03/2012 at 5:18 pm

    Oh, you forgot “We’re Back, A Dinosaur Story”.

  12. 27 Zhen 30/03/2012 at 6:03 pm

    Adventures in Dincity – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103621/

    Dave… Does Super Mario Bros count? The movie does have dinosaurs, although most of them have evolved into human forms, but Yoshi was clearly an animatronic dinosaur in that movie. You might wanna watch this one yourself to judge whether it fits. Just be prepared for something awful.

  13. 32 Mark Witton 30/03/2012 at 6:36 pm

    You forgot the remake of ‘The Lost World’ (1960; sporting lizards and crocs in fancy dress) and Gorgo (1961).

    Also, Creation was never actually made: it was turned into the 1933 King Kong. Also, I’m not sure how accurate your titles have to be, but you need to ditch ‘The’ from ‘Valley of Gwangi’ and ‘1000000 years BC’ should be ‘One Million Years BC’.

    • 33 David Hone 30/03/2012 at 7:38 pm

      Didn’t miss 1960 Lost World, left it out. Gorgo I did miss though, thanks.

      And my copy of BC is written in numerals, though maybe it’s an odd printing.

  14. 34 daleamon 30/03/2012 at 7:56 pm

    “Dinotopia” a sort of childrens movie with talking dinosaurs who have cities. Saw part of it on TV the last decade. I think there was a Disney “The Lost World” out in the mid-fifties that was more a Disney Nature film, hard to remember as I was only a wee lad at the time. The monster in “60 Million Miles to Earth” that is brought back in an egg grows bigger as it breathes and pretty much takes apart Rome is very dinosaurian. Probably about 1958/59.

    • 35 Dave Godfrey 30/03/2012 at 8:18 pm

      While it looks dinosaurian the Ymir is a Venusian. And the film is called 20 Million Miles to Earth. As usual with these sorts of things the best thing about it is Ray Harryhausen’s monster

      • 36 David Hone 30/03/2012 at 10:11 pm

        Spot on Dave. And Dinotopia did (at least in the UK) only came out on TV not in the cinema. There’s an interview with the author / illustrator James Gurney on these pages if you look in the palaeoart section.

    • 37 Zhen 30/03/2012 at 10:35 pm

      Dinotopia was also a TV series here in America.

  15. 38 Marc 30/03/2012 at 8:46 pm

    You are forgetting a vital one!!: Cesta Do Praveku (Karel Zeman, 1955): http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047930/, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journey_to_the_Beginning_of_Time

    By the way, excellent blog!! Greetings from Barcelona

  16. 41 Zhen 30/03/2012 at 10:56 pm

    Foreign Film

    Omae Umasoudana – It roughly translates into “You Look Delicious”. It’s an anime and is only about as anthropomorphized as Land Before Time.

    A female maiasaura finds a lost egg and decides to raise it along her own baby. To the herd’s surprise, the child born from the stray egg is a tyrannosaurus. Determined to not leave the newborn behind, the mother abandons the pack and raises her two kids by herself. Named Heart by his adoptive mother, the tyrannosaurus grows up besides his maiasaura brother, Light. Soon enough the siblings discover why Heart is unlike the others and the difference between carnivores and herbivores. Heart then makes a tough decision and leaves his family behind to discover who he really is. By a twist of fate, Heart stumbles upon the hatching egg of an ankylosaurus and finds himself taking care of this plant-eating little one.

    It’s an amazing children’s movie and you should check it out. The story is really powerful and heart wrenching. It’s better than The Land Before Time. It’s subtitled on youtube. No official English release.

    Here’s a trailer : youtube.com/watch?v=cZvhJ-IqGvs&feature=related

  17. 42 awin120 31/03/2012 at 2:56 am

    Barney’s Great Adventure 1998

    He is a dinosaur from our imagination. I grew up with the purple dinosaur so I feel it is my responsibility to make sure he is recognized. No matter what people say, he will always be the singing vegetarian T.rex that taught me ABC’s and 123’s and how to be a friend.

  18. 43 awin120 31/03/2012 at 3:00 am

    Barney’s Great Adventure- 1998

    Not a great movie from a cinematic perspective but as a kid I loved it. I was crazy for the purple vegetarian T.rex as a young kid so I feel he should be recognized.

  19. 44 awin120 31/03/2012 at 3:09 am

    There was also an Imax movie called T.rex: Back to the Cretaceous, it feautered the daughter of a paleontologist who travels back in time to talk to Charles R. Knight, Barnum Brown, and witness a T.rex taking care of its young. It was a pretty cool movie in my opinion, it also came out in 1998.

  20. 45 Ilja Nieuwland 31/03/2012 at 8:39 pm

    You seem to have overlooked Willis O’Brien’s ‘The Dinosaur and the Missing Link’ (1917). It’s on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVmLE7ZfU4A

  21. 46 David Hone 31/03/2012 at 9:49 pm

    Thanks so much for all of these, some good suggestions in there.

    I’ve also just found ‘King Dinosaur’ which looks exceptionally bad, but does feature a giant armadillo!!

  22. 47 Greg Leitich Smith 02/04/2012 at 8:26 pm

    There’s also BRINGING UP BABY, with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn. Okay, it’s a dinosaur skeleton, but…

  23. 48 Jason S. 03/04/2012 at 5:26 am

    In the 1956 wildlife documentary “The Animal World”, there is an entire segment devoted to Jurassic and Cretaceous dinosaurs, with animation and puppetry by Ray Harryhausen:


  1. 1 Dinosaurs on Film (again) « Dave Hone's Archosaur Musings Trackback on 20/06/2012 at 9:37 am

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