Our Favourite Movie Dinosaurs

Above: Tylosaurus is the new Shamu.
Above: Tylosaurus is the new Shamu.

Jurassic World is set to dominate the box office this weekend, and that’s no doubt due to its dinosaur awesomeness. The franchise is set to have its most elaborate installment to date and will surely feature some heartstopping dino-filled action. While we anxiously await the film to hit theatres, here are some of our other favourite dinosaur movie moments.

Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)

Look, this movie in its entirety was not that great. In fact it was far from great. Thankfully, what it lacked in plot development, acting, and directing, it made up for in crazy FX. While Mark Whalberg walked around and did stuff, the dinobots pretty much made the whole thing semi-enjoyable. Gigantic, mechanic , flame-shooting robots are enough for us to buy tickets.

King Kong (2005)

Peter Jackson replicated an already terrific fight scene in his epic King Kong remake. The CGI technology gave him a way to showcase Kong’s duel with a t-rex, like never before. The prehistoric predator was literally ripped apart and it had all of us either covering our eyes, or glued to the screen.

Godzilla (2014)

Just like Jurassic Park, Godzilla was a franchise in need of a fresh start. The 1998 version had P Diddy rapping over Zeppelin and Jean Reno hanging onto to his 15 minutes in the 90s, while the Gareth Edwards addition stayed truer to the character’s origins. Every time the monster came on screen, we were served a big plate of nope. Godzilla is a nuclear dino we never want to encounter, especially when it’s bobbing in the ocean. *shutters*

The Land Before Time (1988)

This animated classic filled a void that was shockingly untouched before its release in the late eighties. Cutesy talking dinosaurs, wandering aimlessly in search of a new home? Pass the tissue please. While it spun a barrage of sequels, the first Land Before Time proved to be the best of the bunch and became a staple of our childhood.

Fantasia: Rite Of Spring (1940)

Disney’s Fantasia is an incredible work of art. A feat when it was produced way back in 1940, it’s still moving and hypnotic to this day. The closer, “Rite Of Spring”, features some great dinosaur action culminating in a catastrophic fossilization process. We’re not sure if Fantasia qualifies solely as a kids’ movie, but the “Rite Of Spring” had dinos, and that was entertaining enough for the whole family.

Tree Of Life (2011)

Terrenc Malik does all sorts of amazing things in Tree Of Life. In the 2011 opus, the director somehow managed to humanize the savagely represnted dinosaur in modern cinema. While Jurassic Park endowed dinosaurs with a working intelligence, this movie gave them a conscious. The scene recieved mixed reviews, but it was something new and exciting for fans of the creature’s place in film.

Pterodactyl (2003)

This made-for-tv movie is great for a couple of reasons. While terrible in most regrads, it showed some love to an often forgotten creature that, frankly, deserves to get some shine. But the best thing about it? “Gangsta’s Paradise” rapper, Coolio, shows us his acting chops as an army captain. Coolio. Acting in a movie. Need we say more.

Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)

Sure, it’s not a “real” dinosaur, but the giant dino in Pee Wee’s nightmare is pretty damn menacing. When its jaws rip apart Pee-Wee’s bicycle, our hearts break a little inside. The whole sequence is loud, trippy, and does well to contribute to our irrational fear of jurassic beasts.

Night At The Museum (2006)

Just when we thought dinosaurs were no longer a threat, skeletons come to life and attack us at our docile work environments. Not only that but we have to deal with Dick Van Dyke trying to stop us from succeeding in life. On a related note, can the real Dick Van Dyke be our grandpa? He’s kind of the best. What were we talking about again? Oh ya. This movie was light and fun, and the inclusion of the dinosaur was the icing on the cake.

Jurassic Park (1993)

The tyrannosaurus gets a lot of love in cinema, and it certainly is validated when it’s used like this. The grandaddy that restarted our modern love with the dinosaur. Jurassic Park was, and still is a sensation. It’s to hard to pick and choose which moment is our favourite, that could warrant its own list. So far it’s a tie between the lurking velociraptor and the absolutely terrifying car chase. Jurassic Park was a spectacle, and we hope the follow up and can live up to the name.

Aidan D'Aoust

Aidan D'Aoust

Aidan is a writer from Toronto. His favourite things in the world are music, movies, and mini dachshunds. Give him a follow on Twitter at @aidandaoust, where he’ll also accept your mixtape submissions.

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