I Know You Love At Least One of These GuysEverybody loves dinosaurs, and animation is the best place to see them. After all, it's not like you can just go down to the zoo and watch one, "Jurassic Park" notwithstanding. At least, not yet.
So, we offer a list of the best-animated dinosaurs to date for your viewing pleasure, in no particular order because dinosaurs, well, they don't like to be judged. And we don't want to anger any dinosaurs, even the cute and cuddly ones.
Dino from "The Flintstones"
|Dino from "The Flintstones."|
Dino, although to be truthful a relatively minor character in the show, is seen in the credits going with the family to the drive-in movie theater, where he has the starring moment when he pokes his head through the roof of the car and obligingly lets little Pebbles and Bam Bam sit on his head to watch the movie. Dino finally got his name in the first season's fourth episode, "No Help Wanted." He is the "modern stone age" version of a pet dog and has a distinctive barking-like sound created - of course - by the fabulous and inimitable Mel Blanc.
Patchi from "Walking With Dinosaurs 3D"
This is a 3D feature spin-off from the acclaimed BBC series with the same name. The plot is simple: Patchi (voiced by Justin Long) grows up during the course of the film and becomes a leader (of course). It is all about coming of age (ugh). So, it has the usual hokey story.
However, that is not the reason to see this film. The true reason to see "Walking with Dinosaurs 3D" is the visuals, which are spectacular. Dino from "The Flintstones" is cute, as are all the other dinosaurs on this list, but they are not cutting edge representations of what we think dinosaurs actually looked like (well, except for the "Jurassic Park" dinosaurs that we'll get to below). Anyway, these dinosaurs are the real deal to the extent that any dinosaurs since their extinction can be the real deal. So, anyone who is truly dinosaur crazy (and only you know who that might be in your circle, but they're more numerous than you would imagine in that 7-12 age range) really would enjoy seeing "Walking with Dinosaurs 3D."
Aladar from Disney's "Dinosaur"
|Aladar and friends from "Dinosaur."|
Tiny from "Meet the Robinsons"
|"Meet the Robinsons."|
Rex from "Toy Story"
|Rex from "Toy Story" - and Mr. Potato Head's ear as a bonus.|
Agumon from "Digimon"
|Agumon from "Digimon."|
The plot of "Digimon" involves the characters changing into higher forms, and over time Agumon looks less and less like a dinosaur, which is kind of sad - let a dinosaur be a dinosaur! Agumon ultimately proves his worth as a Digimon by going all the way to the mega level, which is like the coolest level to reach, and ultimately helps create the powerful Omnimon. If none of that makes any sense to you, it's probably because you haven't seen the movie. That's all well and good, but just know that Agumon rules in "Digimon."
Dinobots from "Transformers"
|The "Transformers" Dinobots.|
Reptar from "Rugrats"
The "Jurassic Park" dinosaurs
|Scary "Jurassic Park" raptor dinosaurs.|
However, if you are old enough to have attended the very first "Jurassic Park" film back in prehistoric 1993, you will perhaps remember the true shock and awe you felt when Sam Neil and brood go for a walk - and they suddenly see a magnificent brontosaurus calmly eating leaves from a tree (at least that's how I remember it twenty years later). Like, "Whoa Nellie, there be dinosaurs!" That's the kind of thing that anyone who was used to seeing only jerky stop motion dinosaurs from things like "One Million Years B.C." or "Caveman" remembers because they looked so real. The only possible reaction was, "Whoa, dude, how did they do that?" Of course, you missed that moment if you came along later when CGI in films was about as unusual as grass or trees. Naturally, the plot descended from that point into a hokey tale of greedy guy versus noble guy, both pursued by raptors and such, but it was that introduction for many of us to the true power of CGI that made "Jurassic Park" into the phenomenon that lives on to this day, with yet another "Jurassic Park" sequel on the way.
The "We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story" dinosaurs
|"I feel the need to burst into song!"|
The awesomeness of the dinosaur gang is finally unleashed when a little boy at a parade wistfully says that he wishes he could see real dinosaurs, and Rex and his bloods are only too happy to oblige. They burst into "Roll Back the Rock (To the Dawn of Time)" and bring down the house. Oh, and get this - it was John Goodman's first voice acting role, so it's got that going for it, too. If you were a kid and saw this, you remember.
The "Land Before Time" Dinosaurs
|The "Land Before Time" gang.|
Jurassic WorldAs of 2015, we have a new installment of the "Jurassic Park" franchise. Naturally, you can't have a film about dinosaurs without having, you know... dinosaurs. So, of course, there are plenty of good shots of dinosaurs in it. Personally, nothing will ever match that shot of the brontosaurus at the beginning of "Jurassic Park" in 1993 for sheer shock value, but these are pretty good and benefit from advances in cgi technology, too. The strange thing is, though, the more realistic you make them, the less, um, novel they seem.
And there you have it, the absolute best dinosaurs from animation history.