Story

Dino Time is an animated adventure story about three young children, Ernie (voice of Pamela Adlon), his sister Julia (Tara Strong) and his best friend Max (Yuri Lowenthal). The children travel back in time 65 million years, landing in the frightening prehistoric era. Despite their initial fear, they’re met by a giant pink T-Rex dinosaur named Tyra (Melanie Griffith). Tyra treats the children as family rather than food.

While trying to find their way back home by reactivating their broken time machine, the children are thrown into the complex world of the dinosaurs. Tyra and the children fight to protect the Upper Valley from evil Sarko (William Baldwin), who comes from the Lower Valley. Eventually the children must battle Sarko to the death. Meanwhile the children’s parents are trying to rescue them.

Themes

Time travel; dinosaurs; children separated from family; good versus evil

Violence

This movie has some violence. For example:

  • Tyra the T-Rex and the evil Sarko fight. They try to bite each other, and they throw each other around.
  • Ernie throws his skateboard into Sarko’s mouth, causing him to catapult violently into a pit of hot tar and explode.
  • Ernie refers to one of the dinosaurs as a ‘vicious blood-thirsty killer’, but he’s exaggerating to scare his friend Max.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5

In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years.

For example, although the dinosaurs are mostly friendly, Sarko and his minions look scarier and more ugly. They have large teeth and sharp claws and speak in a frightening way. 

From 5-8

Children in this age group might be disturbed by the theme of children being separated from their parents and unable to get home. They might also be upset by the scenes where Julia is kidnapped by Sarko. She is frightened and seems to fear for her life, but Tyra and Ernie quickly rescue her. 

From 8-13

There are no other scenes likely to disturb children in this age group. 

Over 13

Nothing of concern 

Sexual references

None of concern 

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

None of concern 

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern 

Product placement

None of concern 

Coarse language

This movie has some mild put-downs that children might copy. 

Ideas to discuss with your children

Dino Time is an animated children’s adventure movie that highlights the issue of rules versus freedom. If you have children of primary school age, there are some interesting things in this movie for you to talk about with your children.

For example, at first Ernie doesn’t care much about the consequences of his behaviour. He ignores his mother whenever he can. But he grows to understand the importance of sometimes trusting authority figures. He changes his views on what ‘boundaries’ mean – they’re not just there for him to cross for fun.

Rather, Ernie learns that certain rules help people stay safe. At the same time Ernie’s mother, Sue, learns the value of being less controlling and rigid in her approach to life, eventually finding the right balance.

The movie also highlights the strength and power of friendship, and the family-style bond that can develop between even the most unlikely characters.

Children under six years might find some scenes and characters too scary. Children aged up to nine years might need your help with some scenes.