The ten best movies with dinosaurs include some computer-generated imagery, also known as CGI, classics and some early historic treasures with funky dinos. Campy dinosaur films continue to be a popular draw for college audience and fans of early stop-action animation and several of the films on this list are classic examples of the genre.
- "Jurassic Park." This 1993 film proposed a theme-park environment with dinosaurs reconstituted from DNA. Of course, things get interesting when the dinos start wilding and munching on guests to the park. The animated dinos flash teeth and scales as the action becomes intense.
- "Gertie The Dinosaur." Released in 1914, this animated filmette gave birth to the dinosaur film. Gertie was a monster-size static image of a friendly dinosaur. In an age when a simple magic lantern slide was a wonderment, Gertie was a big hit with audiences who had never seen anything but candle and gas lighting.
- "Fantasia." Walt Disney's landmark release of 1940 had elephants and mushrooms dancing, but it also had a group of dinosaurs. The film focused on classical music pieces and the dinosaur move to music by the Philadelphia Orchestra under the direction of Leopold Stokowski.
- "Journey to the Center of the Earth." Released in 1959. this film is based on the written work of Jules Verne. As the main characters, played by actors Pat Boone and James Mason, head down into the Earth, they come in contact with dinosaurs. Modern research makes the story line absurd, but the funky dinos still amuse audiences decades later. A new film of the classic was released in 2008 with modern CGI action.
- "The Lost World." This 1960 best dinosaur movie adapts a novel by the mystery writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and features a host of dinosaurs. The story and accompanying dinosaurs are so popular with movie audiences that the story was adapted again for film release in 1992, 1998 and again in 2000 and 2001.
- "One Million B.C." This film featured dino work by classic dinosaur animator Ray Harryhausen. Stop motion animation was in its infancy during this film that was released long before computer assisted animation and Harryhausen lead the pack in more realistic action.
- "One Million Years B.C." Actress Raquel Welch in a short skin outfit takes the lead role in this 1966 movie release. More dinosaur and human action are featured in this film that also stars John Richardson, Jean Wladon and Robert Brown. The dinos look fierce and Welch looks hot.
- "Reptilicus." A dinosaur from the sea family is the star of this 1962 best movie with dinosaurs. The American International Pictures stars Carl Ottosen, Ann Smymer and Bodil Miller in a drama that takes minors deep into the Earth to discover a throw back to the classic age of dinos. It's hard to image, but the original 1961 film featured a song and dance number.
- "Godzilla, King of the Monsters." This Japanese classic film released in 1956 is the gold standard when it comes to dinosaur action. Godzilla reappears in numerous films and the original continues to entertain.
- "When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth." We all know the size of dinosaurs and despite the fact that science proves humans and dinos never shared the planet, this didn't stop this 1971 movie from pitting the two in the action. The cavemen and women in this film included Robin Hawdon, Patrick Allen and San Caffrey. The visual effects was nominated for an Oscar award.
Berry, Mark F. "The Dinosaur Filmography." McFarland and Company, 2005.
Webber, Roy P. "The Dinosaur Films of Ray Harry: Features, Early 16-mm Experiments and Unrealized Projects." McFarland and Company, 2004.