I thought the Pachycephalosaurus was fascinating with its domed skull that could grow to be up to 10 inches thick. I thought the Ankylosaurus was awesome with its tank-like body and the club at the end of its tail. While I’m not entirely certain I was a dinosaur-obsessed toddler, I was definitely a dinosaur-obsessed child. And I seem to have passed this prehistoric passion onto my two-year-old daughter.

When she was still learning how to speak — and as a two-year-old, she’s learning new words all the time — she couldn’t quite pronounce “dinosaur” correctly and understandably so. For some inexplicable reason, she’d refer to them as “sha-shon.” Go figure. She can say it now and we even have a T-Rex hand puppet that she adores.

One day, I hope to take her to visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller. In the meantime, we can explore our mutual infatuation by way of some TV shows and movies on Netflix.

Dinosaur Train

There are a handful of shows on Netflix that Adalynn will repeatedly request by name. She is positively obsessed with PAW Patrol, for instance, even if we question how Ryder manages to fund his elaborate operation. Another show that she really enjoy is Dinosaur Train, which is decidedly much more educational in nature.

Buddy, a young T-Rex who has been inexplicably adopted by a Pteranodon family, goes on regular trips on the eponymous locomotive. This is no ordinary train. It can not only transverse across the entirety of Pangaea, but it can also travel through time to visit dinosaurs from different periods.

It’s mostly cute and harmless with some interesting facts sprinkled in along the way. They even encourage a rudimentary form of scientific thought, as Buddy comes up with hypotheses to answer his questions, testing his theories accordingly.


I thought this DreamWorks production was going to be a little too weird, but somehow it just works. I’m immediately reminded of the Dinobots from Transformers, except the mechanically-oriented dinosaurs in Dinotrux don’t transform. They just happen to have a lot of truck-like qualities, like being made of metal and eating ore. Not that trucks “eat” ore, I guess.

Just like how all the pups in PAW Patrol serve a particular type of role — Chase is a police pup, Rubble is a construction pup, and so on — the same is fundamentally true here. The main character, Ty Rux, is like an excavator. His little buddy, a lizard-like creature named Revvit, is also a rotary drill. Yeah, it’s weird.

LEGO Jurassic World: The Indominus Escape

LEGO Jurassic World: The Indominus Escape

Just as I thought Dinotrux was going to be a little too weird, I thought this LEGO Jurassic World single episode (24 minutes) might be a little scary for my little one. Considering that she watched some of the original Jurassic Park movie with me too, I guess I shouldn’t have been worried.

As you might suspect, The Indominus Escape is based heavily on the Jurassic World movie and it doesn’t take too many liberties with the plot aside from LEGO-fying the whole experience. And there’s a guy in a hot dog suit. If you liked The LEGO Movie and you like dinosaurs, this show is an obvious fit.

The Land Before Time

“If we hold on together. I know our dreams will never die. Dreams see us through to forever. Where clouds roll by. For you and I.”

Oh my goodness. The very thought of that song almost brings a tear to my eye. This was one of my favorite movies growing up. What I didn’t know is the series consists of a total of 13 movies (plus a single season of a TV show). Understandably, some have been better than others, but several are available for streaming on Netflix.

In stark contrast to the super shiny CG of today’s cartoons, the animation style of the original 1988 movie (and the sequels that followed in the 90s) is grainy and fuzzy and beautifully charming. Revisit your childhood with Littlefoot, Cera, and Ducky. Adalynn has even picked up on some of the terminology, like referring to sauropods as “longnecks.”

Prehistoric Thinking?

The general consensus is that we should limit our children’s screen time and you’re a horrible parent if you don’t. Everyone is going to have a different opinion on this, but if a little bit of Netflix can help you share your own childhood passion with your kid, I’d say it’s doing more good than harm. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to hop on board the Dinosaur Train again.