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Top Ten Dinosaur References in Media and Beyond

Updated on February 23, 2022
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Andrea writes on various topics from dating, couples, astrology, weddings, interior design, and gardens. She studied film and writing.


There's plenty of media about dinosaurs from the epic Jurassic Park or the kajillion and one Land Before Time movies. This hub loves dinosaurs in media and we appreciate all points of dinosaur related material. The following will include the ten best examples of dinosaur incorporation by humans in entertainment and alike to give your dinosaur needs a massage, a laugh or two, and maybe even a reminiscent "Oh yeah..." So without another word, I give you... the top ten of dinosaurs in art.

10. Ke$ha's "Dinosaur" song

A deliciously weird song about old men hitting on women that are too young for them. Ke$ha has a deep love for dinosaurs, in fact in an interview with Conan she was said to have fallen into an infatuation with a man with a beard who had dinosaur figurines in it. The Dinosaur song appeared on Glee as sung by Brittany S. Pierce. The cheerleader teenager used dinosaurs as the theme for prom -- a prom... about dinosaurs. Freakin' awesome.

The song is hypnotic, it's happy and has me spelling out the word... D-I-N-O-S-A that's what you are!

9. Animaniacs parody of Barney "Baloney and Kids"

This might have been single-handedly the best parody on the hit cartoon Animaniacs. I remember as a kid before youtube and all these nice tools we have to instantly watch what we wanted, that when this Barney parody come up on the afternoon broadcast of Animaniacs -- my eyes were glued. There's something absolutely splendid about having someone in a giant dinosaur costume to teach children about essential values in life. PBS hit a landslide with their creation of Barney -- Animaniacs, however, hit comedic gold by dropping anvils on a ridiculous parody that made the character go from child icon to... I can't believe how deliciously funny this is.

Wakko: Are we being punished?

8. The television sitcom "Dinosaurs"

Teaching about dinosaurs went in a whole new direction in the 90s by having the typical family sitcom turn into giant sized Jim Henson-like creations. There was the typical blue-collared working father, the busy mom, two teenagers, and a baby. It used to play on the now defunct TGIF. It had a total of 4 seasons and 65 episodes. The series ends in one of the darkest ways with all of the characters dying as the Dinosaurs unfortunately cause their own demise by not respecting the laws of nature creating the inevitable Ice Age.

7. Claymation Christmas

Will Vinton's creation of Claymation dinosaurs resulted in a few claymation specials with Rex, a tyrannosaurus and Herb, a styracosaurus. The amazingness of this 1987 classic is that two claymation dinosaurs host their own Christmas special featuring several traditional Christmas songs in an artistic explosion of clay. (This feature has the singing California Raisins!) The hosting dinosaurs banter away with their jokes and intellectualism, in an almost creepy claymated kind of way, till all of their holiday cheer is spent.

This special was spoofed as Christmas with the California Prunes in the 2003 Christmas episode of The Simpsons, "Tis the Fifteenth Season."

6. Mrs. Doubtfire, and the saving grace of Daniel's life: action figurine... dinosaurs.

Mrs. Doubtfire is to me the greatest movie of the 90s. Well, it really pinpoints the 90s, but anyway, even though the story is actually pretty sad in being riddled with the unfortunate demise of divorce, there are wonderful points of humor through the disguise of Daniel, as played by Robin Williams, being the nanny "Mrs. Doubtfire." What's sad is that Daniel is unable to repair his relationship with his wife and is severely removed from his children and his disguise is impossible to retain for his entire life. This man loves his kids and just really notched it up with his wife.

Fortunately, his life does end on a promising note. While working at a TV station, Daniel plays with dinosaur figurines and is given an interview by CEO Jonathan Lundy. Daniel almost botches up his chance at a job as he tries to do the interview at the same time he has dinner with his family. In the end, Daniel gets the job.

5. Mario's pet dinosaur... Yoshi

Mario is a video game billionaire. The concept of the franchise is based around a love-stricken plumber who travels through mystical lands and pipes to save a royal princess. Mario is known for jumping and throwing fireballs while his enemies can be anything from exploding bombs, militant turtles, man-eating fish, angry suns, and ghosts. Being a plumber has never been so eccentric, but it took another notch up the level of awesomeness when Yoshi was introduced in 1990 with the Super Nintendo hit Super Mario World. A freakish classic.

Mario can ride Yoshi who will swallow enemies whole and occasionally spray fireballs. His original color is green, but he also comes in blue, red, and yellow (at least in Super Mario World.) Later in the franchise, the focus shifts more to the dinosaur with Super Mario 2: Yoshi's Island, similar interface, but a different protagonist.

According to the creator, having a dinosaur pet for Mario was always in the plan, but didn't come to life till the Super Nintendo when the proper capabilities could be there.

4. Godzilla

Before there was Jurassic Park, there was a beast who came to life based off the radiation from the terrible atom bomb drops of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The beast has appeared in at least 28 films, including a short animation called "Bambi vs Godzilla” (the odds are really unfair). Godzilla is a cultural icon on the same height or more than King Kong. In fact, a new movie featuring the two beasts with today's advanced graphics would be superb. Godzilla isn't just a household name, he's a metaphor for destruction, unrelenting emotion, and the real nature of weapons.

3. Earthbound, Dinosaur Land

Earthbound is a video game series that started in 1989, it's the second title released in 1994 in Japan and 1995 in the USA. It's one of the funniest game series on the market that pokes fun at words, pop culture, other video games, and the like. It's a prankish game somewhat bound in the confines of reality, with a few elements that go... obviously outside of it. One instance would be that the four main heroes end up traveling through time and space to Dinosaur Land where they fight off dinosaurs in the middle of their quest.

2. Toy Story's Rex

Sure, there's plenty to love between Buzz and Woody, but what really helps sell the Toy Story franchise are the side characters, like the Slinky Dog, Piggy Bank, Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head, and Rex the dinosaur. He helps bring a shade of concern and sensibility while also some comic relief. He gets lost playing video games and is the cheerleader for many characters. He may be often overlooked, but he is kind of like the glue for the characters. He comes in, says a few redeeming lines, and then the characters can pick up the plot again. His heart is always gold, and he knows... well... how to party.

1. Best Western Denver Southwest: a dinosaur themed hotel

I'm amazed that no one jumped on this idea sooner, but a Best Western in Denver, Colorado had the gutsy idea to turn itself into a dinosaur hotel. It will be themed around dinosaurs, but it's also educational with its own dinosaur museum. This my friends is the best theme for a hotel I think there could ever be, and though it is still in the process of being made, I think it will be a huge tourist spot as I plan to go here one day myself and enjoy the wonders of dinosaur experience. If there's anything I want to do before I die, it's be at this hotel... and if you don't understand that, then you don't have a real appreciation for dinosaurs. Who knows, this could end up being a hub for paleontologists, filmmakers, and peoples from around the world! I have to applaud the team that came up with this idea... as it is genius.

Who is your favorite dinosaur not mentioned in the list?

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© 2013 Andrea Lawrence


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