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Dinosaur train pbs tv show

Updated on September 4, 2014

The Dinosaur Train TV Show From PBSkids Will Appeal to Preschoolers and Parents Alike

Dinosaur Train from PBSkids is an excellent show combining two childhood favorites-trains and dinosaurs. While the two may seem a bit incongruous at first, both ideas are melded together that seems entirely plausible, at least to a 5 year old. The show teaches kids valuable life lessons, while at the same time they get some cool facts about dinosaurs.

The main characters are Buddy the Tyrannosaur, the three Pteranodon children Shiny, tiny, and don, and their parents Mr and Mrs Pteranodon. Some how Buddy ended up in Mrs Pteranodon's nest, but despite his being different he is still accepted and treated as one of the family.

Other key characters are The Conductor, who drives the Dinosaur Train, and Dr. Scott, a paleontologist who provides real facts on dinosaurs (the show can sometimes make dinosaurs out to be quite silly-for instance a Cryolophosaurus who is known as the 'King of the Theropods' because of his musical abilities which are similar to Elvis Presley). Over all a great show, and very fun to watch even for the parents.

Just be sure to brush up on your dinosaur name pronunciation skills, or you will feel quite silly when your 3 year old can say chirostenotes and you are left with a blank look on your face. For the record, it is pronounced Cairo-sten-no-tees. Trains and dinosaurs, what could be better?

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Dinosaur Train Plot

Dinosaur train uses it's plot to teach kids life lessons in a fun way

The show uses a tried-and-true plot style to teach kids life lessons in a fun, interesting way. Each episode begins with the children discovering a problem, which is the catalyst for a ride on the Dinosaur Train to discover a new dinosaur, who may be able to help the Pteranodon Family find a solution. Buddy, the T-Rex, suggest a Hypothesis, which is usually wrong.

After boarding the train, the conductor will tell them what he knows about the dinosaur they are seeking, and then they will head through a 'time tunnel' to a different period in the Mesozoic time period, to find the dinosaur in question. Sometimes the creature in question isn't a dinosaur at all, but another life-form that lived during the same time period. Once they arrive at their destination, the Family finds the dinosaur or animal they are looking for, and discover the solution to their problem.

The problems are never serious, rather more ones of curiosity. In one episode Buddy loses a tooth, and they head off to meet Anne Tyrannosaurus to find out how bad the loss of a tooth is. There he discovers that Tyrannosaurs regularly lose teeth, and that he was worrying about nothing. Each episode has similar trivial 'problems' that allow the Pteranodon family to travel all around the Mesozoic time period, discovering fun facts about dinosaurs and learning to be better dinosaurs themselves.

After meeting the Pteranodon family meets a new dinosaur and solves the problem Dr Scott has a short segment where he explains the real life attributes of the 'new' dinosaur the family has met. He provides fun facts about the dinosaurs, and does so in a way that children will enjoy and remember.

This is the type of plot that many of the bigger kid's TV channels have gotten away from in favor of mindless flash and dazzle, with little substance and virtually no life lessons taught. One can argue that parents should teach life lessons, and you would be correct. However it is always nice to have those lessons reinforced by the television shows your children watch. Dinosaur train does this very well, as do several other PBS KIDS shows.


Buddy the Tyrannosaurus

Buddy is the Tyrannosaurus, a friendly easy going kid who is aware of his differences but still feels loved. He likes to come up with hypotheses which usually turn out to be wrong. He takes this in stride though, and never stops searching for answers. He is constantly trying to learn new things, and is always eager to go meet new dinosaurs.

Tiny Pteranodon

Tiny Pteranodon- jouranlist in training.

Tiny is always asking questions, and never shies away from meeting new dinosaurs. In fact, she loves meeting new dinosaurs and is often the first to approach and ask questions. Sometimes she is a bit too daring, and it takes Buddy to help keep her out of trouble. At the same time, she is very protective of Buddy, and always supports him. Tiny also loves to rhyme.

Shiny Pteranodon

Shiny the big sister.

Shiny sees herself as sort of the 'big sister' of the group. She often acts as if she knows more than the others, and is quite proud of her shiny skin. She can be rather shy when meeting new dinosaurs for the first time though, and often prefers to stay at home while her brothers and sisters go on adventures. Around her sibling though she enjoys showing off.

Don Pterandon

Fun loving Don.

Don is the only boy Pteranodon, and is often playful and perhaps a bit goofy at times. He is loyal to all his siblings, and rarely asserts himself, preferring instead to simply wait his time. He is normally unassuming, but if his mind is made up he will keep going until he meets his goal no matter the obstacles in his way.

Mr conductor

Mr conductor is the children's guide during their rides on the Dinosaur Train

Mr conductor has one of the best jobs of all time-he drives the Dinosaur Train! He is a great source of information on all the places the family visits, and is always willing to give advice and information to the children. There seems to be very little that Mr Conductor doesn't know about dinosaurs and their homes. He is very easy going, and seems to enjoy the children's enthusiasm. The Conductor is a Troodon, type of bird-type dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous period.

Mrs. Pteranodon

Mom to the children, and always up for a learning experience.

Mrs. Pteranodon is a lover on knowledge, and tries to pass that trait on to her children. She does what she can to encourage the children to explore their world and learn new things, often taking them on trips on the Dinosaur train to help them learn some new lesson. She is a loving mother, and always takes time to show each of her children how much she cares for them, especially Buddy, who sometimes feels a bit left out because he is adopted and different, and therefore can't fly or fish like his siblings.

Mr. Pteranodon

Fun loving 'sports' dad

Mr. Pteranodon always urges his children to approach problem solving as a team, using their combined talents to overcome challenges. He often acts like a 'coach', giving them support and guidance , but letting the kids come up with their own solutions to a challenge. He is fun loving and a loves to joke around. One of his favorite sayings is 'Go team Pteranodon'.

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    • Glen Kowalski profile imageAUTHOR

      Glen Kowalski 

      8 years ago

      @Isabellas-cabin: I learn from it as well lol. And it is a great show, one I don't mind watching with my daughter. Glad you enjoy it.

    • Isabellas-cabin profile image


      8 years ago

      My kids love this show. They are seven and eight now, but they still like to watch the show. I have to admit I like when they have the one guy who pops up and provide the factual information.Then I know they are learning as well!

    • Glen Kowalski profile imageAUTHOR

      Glen Kowalski 

      8 years ago

      I'm Glad you enjoyed it. This is one of my daughters favorite shows, and I much prefer watching this over SpongeBob Square-pants lol :)

    • Iftikhar-Hussain profile image


      8 years ago

      well written lens .. I like it :)


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