Are you looking for something new to sit down and watch with your little one?
Well, thankfully, we’re living through what has been somewhat of a golden age when it comes to kid’s TV. There’s no shortage of great cartoons to sink your teeth into – this is especially true when it comes to dinosaurs, as we’ll demonstrate with this article.
And remember, just because you’re silently staring at the screen together, sitting down to watch your little one’s favorite shows as a family can still be great bonding time, especially when doing it over a shared love and interest – such as dinosaurs.
So, let’s jump into our picks of the top 5 cartoon TV series for dinosaur-obsessed toddlers without further ado.
Dinosaur Train (2009–2020)
There are few children’s TV shows as long-lasting and well-known as Dinosaur Train, produced by The Jim Henson Company and originally premiered on PBS Kids when it comes to kid’s animated dinosaur series. The show certainly has some staying power – running for over ten years, racking up a whopping 173 episodes over five seasons, not to mention numerous spin-offs, and even a feature film.
The series follows a curious young T-Rex named Buddy, who, together with his adoptive Pteranodon family, regularly explores his time period – the Mesozoic era – by taking the Dinosaur Train, running into all sorts of adventures along the way. Dinosaur Train has seen worldwide success, being a stable of children’s TV for over a decade – you’ll be hard-pressed to find any dinosaur-obsessed kid who isn’t familiar with the long-running, now classic kid’s dino cartoon.
As you’d expect with a show as popular as Dinosaur Train, there is loads of great merchandise and Dinosaur Train toys to keep your little dino fan entertained, even when they’re not tuned in for the latest episode. And if for some reason you and your little one have missed this show, stop what you’re doing and watch a few episodes – you won’t regret it.
The dinosaur-construction vehicle hybrid animated series from Dreamworks – Dinotrux – first reached our screens back in 2015, being released on Netflix. Set in the fictional Mechazoic era, the animate series follows two best friends – Ty, a good T-Trux, and Revvit, a Reptool. The pair team up with the world’s other inhabitants to band together and defend themselves from D-Structs, another T-Trux, and the show’s villain.
All the usual, most popular dinosaurs can be found as vehicle hybrids in the show’s full cast of characters. These include the likes of Dozer (part-Triceratops, part-bulldozer), Ton-ton (part-Ankylosaurus, part-dump truck), and Skya (part-Brachiosaurus, part-crane), to name just a few of the cartoon’s regular staple of 20+ dino characters.
In total, the animated series ran for eight seasons, chalking up 78 episodes – all of which are available to watch on Netflix. We most like this one because it’s take on the dinosaurs-theme, combining it interestingly and uniquely with construction – another theme popular with young children, especially boys.
Gigantosaurus (2019– )
This show’s plot follows four curious friends; Rocky, Bill, Tiny, and of course, Mazu, as they explore the mystery of Gigantosaurus – the largest, fiercest dinosaur in the show’s universe. It’s based on the book of the same name by Jonny Duddle – a book worth picking up for use at bedtime if your little one is a superfan of the increasingly popular show.
The show originally premiered on the Disney Channel, with it’s second season being released relatively recently, just earlier this year. It’s also been renewed for a third and fourth season – great for fans of the show. As well as this, it’s also one of the newer series on this list and one that will likely run for many seasons to come.
Since its release, it’s become a bit of a phenomenon – fast becoming one of the most popular kids animated series. So much so that the series even has its own video game, published by Outright Games back in March 2020 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. If your little one isn’t yet big or skilled enough to tackle a controller, there’s plenty of all age-appropriate dinosaur toys and merchandise available for little fans of the show.
Paw Patrol (2013– )
If your little one is anything like mine, they’ll no doubt love Spin Master’s Paw Patrol, which first aired on Nick Jr. back in 2013. My toddler is so obsessed with the show that she won’t go anywhere without her complete set of Paw Patrol character beanie babies – so when they added the Dino Rescue theme to the show from season 7, they definitely saw her coming!
Although dinosaurs were included in the series much earlier than the 7th season – in fact, they were first seen in the season 2 finale “Pups Bark with Dinosaurs” – it wasn’t until the introduction of Dino Rescue that they started to play a significant part in the show, and qualifying it – at least in our view – for the show’s inclusion in our list of best dinosaur cartoon shows.
There are also a bunch of excellent Paw Patrol dinosaur toys, which share the Dino Rescue theme, one of which – the Dino Rescue Dino Patroller Play Set – made it to Walmart’s Top-Rated by Kids Toy List for 2020.
Lego Jurassic World: Legend of Isla Nublar (2019– )
If there’s only one thing to know about us, it’s that we’re big fans of all things LEGO dinosaurs. From building sets to video games, movies, and animate series – LEGO has long been a stand-out brand, offering all sorts of great, family-friendly fun and entertainment that we and millions of others enjoy the world over.
Lego Jurassic World: Legend of Isla Nublar – which premiered on Nickelodeon back in 2019 – is no different, offering a light-hearted, animated show that’s perfect for all the family. Unlike many of the picks we’ve included on this list, this one is just as entertaining for adults as it is for young children, making it a choice that you and the whole family can sit down and enjoy together.
The mini-series is set in 2012, three years before the events of the first Jurassic World movie, and picks up where LEGO Jurassic World: The Secret Exhibit – another must-watch animated series – left off. You’ll experience everything from break-out, runaway dinosaurs, to ongoing expansion and construction of the park, to tourists, unpredictable weather, and an impulsive boss – elements that combine for an action-packed series that won’t disappoint even the most die-hard Jurassic Park fan.
Dino Ranch (2021– )
The last entry on our list is Dino Ranch – an all-new kid’s show that debuted on Disney Junior in January of this year and is available to stream on Disney NOW. This one is also pretty different from the rest, with its western setting being somewhat unique – not just in this list, but when it comes to kid’s dinosaur shows in general.
This show is packed full of adventure and friendship, as it follows Jon, Min, and Miguel – a band of young explorers and dino ranchers, as they learn the ropes in this “pre-westoric” universe, where dinosaurs roam alongside cowboys.
There have so far been 15 episodes released in the first season of the animated franchise. As of this writing, the show hasn’t yet been renewed for a second season – however, with news about additional product and toy licenses being announced this month, Dino Ranch will likely get renewed for another season reasonably soon.
Dino Ranch is available to stream on Disney+. If you don’t yet have a subscription, you can get it for free for six months with Amazon Music Unlimited, which costs $9.99 per month ($7.99 for Prime Members). Learn more about this promotion by clicking here.
Well, there you have it, our picks for the five best, must-watch kid’s animated dinosaur series.
As you’ll see from our list, there is no shortage of options – from educational to just good old-fashioned family fun and entertainment – there’s something here for everyone, both parents and children alike.
We hope you’ve found this article helpful and that you and your little one now have plenty of shows to get stuck in to and enjoy together. Happy viewing!