The 10 Worst Dinosaur Movies of the 90s

Posted 11 years ago by Movies


I love Jurassic Park. It is my favorite movie of all time, and it’s popularity spawned a lot of dinosaur hysteria in the 90s. I’ve wanted to express my love of 90s dinosaur nostalgia for a long time now. At first I was going to list the best dinosaur movies from the 90s, but quickly realized it would only be two movies long, maybe three. Instead, I’m taking all of the other films that couldn’t make that list, and giving you the 10 Worst Dinosaur Movies of the 90s.

I should note that just because this is a “Worst of” list, a lot of these are pretty enjoyable, even if it’s just for the entertainment value of how bad they are.


10. We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story

We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story was a staple for me in the 90s. I don’t remember if I saw it in the theater or not, but I watched it on VHS constantly. It was produced by Steven Spielberg and released the same year as Jurassic Park. I put We’re Back! at 10th place to stress that it isn’t the most horrible dinosaur movie of the 90s, but watching it now is a little harder than it used to be.

The movie is about a bunch of dinosaurs that get taken from the past to present day (1993) New York City. To make a long story short, the good guy and bad guy are brothers. One wants to make the dinosaurs smarter and fulfill the wishes of children, and the other wants to make them beasts (again), and scare the crap out of kids. The good guy’s name is Captain Neweyes, which mean the bad guy’s name has to be Professor Screweyes. Awesome. I’ll save the rest for a full review because We’re Back! is finally out on DVD. For all its flaws, it has some cool design and features the voices of John Goodman, Jay Leno, Julia Child, and Walter Cronkite.


9. Prehysteria!

Remember the flood of direct to video movies in the 90s? You know, the ones you always saw at the video store that confused you because you couldn’t remember ever hearing about them before? Ok, now do you remember the kid from Last Action Hero?

Add in tiny dinosaurs and that, in a nutshell, is the Prehysteria! trilogy. Its pretty bad when an eight year old kid can lose interest in a movie that has dinosaurs in it, but I remember Prehysteria! being very boring. It was probably because the dinosaurs were tiny, instead of being big and scary like they’re supposed to be.


8. Land Before Time VI – The Secret of Saurus Rock

I’m cheating on this a little bit because I haven’t actually seen this one, but I wanted to make a point. LET THIS SERIES DIE. From 1988-2009, there will have been 14 Land Before Time movies. Yikes.

The first one was cool, but I imagine by now they’re just using the same footage and re-dubbing the dialog to fool children. Imagine if Rock-a-Doodle had 13 sequels; there would be riots in the streets.


7. Godzilla

Oh boy was I excited for this movie. I grew up loving the old monster movies, and once even successfully convinced my parents to subscribe to the Disney Channel just so I could watch a Godzilla marathon. Being the clever little boy I was, I always said that someday someone was going to remake Godzilla, but put him in modern-day New York City. Much to my delight, Roland Emmerich did just that in 1998.

I failed to predict, however, that it would star Matthew Broderick, have Godzilla looking like a large iguana, and have a plot crazy enough that I could have written it. To be honest, I loved this movie, and it is still a very guilty pleasure of mine, but it just wasn’t the Godzilla everyone was expecting.

A depressing side note is that when this movie came out, for some reason the friends that were supposed to see this with me couldn’t make it. I had already been dropped off, so I sat in a crowded theater on a Friday night by myself. End depressing side note.


6. Super Mario Brothers

Lets face it, the Super Mario Brothers movie deserves to be on any “Worst Movies” list ever made, so it’s my pleasure to squeeze it in to this one. In 1993 kids all over the world sat with their jaws dropped at how un-Mario-like and insane this movie was.


Dennis Hopper as Koopa? Yoshi is just a pet dinosaur? Did anyone involved in this movie play the video game before signing on to this? The Wizard is a better Mario movie than this, and it’s about some kids on a road trip. I could rant and rave about how horrible this movie is for days, but it’s been done before.

Seriously though, I think a live action Sonic the Hedgehog movie would be better than this, somehow.


5. Barney’s Great Adventure

Just like you can’t have a worst movie list without the Super Mario Brothers movie, you can’t not make fun of Barney in a 90s related article. I think making fun of Barney is almost more nostalgic than Barney himself. In the 90s, it seemed like everywhere you turned, there was a TV show or magazine making fun of the big purple guy. What did he do to deserve it, hang out with a bunch of kids, sing affectionate songs, and jump around a lot? Ok, I get it. Barney was the Michael Jackson of kids’ TV in the 90s.

It’s funny, because I remember watching Barney until I became aware that it probably wasn’t OK for me to be watching Barney anymore. I don’t, however, remember seeing this movie, so I’m just going to assume it was horrible.


4. Carnosaur

Carnosaur, a dinosaur horror movie that rushed to beat Jurassic Park to theaters and then quickly made it’s way to late night TV, scaring the crap out of kids like me. End of story.


3. Adventures in Dinosaur City

If you missed this one, Adventures in Dinosaur City is about three kids who get sucked in to the universe of their favorite TV show. Thanks to a Dad who is also some kind of crazy scientist, they get sucked into Dinosaur World, where dinosaurs wear clothes and have attitudes, and live side-by-side with cavemen. This universe is sadly not as cool as the Jim Henson show Dinosaurs you may remember from the 90s. See for yourself.

Had enough dinosaurs yet? Almost done.


2. Tammy and the T-Rex

This movie is so bad it doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page. It’s about a guy who was murdered, but his brain is transplanted into an animatronic dinosaur, and a bad one at that. He seeks revenge, his girlfriend gets involved, and – are you kidding me, people got paid for this? My cat probably dreams cooler stories about dinosaurs than this movie.


1. Theodore Rex

Ding ding ding, we have a winner!

Not only did Hollywood love making dinosaur movies in the 90s, they also loved cheesy dysutopian/gritty futuristic movies. I’m talking the Judge Dredds, Demolition Mans, and shudder, Super Mario Brothers of the world. You know, bad Blade Runner rip-offs.

Someone in Hollywood must have gotten a huge raise when Theodore Rex was approved, because it combined all of the above, plus Whoopi Goldberg. In reality, the studio realized it was too horrible to release in theaters, and instead went straight to the video store shelves and into the hands of kids like me, who quickly returned it, grew up, and blogged about it.

Whoopi even tried backing out, but settled for a seven million dollar salary. Poor Whoopi. Note to self, if ever given the opportunity to talk to Whoopi Goldberg, ask about Theodore Rex.

Feeling crazy? Want to watch the worst dinosaur movie of the 90s? Check it out at Amazon and a super tiny portion of the price will go back to SMC so I can waste your time with more articles like this.

So there you have it, way too many movies about dinosaurs. I think I’m going to go watch Jurassic Park now.

  • I have to say, I was thrilled when Super Mario Bros. came out. It was my 13th birthday party, and it was cool. Watching about 10 minutes of it many years later quickly destroyed that impression. It’s concept isn’t bad, it’s story isn’t awful… just the fact that it’s supposed to be SMB I think kind of kills it.

    Carnosaur was horrible. So horrible they managed to get funded for a sequel. I never saw it, but I’m sure it was horrible too. I think my favorite absurdity about it was the “implanting dinosaur eggs in women”…

    At any rate, I too love Jurassic Park. To this day, I still envision myself building a dinosaur themed themepark to relive the adventures.

  • Yeah, I was pretty pumped about it when it came out too. It’s just way to easy to make fun of!

  • Do you think Dennis Hopper considers The SMB Movie the biggest career mistake he’s ever made?

  • Probably. SMB and Water World.

  • Daniel85

    Gah! Prehysteria was awful, but I thought it was the shizz when I was a kid.

    This one’s actually from the early 80s, although I watched it a lot in the 90s…. Will Vinton’s Dinosaur? Ever seen it? Vinton Claymation + Fred Savage should = win, but unfortunately that’s not the case.

  • I’m not sure, it sounds familiar. I’d love to check it out, I’m a huge claymation fan.

    Nice addition!

  • Why would you even watch these ?!

    Out of the whole list, I’ve only seen Super Mario Bros. I *may* have seen We’re Back! but I can’t remember. I do remember getting their hand puppets from Pizza Hut or wherever though.

    • michael

      Those hand puppets may have been from Land Before Time in 1988. It came out that Christmas and Pizza Hut was selling the hand puppets. Then, in Autumn of ’89, Land Before Time came to video and they brought back the puppets and added two more–this time including the Pteradactyle and the T-Rex.

  • James

    OMG! Adventures in Dinosaur City is one of the worst films i have ever seen. Should have been number one!

  • I actually liked SMB. Though to be fair, it was definitely not what I was expecting. If you ignore the fact that it’s supposed to have anything to do with Mario, it’s a pretty entertaining movie still. I’d still watch it for nostalgia. 🙂

  • Jacklyn Miles

    This is the most usefull site that I’ve been visiting, I was looking all over for a certian one that turned out to be Super Mario Brothers. I was shocked to say the least. Still, I think I may watch it again, last time I barely even thought about watching.
    And then it started to drive me crazy about a week ago.
    Anyway, thank you.

  • Mallory

    I will admit that I’ve seen a majority of the films on this list. Many of them in my childhood. SMB was terrible if you thought it might have in some way a smidgen of a resemblance to the games. If you didn’t it wasn’t too bad. We’re back is entertaining and I think that if it did have to be on this list 10 was a good spot. Prehistoria was and still is a sad excuse of a series. First LBT, epic. all others after where horrible. Let it go extinct already. Godzilla is also a guilty pleasure of mine. I’d blind myself before watching Barney, Tammy t-rex, or carnasaur. Now i’ll admit Dino-city and Theo rex are cheesy as all hell but I can’t help but love them in spite of that. They’re so stupid I can’t help but watch. I couldn’t remember for the life of me the name of Dino-city until I found your list so thank you.

  • CJ

    Wow I had forgotten entirely about the existence of Theodore Rex. Thanks for dredging that up lol. Nice list though, makes a lot of sense to me 🙂

    Just thought I’d mention that the Godzilla from 1998 WAS a large Iguana. He hatched from an Iguana egg, so technically not a dinosaur although originally he was a dinosaur.

  • B.E.

    You have some balls trashing adventures in dinosaur city. This list is shit.

  • @Mallory – Glad I could help!

    @CJ – Yeah I guess he was, I think I just wanted to include it in this list.

    @B.E. – To each his own.

  • C.G.

    Growing up in the ’90s, no literally, I was BORN in the ’90s. We’re Back! A Dinosaurs Story was one of my most favourite movies of all time. Over the years I had forgotten about it, since I was barely 5 years old when I first watched it to the last time I ever saw it. So, naturally, I googled lists for dinosaur movies for “kids”. And I must say, Thank You for jogging my memory as this 18 year old kid revisits her childhood.

  • Ironfish

    I love Jim Varney , why would i worry about looking like that ->
    anyways, I actually found this while looking up the name of adventures in dinosaur city. As a youngster in the nineties, i loved it. So i wanted to watch it again. I remember it was hella weird and corny. I think that is why i liked it.

  • Cabbie

    Godzilla is not a dinosaur

  • ben

    why is godzilla on there that was a great film

  • jon

    they was all gud when i was ten maybe not every ones cup of tea but great grafics for the 90s n late 80s

  • Kayla Wands

    This is horrible I love most of these movies. Don’t eat away at the kid inside!

  • Mottsta

    Dino-city was the best when i was a kid watched it a million times! Yes wierd movie, but dont worry about it

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  • michael

    I was 14 when Jurassic Park came out…so I wasn’t interested in the onslaught of kid-friendly direct-to-video dino flicks that followed it. Of all the titles mentioned in this list, the only one I actually saw was Godzilla–not a horrible movie, but not a great movie either. (Though I did see Land Before Time and liked it a lot as a 10 year-old.) I remember talking with a friend back in ’93 who was convinced that Super Mario Brothers was going to be a better movie than Jurassic Park. Seriously.

    18 years later, I still consider Jurassic Park (the first one) one of my all-time favorite movie-memories. Thank you, Spielberg.

  • mark

    this is true this are the worst

  • Feather

    I have to say, I’m really disappointed that you bothered to put movies in this list that you HAVEN’T EVEN SEEN. Yes, there may have been a ton of Land Before Time movies, but the Secret of Saurus Rock was actually one of my favourites. Also, as far as Barney goes, the movie was actually pretty good. If you’re going to write a critique, please please please at least watch all of the movies you’re going to be critiquing. Thank you.

    • It was just meant to be a joke!

    • Bradyman50

      I have to agree with you. I have watched every Land Before Time about a hundred times with my little brothers, and the Secret of Saurus Rock is one of the best. I just wish I hadn’t had the Lone Dinosaur song stuck in my head for two years.

  • I absolutely. Love all these movies you are not a 90’s kid if you hate these movies dino city and super mario bros are my favorite movies from the dino ara im not ashamed for liking these movies you should be either

  • ok


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  • Julián Viggiano

    I’m not agreed with you but still I have to thank you. I found the name of the movie I’m looking for thanks to you. Sooooo…. Peace bro! Bye

  • Joshua Jonker

    Watch the movies . Ill give you a couple of hints. Godzila US was a good movie 7 out of 10
    Prehystaria 9 out of 10 ( ITS MADE FOR CHILDREN ASSHOLE) . Theodore Rex 5 out of 10
    good story SHIT job by writers actors and actress (and I mean you whoopee Goldberg) but all and all your review is a big pile of :{::{{:{:{:{:{::::+_P)U(T&^R%CFD DUM ASS

  • poppopmscheerlea


  • lol

    I was trying to figure out what the name of that adventures in dinosaur city one was, I remember it from childhood but like yeah this list found it for me thanks m8

  • FeatheredDino

    Where’s Jurassic Park?

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