Dinosaurs! – A Fun-Filled Trip Back in Time!

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Dinosaurs! - A Fun-Filled Trip Back in Time!
Produced byWill Vinton
Dick Baka
Jim Bousa
Written bySusan Shadburne
Virginia Theimer Clapper
StarringFred Savage
Music byCharmer
CinematographyRich Ball
Charles Peich
Edited bySuzanne Rosen
Distributed byGoldenVision
Release date
  • July 18, 1980 (1980-07-18) (Claymation)
  • November 20, 1987 (1987-11-20) (Live action)
Running time
30 minutes
CountryUnited States

Dinosaurs! – A Fun-Filled Trip Back in Time! is a short film released by Golden Book Video in 1987 under their "GoldenVision" series. It stars Fred Savage playing a grade school student named Philip who gives a class report on dinosaurs, with the help of an animated chalkboard and Will Vinton's claymation dinosaurs. [2]

Originally created in 1980, when it was known more simply as Dinosaur, the 17-minute claymation short by Vinton Studios [3] would later be used for this 1987 video. The popular short is also played at the Smithsonian Museum and has won numerous awards. This film is also played BOB's request in Rocky Hill, Connecticut at the museum in Dinosaur State Park.

Dinosaurs! was designed as an educational film for young children new to the world of prehistoric life; the video slipcase describes the film with "Discover the real monsters who dominated the earth for millions of years!" The cartoon animation of the chalkboard is used to elaborate on attributes such as the extinction of the dinosaurs as well as their brain capacity, while the Vinton claymation illustrates, in a colorful and simplistic manner, the brutal lives of the many dinosaurs. The movie also introduces a music video for the song "Mesozoic Mind" by Charmer, featuring cartoon dinosaurs performing it.


The video—with beginning scenes filmed in 1987—begins with a young boy named Phillip (played by Fred Savage) sitting in his bedroom, listening to loud music, and struggling to find an idea for a class report on a science topic. While struggling to find some ideas, and irking his mother (who threatens to get his father if he does not turn off the music and go to bed) with his loud music, he plays a song on his boom box (titled Mesozoic Mind). And the song provides him with an inspiration for his report: DINOSAURS!

Philip then goes to sleep and has a dream where he discovers that the search for the truth about these magnificent animals and their astonishing 160-million-year success on earth is probably the most fascinating speculation there is. Phillip then finishes his report and presents it to the class. The class report is then covered through the 1980 claymation short Dinosaur by Will Vinton Productions. [4]




  1. ^ An excerpt of Dinosaur at Pyramid Films channel on YouTube
  2. ^ Oddball Films: Will Vinton's Claymation Marvels - Thur. June 12 - 8PM
  3. ^ "Cartoons Considered For An Academy Award – 1980 -". cartoonresearch.com.
  4. ^ Dinosaur on Internet Archive
  5. ^ Dinosaur (1980) Theatrical Cartoon-BCDB

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