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Kids Love Dinosaurs

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That's a kid's literal bucket list of dinosaur friends, mind you.
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Truth in Television. There is something of an idea that dinosaurs are kiddie, or that dinosaur products and fiction should solely be aimed at children (especially young boys).

One reason this trope exists is that dinosaurs are a lot like fairy tale creatures (particularly dragons). Also, as they don't exist anymore, you need a lot of imagination to reconstruct how they lived, and children use their imagination much more than adults. Dinosaur toys and media are often aimed at boys due to stereotypes and gender roles that boys like "cool things" while girls like "cute things" (which dinosaurs usually aren't seen as, though feathered dinosaurs are often seen as cute).

Sometimes, paleontologists will describe themselves as kids who never "grew out of" their dinosaur phase. As a result, adults who still like dinosaurs can be stereotyped as Manchildren. Compare Boys Like Creepy Critters, All Girls Like Ponies and Princess Phase.

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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • There are three things that Akito of Kodocha likes: Sushi, Sana, and dinosaurs. "Like" is his way of saying "love".
  • Likely why almost all of the partner Digimon of the lead character in the Digimon series always resembles a T. Rex, to appeal to the target demographic of young boys. Special mention goes to Guilmon, who in-universe was created by a human child, and Agumon, who is the Series Mascot for the entire franchise.
  • In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Negi is a serious and mature little boy who holds down a job as a teacher. When offered a time machine he immediately regressed to his proper emotional age at the thought of going back in time to see dinosaurs.
  • Although not exactly a kid, King Dedede in the episode "Fossil Fools: Part 1" of Kirby: Right Back at Ya! gains an interest in dinosaurs after a surprising find at the local dig site.
  • While technically a high-schooler, Misuzu Kamio of AIR is known for her love for dinosaurs.
  • The main cast of Doraemon, consisting of four human children and a robotic cat, always get excited whenever they encounter dinosaurs in their adventures.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes involves dinosaurs in many of his fantasies and daydreams, doodles them during class, and is keen to study them unlike almost any other subject.
  • Jason of FoxTrot is a huge dinosaur fanatic that he once messaged the White House to encourage dinosaur cloning.

    Films — Animation 
  • Aaron from The Mitchells vs. the Machines is an exaggeration of the trope. He's the youngest member of the Mitchell family and he's massively obsessed with dinosaurs; his Establishing Character Moment shows him calling every number in the phone book just to find someone to talk about dinosaurs with. His phone case, his bedroom, and the t-shirt he wears are all dinosaur-themed, and he's extremely distressed when the family goes to a dinosaur-themed tourist trap and he sees how inaccurate the dinosaur statues are.
  • Toy Story has Mister Potato Head play the role of One-Eyed Bart, robbing the town bank, aided by Slinky Dog as his force field dog. Fortunately, Sheriff Woody has a coup fourre at hand with Rex, as a force field dog-eating dinosaur. This is all in Andy's playtime scenario, yet his Tyrannosaurus Rex plays The Lancer to Woody's The Hero.
  • In We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story, four dinosaurs are brought to modern times and "nicefied" by making them intelligent enough to be displayed in a museum where kids would be able to meet and play with them, as Captain Neweyes' Wish Radio revealed that it is the dream of a lot of kids to meet real life dinosaurs. Later, they are hiding in plain sight in a giant parade and start a musical number, with all the children singing and dancing. When they are discovered, all the adults start to freak out, but the kids are mostly in awe. But then even later, the trope is subverted by Professor Screweyes, who devolves them to their former feral selves to put them in his Circus of Fear because his Fright Radio revealed that a lot of kids have nightmares about monsters, aka scary dinosaurs.
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    Films — Live Action 
  • Jurassic Park
    • Jurassic Park: Tim (the younger of the two kids being given a tour of the park) loves dinosaurs and continuously pesters Dr. Grant with questions about them. Likewise, when Grant sees a Triceratops for the first time, he reacts with an adorable, childlike awe, soon admitting Triceratops was his favorite dinosaur as a little boy. Subverted by the park itself which was created to appeal to everyone, but John Hammond certainly admits that kids in particular will probably love it.
    • Jurassic World: Gray (the younger of the two Mitchell brothers) is obsessed with dinosaurs and cannot hold in his excitement upon visiting the park. Once again, the park itself is a subversion as it meant to be appeal to people of all ages.
  • In Godzilla (2014), Ford's son loves dinosaurs, having a bunch of toy figurines. Upon seeing Godzilla on the news, he excitedly tells his mother "Mommy, look! Dinosaur!", unaware of the destruction Godzilla's presence is bringing.

    Literature 
  • The classic children's book Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff features a boy named Danny who encounters a living dinosaur in a museum. The book revolves around their relationship and activities together. And yes, the dinosaur's name is Dinosaur.
  • In the children's book It Hurts When I Poop, Ryan is a little boy of about three who loves to play with pretend dinosaurs.
  • Jurassic Park: In the book, Alan Grant loves kids because they share his enthusiasm for dinosaurs, which is rare in adults outside of paleontology circles.
  • In the Animorphs Megamorphs novel "In the Time of Dinosaurs", Tobias (a teenager trapped in the body of a hawk) reveals that he loved playing with dinosaurs when he was younger. His knowledge turns out to be helpful when he and Rachel are inadvertently separated from the rest of the group.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Barney & Friends features the titular purple Tyrannosaurus rex and his dinosaur friends befriending, playing with, and teaching a group of enthusiastic children.
  • Attempts to be invoked in the iCarly episode "iCarly Saves TV'' when Carly, Sam, and Freddie are approached by a TV producer who wants to turn their web show into a TV show. The cast enjoys it at first, until the producer starts making changes that get more and more ridiculous and stupid, one being including a talking dinosaur named Zeebo because "kids love dinosaurs." Carly and Sam quickly get annoyed with Zeebo's behavior, with Sam eventually beating him up.
  • Dino Dan is a kids educational show about a young boy named Dan who is obsessed with dinosaurs, who's the only one who can see them.
  • In Just Shoot Me!, Maya falls in love with a dim-witted male model, whose immaturity is shown by his love of dinosaurs (which he learned about in a restaurant place mat).
  • Super Sentai and Power Rangers are in the toy-sales business, and one of their go-to themes is dinosaurs. (For the record, some others are animals, cars, and ninjas.) Notably, when there was a sales slump and they had to start moving merch fast, they used dinosaurs to do it (with Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger).
  • Walking with Dinosaurs:
    • The original Walking With Dinosaurs line averts this as it is a serious and violent, age neutral speculative documentary series.
    • Prehistoric Planet was a Lighter and Softer cut of the series aimed at children, but even then it didn't stray from showing how graphic nature can be.
    • Played straight with the theatrical movie, Walking With Dinosaurs 3D. Due to Executive Meddling in order to get kids to "understand" it better, voice-overs were added in at the last minute. The movie also contained a lot of kiddie humor. Due to the backlash, they released the Cretaceous Cut without the voice-overs.
    • In the Walking with Dinosaurs Arena Spectacular, the narration (performed by a person on-stage dressed as a 19th-century paleontologist) is more child-oriented than in the television series. It's also somewhat less overtly violent than the original documentary, though that's partially due to the limitations of the animatronics.

    Podcasts 
  • Discussed in this podcast staring paleontologists. Dinosaurs are easy to market to kids, however adults aren't that interested in them. This is why there have been fewer dinosaur (or, even paleontology period) documentaries since the mid-2000s.

    Toys 
  • Figures such as the ones from CollectA, Safari Ltd., and Schleich are aimed at children yet are very high quality, anatomically correct, and feature various Seldom-Seen Species.

    Video Games 

    Webcomics 

    Web Videos 
  • Bowser Junior from SuperMarioLogan likes to play with dinosaurs. Sometimes when he plays dinosaurs with his friends, he will give them one tiny dinosaur to pit against his many bigger ones.

    Western Animation 
  • Dinosaur Train features a Tyrannosaurus Rex named Buddy who is adopted by a family of Pteranodon. They go on time traveling adventures together.
  • DuckTales (2017):
    • Webby has "high-five a Brontosaurus" as one of her life goals.
    • In "Timephoon!", Dewey and Webby eagerly watch Bubba (himself a kid cave-duck) ride on a Triceratops, and eventually Huey admits it's awesome.
  • Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs is about Harry, a five year old who has six miniature dinosaurs as his friends packed into a bucket. There's also a second child, Charley, who also has her own selection of dinosaur friends.
  • The sixth episode of Johnny Bravo is "Johnny Meets Farrah Fawcett." Johnny succeeds in getting past Farrah's ruthless bodyguard by posing as Smarmy The Dinosaur. He's immediately mobbed by excited children, who use his supine form as a trampoline while Farrah blithely departs.
  • In The Loud House, there's a Barney parody called Blarney, who is loved by the younger girls such as Lily and the twins, and also Clyde (who's eleven, but too much of a wuss to watch the scary movies).
  • In Muppet Babies (2018), Kermit's favorite toy is his Mega Super Ultra Robo Dinosaur action figure. In "A Very Muppet Babies Christmas", he hopes to get a pack of Mega Super Ultra Robo Dinosaur trading cards. In "When You Wish Upon a Rizzo", when Rizzo takes on the form of a genie and gives the babies each one wish, Kermit's wish is for his Mega Super Ultra Robo Dinosaur action figure to be life-sized.
  • In Peppa Pig, George, one of the youngest characters, is a big dinosaur fan and owns a toy dinosaur named Mr. Dinosaur.
  • In Rugrats, the babies love the cartoon dinosaur named Reptar. They watch him on TV, eat cereal and candy related to him, play with toys of him, etc.
  • The Simpsons: In "The Book Job", the Simpsons attend a live show called Sitting with Dinosaurs (a blatant parody of the Walking with Dinosaurs Arena Spectacular). The kids in the audience are excited to see the (fake) dinosaurs, but are frightened when they see that they're nothing like Barney.
    Milhouse: These aren't dinosaurs! Dinosaurs sing!
  • Timothy Goes to School: This gets inverted in "Scary Monsters" in which Nora is scared of dinosaurs since she thought all of them were huge.
  • At one point in Winston's Potty Chair, Winston has an Imagine Spot where he is in a prehistoric forest when he reads a book about dinosaurs. This ultimately leads to Winston having a potty accident, and when his dad sees him, he says, "Winston, that must be a good book! You forgot to go to the potty!"

    Real Life 
  • Many natural history and science museums have dinosaur exhibits that are specifically geared towards children, with brightly-colored interactive displays and captions worded simply enough for young audiences to understand. Other kinds of prehistoric life rarely get this sort of treatment.
  • This stereotype tends to irritate many professional paleontologists, especially those who specialize in dinosaurs, due to the implication it carries that their subject of study is inherently juvenile.

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