The Fascination With Dinosaurs

What is it about dinosaurs that makes kids love them so much?  My nephews are crazy about them -- we gave them dinosaur toys last year and they are still playing with them.  One of their favorite television shows is Dino Dan on Nick Jr., a show about a kid who wants to grow up to be a paleontologist and studies dinosaurs as they appear all around him in every day life.  It is no diferent from when I was a kid and loved Land of the Lost

The infatuation is understandable -- dinosaurs are giant monsters that actually walked the earth.  Fictional dragons and mutants like Godzilla can barely compete with the real deal whose awesome skeletons can be seen up close and personal at the American Museum of Natural History. 

While Hollywood churns out endless content about vampires and zombies, I am surprised we do not see more movies and television shows about dinosaurs. The Jurassic Park franchise gave us two bestselling novels by Michael Crichton and three blockbuster movies.  The BBC produced an exellent documentary series called Walking with Dinosaurs.  Edgar Rice Burroughs gave us The Land That Time Forgot and more recently there have been cartoons like The Land Before Time, fantasy series like Dinotopia, and a cheesy sitcom called Dinosaurs!

Steven Spielberg knows the power of those extinct creatures to entertain, and that is why he is executive-producing a new eagerly-awaited science fiction series called Terra Nova about time travelers who go back to prehistoric times.  

Maybe there will be a flood of new dinosaur fiction in the years ahead of us to delight children of all ages. 

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