Dinosaur or paleo media roaring in 2023


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Graphic design made by Aynsleigh Penland using Canva’s presentation software

Dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures are some of the most awe-inspiring animals of all time, capturing the hearts and minds of millions around the world. Sadly, however, there seemed to be a stark absence of dinosaur content, more often called paleo media, during the 2010s compared to the 1990s and 2000s. The only present media was a few low-budget documentaries and the “Jurassic World” trilogy, “The Good Dinosaur,” and “Ice Age 5” being the only movies, with only the former being financially successful. 

Thankfully, the 2020s seems to be a kind of paleo renaissance, which was slow in 2020 and 2021 due to health concerns, but since 2022 has been booming in high-quality content. The best part is that this year is looking to be no different than the last.

The first major paleo media that was released this year was “65,” which was only released last week in theaters. The major distinction with this movie is that it was the first dinosaur movie to be released in theaters that wasn’t Jurassic Park-related since 2015. 

It stars Adam Driver and follows his character trying to survive Earth 65 million years ago while protecting a child after their spaceship crashes. While the film itself is getting negative reviews, it might be worth watching if you are interested enough.

On the documentary side of things, by far the biggest documentary coming out this year is “Prehistoric Planet 2.” This is the second season of last year’s ‘Prehistoric Planet,” an Apple TV documentary narrated by Sir David Attenborough detailing life 66 million years ago. The second season will start May 22, and the only animal confirmed is Tarchia, an ankylosaurid from Mongolia that coexisted with Velociraptor and Therizinosaurus, among others.

Another documentary coming to Netflix in November is titled “Life on Our Planet,” but little is known about it at the moment. We do know it will cover time periods before and after the Mesozoic period, the age of the dinosaurs. 

A unique documentary is “Amazing DinoWorld 2.” Like ”Prehistoric Planet,” this is a second season rather than a new show. However, it’s unique because it is a Japanese-American production, making it the only foreign paleo media this year.

The last major piece of paleo media coming out this year is “Forgotten Bloodlines: Agate.’ Unlike the others, it is independently funded and produced and covers the Miocene period, the rise of mammals. It is narrated by Nigel Marvin, who also starred in documentaries such as “Chased by Dinosaurs,” “Chased by Sea Monsters,” and “Prehistoric Park.”

While paleo media is pretty slow on the movie side, the documentary side more than makes up for it by having so much high-quality content come out. Maybe we will see multiple dinosaur films in one year release in theaters.