Prehysteria! is the first film in a trilogy of family-oriented films made in the early to mid-1990s about the adventures of five miniature baby dinosaurs named after famous pop musicians. The dinosaurs were Elvis, a male Tyrannosaurus Rex, Paula, a female Brachiosaurus, Jagger, a male Stegosaurus, Hammer, a male Chasmosaurus, and Madonna, a female Pteranodon. The films were made by Moonbeam Entertainment, the family-oriented sub-brand of B-movie producer Charles Band's Full Moon Entertainment. Richard Band, Michael Bishop, and Fuzzbee Morse composed the music for the movies.
Prehysteria! tells the story of Rico Sarno, a museum curator, who enters a forbidden temple in South America, and discovers a nest of five eggs. He steals them and brings them back to his museum. Frank Taylor (Brett Cullen), a farmer, sells fossils to Rico and in a mix up, the Taylor's dog takes a cooler, which has the eggs. The kids, Monica (Samantha Mills) and Jerry (Austin O'Brien) discover the dinosaurs when they hatch and try to keep it a secret, until their father finds out. Vicki (Colleen Morris), a woman who works for Rico, sees the dinosaurs, she tells the Taylors not to give them back to Rico because he will expose them. Rico finds out the Taylors have them and hires two robbers to help him get the dinosaurs back.
In the early 1990s, Charles Band was working on a new label from Full Moon Entertainment, called Moonbeam Entertainment. Moonbeam Entertainment was created specifically for family, science fiction and fantasy films. Films created for children and adults, with no "hard edge" to them. Around the same time, storyboard artist Peter von Sholly, approached Band with a concept about creating a movie about miniature dinosaurs. Band, intrigued with the idea, thought that it was perfect to be the first Moonbeam film. David Allen Productions and Mark Rappaport supplied the special effects to bring the dinosaurs to life for all of the films. The first Prehysteria was co-directed by Charles and Albert Band and it was released in 1993. The film was such a huge success, and it gained over $100,000,000 in rental sales. Due to its outcome, a sequel was quickly developed, and released in 1994. No character from the first film returned, however Albert Band returned to direct. In 1995, Moonbeam developed a second sequel, entitled "Prehysteria! 3". David DeCoteau directed the film. The only returning character was Owen Bush, from the second film. All of the films were released by Paramount Home Video.