A fantastic marriage of state-of-the-art computer technology, thrilling live action, and breathtaking ingenuity, " Dinotopia" emerges as one of the most ambitious and technically advanced projects in the history of televis... more »ion. While flying on holiday with their estranged father, Karl (Tyron Leitso) and David (Wentworth Miller) find themselves in unexpected bad weather, which sends their plane crashing to the shores of Dinotopia. In this fantastic lost world, built upon long-established principles of mutual respect, humans and dinosaurs peacefully coexist. The two brothers are as astounded by the benevolent creatures as they are enraptured by Marion (Katie Carr), the mayor's beautiful precocious daughter who welcomes them both to the wonders of Dinotopia. However, harmony does not prevail everywhere. Just beyond Dinotopia's capital, Waterfall City, are deadly carnivores that pose a constant threat to the delicate balance of nature. Equally dangerous are human outlaws such as Cyrus Crabb (David Thewlis), a pirate descendant who shuns the Dinotopian codes. But there is no greater concern than the mysterious failing of the sunstones, which power all of Dinotopian life. With the help of a brilliant (and multilingual) Stenonychosaurus named Zippo, Karl and David embark on a daring mission as the last hope for the prehistoric Eden they now call home. Constructed as one of the largest sets in the history of London's Pinewood Studios, with ground breaking special effects by the award-winning team at FrameStore, there has never been anything quite like "Dinotopia." Based on James Gurney's hugely popular books, adapted by Simon Moore and directed by action specialist Marco Brambilla, this is truly a mega-series that could only come from Hallmark Entertainment.« less
Jessica V. from SARATOGA SPGS, UT Reviewed on 3/6/2013...
All of my children, 10 and under, boys and girls, love this miniseries! I do too! There is so much that could come after we have to get into the books now.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Edna H. (tessiss) from FRANKLINVILLE, NC Reviewed on 1/4/2012...
i love this series
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
A wonderful 'fantasy world' miniseries
Another Movie FAN | Rohnert Park, Ca. United States | 09/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a GREAT 4 hour fantasy miniseries, with beautiful sets and production artwork, terrific special effects, and a pretty decent story line. Having said this, I have to admit that the plot was targeted at adolescents and young teens, and for an adult to fully enjoy the story requires that you slip your mind out of `critical gear' for a few hours.
Every time I watch Dinotopia, I am blown away by the unexpectedly high production values in this relatively unknown miniseries. Some of the reviews posted here lean in the direction that Dinotopia's effects are `almost as good' as movies like "Jurassic Park", and "Walking with Dinosaurs" but I actually think, in fairness, I would have to say that the effects in Dinotopia are better, or at least, at a minimum, more ambitious. The reason I say this is that Dinotopia takes on the MUCH more difficult challenge of turning some of the dinosaurs into full time, walking, talking, supporting characters, (and pulls this off remarkably well). Also, in this miniseries, a much higher percentage of the scenes are special effects shots involving a dinosaur character, and under these circumstances, you would think that there are bound to be a few shots that just don't quite hold up, but I'll be darned if I can pick out a single scene to cite as an example.
Given the fact that we are talking about maybe ten times the number of effects shots involving dinosaurs as there were in the first "Jurassic Park" movie, and given that the dinosaurs are interacting with the human characters in much more complex ways (in one scene, a man sized dinosaur named `Zippo' plays ping-pong with one of the human characters), I think they did an absolutely remarkable job on the effects in this miniseries.
Even minor characters like the `postal bird' are executed beautifully, and aside from the dinosaur effects, the quality of the sets and production artwork in many of the scenes is absolutely stunning, making this miniseries a real visual treat.
As far as the story line goes, I have to admit that I had to chuckle at times over the `psycho-babble', `granola-flake' perfection of the Dinotopian society, but this is, after all, a fantasy. Given the quantity and quality of the material, and the low cost of this DVD set, I think this miniseries was quite a bargain, and I can't think of another recent DVD purchase that has pleased me more."
2nd best movie after Harry Potter
Another Movie FAN | 03/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am 10 years old. I loved this movie SO MUCH! It was so exciting and I imagined myself riding a Skybax. Even though the movie is long, I watched over and over. Wouldn't it be so cool to live with the dinosaurs!"
Serious problem with "Dinotopia" (TV Miniseries) discs
E. Anderson | New York, NY | 03/21/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The TV miniseries "Dinotopia" is a wonderful show but there's a serious problem trying to get the right DVD from Amazon. And, it isn't Amazon's fault. I've ordered and had to return the DVD twice this month because I've received the following discs in the sealed package - Disc #1 Dinotopia- The Series (2004) and Disc #2 Dinotopia - TV Miniseries (2002). The packaging and labeling on the discs is correct for the TV miniseries (2002) which is what I've ordered but there's Disc #1 with the TV series that ran briefly in 2004. It's clear the mistake comes directly from the manufacturer or distributor. In frustration, I've just ordered a used version of the DVD from one of Amazon's secondary sellers, and hopefully, that copy will be correct."
Excellent mini-series film of the book
Keith Joseph | West Berkshire, England | 12/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My son (now 10) and our family fell in love with this original Emmy award winning Dinotopia mini-series with it's 'all star' cast. It's a two DVD set edited into a superb long film (running over to the second DVD). Personally I prefer serials like these kept to their original episodes and credits to maintain pace and the episode cliff hanger, particularly for the kids at bedtime, but this film works quite well. The DVD set includes an actually interesting 'making of' featurette. Initially my son absolutely couldn't tolerate the spin off Dinotopia full series than came later when they changed all the actors, and has taken a few years to get round to watching his multi-DVD `series' set despite viewing this original Dinotopia film many times. The spin-off series has a more jocular mood with the charactor's presented in a more likeable way than the moody, angry and pious (bordering on pompous in the Mayor's case) tone of this original.
All the family preferred this film's darker style, with classy Brit's Katie Carr and Jim Carter as the Dinotopians and American's Wentworth Miller and David Thewlis as the believable in-fighting step-brother's coping with their sudden change of lifestyle and recent loss of their father. I also really, really loved Lee Evans as dinosaur Zippo's voice, Terry Jone's as the messenger's birds voice and Canadian Tyron Leitso as hustler Cyrus Crabb. None of these actors carried over to the spin-off series - but of course any Dinotopia is better than nothing so check out the series as well - it's particularly cheap via Amozon resellers in NTSC. The darker nature of this DVD set is well suited to older pre-teens and teenagers (probably boys mainly), as many of the rampaging carnivore dinosaur scenes are a bit scary (but definitely not as much as Jurassic Park - although in heavily populated Dinotopia the body count does pile up more).
So overall, highly recommended, particularly as no more promised Dinotopia seems to have materialised. Picture & sound quality is superb, and the special effects are quite dazzling (particularly Waterfall City). This miniseries looks like it cost a million dollars. Well actually it cost 86 million dollars - with the single dino-hatchling animatronic character costing $100,000 alone. We got this DVD set very cheaply via Amazon resellers as the NTSC set, and our fuzzy VHS copies are now in the bin. Dinotopia (technically translated as 'terrible place') is a fictitious utopian island created from the imagination of author and illustrator James Gurney - his beautiful picture laden book 'Dinotopia, A land apart' is a good read as well."