Whao watched it last night?

I missed it and want to know the general consensus. Was it worth watching? Will you tune in for the next 2 parts?

We taped it and we’ll be taping the next two so we can watch it all at once so I didn’t sit and watch it. But what I did see as I was checking the tape looked really good. Especially for a made for TV presentation.

We watched about 40 minutes of it before we just wanted to gouge our eyeballs out!

My roommate and I, both fans of the original books, started watching with open minds but ended up heckling it constantly. They tried to force an overblown, highly predictable Disney standard plotline into it, and the result is crap. Nice to look at sometimes, but crap.

Plus, the CGI isn’t all that great. They remembered to give the dinosaurs shadows and reflections, but neglected to, say, have them leave footprints or stir up dust when they walk. And as for Zippo … the name “Jar Jar Binks” pops up unbidden into your brain when watching him.

I didn’t see this thread so I started another one. (Please disregard the thread I started.) This is what I said:

Taping it. Unfortunately, I’m taping it for my son and already promised him a “dinosaur movie” and from bits I’ve caught I’m getting the impression it may be too violent/scary in places for a three year old. I had expected safer from ABC/Disney/Hallmark :frowning: That’s not even putting them down, just that I had figured “Oh, ABC, Disney and Hallmark… how bad could it be?”

You will find, Jophiel, that three-year-olds are a bit too young for most mass entertainment, even that of a family nature. My daughter at that age would get “scared” at the exciting parts of any movie–Disney, Pokemon, whatever. Even now that she’s five, she’ll squeal a bit when the protagonist is in danger. The difference is that she still enjoys the experience now.

After all, if every dinosaur movie had to be appropriate for a three-year-old, we’d all be watching “Barney”. We don’t want that, do we? :slight_smile:

[sub]We now return you to your regularly scheduled thread already in progress.[/sub]


Yeah, it starts out with Dad getting killed - whoops! Gotta have those Disney orphans. Although it seems Dad wasn’t a very good person anyway.

I like it. The peaceful, utopian “humans are no better than dinosaurs” stuff is interesting. The sulky kid doesn’t want to fit in or cooperate (although apparently he didn’t fit in or cooperate back in the outside world, so why is he so eager to leave?). I’d like to live in a place where you have a mystical experience that tells you exactly where you fit into society…kind of like the Sorting Hat, eh? And is that Terry Jones as the voice of the Postal Bird?

Gotta have the conflict about the unscrupulous antique dealer Cyrus Crabb (Why didn’t he want the sulky kid to leave?), and whether the Dinotopians will end up defying ancient traditions to find a new power source before the carnivores can kill them all. Utopian stories always involve a society that is peaceful but a little too tame being awakened by some huge threat to their survival or being corrupted by the influence of baser human desires. So in the end, ya gotta go for the scenery and nifty computer effects. A little slow but entertaining overall. It reminds me of that Edgar Rice Burroughs-inspired movie with Treat Williams that was on cable a couple of years ago.

But if Marion is going to be a Matriarch, she can do better than these guys! She shouldn’t be such an innocent.

I have absolutely no familiarity with the Dinotopia books, and I think the mini-series is very interesting.

The visuals are terrific for a miniseries, and are even better than some of that horrible CGI from The Phantom Menace. :slight_smile: Sure, it’s no “Jurassic Park”, but I was pleasantly surprised by the level of detail.

The story itself is interesting as well. Yes, it’s Disney. In real life there would be more swearing. Still, I like it very much.

In my opinion Part II was better acted, more exciting and more interesting than Part I. I could actually empathize with the characters. The skybax training sequence, and David’s unorthodox triumph, were well done.

It’s possible some people may not like this series because of its political point of view. You say “preachy”, I say “perspicacious”. The author, James Gurney, may very well be a vegetarian tree-hugging socialist; so what? Anybody who writes about a fantasy utopia has the right to make it conform to their own beliefs. Ayn Rand wrote books for adults about a capitalist/libertarian utopia, but that alone is not sufficient grounds for rejecting her work.

I am a fourth-grade teacher and have had the Dinotopia books in my classroom for ten years. I offered the kids extra credit for every episode summary they turned in. I also took some of them to see “Harry Potter”. Hey, whatever gets 'em into books.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge” – Einstein [paraphrased]


Well, there’s an obvious difference (in my eyes at least) between an apperance by Team Rocket and the violent death of a father within the first five minutes of a movie. One doesn’t bother him, the other might (or might not) but I’d rather not find out. I hardly think something has to be akin to Barney to be watchable, but anyway that’s not the point. I was just commenting on my own thing – it’s my job to screen this sort of thing, I did, and that’s that. I never hinted or implied that they should have done it differently, I just said it was a bummer that he wouldn’t get to watch it since he’d groove to seeing the dinosaurs.

I tried to watch it again last night. Couldn’t do it. It moved along so slowly I was falling asleep. What was worse was that right when it got really slow, they’d go to a commercial. I couldn’t stand it any more and went to bed.

Being a Disney film it has a predictable plot. If it moved a little faster I might watch it; but the parts I saw were rather ponderous.

Potential Spoilers for part one ahead -

I knew nothing of the series, save for the advertisements back during the Stephen King mini-series. I did not know what to expect and as a result had no high hopes. Despite that, I was sadly disappointed.
It started out with great promise, and I found myself singing the opening and closing themes to Land of the Lost while watching. The utopian landscape slowly going awry as the sunstones started to fail (as evidenced at the waystation they visited) was a Jurassic Park-esque plot that could be easily digested and enjoyed.
But then they had to show up at Waterfall City and register. I knew things were going wrong when the dinosaurs in the audience began to applaud and grunt their approval. And THENNNN the two brothers meet Crappo the talking dinosaur with all the quirky behaviors that Disney loves to shove down our throats.
It got me thinking then, why do some dinosaurs have to live as pack animals (like the ones that carried people across the terrain), some are in positions of power, but cannot speak English, and some who are not in power can speak English AND French AND play a mean game of ping pong.
I’m all for the suspension of disbelief and all that, but that just snapped it for me. I think the words I spoke to my wife were ‘wow, this sure turned into a huge pile of suck quickly’.

In any case, I haven’t read the books, so I cannot judge the accuracy of part one, and I am likely not the target audience (though I wish I knew that before my earlier investment of time), but I did not watch part 2 and will not bother with the third either.

i watched, and will watch again tonight. i am easily amused though and can sit through just about anything as long as i have a book (or the sdmb) to flip through in the slow bits. at this point i would say it is not too bad. it has some interesting bits.

Hee hee. Who needs to watch the actual show when there are all those ads? Every time they come on I just fall down laughing. If they hadn’t been books, I’d be pondering how much crack the writers were smoking before one spoke up “Of course! It’s obvious!”, then went on with the plot.

I have enjoyed the first two episodes, although I was disapointed they didn’t make a widescreen (hdtv?) version. The Zippo character is what Jar Jar should have been.


I caught part of the first episode over at my dad’s house and my (roughly) three year old step-niece was visiting and she seemed to enjoy it immensely, during the times that she could actually be bothered to pay attention to it. (Grandparents have a dog, which is something my niece doesn’t have at home, so whenever the dog came around, my niece immediately lost all interest in the TV and chased the dog, much to the dog’s dismay.)

Dinotopia will be a regular series (thurs at 8, 7 central)



Watched episodes two and three. The show does not follow the published books, but is set in their world in our current time. the original books were from over a hundred years ago. Some characters from that time are mentioned. Spoiler? ahead

The dad isn’t dead. Of course, right at a crucial life saving point he miraculously turns up.

This Halmi character always does this…he takes a perfectly good, filmable plot, and monkeys with it until it’s completely unrecognizable…all with the best visuals ever. He did the same thing in Gulliver’s Travels…screwed with the plot in completely unnecessary ways, and in some cases totally changed the ideas being presented (don’t get me started on that one)…

same thing here. I loved the Dinotopia books, and loved the miniseries too, for about 20 minutes…enough time to drop jaw at the visuals (perfect) before asking myself repeatedly, “why in hell did he screw up a much better plot??”

I won’t be watching any more. I’ll check out the TV series, Halmi isn’t doing that one.