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"Dinotopia"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Dinotopia" More at IMDbPro »

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26 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

I have never been more jubilant about mini-series (or a four-hour movie, whatever you prefer)

10/10
Author: Dark_Fox from Rimburg (in zuid-west Limburg), The Netherlands
28 December 2002

I saw the first part of Dinotopia on television. In advance, I knew nothing about it, and I thought it would be just another cheap movie with horrible effects and only a few dinosaur scenes. I have never been that wrong! Dinotopia is a gripping story with splendid animation, I have immediately bought it on video! The movie contains marvellous landscapes, introduces some new ideas about dinosaurs (the ability to speak, intelligence, the way they survived extinction), is filled with magnificent music and contains fascinating ways of human-dinosaur interaction. A must-see for almost everyone, since there are no gruesome blood-scenes. My points of comment:1) a total of four seconds bad acting, and 2) a couple of gaps in the script (however, very small). In contrast to Jurassic Park, this movie has very little scenes with flesh-eating dinosaurs. Dinotopia can count itself to the best dinosaur-movies ever (which is, even now, a disappointing small group), and is a movie I want to watch over and over again! Only he who is blind or deaf, doesn't like dinosaurs or adventure and/or wants to have killing action every second of a movie has to ignore this masterpiece.

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30 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

I think some people forget what movies are all about.

Author: Utahraptor2002 from United States
29 May 2004

I have read the comments of others who have seen this movie or say they have. It sounds to me that people are looking for the acting, graphics, etc., rather than what the purpose of the movie is really for and the lessons it can teach if you pay close attention. Sometimes the comments of others sound as if they didn't even watch it or try to understand it. It's too bad we can't all see eye-to-eye on this, but then again i'm sure this movie wasn't made for everyone. It was probably made for those with a strong imagination and who believe in the impossible.

Now of course the acting, script, graphics, and all could be better, but I didn't judge the movie on those things, but rather the story it told, and I found it to be a fantastic story. It reminded me of when I was young and tried to imagine what it would be like if dinosaurs did not become extinct and lived in the present day. Dinotopia shows one possibility, a possibility that I always imagined and more. I of course love dinosaurs. Zippo was awesome in my opinion. I think he is what got me interested in the movie in the first place because of the fact that he is an intelligent, friendly, and a talking dinosaur. I think it interested me because it is something that I do not get to see very often (visually anyways), but only in my imagination. This movie nearly brought it to life to me. I think Lee Evans did a great job as the voice of Zippo. He really put the emotion and personality in the character of Zippo. Have you ever imagined a city built on top of a large waterfall? I know I haven't and when I saw it, I thought it was breathtaking. Is it possible? Who cares? In this movie it is possible. I believe that it is possible if you can imagine it. I am a big fan of James Gurney (who is the creator of Dinotopia) and Dinotopia. This movie is what made me a fan of Dinotopia. Before I saw this I had never heard of Dinotopia. This movie in fact, is probably my all time favorite. This movie has even changed my life in every way that I can think of for the better. I am glad I saw it. I recommend that you read the books. They will tell all there is to know about Dinotopia better than the movies. Dinotopia is said to be fictional in reality. That may be true, but it has felt more real to me than anything else i've ever seen in reality. "It is possible if you can imagine it." That's probably why it seems so real to me. I have been able to imagine it. Dinotopia has it all and everything about Dinotopia is explained so well that the question I ask is: How can it not be real? Whether it is real or not depends on you. Does everything have to be determined on whether it is real or not by seeing it with your eyes or touching it with your hands? How about the feeling that it gives deep down inside of you. Isn't that proof enough? I give the movie an 8, but for the whole idea of Dinotopia I give it a 10.

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13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

A magical delight

Author: michael-stead from Bournemouth, United Kingdom
11 January 2006

I found this to be absolutely enchanting. There is a richness to the cinematography reminiscent of the film Babe, making it super-real, and the special effects add a layer of beauty to the film, rather than being a distraction.

There is a strong narrative thread, based around two half-brothers, washed up on the shores of the island. You have to make the leap into believing that somehow this island exists - almost undiscovered - as a haven where dinosaurs and humans co-exist.

The drama is driven along by the fact that the brothers barely know each other, having been brought up by different mothers. As they search for their father, who was with them in a plane that crashed, their differences become exacerbated.

With the exception of a lone tyrannosaurus attack, the story steers clear of the usual dinosaurs; instead it showcases some that appear less often in modern films, such as the enormous ankylosaurs, who act as acolytes and guards on the island.

I found myself caught up in the magic as the brothers take a ride on a dinosaur bus to Waterfall City. One of the lovely conceits of the films is that dinosaurs and humans work with each other in a variety of different ways. It is through the interaction with dinosaurs that the brothers each go on a journey of self-discovery and development.

There are some plot twists along the way, some love stories, and a complex villain, played very well by David Thewlis. The drama is divided up into rather lengthy sections. I find them enthralling and have watched them several times, but you really need to set a large chunk of an afternoon or an evening aside to enjoy each part.

This is a very male-centred drama, the women tend to be brought on in supporting roles and sometimes the leading characters behave quite infuriatingly. However, even though you are, like the brothers, dropped in the deep end of the story, it all makes sense, all the important plot strands get resolved and you can come out of it wishing that the island was real.

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14 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Dinotopia is a Visual Spectacular!

9/10
Author: Tavishe from Ontario, Canada
21 May 2002

Dinotopia is a Visual Spectacular!

Though the mini-series is corny in areas, it the good type of corny...not that crappy 'we're the best' Hollywood corny. It's a movie that's not afraid to admit that it's corny or that some of it's acting isn't the greatest at times. On the upside the visual effects are amazing. If you watch the mini-series and think that you are looking at a painting/drawing style it's really quite breathtaking. Another thing thing I must say for this movie is that it is entertaining, fun ride, action packed. I was neve bored watching this film. Overall it was just a good 4.5 hours to spend. Light hearted...good family fun...but not one of those typical family movies.

Recommendation: Read the books by James Guerny as well "Dinotopia" and the "World Beneath" =)

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12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

I loved it!

10/10
Author: PaleoLover from Pennsylvania
10 July 2002

I thought that "Dinotopia" was absolutely excellent. At the beginning, the acting seemed a bit, well, fake; but as it went on the actors became a lot more believable. Zippo has been compared to Jar Jar Binks...but how could you do that when Zippo isn't a thing like Jar Jar? Jar Jar was hard to understand and just plain silly, not smart at all. Zippo spoke great English and was intellectual. The dinosaurs were a delight to see, as well...I've been a huge fan of dinos since I was little. I'm definitely going to buy the DVD so I can see it again and again. Congratulations to the creators of such a great miniseries!

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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Fantastical adventure that is most watchable!!!

Author: celticbrit13 from Maine
14 May 2002

Dinotopia is a fantastical adventure story that the whole family can sit down and watch together. Although it isn't mind-blowing fantastic, it is very watchable and mostly enjoyable. The main cast is made up of newcomers or not-so-easily recognizable actors and some very interesting CGI and Animatronic dinosaurs ("Zippo" and "26" really stick as as super-great). The pace is a little slow and the plot is a little predictable, but that doesn't make this mini-series any harder to get into. It is an interesting story, with some stunning visual sequences, that has most definitely gotten me addicted to it. All the same, you can still feel the story's morals being forcefully instilled on you as you watch the story unfold. All in all I give it 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

"A Great Delight to Watch"

9/10
Author: misskiwi4 from United States
14 October 2005

Recently becoming a Wentworth Miller fan, I found myself drawn to his earlier works and came upon this charming miniseries. It's definitely worth a look. If your into seeing cutesy fantasy films, than this a movie for you. Not only was the acting, and choices for actors/actresses great, but the special effects were phenomenal. After a while I had to remind myself that the dinosaurs were actually fake, because it's easily forgotten. The story is entertaining and moves along nicely. Also, the music and storyline overall really gave it a truly classic and magical feel. It really was a treat to see. I'd recommend it, without question.

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11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Weird society...

6/10
Author: Anna Konda from Europe
4 September 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This comment contains spoilers on the dinotopian society and the storyline.

I borrowed the 'Dinotopia'-DVD from a friend and watched all of the three parts last night. Somehow the show didn't turn out to be that gripping I could sit along for 4,5 hours without taking my eyes off the screen. I moved around rather a lot, returning to the TV when dramatic music or some line caught my attention. Signs that I got occasionally bored.

What has been so boring has already been named in other comments, such as the lousy acting, the incredibly silly lines and the tiring, predictable 'immature teens learn to take their responsibilities'-story line.

The CGIs were quite good for a TV Show, although in some scenes you could clearly see that the dinos were added to the film later, especially in most of the Zippo-scenes. Zippo's colour was far too light to fit the rest of the scene.

Zippo himself indeed reminded me of Jar-Jar Binks, but I noted that he wasn't half that annoying as this babbling dope. Poor Zippo didn't have a clear part, in fact he wasn't much more than the usual funny sidekick, as it is common use in Disney movies.

The portrayal of the dinotopian way of life made me a bit uncomfortable. Although it would be most welcome if mankind would get closer to Nature again, the social structure appeared to be quite dictatorial to me. One single person, the 'Matriarch', decides where people will work and how they will live. The Senate decides which saurian partner one will have to live with. Every decision concerning your very life is taken by the authorities. And not a single Dinotopian appears to question this? Where is the right of the free will? What if someone doesn't want to work at the place he has been chosen to? Will he be placed under house arrest for the rest of his life? It may be forbidden for Dinotopians to make use of violence and weapons but there can be psychological violence as well.

Even the dinotopian teenagers seem to know exactly their one and only destiny (and everyone knows that teenagers rarely do), such as Marion and Romana. But what if Romana, who dreamed being a skybax rider since her childhood, would have been chosen to work in the hatchery? Eh? Would she still answer 'Fly high' when someone addresses her with 'Breath deep', or wouldn't it rather be 'Go to hell'?

As I don't know the books of James Gurney I cannot tell if the description of this society is the same in the original or if it has just been simplified for the TV show.

It intrigues me that no one seems to argue at any time (except the villain of course). Even the children appear to be the most wellbehaving. I expected them to poke fun at their nearly adult classmates David and Karl, but – no. Nowhere on earth, in any society, you have such every time sunny, patient, friendly and peaceful people. Everyone (except the villain of course) seems to be brainwashed since his childhood. What do those people do for fun? Watching sectlike ceremonies and listening to incantations of the Ten Rules? Didn't one of the Rules read 'Sing Every Day'? I never heard anyone sing during those 4,5 hours.

But this may come because they are all vegetarians (no offense to the vegetarian community ;-) – I hardly eat meat myself). As I understood, they only eat fruit, vegetables, and cereals and they didn't propose cheese or eggs for meal, which makes them more vegans than vegetarians. But if they are, where do they take the leather from to make their saddles (it clearly was leather, no cloth)? I can hardly believe they skin the dinos after they die! When you live together with a saurian partner, aren't you supposed to bury it decently after it dies? You don't make a pair of shoes out of your dead grandma's skin, do you?

Besides, isn't it strange that there is no other kind of animal to be seen on the island apart from the dinosaurs? No dogs, cats, pigs or chicken. It is quite unlikely that the shipwrecked ancestors of the Dinotopians never had any animals aboard. But strangely, Marion knows exactly that a chicken is a bird when Karl asks for a chicken burger. Being Dinotopian in the 20th generation, her knowledge seems rather implausible on a chickenless island.

Sometimes I felt sorry for poor Sirus Crabb, a villain for sure, but he appeared to be the only one to question the 'paradise' he lives in. And if you question Paradise, as is proved by Adam and Eve, you must be get rid off – in one way or another…

As a conclusion, let me state that besides my comments on this weird society, 'Dinotopia' is far away from being the worst movie I ever saw. It can offer a nice TV evening with friends and even a very catching discussion afterwards about how mankind should or shouldn't live and if you liked to live in Dinotopia yourself or not.

I gave it a rating 6/10.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic

8/10
Author: kasatka from Long Beach, CA
13 May 2002

The story takes place about three generations after the original books. It is the tale of two brothers that don't know each other all that well and end up getting stranded together on the island of Dinotopia. In short, it has something for everyone - action, adventure, mystery and romance.

The special effects are the best I've seen for any TV mini-series, and it was incredible seeing these books come to life. The dinosaurs were very well done, with an exception to the "talking" dinosaurs - they were a bit cartoony, but cute. There were a couple oddities concerning story canon and continuity here and there, but they're easily overlooked. This movie is still a great one to watch.

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

mediocre at best

Author: KP-XF from Switzerland
21 June 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There are many plot holes, bad acting, undeveloped and uninteresting story and dialog, this overlong film (part I&II) had potential but failed to deliver; recommended for people who want to dream without thinking and for children. Don't look for a flawless story and interesting dialog, don't try to analyze. I expected much more and I got mediocrity. I've heard that James Gurney's Dinotopia books are great (unlike the movies) but I haven't read them. You don't find out how Frank Scott survived in the cave. Free Fall just happens to be at the temple. Frank Scott was in the caves for a long time and he didn't find the sun stones. There's no explanation why nobody can find Dinotopia in this world with satellites where no area of the planet is unknown. ............................................................. P.S. It's "dialog" because the stupid IMDb spell checker thinks the right word is wrong and wouldn't let me submit the message.

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