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Dinotopia (TV Miniseries)

180 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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 television. 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.

Kids will love this sweeping story of two brothers whose plane crashes on a mysterious island called Dinotopia, where human beings live in harmony with dinosaurs--the herbivores, anyway. The carnivores present a problem, as the humans' defenses against them--a mystical power source called sunstones--are losing strength. As they try to save the island, Carl and David (Tyron Leitso and Wentworth Miller) struggle not only with tyrannosaurs and prehistoric crocodiles, but also with repressive Dinotopian traditions and a scheming malcontent (David Thewlis) who stirs up all kinds of trouble. Meanwhile, they also wrestle with each other over the lovely daughter of the mayor of Waterfall City (Katie Carr). The pacifist ideals of Dinotopia are refreshing, but it's the special effects that will hook viewers: riding on the backs of brachiosaurs, flying atop pteranadons, arguing in court with triceratops and ankylosaurs--anyone fascinated with dinosaurs (and who isn't?) will enjoy this whimsical fantasy. A host of British character actors also helps keep the human side of this four-hour miniseries lively; Alice Krige (also known as the Borg Queen in Star Trek: The Next Generation) gets a much more benevolent role here. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

  • Behind the Scenes: Storyboards, The Making of "Dinotopia," Interview with Composer Trevor Jones
  • Dinotopia Encyclopedia: Dinosaur Data, Saurian Alphabet, Travel Through Dinotopia
  • 3-D Motion Picture Gallery
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Tips and Tricks for Game Boy
  • 26's Maze Game
  • Trailers
  • Hidden Footage
  • Dinosaur Facts and Sounds for Kids
  • DVD-ROM: Skybax Pilot Game, Trivia Game and more

Product Details

  • Actors: David Thewlis, Katie Carr, Jim Carter, Alice Krige, Tyron Leitso
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Miniseries, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: July 30, 2002
  • Run Time: 250 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000687CX
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,360 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dinotopia (TV Miniseries)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Another Movie FAN on September 20, 2004
Format: DVD
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.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 25, 2006
Format: DVD
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!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Alvaro B. Goncalves on November 3, 2006
Format: DVD
This is a very entertaining movie, full of wonderful special effects and a consistent narrative, with many sub-plots (explored in the series version, with 13 episodes, although with different artists)going on. This "forgotten land theme", with humans and dinossaurs co-existing, can be explored and interpreted as archaic psychic archetypes: this exercise is more entertaining when done with several people watching the movie. If you only want to watch this movie "just for the fun", and you appreciate "dinossaurs on the flick", you won't be dissapointed. This unique movie has many layers of meaning expected to be explored, just like our multi-dimensional Self.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By L. SCHULZE on June 7, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Along with my kids (ranging in age from 5-17), I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. The graphics are excellent and the storyline kept us all glued to the television. Violence is at a minimum and there is no swearing or nudity. Clean family enjoyment.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By W. Handy on January 4, 2009
Format: DVD
This is a good film for kids. For us adults, the relentlessly high-minded moralizing can get a bit thick - even when, as I did, we sympathize with the values. The acting also left much to be desired at times. At first I was thrilled at how good the science was - they used real dinosaur species and (again at first) called them by their right names. Then they got sloppy. An ancient temple was guarded by prehistoric crocodilians (not sure if they were accurately portrayed) that were misidentified as mosasaurs. Those were also water-going species, but much larger, with longer, more flexible, paddle-like tails - very different beasts. Then the rebellious brother got a saurian partner that was identified as a hadrosaur, but in fact was a ceratopsid. The hadrosaurs were the duck-billed dinosaurs who went sometimes on four legs, sometimes two, and who tended to have high, narrow crests on their heads and broad, blunt mouths. The best known ceratopsid was the triceratops - two long horns from the forehead, broad semi-circular crest behind the head, nose horn, beak-like mouth; decidedly quadripedal. The baby in the show was a real ceratopsian species, though I can't identify it off-hand. It certainly was no hadrosaur. The puzzling thing is that I'm sure there are thousands of 8 to 12 year olds out there who flocked to see this show and who picked up on the errors immediately. Heck, I would have at that age, and there is so much more information now. The producers should have been much more careful.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Charlie-CJ on December 22, 2006
Format: DVD
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.
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