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Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous Review

by Matthew Donnellon 2 years ago in tv
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Netflix's new dinosaur delivers

Image via Collider

Last weekend, I opened Netflix looking for something to watch, when lo and behold, a new Jurassic Park series was splashed across my screen.

Now, I remember reading about a possible new Jurassic World show that would be coming to Netflix a long time ago but had since forgotten about it.

You don’t have to do much to get me to watch a show about dinosaurs.

Now, I saw some prehistoric creatures and hit play before I saw what the show was.

To my surprise, Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous is a kids' cartoon.

I thought this was related to the Battle At Big Rock, the TV special they aired last year, but nope, it’s a 3D cartoon.

I was about to bail but I gave it a chance, because well, I had nothing else to do.

And I’m glad I did.

This is a pretty great show.

And not like for a kids cartoon, it’s legitimately well done. It has a good protagonist. It builds on the lore for Jurassic World. It has lots of dinosaurs, a pretty fun plot, and it’s overall a good time.

I recommend it.

The story is rather simple. A group of kids is being dropped off at camp, except this camp happens to be on Isla Nublar. The group we see is an exclusive bunch made up of rich kids, kids with ties to Jurassic World, Youtube Celebrities, and our protagonist Darius.

Our main character Darius gets there via winning a game, (a spoiler for the first 5 minutes of the show) and he quickly becomes the one to root for.

Now I realize it’s a kids' show, but the one bad part is that it takes a while to warm to the characters. Most of them are annoying but it’s kind of the point, and they’re teenagers, so it’s hard to not make them annoying.

But, the series gives them room to grow and they all have an impressive amount of depth.

Darius is by far my favorite. The others are there for career opportunities or because their parents forced them. He's there because loves dinosaurs (and they provide a deeply moving connection to his father) and to be honest it’s a great thing to see. He reminds me of me and my friends who all became amateur paleontologists after the original Jurassic Park movie came out. He’s exactly how I’d be if Jurassic World existed. And I’m quite jealous because I never got a Jurassic Park show as a kid.

He’s a great character. He’s smart and thinks his way out of problems. And he’s brave, more than once he risks his life to save others, but he doesn’t have the braid dead courage that causes more problems than it solves as some heroes have. You quickly see why he becomes the leader.

And that I believe is the show’s greatest strength. Even though its kids show it captures the spirit of the Jurassic Park franchise. You still get moments of pure wonder and you see how cool it would be to see these creatures up close.

And it also captures the horror aspects of the franchise. This show isn’t afraid to go dark. Somehow I didn’t realize that it was taking place at the same time as the Jurassic World movie, so you get to see all that action from a different perspective.

It’s well animated too. I’m glad they went with Dreamwork's animation as their TV shows look great. Disney tends to go cheap with small screen animation and it always shows. The character models are well done and the dinosaurs look amazing. There are a couple awkward movements here and there but none of the characters look like Gumby like I’ve seen on other shows. And while traditional 2D animation will always hold a special place, I’m glad they went this route over the cell shading animation that many shows choose, which makes the show look like a video game from the early 2000s.

All in all, I think if you like Jurassic World you’ll love this. And the ending was spectacular. It set itself up perfectly for a Jurassic Park story I’ve always wanted.

I heartily recommend it.

Now I’ll discuss the show in more detail so Spoilers for Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous.

So you’ve been warned.

Okay, this show was far different than I expected.

Let’s start with the characters.

I thought they good for the most part.

I mean Sammy is annoying. Like really annoying, and she never really stops being annoying, but she’s helped expand the lore. It will interesting to see how Manta Corp is involved with the Dominion movie.

Yaz is fine. She’s the typical closed off one that gets close to the group.

Kenji is funny in an obnoxious way.

Brooklyn I thought was going to be intolerable with the whole filming everything aspect and Youtube personality, but that fades into the background especially once they are running for their lives. She grows on you.

And Darius, man those scenes with his dad, those hit hard. You get why he wants to be there so bad and why he’s almost annoyed with his fellow campers since they don’t seem to get that they are in the coolest place on Earth.

Even Dave and Roxie are okay. I mean they have to be a little absentminded to let the kids get in trouble, but you can tell they care for them. They risk their lives to go search for the kids while the park is falling apart.

And man was it cool to see this side of the story we got in Jurassic World. Obviously, in the movie, we were following the people in charge so we knew what was happening.

But this was maybe more effective more building suspense.

The first couple episodes are pretty light-hearted and get us acquainted with the camp and the kids and some of the dinosaurs, but you get hints that something is a little off.

For some reason, I thought this show took place before the movie, but you get to see the park slowly break down. It’s very suspenseful. All the viewer has are cryptic radio calls that something is going on.

And then boom, we see the Indominous Rex as she starts taking out dinosaurs and people alike.

And they didn’t shy away from violence. People died in the show. I mean you hear their screams.

The scenes sneaking away from the I-Rex were great and scary and reminded of the Raptors in the kitchen scene from the first movie.

Oh and we get this show’s answer to Baby Yoda with Bumpy. That little thing is adorable and I was terrified she wasn’t going to make it.

Just when you think they’re cornered we see the helicopter from the movie chase the I-rex off, and it’s eventual demise as it crashes into the birdcage.

The pterosaurs caused one of the best scenes in the show as it forced them into the Mosasaurus exhibit. I loved this bit, as it combined Jaws with dinosaurs. Plus the Mosasaurus has been a little underutilized. It’s such a scary creature I’m glad we saw it.

All of this of course leads to the train scene.

I didn’t think Ben and Bumpy died but for all the kids know they did and that’s not a place I thought the show would go. I applaud them for not shying away from the darker parts of the franchise.

But the ending. The ending is the best part of the whole show. I didn’t think they would leave the kids on the island and that’s so cool. This is something I’ve always wanted to see since seeing Jurassic Park 3 where the kid had live alone among dinosaurs. We have a group of kids alone with dinosaurs running amok. To make matters worse, the T-Rex and Blue the raptor are loose now so that should make things interesting.

It leaves off on a good part and it is a show that definitely adds something to the franchise. For such a big story universe, we have relatively few pieces to view.

I also think it was smart to tell a smaller story. The movies are huge, and now they will contend with dinosaurs all over the world. This was a much smaller story, just some kids trying to stay alive. I think it’s similar to what Star Wars did with The Mandalorian. I can’t wait to see what they’ll do next.

Random Thoughts:

It was cool to see Grant’s raptor resonating chamber. This franchise tends to pretend JP3 doesn’t exist. Which I can’t blame them. But it was nice to see.

We got mentions of articles by both Dr. Grant and Dr. Sattler, who will also be showing up in the last movie.

Claire Dearing is also mentioned on the radio.

I can finally spell Cretaceous. It only took twenty tries to write this article.

I thought it was cool we had hints from the movie but it wasn’t too involved. I kept waiting for Owen and Claire to show up.

The scene with the radios going dead was chilling and very well done. Obviously, the kids' show couldn’t show the I-Rex killing twenty people so this a good way to show that people were dying.

I think this is the first time the main characters weren’t saved by a T-Rex

This is way better than the Fallen Kingdom.

I was not ready for the Darius and his Father storyline. That was rough, but amazing.

I wonder if any of these characters will show up in the movies? It would be pretty neat if in Jurassic World Dominion a dinosaur apocalypse is in full swing and Owen and are in trouble only to be rescued by a group of teens well practiced in the art of taking out dinosaurs.


About the author

Matthew Donnellon

Twitter: m_donnellon

Instagram: msdonnellonwrites

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