4 August 2008 | draketigerclaw
"We want to be moronic gods!"
I'm going to be brutally honest about this movie. It's mislabeled. I'll explain that in a moment. Suffice it to say that if you are older than 10 this movie will either cause you an emotion of rage or bore you to tears.
Generally when you make a children's movie out of a popular series the intent is usually to bring young people into a fantasy world in a safe environment. Apparently they missed that idea because it doesn't bring you into anything. It makes a lot of references to the TV mini series and they traced a few of the backgrounds out of the original book but mostly they ignore all of the important plot devices from the series and replace them with Saturday morning cartoon plot devices. It may as well have been called "Kids in Dinoland", because the ideas surrounding Dinotopia are just not there, which is why it is mislabeled.
Moving on to the technical side of the movie, it is not terrible but it is by no means great. The character animation is surprisingly smooth for a goofy straight to video movie. The backgrounds look alright most of the time, and the animation is mostly consistent. It mostly looks like a Saturday morning cartoon though.
The story is baked terrible with a side of fried stupid. It's chock full of clichés and stupid jokes from 90's pop culture. There are really vague references and allusions to plot points from the mini series and books but they never go into any of them. Dinotopian culture is not explained at all, which would be alright if it were not about someone being introduced to Dinotopian culture.
Now for some nit picking. The characters are mostly forgettable and bland, except for the bad guys and 26. There were even a few attempts at musical numbers that were bizarre. The sun stones and what they supposedly do made even less sense than they did in the mini-series. I seriously thought we had gotten over idiotic skateboarding in the 90's. Oh yeah and the ending leads me to believe they made this as a pilot for another TV series that just didn't happen.
To wrap up, as a fan of animation, movies, sci-fi, and other nonsense I refuse to call something that is bad good. People use the fact that this is a children's movie to defend it's problems, but as it is based on a series I give it no quarter because when it's based on a series for everybody it should not exclude the majority of it's fans or people who may be interested. So while I'm not prepared to call it horrible because it is by no means the worst thing I have ever seen, it just isn't good. If you are a fan or passerby who may be interested (like me) this movie is not worth your time. If you need to distract a 5 year old for an hour than this may be for you.