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Dinotopia
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Customer Reviews:

  • Great for little kids, including the one in us
    I could go on how horrible the script was, starting with the plot holes (e.g. their plane crashes in the ocean in the middle of a hurricane, they swim the rest of the night and then walk out of the surf the next morning like they just did a slow lap around the track). The dialogue is a joke. The characters are one-dimensional, predictable and stereotypical. Perhaps the only thing worse than the script is the acting. And perhaps the only thing worse than the acting is the directing.

    Having said all that, however, the bottom line is my younger kids thoroughly enjoyed it. And when I could turn off my adult critic and watch it with the eyes of an eight-year old I enjoyed it too. And that's who it's for. Eight to ten year olds (not necessarily in a chronological sense).

    The truth is that the special effects are quite good -- the true star of the show. And the Dinotopia setting, after all is said and done, is enchanting. Except for one stupid scene where the lead male swims naked (apparently) with the lead female the movie is absolutely clean. That makes a four-starrer in my book, despite everything else....more info

  • Wheres an asteroid when you really need one?
    Poor ABC. They havent been doing too well latley. In an effort to save themselfes, they made a TV movie called Dinotopia. Sadley, this movie and the series that is following it, have failed mysrembly. Way back, about 4 years ago, when I heard that ABC was doing a adaption of Dinotopia, I was very excited, being a gargantuan fan of books. I was very excited when they started the movie on ABC. When it was over, I simply sat stunned, amazed at how BAD the adaption of one of my favorite book series was. Ok, its more like a semi-adaption, because the movie takes place in the modern era. One day, a father and his 2 sons take of in a small airplane. The father decides to take a nap and let his sons fly the plane. 4 hours later,They stupidly fly into a hurricane and unsiprisingly, they crash, and, you gussed it, the dad perishes. From that point on, the movies flaws hatch out of thier shells and start running amuck. For one thing, what father would let his sons pilot a plane? How could the 2 kids survive in a hurricane with no raft, no life jackets, no flares etc. for over 5 hours?

    After landing on the island, they meet a suspicoious man who befriends them and takes them to some poorly constructed sets, I mean village. There they encounter a terrifying poorly made CGI dinosaur that is subdued by a lady (A very attractive lady of course) and then they head for waterfall city. From that point on, they try to adapt to life in a dino island while trying to survive being complete idiots. They love to swear (Nothing big, this being a ABC film), love to hate each other, and are completly obsessed with getting away. So much in fact that one of them takes a stone that powers a villiage in exchange for a rowboat to sail home with, a useless map, and no provisions. And on top of that, he has to sail across a deadly reef, find a path home with no compass, and dont forget that he flew for over 4 hours before crashing and that he had to stay afloat for over 5 hours. And there is a hurricane on the horizon. You really wonder how these people managed to get through grade school. These errors are everywhere. The mayor of Waterfall city is a complete arrogant stuborn idiot who refuses to evacuate anybody when killer birds are heading straight for the city, even though they have a few hours to evacuate. (In the series, how come they can evacuate everybody in a few hours while they cant in the movie?)

    My favorite part of the movie is how dumb some of the moments can be later on in the movie, along with some continuity errors.
    The World Beneath, which is breathtaking in the books, meerly consists of 1 or 2 tunnels used over and over agian, and a tiny crystal cavern. In these tunnels our heroes encounter one of the least suprising plot twists in T.V. movie history. (How did he get there?) The continuity errors are hysterical. At one point, a skybak instructor tells the students that if thier bird dosent show up, they can never be skybak riders. Of course, our heroes bird dosent show up and he fails, yet when he tries again, he passes and the instructor does nothing. When a charachter is attacked by another charachter, tossed in a sack and tossed into a river to die, he shows up, unharmed and none the worse for wear a few scenes later with no explenation as to how he got there. Huh?

    The biggest flaw in the entire film has got to be the final battle, where Evil Pteridactals attack waterfall city. That sounds Ok, but in execution, the scene is unintentionally hilarious. When the birds attack, all the citizens run around screaming, yet nobody thinks about running inside a building. Our heroes arrive just in time, and in a atrociously poorly animated sequence, they manage to help save the city. And come on, Pteridactals are really LAME villians. Why not a Tyranosaur? (They only show up once for about a minute early on) There is however, one bright spot. Zippo the librarian is a funny, interesting charachtewr that is the best actor in the entire film. The list just goes on and on, and I'm out of room, so in closing, no matter how you cut it, Dinotopia is a Brachiasour sized disaster.

    The good:
    Zippo
    Some unintentially funny scenes
    you can have fun counting out all the bad elements in the film

    The bad:
    none

    The ugly:
    atrocious acting
    bad script
    lousy CGI effects
    bad sets
    lots of continuity errors

    Summary:
    Only good for those who have never read the books. People who love the books will be seiously offended by this...more info

  • Dinorific!
    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....more info
  • One thing I've noticed on the dvd was..
    I recorded the full version, off tv when it first aired. And noticed that the commercials were cutting some of the scenes. Now that I seen what the dvd had. I know what those commercial-cut scenes were. So I would say, the dvd/video is worth it....more info
  • wrong disc
    I saw this movie on t.v. and loved it. I ordered the movie as well as the series. First they lost the package. But they were quick to get a replacement. However, when I received the package and went to watch the movie the 1st disc is actually the t.v. series not the movie mini series and the second disc is the correct second half of the movie mini series and it appears to have come from the manufacture that way. It had the security tape and was in the original wrapper too. Has anyone else had this problem? --I received the second one and still the same problem....more info
  • Wonderful!
    I just finished watching the Dinotopia miniseries with my boyfriend (both in our 30's). I had originally purchased the DVD of the TV series for him for Christmas after seeing parts of it while it was being played for our friends' children but we both felt that we were missing details of the story. I did not realize that the TV series was a continuation of the story started by the miniseries until I started reading the reviews on Amazon.

    We split the 4 hour movie up over 2 or 3 days. The scenery and special effects were amazing and better than what I expected them to be. Having never read the books, I cannot comment on how true to the original story the movie was but I thoroughly entertained from start to finish.

    We both felt that the movie might be too scary at times for very young viewers. However, there are valuable moral lessons taught within the movie so parents might want to watch it with their children and discuss it afterwards.

    This DVD is a must have in the home library of families with children and adults who like to occasionally escape to a fantasy land with beautiful scenes and an entertaining story....more info
  • fantastic family fun
    This mini series is filled with great cgi. The cgi works seamlessly with the actors and action. I really like the way the characters change and learn about themselves during their adventures in Dinotopia. Family values are strong within the film. Because of this I have used this DVD in my classroom to show how cultures and societies should try to work out their problems and then grow from their mistakes. This imaginary world of dinosaurs and shipwrecked people really works and teaches us how to get along dispite our differences and overcoming our fears. I recommend this DVD to families. Hallmark Entertainment has put together a fine film close to the author's/ illustrator's original world....more info
  • OUTSTANDING!
    This miniseries is superb! I live in australia so I never saw it when it first aired, but im lucky enough to have a multiregion dvd player so I orderd it here.

    I was always a bit skeptical on how it would turn out, thinking that because it was just a miniseries and not a movie, the effects would be lacking, but I was amazed at what has been achieved. The effects are movie blockbuster quality and the story line and acting is great! even for an 18 year old student studying film at university. I cant wait to see it again.

    The show gives a real insight into a differnt view on dinosaurs. While jurrasic park may have been dinosaurs with a human buffet, this show lets us see humans and dinosaurs co-exist. Even one of the main characters, Zippo was crazy enough to crack me up.

    Overall its a great series, Its basicly a blockbuster movie for television. I recomend it to EVERYONE!....more info

  • A great family movie
    This a great family movie we love it and we injoyed and you will to if you get this....more info
  • 4 Hours of this?!
    4 hours of sheer stupidity, poorly told, totally ridiculous fantasy. Watch something else, believe me!...more info
  • Fabulous graphics, refreshing scenes with min violence, cute love story & entertaining!
    I never read the Dinotopia books as a child so watching this movie was a real treat! I did not have any book storylines to make comparison while watching it so I just went along for the ride and watched all three series on Sci Fi channel one night. The two brothers, David & Tyron, (Wentworth Miller and Carl Scott in real life) had a love & hate or typical rivalry many brothers go through, especially "half-brothers" and it could teach some lessons to kids that "love defeats everything". When their father's plane crashed and they ended in an uncharted island, the adventure begins. Naturally, the two were in awe of the place where dinosaurs and humans live in harmony. Humans are descendants of those who also ended up in the island but could not go back to their former homes. The brothers became infatuated with the same girl, Marion (Katie Carr, the Waterfall City's daughter who studied Dinasaurs since her childhood. She loves nature and animals so Tyron and David learned many things from her about Dinotopia. There is also an intelligent/professor dinosaur named Zippo who helped the two brothers save the island. Of course, there is a villain who's main goal is to get out of the island so just watch for him.

    As the movie progress, David, an introvert, became a pilot flying on skybacks in a place that resembled The Grand Canyon while the extrovert David had to learn patience through nursing a baby dinasaur. I puchased the DVD set so my toddler can watch it and enjoy the story when he's old enough to understand the plots... This is a great family movie despite the negative reviews others have posted. Don't let that deter from watching it because it is a treat for those who appreciate good movies other than sex and violence which you won't find here! The graphics especially of Waterfall City was just fab! Need not to mention Prison Break star Wentworth Miller starred here as one of his first major roles....more info
  • wonderful
    This product shipped and arrived in great condition and came in little to no time at all...more info
  • Fluffy start, gets great!
    This three-part ABC-TV miniseries was based on a popular series of novels about a place where humans and dinosaurs live together in a controlled but somewhat tenuous peace.

    Part 1 barely kept my interest, mostly because of the overly cute and fluffy tone. Still, I loved the special effects and the mythology, and decided to watch more, thinking it would get better. Parts 2 and 3 not only showed improvement but also surpassed my expectations.

    I enjoyed all the actors, especially Alice Krige, best know to scifi fans as the Borg Queen (Star Trek: First Contact). I also enjoyed the tension of scenes such as the rock climbing, the skybax rides, and the T-Rex invasion.

    Now the miniseries is out on DVD (with lots of bonus features), and will soon become a weekly series on ABC-TV (Thursday nights). I'm not sure if the series will keep the freshness, excitement, and wonder that the miniseries eventually captured, but I'll certainly give it a chance....more info

  • Great story but WAIT FOR A REISSUE!!
    The storyline is great!! I agree with the other great reviews written about this movie.

    However, there are serious manufacturing/production mistakes. Right now the best copy I own is the one I recorded from broadcast.

    I bought the VHS tape to replace my TV-recorded copy. The picture wasn't very good so I exchanged it. It was actually worse on the next tape. I then thought "Hey, get a DVD." It was terrific except for a 20-second dead silence when Marion goes to replace the prime sunstone. When I went to return it, the service person checked the new one for me and sure enough it had the same problem. (Another serviceman also had the problem.)

    So if you get the VHS you get bad tracking and if you get the DVD there's a tiny problem with the sound. I'm waiting for all of them to be recalled!...more info

  • Dinosaurs
    I bought this DVD for my boys ages 4 and 7. They absolutely love this movie. Since it is a mini series they never actually get through watching the whole thing but they do like what they end up seeing. The story is, of course, completely unrealistic but what isn't these days? The acting is just OK and the story is a little over my younger ones head but there are dinosaurs...and that's all that really matters.. It is worth it if your kids like anything having to do with prehistoric creatures....more info
  • I liked it better than "Lord of The Rings". Great Family Movie
    Nice movie for children of all ages. Well done. G-rated. By looking at other's reviews here I'm wondering is it a movie or was it a TV series?? All I know is that I bought a copy of it cheap in a video store because I liked what I read and saw on the box. I had never heard of it before. I rarely watch TV, but I watch ALOT of movies. Anyway, it was a movie as far as I could tell, Not a TV series. I watched it piece-meal, thinking that it was silly and fun and a little bit long. Afterwards I read that it is 240 minutes long. Only seemed like about 2 hours long to me. That's proof enough to me that I liked it. Usually films this long don't hold my interest. I wished that this one was even longer! Truly recommended for ALL AGES. ...more info
  • The Best Movie You Can Find
    This, without any doubt in the slightest, is one of the absolute best movies you can possibly find. The plot starts like this. Two brothers, named Karl and David, with their father, fly on a plane and meet an awful storm. Eventually they crash on the mysterious island Dinotopia. They believe their father is dead.
    Eventually they meet the mysterious, (but rather vile as shown later) Cyrus Crabbe. Later they meet the daughter of the mayor of Dinotopia's Waterfall City, Marion, and they both fall in love. Lots of exciting things happen, such as the time David starts to ride on Pterodactyls, when David, Karl, and Cyrus go inside the Sunstone cave, and many other parts as well. The dinosaurs are very realistic, and the characters are easy to like right away. Plus, it is 4 hours, so the length is quite a thing to like. This fantastic movie deserves far more than 5 stars, so do yourself a favor and buy this movie....more info
  • Show good BUT DVD has production problems.
    The DVD version of the mini-series Dinotopia provides great picture and sound with one exception. In the scene where Marion reaches the top of the stairway of the sunstone tower, after David has dropped the new stone from the underworld (sunstone cave) in the "battle" over the city, there is an approximately 20 second total sound drop out. This was compared to the broadcast version that I had taped ... there is sound in the broadcast version. Over 9 different DVDs have been checked by three stores and on my four dvd units, all have shown this same problem.

    OTHERWISE, Dinotopia is a great family show with excellent acting and very little "dead time" in the script or the production. Parents of young children should be ready to explain the diffence between real life and fantisy, though. The computer graphics, the photography, and the combining of the two is great visual effects. The music is ok, but could have been better used and written to support the story....more info

  • Fun to look at but the books are much better
    I got Mr. Gurney's first two Dinotopia books several years ago and thought they were pretty good, (especially the 1st one), this miniseries disappointed me. Instead of going with the book plotline set in the 1860's we are presented with two half brothers and their father in the present crashing their plane near Dinotopian shores. Dad is lost, presumed dead, for most of the show. References are made to several of the book characters but none make an actual appearance and the storyline itself is only vaguely like that of the books. I had hoped for better, the sets and Dinosaurs look acceptable especially for a big TV budget but the characters weren't very interesting to me (not well developed, hurried or soomehow not ture to form). It seems that most of the people speak with a British accent (I think parts of the show were filmed in Britain). When the regular series comes on this fall I think all of the miniseries humans will have been replace with new actors, I hate it when a series does that.
    Does anybody know where to find the hidden scenes?...more info
  • excellent family entertainment
    Great family entertainment that captures a child attentions and keeps it throughout the story. The combination of Dinsosaurs and people living together is one that has long been of interest to kids of all ages.......more info
  • Too bad they faltered on their science
    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....more info
  • Fun and adventurous ride through a fantasy fairytale world.
    "Dinotopia" is not your average "Jurassic Park" film. It's almost the opposite of what you'd expect in "Jurassic Park". There is only one scene that truly looks like it was taken right out of "Jurassic Park"--and that would be a quick fight scene between two Tyranasorousrex dinosaurs.

    PLOT SUMMARY: Based on the novel, the film (actually a made-for-TV miniseries movie), is about two teenage half brothers, called Carl (Tyron Leitso) and David (Wentworth Miller) Scott, who couldn't be more different. Carl is the outgoing, rebellious teen, while David is the quiet, serious one who would rather be studying than going out. Their father decides to take them on a plane trip for his birthday in his personal airplane (Mr. Scott is supposibly a millionaire). On the plane ride, Mr. Scott lets Carl drive the airplane and they soon are stuck right in the middle of a deadly storm out in the middle of the ocean. Their plane crashes into the ocean, and Carl and David manage to escape the plane, while their father is still stuck inside. They swim to shore, and find themselves on a strange island they at first think is deserted, until they come across an odd archaeologist with a wooden leg who explains that they are on the island of Dinotopia. Carl and David insist that they need to find some help because they believe their father is dead. So the archaeologist takes them to a village where they are encountered by the most astonishing discovery of all--dinosaurs living amoungest humans! After they are taken to Dinotopia's main city, Waterville City, they are introduced to the mayor and his beautiful daughter, Marion (Katie Carr), who the boys both fall in love with. The mayor tells them that there is no way off the island and that they are stuck there forever. Carl, is of course, very upset about this. Carl doesn't want anything more than to go home. David, on the other hand, tries to make the best of their situation, and has come to reconile his destiny in Dinotopia. Like all Dinotopian citizans, Carl and David are given assignments--Carl is supposed to raise a baby dinosaur, while David is assigned to become a Skyrider, and help protect Dinotopia from harm, which is ironic, because David has a great fear of heights and Carl doesn't feel as though he can take care of a baby dinosaur. Carl and David both try to win over the affection of Marion, and become friends with the archaeologist...who seems to know a lot about Dinotopia and also is trying to look for a way off the island. The villages uses these strange stones called "sunstones", which shine a bright white light and help protect the villages from the evil man-eating dinosaurs. When the sunstone supply mysteriously runs low, fear strikes over the villages that they will be attacked by the man-eating dinosaurs. Now, it's up to Carl, David, and Marion to save the villages of Dinotopia before the dinosaurs attack and destroy the cities by finding more sunstones to put into the towers that hold the sunstones.

    OVERALL THOUGHTS: "Dinotopia" is a very long film--about 240 minutes to be exact, but it was originally made into a miniseries on TV, so I can understand why it would seem longer on DVD. The acting is pretty average--there is some stiff acting at points during the film, but it was fairly good. It wasn't "great", but it was "good enough". There were a lot of plots twisted into the film...almost too many, such as the love triangle between Carl, David, and Marion; Carl trying to get home; dinosaurs attacking, etc., but they tried to set up the story in a way in which all plots could be resolved by the end. And, amazingly, it pretty much worked. The special effects were well-done, and there is non-stop action. I also have to add that the setting is beautiful and so are the costumes.

    The DVD is wonderfully packaged, with a "making of" documentary, behind the scenes, two deleted scenes, interviews, a "Dinotopia Encyclopedia", photo gallery, cast and crew information, tips and tricks for the Game Boy adventure game, a maze game, hidden footage, dinosaur facts and sounds for kids, and DVD-ROM features. The DVD is available in full frame format.

    I highly recommend "Dinotopia".

    Score:
    97/100
    A+...more info

  • Beautiful!
    I want to go to Dinotopia!!! I really loved this series and I would love to see more!

    Seek Peace....more info
  • Sew What?
    This was a great movie. Lots of action, fantasy, adventure, and it has
    a happy ending...which always makes it for me in a movie....more info
  • Dinotopia DVD
    A fun family movie. Probably more suitable for 6yrs and over due to some violence. My young grandson loved it and re-watches it every now and then. I enjoyed it as well. Recommend it to all ages who like fantasy and dinosaurs. ...more info
  • LOVE THIS MOVIE!!
    I always liked fantasy movies. I love that this one shows a different side to dinos. Its a classic adventure, reminds me some what of The Lost World. Its a Grea Adventure for any age! I'm 22 lol!...more info
  • BORING!
    Dinotopia is a great concept, but this movie/miniseries is terrible. It was so boring, I had to force myself to keep watching. Though true to James Gurney's books in visual terms, that was the one saving grace of this version. It was plotless, the acting was bad, the dinosaurs were underused as characters, and the editing often left you wondering what had happened. It was hard to feel sympathy for any of the characters, especially the insular, self-righteous Dinotopians as they try to brainwash the two newcomers to their world. I found myself most in sympathy with Cyrus Crabbe, which is surely not what the makers intended. Whether children would find this more watchable, I just don't know.
    What did this version of Dinotopia most remind me of? The recent movie of "Dungeons & Dragons". Hardly a compliment....more info