TL;DR – This is a strong entry into the Jurassic franchise leaning both into joy and terror of dinosaurs and what it takes to survive in this world alone.
Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix subscription that viewed this series.
Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous Review –
Last year, a weird experiment actually kind of worked – what if they made animated kids orientated series based around Jurassic Park. It is one of those suggestions that on the face value sounds untenable, but the more you think about it, the more interesting it becomes. The first season was a fascinating ride, set during the fall of the park in Jurassic World. With a strong opener, I was interested in seeing where they could go with it next.
So to set the scene, at the end of last season the group Darius (Paul-Mikél Williams), Brooklynn (Jenna Ortega), Kenji (Ryan Potter), Yaz (Kausar Mohammed), Sammy (Raini Rodriguez) and Ben (Sean Giambrone) were rushing to try and make it to the evacuation ferry. Unfortunately, they missed the boat and more than that. Ben fell to his death from the tram into the jungle below. Left on the island, the group have to find a way to survive and get a message out of the island. The only problem is that between them and the emergency broadcast beacon is a T-Rex who has happily built her nest out of the past world’s detritus. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
When watching this show, you do have to take a couple of things before you start. The first thing is that you just have to ignore the likelihood that a bunch of kids could outrun most of those dinosaurs. There are also a series of coincidences that need to happen for the story to work that you just have to go with. This means that while the kids are often in dangerous situations, you never feel they are in peril. The way this is structured might be a deal-breaker for you or not, for me, it was fine. The one issue, I did have is them always stopping to have these heart-to-hearts in the middle of danger, like time and place people.
This season’s core antagonists are not the dinosaurs (okay maybe the Baryonyx), or the corporate stooges that failed the island, this season they are big-game-hunters. If there are a group of people more despised globally I would be surprised, okay maybe private military contractors, but still. It also makes sense how Mitch (Bradley Whitford) was able to manipulate Darius the way he did by playing into his love of all things dinosaurs. Their turn from happy-go-lucky tourists to murderous goons was one of the highlights of the season.
Throughout the show, there are several tense action set pieces with hunting Baryonyx, territorial Stegosaurus, and one particularly upset T-Rex. The highlight for me was an all-out brawl for survival between an angry T-Rex and two sides fighting over the same set of guns. The second being the moment that Ben honestly suggests feeding the big-game-hunters to the Mosasaurus, and frankly, that wasn’t a bad idea.
From the production side of things, I do still like the style of animation that they use. It is still very stylistic, but it works with the style of action they are going for. It also highlights the dinosaurs, which is an essential part of the whole proceedings. Another highlight was the sound design of the dinosaurs that felt right as the reverberated around your skull. One let down was the musical score where you can tell they are trying but that they just did not have the budget to match their big-screen companions. This left the music feeling like a hollow attempt at replicating something.
In the end, do we recommend Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous: Season 2? Yes, yes we would. It is still a show aimed at a young audience which shows even in the death scenes. However, in that comes an exciting story with engaging characters and a metric-ton of dinosaurs, and well I can’t complain about that.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous
Directed by – Michael Mullen, Eric Elrod, Zesung Kang & Leah Artwick
Written by – Rick Williams, M. Willis, Bethany Armstrong Johnson, Sheela Shrinivas, Lindsay Kerns & Josie Campbell
Developed by – Zack Stentz
Based on – Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
Production/Distribution Companies – Universal Pictures, Dreamworks, Amblin Entertainment & Netflix
Starring – Paul-Mikél Williams, Sean Giambrone, Kausar Mohammed, Jenna Ortega, Ryan Potter & Raini Rodriguez with Jameela Jamil, Glen Powell, Stephanie Beatriz, Angus Sampson & Bradley Whitford
Episodes Covered – A Beacon of Hope, The Art of Chill, The Watering Hole, Salvation, Brave, Misguided, Step One & Chaos Theory