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Reviewed by: David Litton
Genre: Adventure
Video: 1.33:1 full frame
Audio: Dolby 2.0 Surround
Language: English
Subtitle: English
Length: 240 min
Rating: Not Rated
Release Date: NA
Studio: Hallmark Home Entertainment
Commentary: None
Documentaries: None
Featurettes: The Making of Dinotopia
Filmography/Biography: Yes
Interviews: Interview with composer Trevor Jones
Trailers/TV Spots: Yes
Alternate/Deleted Scenes: Yes
Music Video: No
Other: Storyboards, Dinotopia Encyclopedia including dino facts and 3D travels through Dinotopia, Tips for GameBoy Advance game, Maze Game, DVD-ROM features
Cast and Crew: David Thewlis, Katie Carr, Jim Carter, Alice Krige, Tyron Leitso, Wentworth Miller, Colin Salmon, Stuart Wilson
Screenplay by: Written by: Simon Moore
Produced by: William P. Cartlidge
Directed By: Marco Brambilla
Music: Trevor Jones
The Review:

Adults will likely be the more cynical party when watching "Dinotopia," a children's adventure that features better-than-expected special effects and a plot that should keep the younger set interested throughout. Be aware, this is no "Jurassic Park" or "The Land Before Time"; this story takes us into the lives of brothers Carl and David, who crashland in a mystical world where herbivorous dinosaurs and humans live in harmony with one another. The two find themselves at odds with one another over their love for the same girl, as well as the traditions and ways of life in their newfound home. The action kicks in when the source of Dinotopia's power, the sunstones, begin to fade, thus posing Carl and David the challenge of traveling through forbidden territories to save this world from destruction. It's a fairly trite story, but it doesn't lose sight of its target audience. Its visual effects, however shoddy they may appear in comparison to the likes of Steven Speilberg's lifelike creations, are better than most made-for-TV effects, as is much of the production, which makes "Dinotopia" an at-times larger-than-life event.

Image and Sound

Not a bad transfer, but it could be improved upon. The image quality is rather weak, with some vivid colors and sharp picture, but lacking the clarity needed to mask the phoniness of the visual effects. The sound design is also wanting in ambiance, though there is some effective deep bass in certain sequences, and dialogue sounds natural throughout.

The Extras

Much of this DVD's extras have "Kids" written all over them. Even the featurette, "The Making of Dinotopia," is hosted by one of the film's many prehistoric characters, and talks about the making of the movie's visual effects, sets, story, and characters. The only adult feature is the interview with composer Trevor Jones, who discusses writing the score for the film. After that, there is a deluge of dinosaur information in the Dinotopia Encyclopedia, some 3D imagery from the many lands of this magical world, and some deleted scenes and games for the younger set.

Commentary None
Final Words: Lovers of the "Dinotopia" books will no doubt warm to the work that has been put into the television movie, and this DVD edition will keep viewers enchanted for hou

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August 24, 2002