Based upon the popular book and TV miniseries, Dinotopia: The Series retells the tale from another angle. The storyline is predictable enough, while still interesting; we get to see the usual struggles of a family essentially being lost in time and who are trying to come to grips with their situation and the world where they find themselves. It, unfortunately, is just starting to bloom and the actors hit their stride when the series ends rather suddenly. It looks absolutely fantastic, not unlike the quality of Walking with Dinosaurs and that ilk.
The features list is just packed: four different featurettes that are all worth watching, interviews with the creators, and a trivia game. The set is not without flaws of course; be aware that since the show was cancelled so early in its season, it ends on a cliffhanger. Hallmark may or may not choose to continue the series on their channel. The characters are interesting, but the actors are more than occasionally annoying. Even the packed features list is a bit of a bait-and-switch, as they are all about the mini-series and not the TV show itself. Why? Up against such TV goliaths as Survivor and Friends, this wholesome show had no chance. That’s a shame, really, as it’s family-friendly programming that kids will actually like without being just plain stupid, offensive, or all about farts. Besides, even shows that were great overall often had slightly rocky beginnings. It’s no Twin Peaks-level genius, cut down in its prime, but at the same time, someone really needs to do a study about the sanity of TV network execs and the labyrinth of their logic. If you have children or are fond of dinosaurs, at least give this a rental. Fans of the original mini-series will need to own this, as will people who fondly remember loving Land of the Lost as children.