I found this to be absolutely enchanting. There is a richness to the cinematography reminiscent of the film Babe, making it super-real, and the special effects add a layer of beauty to the film, rather than being a distraction.
There is a strong narrative thread, based around two half-brothers, washed up on the shores of the island. You have to make the leap into believing that somehow this island exists - almost undiscovered - as a haven where dinosaurs and humans co-exist.
The drama is driven along by the fact that the brothers barely know each other, having been brought up by different mothers. As they search for their father, who was with them in a plane that crashed, their differences become exacerbated.
With the exception of a lone tyrannosaurus attack, the story steers clear of the usual dinosaurs; instead it showcases some that appear less often in modern films, such as the enormous ankylosaurs, who act as acolytes and guards on the island.
I found myself caught up in the magic as the brothers take a ride on a dinosaur bus to Waterfall City. One of the lovely conceits of the films is that dinosaurs and humans work with each other in a variety of different ways. It is through the interaction with dinosaurs that the brothers each go on a journey of self-discovery and development.
There are some plot twists along the way, some love stories, and a complex villain, played very well by David Thewlis. The drama is divided up into rather lengthy sections. I find them enthralling and have watched them several times, but you really need to set a large chunk of an afternoon or an evening aside to enjoy each part.
This is a very male-centred drama, the women tend to be brought on in supporting roles and sometimes the leading characters behave quite infuriatingly. However, even though you are, like the brothers, dropped in the deep end of the story, it all makes sense, all the important plot strands get resolved and you can come out of it wishing that the island was real.
We know about 3 Goofs. Here comes one of them: Character error When the baby Chasmosaurus hatches out of its egg, it's mistakenly identified as a "hadrosaur". Hadrosaurs were duck-billed dinosaurs, Chasmosaurus actually belonged to the horn-faced, parrot-beaked ceratopsians.
There are 9> entries in the trivia list - like these:
The word "Dinotopia" is a portmanteau of "Dino(saurus)", which actually means:"A Terrible Lizard" in Greek and "Utopia"(u+topos), which, also in Greek, litterally means :"Out of Place".When combined, the title means: "Out of place for a terrible lizard"!
Both Colin Salmon and Wentworth Miller appeared in the Resident Evil franchise. Salmon played One in the first Resident Evil and Miller would go on to play Chris Redfield in Resident Evil Afterlife.
The Eleventh Code of Dinotopia (previously unknown since the tablet was broken) is "Find the Light". This is the phrase written on the front of a previous matriarch's (Marion's grandmother's?) letter.
Wentworth Miller who played David Scott on Dinotopia soon went famous worldwide for his prominent role of coincidentally yet another brother, Michael Scofield, this time on a popular crime and drama TV series Prison Break (2005-2009).
In Dinotopia even the dinosaurs speak, not to mention that all the people in Dinotopia speak perfect English.