Dinotopia (miniseries)

Dinotopia (miniseries) Information

Dinotopia is a four-hour (three-episode) TV miniseries co-produced by Walt Disney Television and Hallmark Entertainment. It is based on the fictional world of Dinotopia, a utopia in which sentient dinosaurs and humans coexist, created by American author James Gurney. The miniseries uses plot details from Gurney's first two Dinotopia books, Dinotopia and Dinotopia: The World Beneath, although it takes place in a time farther into the future. The main characters are two American teenage boys from a contemporary time frame (unlike the Victorian era castaways in the books"?the film thus loses some of the Steampunk and classicism of the original books). The boys crash their father's plane into the sea and get stranded on Dinotopia, where they must adjust to a new society. The story in the film contains references to many of the characters in the book series, with some of their descendents occupying key roles in the plot. The original score was composed by Trevor Jones.

The miniseries premiered as an episode of The Wonderful World of Disney anthology on May 12, 2002 on Disney Channel. It received an Emmy Award for Best Visual Effects. It was soon followed by a television series which only lasted for one season.


Plans for a Dinotopia film were previously rejected due to the expense of creating a world populated by both humans and dinosaurs. Both Columbia Pictures and Disney at one time made the attempt, but both studios abandoned the idea, Disney opting to make their own homegrown film, Dinosaur in 2000. Hallmark Entertainment chief Robert Halmi Sr. then purchased the rights after having seen Gurney's book.


Halmi was willing to spend $80 million on the film, despite the performance of his previous fantasy miniseries, The Tenth Kingdom. ABC had so much confidence in the miniseries that they began shooting episodes of the spin-off television series before the miniseries had aired.

More than 75% of the scenes in the miniseries required visual effects, many of which required interaction between the live-action human actors and the animatronic or computer-animated dinosaurs. The computer-animated dinosaurs were created by a London-based company, Framestore CFC, who were also did the CGI work for the (Walking with Dinosaurs) series. The series also used other visual effects techniques such as digital set extensions. Many of the sets were only partially built, the rest being done digitally, in order to create the enormous buildings used by both dinosaurs and humans in the film. Even so, the actual set for Waterfall City, Dinotopia's capital, took up five-and-a-half acres of the back lot of England's Pinewood Studios. Jim Henson's Creature Shop provided the animatronic dinosaurs.

Although Dinotopia started out as a TV miniseries, later all the parts were combined and put on DVD as one film. Except in the UK, where the mini-series was put onto discs as separate episodes instead of a combined film.


A pair of teenage half-brothers, Karl and David Scott, are on a flight with their father on his private plane when Karl takes over the controls, allowing his father to fall asleep. After flying into a storm, Frank retakes control before it crashes into the ocean. Frank had trouble escaping the crashed plane, but the brothers wash up on the shore of a large uncharted island. Looking for help, Karl and David find a man named Cyrus Crabb who leads them to Waterfall City, the capital of Dinotopia, a hidden civilization where human beings and dinosaurs peacefully coexist. In fact, some of the dinosaurs, notably a neurotic Troodon named Zippo, possess human intelligence and speak perfect English. Among the many rules in Dinotopia is the edict that, once an outsider arrived, he or she was never allowed to leave. As Karl and David prepare to take their places in their new surroundings, both boys develop a strong bond with young Marion, who is on the verge of becoming a "matriarch" of the Dinotopian society. Unfortunately, the incursion of vicious carnivores, not to mention an unanticipated human villain, threaten to destroy Dinotopia and everyone living on the island.

Featured Species

  • Ankylosaurus
  • Brachiosaurus ("Brach")
  • Chasmosaurus
  • Parasaurolophus ("Overlander"/Guard)
  • Mosasaurus (more crocodilian in appearance than in real-life, with arms and legs instead of flippers)
  • Pteranodon
  • Quetzalcoatlus ("Skybax")
  • Stegosaurus
  • Dunkleosteus
  • Troodon (Zippo's last name is Stenosaurus, which could be a shorter version of Stenonychosaurus, which is now believed to be a species of Troodon)
  • Tyrannosaurus Rex
  • Triceratops (mentioned by Captain Oonu after the first Tyrannosaur attack)
  • "Dimorphodon" (portrayed inaccurately as a feathered bird, in reality, it was a pterosaur with no feathers)


This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Dinotopia_%28TV_miniseries%29" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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