Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous is now streaming on Netflix.
By Greg Wheeler
Jurassic Park is one of the best blockbusters to ever grace the big screen. Since its release back in 1993, no other film has managed to showcase dinosaurs quite so lifelike or frightening as the original Jurassic Park.
The practical effects were way ahead of its time, the story well-paced and the movie complemented the novel perfectly (excluding rocket launchers. Yep, that’s really a thing that shows up in the book.)
Since then, no other movie has managed to emulate what the original did. With every passing film, the franchise seems to move further away from what made the original so good.
Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous is an interesting beast in that respect. With a changed demographic shooting for children and a serialized format, Camp Cretaceous is an engaging, accessible series that should please adults and kids alike. Of course, it’s far from perfect and has a fair share of problems but there’s enough here to enjoy nonetheless.
Split across 8 episodes, the story takes place within the same time-frame as Jurassic World. We’re back on Isla Nublar and our infamous dino park is ready to open. Littered with easter eggs and hints to the franchise, Camp Cretaceous plucks a group of unfortunate kids into the midst of the carnage that inevitably ensues.
Overlooked by Dr Wu and his team of scientists, at the center of this bubbling pot of tension is enthusiastic kid Darius. After winning a contest to be the first kid in Jurassic World, he joins a group of colourful characters for the adventure ahead.
Joining Darius on his adventure is Kenji, the spoiled rich kid with a seriously arrogant streak. Brooklynn is the typical vlogger you’d find on YouTube while Yasmina is the sporty, older voice of reason. Ben is the nerdy, always-sick kid while Sammy just wants to make friends.
Predictably, things soon take a turn for the worst. The midway point shifts the game as the kids are separated from camp counselors Dave and Roxie. Fighting for survival, each episode sees the teens forced to face another challenge – usually in the form of a different dinosaur.
From T-Rexes and Indominous Rexes through to a monstrous Mosasaur, Camp Cretaceous adds a fair amount of tension and dino variety along the way.
On the surface, a lot of the kids play off as tired stereotypes with little substance. However, it’s well worth sticking with this one for the long haul.
The latter half of the series evolves each of the characters in an organic way so they don’t feel so much like simple archetypes. Episode 7 in particular gives a good amount of time for the kids to assess their situation and face their own fears and issues.
The animation sticks to the CGI that’s become a mainstay for this medium but doesn’t quite match the visual fidelity seen in the Trollhunters series. The characters are simple and don’t feature much in the way of exquisite detail while the backdrops are rendered with lots of moving parts but not much in the way of shadows or realistic lighting.
Despite a few problems along the way, Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous is actually a really fun and enjoyable ride. It’s one that manages to take this core group of characters and keep things consistently exciting and interesting along the way.
With the promise of a second season on the horizon, Camp Cretaceous is an easy choice for kids to get into but there’s just enough to chew off here to make it a good option for adults too.