Jurassic Park first clawed its way into the theaters in 1993, and its sequel followed in 1997. The Jurassic Park franchise took off faster than a dromiceiomimus, one of the fastest dinosaurs in history, with seven movies in the books, and number eight is set to release in 2022.
Netflix released the newest piece of the Jurassic Park saga on September 18th. This new addition to the franchise is a short animated series called Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous. The series follows a group of children as they try to survive on the island after the escape of the indoraptor, a genetically-modified dinosaur. This show is an interesting turn in the storyline. Not only is the saga making a transition into the animated world, but it is also building upon the story already known and loved by fans. Comprised of only eight episodes at about 25 minutes each, the show is very fast-paced.
Jurassic Park fans have been watching this show with some apprehension. Many stated they only watched the show because of the connection with the franchise and that they would not be interested otherwise. With this in mind, the series has an audience score of 84% and a “Tomatometer” score of 73% on Rotten Tomatoes. A large factor in these ratings is that the show is marketed more towards children than adults, who already love the franchise. While the show may have the Jurassic Park name, it disappointed many people as they deem the show too childish and underwhelming.
“With The Clone Wars and Rebels, Star Wars proved that youth-skewing animated series don’t have to just be for kids. It’s a shame, then, that Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous – the first animated show set in the ongoing dino saga – is a blockbuster spin-off that only younger viewers will enjoy.”-Ben Travis of Empire Magazine
Since the marketing seemed to be for an audience that did not grow up with the series, it only made sense to reach out to those who were unfamiliar with the franchise but would be able to give a more “adult” review. Kaitlyn Hutson, an 18-year-old student at Greenville University, has never seen any movies of the Jurassic Park franchise, and she only knew that it was about dinosaurs. Hutson grew up not watching television, and she continues to not watch as much as the average person. Starting the show with interest, Hutson made it through only five episodes before she lost interest in the series. She claimed that the series is too childish and that it did not make a whole lot of sense.
When reflecting on the show, Hutson stated that she felt the series would be better suited for those within the age range of nine to twelve. Hudson explained, “The show is very cartoon-like, but it also shows actions that could be considered violent [with the references to dinosaurs eating people].” While the show does not show any blood or gore, there are in fact scenes where the dinosaurs eat and attack humans. The simple placement of tall grass blocks out the imagery, and all that is shown is the dinosaur’s head bobbing and its jaws moving. However, to counter this, the show provides us with situations of companionship from a dinosaur, seeming to give the stereotype that carnivores are dangerous and herbivores are friendly. As for the idea that the show did not make sense, Hutson stated that it is very fast-paced and gives simple solutions to events that may need more thought. The solutions are made to be so quick and simple so that the show can fit more content within its timeframe and not drag on too long.
In the end, this show leaves much to be desired. Jurassic Park fans had many different views on the series, but the majority claimed it left them unsatisfied. Regardless, the series has already been given the go-ahead for a second season. The second season is set to come out in 2021 as a fill-in since Jurassic World 3: Dominion has been pushed back to 2022.