Written by: Adam Vaughn | September 17th, 2020
Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous (Nick Jones Jr., 2020) 2½ out of 4 stars.
Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, an animated series that takes place at the same exact time as the first Jurassic World (JW), tells the story of a band of kids lucky enough to be the first participants of a new “camp-for-kids” within the recently opened Jurassic World. It puts them front and center when one of the park’s deadliest dinosaurs breaks loose, sending the park into chaos. While the show doesn’t necessarily add anything unique to the JW saga, it does provide a fun, entertaining experience and a great new inlet to the franchise for a younger audience.
This addition to the franchise delves more into the story of Jurassic World, expanding on the fantastic concept that the park is “finally open” and showing us a unique perspective of the theme park through the eyes of its young main characters. They’re quite diverse (if imbued with traits we’ve seen before) and are interesting to see interact with one another, and the transition of CGI dinosaurs to an animated playing field creates a visually compelling aesthetic from start to finish. The animations cater to a family-oriented audience, and Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous keeps the humor and violence clean and innocent, as a result.
Yet, in the vein of the last few sequels, Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous does not offer much in terms of big ideas for the dinosaur-based story, sticking to conventional script tactics and hugging the events of Jurassic World close enough to keep the series flatlining on its narrative potential. If JW fans are looking for a series that brings new, bold concepts to its universe, Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous may come across as a bland and tasteless show, offering nothing that the past installments haven’t already achieved in a live-action format. This show may also have trouble reeling in many of the franchise fans, due to its lighthearted tone, with the exception of a few off-screen scenes of violence.
There is, however, something to be said that the Jurassic Park lore has finally made its way to an animated platform. Certainly, a child viewer may still cower at the carnivorous members of the dinosaur family, but Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous also manages to capture the love and fantasy of what it was like for the first park visitors to see “real-life dinosaurs,” an element lost within the last few Jurassic Park films. Camp Cretaceous definitely takes the best parts of the franchise and brings them together for a kid-friendly series, and it’s exciting to know parents can easily get their children into the franchise at a young age with a light and mild version of the story.