YMMV / Dinotopia

  • So Okay, It's Average: The miniseries. Passable story, decent effects and David Thewlis is enjoyable as the antagonist (confusing motivation aside), but that's all it has going for it, especially if you're a fan of British comedian Lee Evans who is wasted as the talking dinosaur Zippo.
  • Special Effects Failure: The only decent looking effect in the TV miniseries is 26, and this is probably because they use practical effects with her as often as they use CGI. The rest are at best mediocre and at worst butt ugly.
  • They Just Didn't Care: The TV miniseries. It dumped the Victorian-era setting and naturalist protagonists for modern-day teenaged boys right out of the CW casting offices. (This completely disregarded the fact that every single Dinotopia book, including the spin off novels written by other authors, had been set in previous centuries - turning an easily justified trope into a more ridiculous variation with some kind of magical continent that never showed up on satellite imaging but could still literally be reached by riding the back of a dolphin.) It plays the Anthropomorphic Shift and changes the Code of Dinotopia (which was originally a acronym for SOW GOOD SEED) to something else that doesn't make sense. And then it Flanderized the Dinotopians' peace loving ways into naivety and ignorance of the outside world (in the books Dinotopians were quite enlightened) and turned the intelligent Barbarian Tribes of carnivores in the Rainy Basin into standard Prehistoric Monsters (as well as completely ignoring the fact that carnivores never leave the basin to wreck havoc). Finally, it turned Dinotopia itself from a peaceful utopia mostly devoid of technology to a static anti-innovation regime dependent on Sunstones to keep out the carnivores.
    • And the television series that followed took it Up to Eleven
      • It's best to not even mention the animated film.
    • The worst part is that the mini-series has experienced some limited Adaptation Displacement among younger audiences. They view this trash as THE Dinotopia.
    • Paleontological inaccuracies also abound, but the most glaring would be the "Dimorphodons", which are turned into "postal birds" with feathers and everything. Pterosaurs did NOT have feathersnote  and were most certainly NOT birds. To make matters worse, the Skybax and Pteranodon are actually depicted as relatively decent looking pterosaurs.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids??: The first Dinotopia illustrated novel is a book with loads and loads of illustrations. And it involves talking dinosaurs. It never had a chance. Gurney has stated that his books are for all ages; he likes media where things can be enjoyed both at a shallow surface level and also when more thought is applied.
    • The spinoff novels on the other hand, are definitely meant for kids, though a few of them have crossover appeal. Have we mentioned the Knights of the Unrivaled?