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Film / Dinosaur Island (2014)

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Pictured: Boy from the 2010s, girl from the 1950s, feathered dinosaurs.

Dinosaur Island is an Australian 2014 film.

Lucas, a boy from 2014, ends up magically transported onto a strange island where the only human inhabitant he can find - at least at first - is Kate, a girl from 1955. The island appears to be beyond time and space, with its strange ability to pull in airplanes while seemingly vaporizing their passengers, its large number of dinosaur and killer plant inhabitants, and the inability to communicate with the outside world.

Combining their skills and knowledge together, the two must work together to find a way to escape. Fortunately, Lucas is a math and science genius, and Kate is a survivalist and a dinosaur and plant specialist.

The island itself is home to more than dinosaurs, but appears to be an oddly supernatural place featuring everything from magic crystals and a tribe of African boys to dinosaurs and plane wrecks that somehow have no people inside.


This movie contains examples of:

  • Adults Are Useless: The only adult on the island is a man who's being held prisoner, and isn't quite all there.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology:
    • Even back when T. rex was believed to have been completely-feathered, a bearded vulture-rex with all-primary neon colors would've been scoffed at (the neon colors would hinder its stealth when hunting). Since the discovery of a few scaly patches on T. rex's underside, it is now believed that large tyrannosaurids most likely would have had feathers on their backs, necks and heads, but their underbelly, legs, and tail were bare, either covered with small pebbly scales or wrinkled naked skin (like a vulture's head). In fact, according to studies in 2018, it was likely that the T. Rex was actually almost entirely scaly, save for some sparse fuzz on some parts of the dorsal regions.
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    • Kate refers to the Utahraptor-like dinosaurs as dromaeosaurs - Dromaeosaurus was first described in 1922, the earliest discovered relative of dinosaurs like Velociraptor, Deinonychus, and Utahraptor although the distinctive sickle claw wasn't known. However, calling them raptors wasn't popularized until Jurassic Park. Also, Sinornithosaurus wasn't named until 1999 - Kate would probably have recognized it similar to feathered specimens like Archeopteryx.
  • But Not Too Black:
    • Lucas is dark-skinned like his mother but has a Caucasian father.
    • If Kate is his maternal grandmother then his mother fits the trope as well.
  • Captive Push: When Lucas and Kate are captured by the Wacky Wayside Tribe, they are pushed along with their hands tied.
  • Disney Death: Mimos
  • Domesticated Dinosaurs: Kate has a pet Sinornithosaurus named Mimos, who acts a little like a bird.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: This trope refers to when dinosaurs aren't totally required for the plot. It actually applies to this movie, as the plot's focus is on the supernatural nature of the island, with the dinosaurs being simply one threat/feature of many (albeit the most prominent one, and the director even admitted they were intended to be the main focus of the movie, despite not being totally needed for the plot).
  • Eye Scream: A dead dinosaur with a plant growing through its eye socket is seen at one point.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: A plant is shown having numerous eyes, all moving.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Even after being chased by raptors and seeing other dinosaurs, Lucas still blows off the prisoner when he tries to explain the magic crystal.
  • Giant Flyer: Lucas and Kate end up riding a feathery pterodactyl.
  • Idiot Ball: How did Lucas not recognize the full name and birthdate of his grandmother when he read her diary?
  • Improv: The tribal kids are actual natives of the location where the movie was filmed, and were encouraged to ad lib Pidgin English.
  • Kid Hero: Lucas, who's 13, and Kate, who's 15.
  • King of the Dinosaurs: A feathered one with a chunky, birdlike body plan.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Lightning storms are the harbinger of these airplanes suddenly appearing and crashing in the island. It was a lightning storm that took Lucas to the island in the first place.
  • Man-Eating Plant: There are a few plants that are clearly aggressive and make an effort to eat people.
  • Minimalist Cast: After Lucas ends up on the island about 11 minutes into the movie, it's all about him and Kate. There are no other characters, with the exception of a man who is shown as the prisoner of the Wacky Wayside Tribe and is onscreen for only a few minutes, and plays a most minor role. The Wacky Wayside Tribe exist, but are technically not "characters", in the sense of total lack of dialog or characterization.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: An Australian reviewer called Kate's attempts to sound like an upper-class 1950s girl "hilarious", due to the actress not being able to totally fake the appropriate accent.
  • Orange and Blue Contrast: It's all over the place. Even the dinosaurs have a lot of blue. At least green is prominent in the jungle areas, which comprise a large amount of the movie.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: It wasn't, but Lucas waking up in a hospital when he travels back to his world makes him think that at first. Until it's revealed that Kate is his grandmother due to a Stable Time Loop.
  • Our Time Travel Is Different:
    • How did a girl from the 1950s and a boy from the 2010s end up on an island with dinosaurs and a native tribe?
    • An elderly Kate shows up at the end of the movie to greet the still-13 Lucas.
  • Platonic Boy/Girl Heroes: Lucas is a 13-year-old boy, and Kate is a 15-year-old girl, but there's never a hint of romance between them. Good thing too, since due to a Stable Time Loop Kate turns out to be Lucas's grandmother.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Considering that birds are dinosaurs, viewers who have seen other portrayals of dinosaurs may find the colorfully feathered beasts in this movie strange. Especially since some distinctly make bird noises, and one even mimics the human voice similarly to other talking birds such as parrots. One even collects blue objects, which is similar behavior to a bowerbird.
    • The bright parrot colors of the T. rex however are an exception, as being a large ambush predator it would have had more muted colors, with perhaps a few bright colors in a couple of small areas.
  • Raptor Attack: One occurs late in the movie. Said raptors are feathered...yet they have pronated hands lacking wing feathers, as well as naked lizard-like faces.
  • Reverse Polarity: Lucas outright says this when describing how he'll use the magic crystal to get home.
  • Scavenger World: Even before Lucas arrived, Kate had been scavenging the things she needs to survive from the random downed airplanes that show up. With no other humans around aside from the African tribe (with no indication if Kate knew them beforehand or not), life for her had been little more than collecting food and clothing, and building and maintaining her tree house.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: Mimos, Kate's pet feathered dinosaur, is a Sinornithosaurus. Guanlong, Arthropluera, Dilong, and Cuvieronius appear as well.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • FEATHERED DINOSAURS. All the dinosaurs that logically should have feathers, have feathers and said feathers are accurately positioned on the raptors. The feathers are also brightly colored, as opposed to the common "Real Is Brown" tendency that plagues even feathered dinosaurs sometimes. Science Marches On for the fluffy Rex however, as it was discovered later that T. rex was only partly feathered and its undersides were bare and scaly. Or given its size, it's entirely possible that T. Rex was almost entirely scaly, save for some sparse fuzz on the neck and back.
    • The Tyrannosaurus rex also has a chunky, birdlike body plan, avoiding the problem of "shrink-wrapping" that's fairly common with dinosaur portrayals.
    • While the pterosaurs are a fictional species (labeled as "Pteradons" and looking sort of like toothy Pteranodon with rhamphorhynchoid-tails scaled up to azhdarchid size), they have pycnofibres (a type of fur known only to occur in pterosaurs) and launch by vaulting quadrupedally with their wings.
  • Stock Dinosaurs: Raptors, Tyrannosaurus rex, Iguanodon, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Parasaurolophus, Brachiosaurus, and Pachycephalosaurus all appear in the movie.
  • Teen Genius: Lucas is a middle school math and science genius, and Kate is a high school dinosaur and plant expert from the 1950s, as well as a survivalist. Both kids' skills are naturally needed to escape the island.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: The African tribal boys. They seem to come out of nowhere and do play a big role in a sideplot.
  • We Need a Distraction: To escape the tribal boys, Lucas lets loose a bunch of dinosaurs in cages.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • When the kids escape the prison, the prisoner inside who told them the secret of the magic crystals is left behind. We even see him again shortly after their escape.
    • While Lucas was transported magically to the island by the lightning storm that struck his airplane, what happened to the rest of the people inside? Or the other planes? The movie never explains.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: When confronted by the tyrannosaur, Lucas immediately explains that it can't see them if they don't move. Kate quickly shoots back how idiotic that is. Sure enough, it can see them just fine.