The Jurassic Park franchise has had its ups and downs — mainly downs — but it is still proving popular, particularly with Jurassic World: Dominion’s $900 million global box office takings. So it’s no surprise that the animated spin-off Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous just roared into the Netflix top 10.
Camp Cretaceous' fifth and final season arrived on Netflix last week, which would explain why it jumped into the Netflix top 10 list. The fact the show has a 92% score on Rotten Tomatoes means it’s also probably the best received Jurassic World title for several years.
What is Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous?
Camp Cretaceous is an animated spin-off of the main Jurassic World franchise that first debuted in 2020. The show follows a group of teenagers visiting the dinosaur adventure camp on Isla Nublar — the same island that was home to Jurassic Park and Jurassic World.
But the first season is set during the events of Jurassic World, which saw all the dinosaurs break out of their enclosures and cause chaos. The kids get stranded in the aftermath, and have to learn to work as a team if they want to survive on an island covered in hostile formerly extinct creatures.
There are 49 episodes of Camp Cretaceous, ranging from 22 to 25 minutes in length. All of them are available to watch on Netflix, and the show does intersect with the Jurassic World movies at times.
What do critics think of Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous?
As the Rotten Tomatoes score shows, the first season of Camp Cretaceous wasn’t a hit with some critics. But as a whole what they had to say was fairly positive.
Nick Allen at RogerEbert.com noted the show “shows that there's still plenty of excitement to be mined in good, old fashioned Jurassic Park chaos.” While io9’s Beth Elderkin said that “It's rare to find a modern children's show that trusts its audience to handle more intense subject material. In that sense, it's something to admire-even if it's unsettling at times.”
Robert Lloyd at the Los Angeles Times also had nice things to say, writing that “The characters are not deeply drawn - nor were Fred, Velma, Daphne or Shaggy, for that matter - but their place in the gestalt is well defined, and in terms of story lines no camper is left behind.”
Of course some major critics weren’t so keen. Ben Travis at Empire compared the show to Star Wars spin-offs Clone Wars and Rebels, and how they proved animated spin-offs didn’t have to be just for kids. However he concluded that “It's a shame, then, that Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous is a blockbuster spin-off that only younger viewers will enjoy.”
But things seem to have improved since, with more positive reviews for Season 2 and 3. Meanwhile Season 5 seems to have gone down better with the critics.
Rafael Motamayor at Slashfilm criticized the show’s fifth season rushed pace that “undermines some of the character arcs” as well as the “needless animal cruelty.” But they conclude that "Camp Cretaceous" delivers a satisfying conclusion to what is the best "Jurassic Park" sequel, one that understands what made the original film and novel so good, and builds upon it.”
Meanwhile Daniel Hart from Ready Steady Cut concluded that the fifth season is “a warm but welcome hurrah for Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous.” He added, "Season 5 delivers in exactly the way we expected. There are plenty of emotions, danger, and adventure mixed with togetherness, love, and friendship.”
Bottom Line: Should you watch Jurassic Park: Camp Cretaceous?
If you are planning on watching Camp Cretaceous, you should do so in full knowledge that this is a show aimed at kids. Despite how much better received it has been compared to the last two Jurassic World movies, there’s no denying that it’s not a show primarily for adult audiences.
If you have kids, particularly those who like dinosaurs, this should prove to be a solid option. At the very least it’s something parents can watch with their children, so you can all have some fun together.
Non-parents who love dinosaurs may want to give the show a try. Just be fully aware that it may not be the kind of animated show you see from other big franchises. It’s pretty clear this isn’t Clone Wars.
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