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Author Topic: Dinotopia  (Read 910 times)

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Highsoar

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« on: December 20, 2006, 06:22:13 pm »
Any of you dino fans also read this series? And I'd forget the miniseries and TV thing, they are soooo unlike the books that it's not even funny. That's actually what my screenname is from; I use it all the time in that fandom and just carried it to this one.

DarkHououmon

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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2006, 08:14:55 pm »
I never bothered with the books. I had one, but decided not to read it. I thought the miniseries was fine. I liked Zippo. He was cool.

Petrie.

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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2006, 10:37:08 pm »
Are you THE Highsoar from the OMB before the miniseries came out?  If you are, then you've just met an old acquaintance from there. :)

Yes, I've read ALAFT and TWB but not the latest two.  I sort of would like to and just need to drag myself into a library to read it.  What amazes me the most is the fact that James Gurney both wrote and drew the pictures for the books....now there's talent. :D

Highsoar

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« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2006, 02:38:52 am »
Quote from: Petrie,Dec 20 2006 on  09:37 PM
Are you THE Highsoar from the OMB before the miniseries came out?  If you are, then you've just met an old acquaintance from there. :)

Yes, I've read ALAFT and TWB but not the latest two.  I sort of would like to and just need to drag myself into a library to read it.  What amazes me the most is the fact that James Gurney both wrote and drew the pictures for the books....now there's talent. :D

Yep, it's me...I vaguely remember you. BTW there's still a new book in the works...the digest novels are over now :( but Journey To Chandara is the new JG book.
Are you THE Highsoar from the OMB before the miniseries came out?  If you are, then you've just met an old acquaintance from there. :)
Quote

Yep, it's me...I vaguely remember you. BTW there's still a new book in the works...the digest novels are over now :( but Journey To Chandara is the new JG book.

The board's still active if you can put up with the increase in spammers lately. Brokehorn cleans up but sometimes a bit slowly.

Malte279

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« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2006, 05:14:00 am »
Quote
Any of you dino fans also read this series?
You bet! :)
I just love the first two of Jame's Gurney's books, "A land apart from time", and "The World Beneath". The pictures are just gorgeous with so much love for the detail, that the idea of Dinotopia becomes quite credible. Especially so in the 19th century setting of the book.
I wasn't quite as fond of Gurney's third book "First Flight", in which I think he broke with some of the earlier concepts of Dinotopia. The pictures too, while still gorgeous in style, didn't appear as "realistic" as the pictures in the first two books did (e.g. for the fact that the books main character is kneeling on the back of a flying Skybax with his arms spread far. Looking at the earlier books and the saddles they are using there to lie flat on the backs of their Skybaxs one would expect that character to be sweeped of his mount instantly).
There is good hope for the next Dinotopia book by Gurney to be an excelent one again. Not only will it be about Bix and Arthur, and Will Denison again, but it will also be focused on "Chandara", a town of which we heard in the earlier books, but of which we didn't get a glimpse so far.
I'm also very fond of Dean Alan Foster's two Dinotopia books, "Dinotopia Lost" and "The Hand of Dinotopia".
I read the 16 other Dinotopia novels, written by other authors, too. I liked most of them though I wasn't quite as taken with any of them as I was with the books of Gurney and Foster.
Do you know the audio plays of "A land apart from time" and "The World Beneath"? They are absolutely gorgeous! They did an excelent job there not only through good dialogues (strongly based on the books, but of course they had to write a lot own dialogue as there is not so much literal dialogue in Gurney's books), but also through very good use of music and "dinosaur sounds".

As for the series, there was the mini series which started and a subsequent series of I think 14 more sequels. The mini series which started it all was absolutely horrible! I really can't find any kinder terms for it. The modern day setting already is quite problematic, but in they also messed almost everything about Dinotopia. For example it was nothing short of a dictatorship with the mayor of Waterfall City being the dictator to order everyone around. Nobody on Dinotopia in that movie seemed to have ever heard of the Dinotopian code "Weapons are enemies even to their owners".
The 14 sequels of the series weren't quite as bad. They are absolutely NO comparison to any of the books. However they had some better actors in the series and (more important) they kept Dinotopia a little closer to the Dinotopia of the books. The mayor of Waterfall City was for example no longer a totalitarian ruler and weapons and violence were not as accepted as they were in the mini series. A lot of the 14 sequels was about the problems people of a modern day society would have if they stranded in Dinotopia, which is an interesting story by itself. If one stops to compare this series with the books all the time it can be really enjoyable. The books and that series are two totally different things, as soon as one accepts that fact the series (not the mini series) can be quite nice.
A major drawback of the series however, is that the dinosaurs play a very, very marginal role. There are only three dinosaur characters with a name and they hardly ever do anything important. Also the importance of sunstones (which are barely known in the Dinotopia of Gurney's books) is overstressed in the series as the only thing that keeps Dinotopians save from carnivores.

WeirdRaptor

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« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2006, 08:23:22 pm »
I think I read one. Eh, I never got into the series, myself, but its easy to how others did. Its well-written, was a pretty plot, but to me, it just wasn't very interesting.

Highsoar

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« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2007, 10:57:46 am »
Update: there's a new Official message board now linked from the main site, and it almost eliminates the spammer and troll problems.

Anyway, I thought I'd mention it.

*feels the same about the miniseries and tv show, it didn't stick with the books that well*

Kor

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« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2007, 10:40:16 pm »
I've read the first 2 books and enjoyed them.   I've not seen the miniseries, but did see a few episodes of the tv series.  Didn't enjoy them to much since it didn't feel like dinotopia.    Maybe, unless it's already been done, some Dinotopia fans can try to get an rp started here in the random roleplay section.

Manny Cav

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« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2007, 11:22:50 pm »
The only Dinotopia related material I've came into contact with was a series of three live action, hour-long specials (or soemthing similar to that) on ABC.

Kor

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« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2007, 02:18:11 am »
Sounds like both of us have had little exposer to it.  I liked the world in the 2 books.  What did you think of what you saw?

Malte279

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« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2007, 03:24:20 am »
I was rather disappointed by the Dinotopia of the mini series which presented a world so extremely different (a militarist dictatorship in which humans seemed to dominate the dinosaurs) from the marvelous world presented by James Gurney in his books.
The TV series was somewhat better (for example the mayor of Waterfall City did not come across as a dictator in the TV series) but it still wasn't Gurney's Dinotopia.
The single Dinotopia cartoon presented a place so different from Gurney's Dinotopia that there was hardly any similarity except for the name.
Dinotopia is one of the many cases in which I think the books are far better than a movie.
A new Dinotopia book was released this month by the way and I plan to get it soon. It is titled "Journey to Chandara" and once again includes the Denisons and Bix after the somewhat questionable book "First Flight" in which they were mentioned only in the pro- / epilogue.
Did anyone else here listen to the Dinotopia audio plays? Those were done really well in my opinion. Perhaps Kacie will soon be able to tell us a bit about her impression of them
 ;)

Petrie.

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« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2007, 06:46:39 am »
I only got to hear the audio plays thanks to Malte and Christian. :)  Those indeed were well done with a full cast.  Bix sounded like a squawky parrot. :p (but I would've expected nothing less)

Malte279

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« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2007, 07:06:37 am »
You only ever got the first of the audio plays (A land apart from time) though, didn't you?
Meanwhile I do have the second (The World Beneath) as well.

Kor

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« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2007, 08:56:40 am »
With it failing so often I wonder why so many producers seem to want to ignore the source material, and not have the creator involved.  Or at the very least buy a book done by the creator, or watch an episode or 2.

Manny Cav

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« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2007, 09:03:50 am »
Quote from: Kor,Oct 24 2007 on  01:18 AM
What did you think of what you saw?
It's been years since I saw them and they only aired them once to my knowledge, so I don't even remember at this point, just that there were 3 of them that were an hour long each or something similar to that.

Does anybody know what I'm talking about so I can learn mor einformation on what I saw?

Malte279

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« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2007, 09:57:13 am »
Quote
With it failing so often I wonder why so many producers seem to want to ignore the source material, and not have the creator involved. Or at the very least buy a book done by the creator, or watch an episode or 2.
Are there any episodes which lived up to the quality of the books? I don't think so.
Quote
Does anybody know what I'm talking about so I can learn mor einformation on what I saw?
What you saw was probably the Dinotopia "Mini TV series". The Mini series was succeeded by a series of (I think) 11 episodes. That later TV series, though based on the mini series, was considerably better than the former though it still was very, very different from Dinotopia as presented by James Gurney (my personal opinion).

Manny Cav

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« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2007, 11:27:47 am »
Ah, yes, I just read it on Wikipedia here. It was three 2 hour-long specials. Was this what deviated so much from the original book series?

Malte279

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« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2007, 03:17:32 pm »
Yes. The mini TV series consisted of 3 episodes of about 2 hours each and it was here that least care was taken to maintain the atmosphere of Gurney's Dinotopia. The subsequent TV series took much more care about this. It was still far from being "Gurney's Dinotopia", but there was more of a resemblance.

Manny Cav

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« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2007, 05:33:09 pm »
Well, I remember liking what I saw, and that I wished (and still do) that it would be re-aired someday. However, my high appraisal of the mini-series may be because of that fact that I have never came into anything else Dinotopia related, nor the well-received book series.

I do remember something about sunstones and fire-breathing dragons....

Kor

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« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2007, 08:26:22 pm »
You already probably know this but on youtube if you do a search for Dinotopia there are some short clips where James Gurney talks about how he does some of his sketches and other interesting clips of him talking about various Dinotopia things.  I didn't know he made models.  I guess it makes easy things for him to refer to for his art.