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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Never give up. People are stronger and safer when they work together. It's important to protect the lives of animals, even predators. These messages exemplify empathy and courage, while teamwork and strong communication skills take the main characters through conflicts that help everyone grow and survive many dangers.
Positive Role Models
Campers start off as two-dimensional "jocks," "influencers," "nerds," etc., but stereotypes are quickly thrown out as characters work through conflicts in healthy ways and support one another. Darius is a kind and curious leader; Sammy befriends and loves easily; Brooklynn displays creativity, smarts, and bravery; and so on. But the kids do often break rules to find adventure or solve problems, and they're frequently unsupervised. Adults, like the responsible and caring Dr. Mae Turner and Darius' older brother, are the exceptions -- most grown-ups are untrustworthy. Camp counselors Roxie and Dave mean well, but they don't protect the kids at all, while poachers, scientists, and rich CEOs/investors are actively self-serving, even dangerous.
The main group of six campers is gender balanced and racially diverse, including Black, Latina, Middle Eastern, Japanese, and White characters. They're complex and defy stereotypes. Though adults are mostly untrustworthy in the show, the few responsible ones are Black: Dr. Mae Turner takes care of the campers, and Darius has loving parents. Female characters are athletic, daring, brave. Male characters navigate friendships, show affection, cry. There's a little body diversity, from short to tall, from thin to curvy to athletic (but no fat characters). A man with a facial scar initially comes off as stereotypically "scary" but is revealed to be on the kids' side -- though (spoiler alert) he does sacrifice himself and die, which limits the positive impact of visible disability representation. A character develops symptoms of PTSD, including a panic attack, and friends openly discuss their own mental health trials and support each other. LGBTQ+ characters are positively shown and normalized: Brooklynn mentions her two dads, and a character talks about having had crushes on boys as she works through her deepening feelings for a girl. Two female campers date. Behind the lens, voice actors generally match their on-screen personas, such as Paul-Mikél Williams (Black) voicing Darius, Kausar Mohammed (queer, Muslim, and South Asian) voicing Yaz, etc. Show creators are White men but staff writers and directors include Sheela Shrinivas (Indian American), Rick Williams (Black American), Zesung Kang (Korean American), and others.
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Violence & Scariness
The dinosaurs are very realistic and scary-looking, especially when on the attack. Much like in the movies, characters are often in peril and face angry dinos in the wild. Scenes can be intense, but no blood or gore on-screen. Minor characters and villains are eaten whole/killed by dinos; people shoot at dinos, sometimes killing them. Dinosaurs fight, sometimes killing each other. It's implied that a teen sees a dead body when he lurches away from an overturned car. Main characters are attacked by dinos and robots, getting injured or poisoned (no lasting damage, though a character wears red-tinged bandages for several episodes). Main characters use weapons like a Taser, a spear, a baseball bat, golf club, etc. Other weapons include shotguns, machetes, knives, etc. Expect large explosions, an earthquake with falling objects, and flashbacks to a main character's father who passed away (sad scenes at the hospital of him visibly weak). Characters vomit, shovel a giant mound of dino poop, hold their noses as they travel through sewers, and eat squirming grubs.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters have crushes, date, hug, hold hands, and share chaste kisses. In a couple of episodes, they wear swimsuits.
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Campers call Darius "dino-nerd," but it becomes an affectionate name. Characters occasionally refer to things as "stupid," "psycho," and "crazy," saying "this sucks" and "crud" when frustrated. Infrequent insults include "dumb kid," "jerk," "idiot," "dork," "dingus," "simpleton," and "dippy" -- often spoken between friends in a teasing manner. Brief discussion of dinosaur farts.
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Products & Purchases
The series is based on the popular Jurassic Park film franchise, which includes lots of merch.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
An injured character acts loopy/high while on painkillers (played for comedy).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous is an animated adventure series set in the Jurassic Park universe. It's about a group of 12- to 15-year-olds who are chosen to become the first campers on Isla Nublar. Even though they're animated, the show's dinosaurs are very realistic and scary-looking, especially when on the attack; campers are often in peril and sometimes get injured (no lasting damage). Minor characters and villains are eaten whole and killed (no blood). You an also expect chases, shooting, bludgeoning, electrical attacks, and explosions. A main character works through grief over his father's death (sad scenes at the hospital). Characters refer to things as "stupid," "psycho," and "crazy," also saying "this sucks" and "crud." Insults and friendly banter include "dumb kid," "jerk," "idiot," "dork," etc. The show celebrates perseverance, teamwork, and empathy. It also stands out for racial and LGBTQ+ diversity, with complex characters that defy stereotypes. Female campers are courageous and athletic; male campers communicate well, build strong friendships, and show emotions in healthy ways. It fills a gap for tween dino lovers who have long since aged out of Dinosaur Train and are a little old for Dino Dana; it's also a really great pick for whole-family viewing.
Is It Any Good?
This fun, well-written, and beautifully animated series is a great addition to the franchise canon, serving an audience that might not be quite ready for the movies. Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous's plot clips along at a perfect pace for tweens, and they'll love getting to know the characters and listen to seamless uses of kid slang ("bruh" makes early appearances, and Darius states that "dinosaur migration patterns are my jam"). As for the drama, Camp Cretaceous is a lot like the movies: People are put into peril that seems wildly unnecessary, but, heck, that's the Jurassic way. Isla Nublar's theme park remains as dangerous and poorly thought out as ever, and adding mostly unsupervised kids into the mix? Not to mention a second, secret island that pits dinos against each other for the sadistic enjoyment of the uber-rich? Sure -- but this is all easily overlooked as part of the fantasy of this world.
Just like at real camp, the characters bond, show each other their vulnerabilities, and learn to communicate by sharing their own stories. Also, kudos to the series for casting its diverse characters with an equally diverse group of voice actors, as well as including more body diversity than many shows (teen and adult characters look realistic and have a range of body types). Families should note that each episode ends with a cliffhanger, so while it's tempting to binge, it could be fun to parcel this show out slowly for maximum impact and excitement.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.