Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Kathie Huddleston has a review of the new kids' show Dinosapien on Lauren is a reluctant counselor at Dinosaur Explorer Camp in the Canadian Badlands, run by her paleontologist mother, Dr. Hilary Slayton. Meanwhile, after a small series of earthquakes three dinosaurs find themselves "on their own in a strange land."
The well-written pilot episode, "Dawn of the Dinosaurs," is an excellent introduction to the series. We get to know Lauren's world and begin to understand that these dinosaurs are intelligent beings in their own right. Both species of dinosaur have been developed in interesting ways, from the quick, birdlike Eno to the slow, armored and nasty Diggers. There's a sense that these dinosaurs have accidentally left behind societies of their own.

While Lauren is a terrific character as portrayed by Brittney Wilson, the animated Eno is just as well developed. The dinosaurs fit so naturally in the story that it's easy to forget that they aren't real. Without language, we come to sympathize with Eno, and it becomes easy to understand how these two lost souls, with Eno physically lost and Lauren emotionally lost, are destined to end up saving each other in one way or another.
The series was produced by BBC Worldwide, and premiered in the U.S. on Saturday, July 7 on Discovery Kids and in Canada on BBC Kids. The Discovery Kids Dinosapien site has more information about the cast and characters and has behind-the-scenes video. It seems to me that they missed the opportunity to give kids information on real dinosaurs and palenotologists. They could have at least linked to the Discovery Channel's own dinosaur guide!

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