Dinotopia (2001)
Artisan Entertainment
Cast: David thewlis, Katie Carr, Jim Carter, Alice Krige, Tyron Leitso
Extras: Featurettes, Encyclopedia, Photo Gallery, Trailers, Fimographies, Deleted Scenes, Games

Hallmark’s television min-series are in a league of their own, as we have been allowed to witness many times before. With ’Dinotopia’ the studios is now serving up a mini-series that takes you into a mythical and fantastical world where dinosaurs and men live side by side. The show had a very successful television run and is now available on DVD from Artisan Home Entertainment as a 2-disc set.

’Dinotopia’ is presented in its fullscreen aspect ratio on this DVD. The transfer is very clean and no blemishes are evident. The image appears a bit soft at times but is otherwise meticulous. No edge-enhancement is evident and the color reproduction brings out the best of the lush settings and beautiful cinematography. Blacks are deep, giving the image good visual depth and the transfer’s contrast is also well-balanced, creating good gradients and fall-offs.

The DVD contains a Dolby Stereo audio track that is well produced and offers a good dynamic range. The frequency response is natural, creating a faithful representation of the sound field, dialogues and effects. Dialogues are well integrated and always understandable.

This release also contains a number of special features, such as an 18-minute making-of featurette with cast interviews and a glimpse at the production. An interview with composer Trevor Jones is also included, as a storyboard sequence of the T-Rex attack.

En encyclopedia covering the dinosaurs, the language of the Saurians and a map of locations is also part of the disc. You can also find two deleted scenes on the DVD, and a beautifully animated photo gallery with artwork, stills form the film and behind-the-scenes photos. The DVD is rounded out by trailers, filmographies, a look at the ’Dinotopia’ Gameboy Advance game and a very simple maze game.

Once again, this is a great presentation of a TV min-series. High production values, an intriguing story and great visuals help bring ’Dinotopia’ to life on the small screen, and with its added features, this DVD is clearly a winner.