REVIEW: ‘Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous’ Season 2 Ups The Stakes And The Spectacle

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous Season 2 

Last week saw the Season 2 premiere of Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, once again distributed by Universal Pictures, Amblin Television, and DreamWorks Television. Returning for Season 2 is Zack Stenz as consulting producer and showrunner Scott Kreamer. Steven Spielberg, Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow, and Frank Marshall also return as executive producers.

After the events of Season 1 and the first Jurassic World film, the members of Camp Cretaceous are stranded on Isla Nublar. Darius (Paul-Mikél Williams), Kenji (Ryan Potter), Brooklynn (Jenna Ortega), Sammy (Raini Rodriguez), and Yaz (Kausar Mohammed) struggle to survive with dwindling supplies and an island full of dinosaurs-many of them carnivorous. Complicating matters is Yaz’s twisted ankle and the loss of their fellow camper Ben (Sean Giambrone), carried over from Season 1.

The best thing about Season 1 was the bond between the Camp Cretaceous kids; they could not have been more different from each other, yet they bonded while also escaping from ravenous dinosaurs. Those bonds only continue to strengthen over the course of Season 2, as they confront fears and foibles other than surviving in the ruins of a theme park. Kenji, who’s more or less had his life handed to him on a silver platter, steps up to the plate more than once. Yaz learns to open up to others simultaneously and not to push herself too hard. Even Brooklynn, who hasn’t had a “normal” life due to her Internet fame, connects with Yaz and Sammy over a TV show they both watch. These connections help further humanize the campers and will no doubt strike a chord with the audience. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve connected with friends over a shared experience like the love of a TV show or a great home-cooked meal.

Another carryover from Season 1 remains the danger the campers are in. Not only is the T-Rex from Jurassic World still a major threat, but there are also Baryonyx-who are twice the size of Velociraptors (and according to Darius, eat three times their weight in meat.) Even herbivores like Stegosaurs turn ferocious when provoked. The Jurassic Park and Jurassic World films have never shied away from placing their protagonists in danger-however, the danger is infinitely more terrifying when it’s a group of preteens stranded on an island with no help from the outside world. The series continues to build on the tension that is a hallmark of the franchise-I can’t count how many times the characters came close to death, whether by dinosaurs or the environment. The pacing is perfect, throwing in dinosaur attacks when you least expect it.

The series also introduces a new pair of characters, Tiff (Stephanie Beatriz) and Mitch (Bradley Whitford), a pair of “eco-tourists” who the campers run into. While I don’t want to spoil too much about their roles, I will say the back half of the season bears a strong resemblance to The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and I enjoyed it. The Lost World often gets a bad rap, but I feel it made a good point in bringing up the fact that humanity would have to learn to live among dinosaurs, and that’s a topic Camp Cretaceous tackles with ease. Even though many dinosaurs are massive predators, they’re also animals fighting for their place in the world.

The animation for the series remains highly detailed for both humans and dinosaurs. Viewers will be able to see the dinosaurs up close, from their scaly skin to more personal details like the T-Rex’s massive teeth or a Stegosaurus’ dorsal plate. Trevorrow asked the directors to treat the dinosaurs like they were real animals, and they move with the weight or speed you’d expect from a real animal. The campers also look like you’d expect kids living in the forest for months to look like. Their clothes are torn and dirty, as well as their hair. I have to give extra kudos to the animators for giving Darius’s hair the exact texture and curls you’d expect from a Black boy his age; it’s the little details that count.

Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Season 2 continues to impress, both as an entry into the Jurassic World canon and as a solid animated series. Given that Trevorrow has hinted future episodes might tie into the plot of Jurassic World: Dominion and Kreamer saying that the series is set six months before the beginning of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, I’m eager to see what’s next and if the campers will eventually get off the island.

Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Season 2 is currently streaming on Netflix.

 

Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Season 2
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Season 2 continues to impress, both as an entry into the Jurassic World canon and as a solid animated series. Given that Trevorrow has hinted future episodes might tie into the plot of Jurassic World: Dominion and Kreamer saying that the series is set six months before the beginning of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, I’m eager to see what’s next and if the campers will eventually get off the island.