One of the most interesting aspects of the new animated Netflix series Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous is that it seems to fit the bill for non-trashy but more grown-up entertainment, the kind that could be perfect for tweens and young teens.
Once kids start to outgrow Paw Patrol and the like, there seems to a gap in entertainment options that don’t have a ton of mature-ish content but also aren’t extremely juvenile -- and this show slides right into that space.
Premise of Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous
The show starts in the home life of main character Darius, a teen who is a bit obsessed with dinosaurs. He wins a nearly-impossible-to-beat virtual-reality game online, and the prize is a trip to Camp Cretaceous, which to a dinosaur theme park on the infamous Isla Nublar, not unlike the other Jurassic Park/Jurassic World storylines.
Darius ends up being one of six teens who have been selected for a trip to the camp as it prepares for a big grand opening.
The other teen campers are hot-shot rich kid Kenji, farm girl Sammy, athlete Yasmina, deathly fearful nerd Ben, and social-media star Brooklynn.
The first few episodes pull us into their world, their at-times-silly interpersonal conflicts, and the potential for grave danger from the dinosaurs.
And then we start to get a taste of that danger as things begin to go terribly wrong at the camp.
Some Pluses and a Couple Minuses
On the positive side, this show gets really enthralling once you’re a few episodes in. As an adult, I was caught up in it and didn’t want to turn it off. The dinosaurs are a fun spectacle for any kids who are at all into them. And the writing for the show is pretty decent overall.
There are some positive messages here for kids about sticking together and helping one another as well. And there is definitely a refreshing absence of any sort of woke agenda or immoral plot points along those lines.
There is a decent amount of focus on things like social media and Internet usage from the social-media star character, but it feels less weird and cringeworthy than in a little-kids show like PBS’s Molly of Denali, since these characters are actually teens.
There are a few brief, minor instances of language (almost miss-able), and one girl character wears a slightly immodest tank top for much of the show -- it’s kind of minutiae compared to a lot of what’s out there, but a bit of a weird costume choice in my opinion.
The biggest issue to be aware of with this show is that it’s pretty scary. There’s no gore shown, but some adults get eaten off screen a few times. Potentially kind of terrifying for a lot of littler kids (my own little kids loved the show, but I think they might be kind of weird in that regard).
Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous Is a Pretty Good Option
So many PG-rated series these days (and even some G-rated ones) have a bunch of inappropriate stuff shoehorned in there for no real reason. This show does not. And it’s pretty entertaining to boot.
Let’s hope it keeps up the clean and entertaining precedent it set in a second season.
Click here to visit the show's Netflix homepage.