My son (now 10) and our family fell in love with this original Emmy award winning Dinotopia mini-series with it's 'all star' cast. It's a two DVD set edited into a superb long film (running over to the second DVD). Personally I prefer serials like these kept to their original episodes and credits to maintain pace and the episode cliff hanger, particularly for the kids at bedtime, but this film works quite well. It's extras include an interesting 'making of' featurette. My son absolutely couldn't tolerate the spin off Dinotopia full series than came later when they changed all the actors, and still hasn't watched his multi-DVD `series' set despite watching this original Dinotopia film on many times. The spin-off series has a more jocular mood with less dino-preaching, and with the charactor's presented in a more likeable way than the moody, angry and pious (bordering on pompous in the Mayor's case) tone of this original.
All the family preferred this film's darker style, with classy Brit's Katie Carr and Jim Carter as the Dinotopians and Wentworth Miller and Tyron Leitso as the believable in-fighting American step-brother's coping with their sudden change of lifestyle and recent loss of their father. I also really, really loved Lee Evans as dinosaur Zippo's voice, Terry Jone's as the messenger's birds voice and David Thewlis [Harry Potter's Remus Lupin] as hustler Cyrus Crabb. None of these actors carried over to the spin-off series - but of course any Dinotopia is better than nothing so check out the series as well - it's particularly cheap via Amazon resellers in NTSC. The darker nature of this DVD set is well suited to older pre-teens and teenagers (probably boys mainly), as many of the rampaging carnivore dinosaur scenes are a bit scary (but definitely not as much as Jurassic Park, although the body count does build up rather more in crowded Dinotopia).
So overall, highly recommended, particularly as no more promised Dinotopia seems to have materialised. Picture & sound quality is superb, and the special effects are quite dazzling (particularly Waterfall City). This miniseries looks like it cost a million dollars. Well actually it cost 86 million dollars - with the single dino-hatchling animatronic character costing $100,000 alone. We got this DVD set very cheap via Amazon resellers as the NTSC set, and our fuzzy VHS copies are now in the bin. Dinotopia (technically translated as 'terrible place') is a fictitious utopian island created from the imagination of author and illustrator James Gurney - his book 'Dinotopia, A land apart' is a good pictorial read as well.