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Section Header
Dinotopia
(2002)
Composed and Co-Produced by:
Trevor Jones

Conducted by:
Geoffrey Alexander

Co-Produced by:
Simon Rhodes

Label:
Contemporary Media Recordings (Promo)

Release Date:
October, 2002

Also See:
Cleopatra (TV)
Merlin (TV)
The Dark Crystal

Audio Clips:
1. Dinotopia Main Theme (0:34):
WMA (220K)  MP3 (274K)
Real Audio (171K)

6. Waterfall City (0:29):
WMA (191K)  MP3 (233K)
Real Audio (145K)

11. The Skybax Dawn Flight (0:28):
WMA (184K)  MP3 (226K)
Real Audio (140K)

12. Ceremony of the Sunstones (0:32):
WMA (206K)  MP3 (258K)
Real Audio (160K)

Availability:
Promotional release, only found in select specialty outlets and used-CD vendors. Very difficult to find.

Awards:
  None.









Dinotopia

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Buy it... if you appreciate Trevor Jones' ability to consistently write lush, harmonic material of dynamic character for a robust orchestral environment.

Avoid it... if you prefer Jones' title themes to be blatantly bold and brassy, and would therefore be less enthusiastic about his inspirational, string-dominated side.



Jones
Dinotopia: (Trevor Jones) Based on the best-selling books by author and illustrator James Gurney, the six-hour miniseries of Dinotopia debuted on the ABC network in the United States in 2002. It is the epic story of a lost continent where dinosaurs and humans live together in an almost-utopian world, their diverse culture dealing with many of the same issues as our more familiar humans-only society. Two brothers crash their modern-day plane on the island while lost in the Caribbean and are thrown into this human and dinosaur culture where they attempt to make a life for themselves. The adventures of the young men lead them through daring chases, outlandish discoveries, and, of course, affection for the local women. The series, while not the best to come from Hallmark Entertainment, was acclaimed for its blend of spectacular art direction and dazzling visual effects, bringing a Middle-Earth type of environment to life in the form of gorgeous architectural concepts. Composer Trevor Jones was first known for his fantasy and adventure scores, beginning his career with the cult classics of Excalibur and The Dark Crystal. He had stepped away from such films for many years, claiming that he had expended all of his musical ideas for that genre at that time. He began to return to fantasy in the middle and late 1990's, when he accepted several adventurous television scoring assignments, including the popular Merlin in 1998. Jones spent the decade turning down mainstream feature film assignments (including First Knight in 1995) and focused his attention on his instruction at the university level and a wealth of lesser-known television scores. In these regards, Dinotopia is a very typical production through which Jones could lend his musical talents, for it offered him the chance to soar with one of his sweeping, trademark themes while also writing quality music just below the mainstream radar. The six hour length of Dinotopia would require Jones to compose a considerable amount of orchestral material, which, as usual for the composer, was performed with splendor by the London Symphony Orchestra. While it is tempting to zero in on the immense highlights that Jones' scores usually contain, the quality of the composer's music is strong throughout the entire production of Dinotopia, overwhelming not only in its high points but also in the scope that it maintains throughout its immense length.

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As is customary, Jones entertains with his sensibility for rich, harmonic, memorable themes for Dinotopia. There is no overwhelming brass affair, as in 1999's Cleopatra or 1993's Cliffhanger, but instead Jones anchors the score with a more classically-inclined string theme. It's a very emotionally uplifting thematic construct, building upon the utopian sense of goodness that James Horner introduced in The Land Before Time, but expanded to Jones' lush standards. The score flows from one pleasant cue to another, with lyrical passages often overlapping in neighboring material. Even the action cues, as well as those meant to represent the dangerous parts of the lost continent, are melodic in their presentation and continue Jones' dynamic employment of the full ensemble in every circumstance. There aren't action sequences as awe-inspiring as those in parts of The League of Extraordinary Gentleman (Jones' most ambitious action material in the early 2000's), nor is there the level of deep, reflective fright as heard in From Hell the previous year. The orchestra never tears into the atmosphere, as in Dark City. Jones steers a very steady ship in Dinotopia, with lengthy segments of music performed with deep harmonic satisfaction by the masterful ensemble. The positive nature of the music may cause it to take on the personality of a children's score, but even so, the power of its performance extends its reach far beyond the typical music in that genre (by, for instance, the likes of John Debney). You can't point to one particular cue that is more outstanding than any other, but the consistently exciting or beautiful tone of Jones' music for Dinotopia makes it an easy recommendation for his collectors. Unfortunately, the album is a difficult situation. Like the television film Cleopatra, the score was released by "Contemporary Media Recordings" (reportedly Jones' own personal label) and was never available in retail stores. While Cleopatra was sold for a limited time online, Dinotopia never was, and the extent of its release was mostly confined to non-chain stores in the Los Angeles area. Varèse Sarabande originally announced that it would release the score in 2002, but the label immediately retracted that statement. Thus, the CMR album serves mostly as a promotional album for Jones, and should be considered a rare find when discovered. While it may not contain anywhere near the entirety of the music that Jones wrote for this series (at only an hour in running time), collectors of his solid orchestral work will not be disappointed. ****   Amazon.com Price Hunt: CD or Download

Bias Check:For Trevor Jones reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.78 (in 18 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3.42 (in 24,464 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.





 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  


Regular Average: 3.75 Stars
Smart Average: 3.6 Stars*
***** 108 
**** 75 
*** 35 
** 23 
* 31 
  (View results for all titles)
    * Smart Average only includes
         40% of 5-star and 1-star votes
              to counterbalance fringe voting.
   Re: Link for Purchasing DINOTOPIA
  Felix Milbrecht -- 3/15/09 (5:08 p.m.)
   Link for Purchasing DINOTOPIA
  Christian Kühn -- 12/3/06 (11:48 p.m.)
   some excellent themes *NM*
  Jeroen -- 8/27/06 (6:56 a.m.)
   Relaxing and well-composed
  Sheridan -- 8/21/06 (12:32 p.m.)
Read All | Add New Post | Search | Help  




 Track Listings: Total Time: 61:17


• 1. Dinotopia Main Theme (3:29)
• 2. Chandara Bus Station (3:00)
• 3. T-Rex Attacks (6:02)
• 4. The Codes of Dinotopia (4:13)
• 5. Swampland Mosasaurs (3:13)
• 6. Waterfall City (6:15)
• 7. The World Beneath (7:57)
• 8. Pteranodons (5:31)
• 9. Academy for Young Mammals (6:00)
• 10. Letter from Matriarch (7:28)
• 11. The Skybax Dawn Flight (3:42)
• 12. Ceremony of the Sunstones (4:24)




 Notes and Quotes:  


The insert includes a synopsis of the film's plot, but no extra information about the score.





   
  All artwork and sound clips from Dinotopia are Copyright © 2002, Contemporary Media Recordings (Promo). The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 10/7/03 and last updated 3/3/09. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2003-2013, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.